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Updated Preview: 2017 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

WF-logo-2016-(3)Now that we are officially into the middle of summer, and things are starting to heat up, let’s take a look forward to September 21-24, and the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival.  Some have called it the best in New England, and we would agree.  Some have called it the best in the country, and we just don’t have nearly enough experience with the thousands of wine and food events across these fifty wf-grand-tasting-900states to hazard an opinion on that.  But we can say it makes for one great weekend, or an afternoon, or an evening, or any combination of these.  There is plenty to do and some unbeatable venues to experience it all in.  We strongly recommend it.  You can learn more about this year’s event on the Preservation Society’s Event website: http://www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival.

This year’s format follows very closely to last year, and the newly revised agenda which was introduced.  There is once again a Thursday night, high end wine dinner at The Elms, which will feature Grand Cru Burgundy along with a special menu.  This is the most expensive event of the weekend, with tickets running $750 per plate.  We’d love to try it, but it is way out of our price range.   Not to worry, however, as there are plenty of other options to enjoy.

wine-&-rosecliff-(12)-900

Rosecliff at night

Friday night brings the long standing tradition of Wine & Rosecliff, held at the Rosecliff mansion and featuring top end wines, lots of food from renowned restaurants and chefs, as well as music, dancing, and one of the most beautiful evening settings you can experience anywhere.  Wines this year will include high end offerings from Catena, Hewitson, Beaucastel, Il Poggione and Mt. Veeder, among others.  The restaurant list reads like a who’s who of Rhode Island culinary greats along with others from farther afield.  This is always an enjoyable evening out.

On Saturday night you can revisit Rosecliff for another wine dinner, with champagne to start, five courses with accompanying wines, and a glass of sherry on the terrace to cap off the evening.  That doesn’t sound too bad.

Both Saturday and Sunday afternoons feature the Grand Tastings, under the tent on the glorious back lawn of the Marble House.  These are the main events of the weekend, and you can spend 3-4 hours strolling about, drinking, eating and basically being hedonistic for a bit.  Nothing wrong in that, we always say.  The variety of wine and food is somewhat staggering, so pace yourselves.

Glasses of Mondavi Reserve Cabernet

Glasses of Mondavi Reserve Cabernet

A hidden gem of this weekend is always the seminars.  Last year they were fantastic, and included a rare opportunity to taste through decades of Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet, a vertical tasting of Opus One, a pairing of white wine and oysters, and a run through a number of quality Napa Cabernet Sauvignons. We have always loved the seminars at Newport, but last year they were taken up a notch in quality and significance.  You couldn’t put together the range of Mondavi Reserve Cabs we tasted regardless of your bank account, as access to the wine library at the estate would be required.  Consider this a chance to experience some great wines and learn about the people who make them, all for very little money.   Held in the newly renovated Breakers Stable and Carriage House, they are well worth your time.  We’ll be at as many as we can make.  The only drawback is that the schedule is not out yet, so keep an eye on the website from time to time to find out what treats they have planned for us all.

We really do love this event, and the whole weekend of potential it offers.  We’ve been going for ten years and see no reason to stop anytime soon.

Once again, you can learn everything there is to know about the event schedule at: http://www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival.  We’ll update our preview once the seminars are announced.

If you’d like to read about last years events you can see an overview here, as well as lists of the Top 10 Red Wines and Top 10 White Wines.

See you there.

A votre santé

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