Celebrating its fifth year, the MV Wine Fest did not disappoint. With four days of events, including eco-tours, intimate wine dinners, a grand tasting and more, not even the grey Martha’s Vineyard weather could slow down the fun.
Six Perfect Pairings
This was my first MV Wine Fest wine dinner. Hosted by two of my favorite people, Wendy Harman and Win Baker (Point B Realty founder/owners), in their new Edgartown home, this intimate wine dinner was a truly remarkable experience.
Their home is so lovely, and perfect for entertaining. We were greeted with glasses of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, a nice touch, and had ample to time to mingle and meet other dinner guests.
We all also had a close and upfront view of the work of the chefs of the evening, Matthew O’Neil from The Blue OX (North Shore), and chef Daniel Gursha from the soon to be opened Ledger (Salem), chef O’Neil’s second restaurant.
The six-course menu was created by Dan, and the food exceeded expectations. We started our dining adventure with Wild Trout Crudo. From reading the menu, I was not too excited, but boy was I wrong. Probably one of the most beautiful dishes I have eaten.
There were pickled green strawberries, cantaloupe, lime and sorrel and edible flowers. I think this dish will stay on my mind for quite awhile.
Paired with 2015 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc from Napa/Sonoma Valley, the light citrus and minerality of this California wine complemented the citrus and smoothness of the dish. The Twomey is a perfect Summer wine, and made me realize that it is time I break up with my New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. It time for something different.
We went on to have Butter Poached Lobster with a foie gras vanilla sauce and a spiced carrot puree. Yes, the picture is lovely, but this too was so good. The lobster seemed to melt in your mouth and the sweetness of the vanilla and the spiced carrot were the ying and yang to the dish, served with a bright, acidic, balanced fruit chardonnay from Rombauer, 2015 Rombauer Chardonnay Carneros — the wine that put the vineyard on the map.
Keeping with the surf theme, we were then served Pan Seared U10 Scallops with a wild mushroom puree, sour cherries, and black tea glazed celery root. As it sounds, this dish was amazing too. Being a big scallop fan, the cherries and the celery root were a new flavor combo for me and I was delighted.
Paired with a 2012 Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot, from Napa Valley, it was a full-bodied red with a mineral note that really was delightful with the scallop dish. I should also mention that with each dish and wine, we were schooled about the vintner and the wine. This particular Duckhorn wine has been hailed as one of the best California merlots ever, and it was really good.
Now it was on to the turf courses. At the tables, there was laughter and lots of toasting to the chefs in the kitchen and the wine representatives.
We were served a roasted Kurobuta Pork Belly, paired with a 2012 Silver Oak Cabernet. Kurobuta pigs are a Japanese heritage breed, prized for their flavor and fat. The pork belly featured plums, chili, charred sweet potato and tahini nasturtium.
I am not a huge pork belly fan, but this was very tasty, and my husband was over the moon about it. I did love the cabernet and thought it went well with the salt and heat of the dish.
We keep going….next was the Cabernet Vine Smoked Long Island Duck with parsnip puree, strawberry, hibiscus syrup, and eggplant lemon thyme. The duck was paired with a 2012 Duckhorn Howell Mountain red. This big bodied red with strong notes of blackberry really complimented the unique flavor of the duck.
Our final course of the night was Coffee Licorice Venison Loin with dried cherry, Alfonso olive puree, and a warm bean salad. This bold meal needed a bold wine with notable tannins to keep up with the venison. A pair matched in wine heaven.
An Illuminating Experience
With the six courses, amazing chefs, and new wines, the MV Wine Fest Luminary Farm Wine Dinner was an unforgettable experience.
Matt and Dan created dishes with such unique flavor combinations. Each plate so carefully composed, almost too beautiful to eat. This was my first epic meal of the season, one that was so good, I want to run up to Salem and dine at Ledger.
Not only was the food amazing, but the Ledger is located in a 7,000 square foot bank, one of the oldest in the countries. I really hope to visit once it’s open.
Authors note: Chef O’Neill Matt was thrilled to be a part of the MV Wine Fest. He has some Island ties. He lived on the Vineyard for a couple of years, first driving for Coca Cola, and then in the kitchen at the Vineyard Golf Club.
Another little tidbit, Matt brought his best friend, well known Martha’s Vineyard artist Traeger Di Pietro to the Island. These two have remained close friends, and you can bet that you can find Traeger’s work in Matt’s restaurants.
The decor of the wine dinner, done my KG Events & Designs, was simple and elegant, and was lovely with the fresh, clean lines of Wendy and Win’s home. The space was relaxed, yet dressed for a memorable dinner.
The wines featured, Silver Oak Cellers, Rombauer Vineyards, Twomey Winery, and Duckhorn, highlight some of the most renowned California Wineries. Experiencing the wines, and learning about the work that goes into creating such beautiful vintages was so enjoyable. I felt the need to savor each sip, and really spend the time to note the flavors.
I have to applaud the MV Wine Fest team. This is dinner was perfect. A way to kick off the festival season on Martha’s Vineyard the right way.
Cheers! Can’t wait to see next year’s calendar of events!
Also, I have to thank Mila Lowe Photography for these stellar photos. She really captured the beauty of the event in a way that I could never. She’s amazing, and looking at the pictures, I have to admit I fell in love with the event all over again.
Point B was proud to not only be one of the sponsors of The MV Wine Festival, but also a host for two of the private wine dinners. Thanks for reading the On Point Blog. You can learn more about the MV Wine Fest, The Blue Ox and Ledger on Facebook. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.