Sunday Funday

Nothing like a couple of local winery visits and a great dinner out at a new restaurant to turn a bad weekend around! Sunday morning started out as another groggy one with another not-so-great night’s sleep.

The original plan for the day was to celebrate my friend Raija’s Master’s graduation with a trip to Cuttyhunk Island off of the coast of New Bedford. Due to some illness and exhaustion among all of us, we skipped leaving Boston at 7:30 am for a 9:00 ferry. But fun still needed to be had. The hubs and I decided to visit a couple of the wineries from the Coastal Wine Trail festival last week, and we picked up the girls along the way.

Our first stop was Running Brook Vineyards in North Dartmouth, MA, a little over an hour drive from Boston. It continually amazes me how rural Massachusetts is just outside of the city. Parts of Dartmouth were very pretty! The Running Brook Winery is located in the middle of a sprawling field, and I couldn’t resist photographing some farm machinery. Oh how I want to be a farmer!

Running Brook Farm Running Brook Farm Winery and Tasting Room

The tasting room and winery are in a big warehouse, and when we spoke with the owner, Pedro Teixeira last week, he shared with us the future plans for the building. It sounds like it will be spectacular!

Running Brook Wine Barrels Running Brook 2007 Chardonnay

Because we were visiting the winery, we had the opportunity to taste more wines than at the Coastal Wine Trail Kickoff where wineries were limited to 3 wines each.

I had a few favorites:

2005 Chardonnay Reserve: A full bodied Chardonnay with vanilla on the nose and palate, a buttery note, and the rich taste of oak aging. This wine has won two bronze medals in competition.

I think I am becoming more used to the buttery flavor of oak aged Chardonnay. Like the Enanzo Chardonnay I tasted earlier this week, Running Brook 2005 Reserve Chardonnay offered subtle evidence of oak aging, and I liked it.

2007 Auslesen: Auslesen is a German wine term for late harvest wines (Auslese). Its literal translation is “selected harvests”. It is used in the wine trade to describe specially selected, perfectly ripened bunches of grapes that are hand-picked and then pressed separately from other grapes. These grapes are specially selected for their content of Botrytis cinerea or noble rot, which gives the grape a unique sweet, earthy flavor with hints of citrus and honey.

The Auslesen is a wine that you would only want a small glass of, due to its sweetness, but I thought it was quite yummy and different than other sweet wines that I have tasted.

Our plan was to also visit Coastal Vineyards. I liked their Seaside White so much last week that I was really hoping to be able to taste through all of their wines. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the winery, the same problem, we found out later, that several other winery visitors had.

Instead we went to a place we have visited a couple times, Travessia Urban Winery. (past visits here and here). I was excited to bring my friends to Travessia knowing they would like the wine as much as the husband and I do.

We tasted through some favorites, including the 2007 and 2008 Vidal Blanc and the 2008 Rosé.

Travessia Rose and Vidal Blanc

Then we had the opportunity to do a barrel tasting of Marco’s newest wine, the Jester, a blend of  48% Zinfandel, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 10% Petite Syrah. This wine is awesome! It will not be bottled until the end of the summer, and I can’t wait to see what a few more months of barrel aging does to it. I think that is the most fun part of barrel tasting. :) And now we have a case of the Jester to look forward to in the fall.

Marco Montez, Owner and Winemaker, Travessia Urban Winery Travessia Jester, a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petite Syrah

It was great to see Marco again. Now matter how many times we have tasted his wines, he always has some more interesting information to share about his wines or about wine in general. Apparently due to the weather we have had, the grapes this year are a month ahead of where they were last year which could be a good sign and could produce some great red wine grapes in New England.

Winery Visitors

Friends and Husband in his Aer Arann Gaelic Football Top, one of my favorites :) 

After a drive home and a short rest (I could get used to this long weekend thing!), the husband and I headed to the new Bistro du Midi for dinner. Bistro du Midi is very close to my office,and I have been wanting to check it out for awhile now.The menu is full of dishes that we wanted to try.


Bistro du Midi Menu

I had a glass of Sparkling Saumur Rosé, Louis de Grenelle from the Loire Valley. It was delicious and along with a bit of sweetness and delicate bubbles, it had a slight earthiness to it.

Sparkling Saumur Rosé, Louis de Grenelle, Loire Valley

We shared Oysters Marinated with Apple, Fennel & Pepper Mignonette. They were so fresh and light and really went perfectly with the wine.

Oysters Marinated with Apple, Fennel & Pepper Mignonette Oysters Marinated with Apple, Fennel & Pepper Mignonette

For my dinner, I had Steamed Mussels Marinière au Pastis with Chili Dusted Frites. The mussels were perfectly tender, not a chewy one among the bunch, and I mopped up all of the broth which was flavored with a generous pour of Pastis and tomatoes. Mmmmmm.

Steamed Mussels Marinière au Pastis Moules Frites

I can’t say no to really good fries!

Chili Dusted Frites

We were having such a wonderful time enjoying the breezy evening on the Bistro du Midi patio that we of course had dessert, this decadent, gooey chocolate pistachio tart. Pretty amazing.

Chocolate Pistachio Tart

Bistro du Midi had incredibly friendly service and a very welcoming hostess, something that is always refreshing in downtown Boston. Their downstairs dining room is entirely open to the outdoors in the good weather, so even if you don’t score a patio seat as we did, there is still tons of light and fresh air. I can not wait to return to eat all of the items on the menu we didn’t try.

Off to enjoy Memorial Day with a nice long walk, some sun, and maybe a bit of yard work. I hope you are having a great weekend! Be back tomorrow with my 1 year blog birthday post and a giveaway to celebrate!

Also, check out the contest Late July is having:

To enter send an email to, post on Facebook or comment at to tell us where you’d like to take your family this summer or please share a special trip experience from the past.  Our trip this year was my favorite, but we’re hoping to get a few good ideas from you for next year.  All submissions will get coupons, but our favorite will also WIN a Late July Beach Bag filled with at least $50 worth of Late July Organic Snacks, a $25 iTunes gift card and we’ll also carbon offset your trip!

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Tags: Barrel Tasting, Bistro du Midi, Boston, chardonnay, Food, MA wine, Mussels and Frites, Running Brook, Travessia, Vidal Blanc, wine, wineries

  1. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

    Ahhh! I’ve seen so many fries in blog world that I’m hopelessly craving them now :D


  2. Daisy’s avatar

    I am glad your weekend turned around. Bistro du Midi looks fabulous, especially that earthy bubbly! I honestly had no idea how many local wineries we have just outside of Boston. So much fun!


  3. Simply Life’s avatar

    Oh this is great to know about -you have no idea how many places I learn about through you! :)


  4. Kelly’s avatar

    Glad you ended up having a good end of the weekend! I could TOTALLY get used to 3 day weekends too!
    Annoying that you couldn’t find Coastal, I’ve never been there or to Travessia and I need to get to Travessia asap!


  5. Raija’s avatar

    Thanks again for such a great day! :) Bistro du Midi is a must do again for later this summer! Yum!


  6. Elina’s avatar

    I love how you keep going on these amazing trips so close to home. Adam and I need to recreate some of your weekends :)


  7. Kirsten’s avatar

    Glad you liked Bistro du Midi, I’ve been meaning to go there — well actually, obsessing about trying it :)


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