My favorite event of the year, Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival has come and gone. It was, as expected, a beautiful day filled with food, wine, and sunshine. We were completely blessed with the weather, had a great tasting crew, and had the opportunity to taste many wines from around the world.
The grand tasting took place at Marble House, one of the majestic mansions on Newport’s Bellvue Avenue. Marble House sits on a a large expanse of green grass that rolls down to the Cliff Walk, Newport’s famous walk along the ocean.
This was our wine tasting view.
We started out with the bubbly, of course, and had a few sips at the Loire Valley, Mionetto, and Mumm Napa tables. While tasting at the Mumm table, I ran into Catherine Stanton Schiff, host of the show Cocktails for Everyone. We had dinner months ago, and it was so nice to see her again!
Delicious bites were everywhere, and we were sure to take wine tasting breaks for some food samples. Alaska Seafood’s table was hard to miss, and they were giving out recipes as well as crab cocktail. I chatted with their Marketing Director for a bit and learned that they have some fun recipe contests coming up. Speaking of, if you haven’t buzzed my Alaska Seafood Foodbuzz recipe, you can do so here: http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/2594074-foodbuzz-alaska-seafood-dinner Pretty please
We sampled some truffles with a tea-scented filling, Williams Sonoma pumpkin bread and hot apple cider, and the famed lobster macaroni and cheese from Russell Morin Catering. Last year we ate more than our fair share of this mac and cheese, and this year it was as perfect as ever.
|This is just a fraction of the food samples we tried. Add to this multiple servings of the best fish chowder I have ever eaten, Food Should Taste Good chips, gazpacho, gelato, and more.|
As always, it was fun to taste wine from wineries we have visited. Out of all of the wines that we tasted at the Newport Mansions Festival, my favorites were ones we had already tried from Ladera. Their Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is one of my favorite Cabs, and since we joined their wine club, there will be some on its way to our house very soon. The son of the owners of Ladera was pouring, and he of course knew a lot about the wines and the property and exuded that friendly vibe that is so widespread in Napa.
Other favorites included the Cyrus Cab from Alexander Valley Vineyards, a Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier, plus a little snack from Kerrygold to cleanse the palate. I actually got full from all of the food samples I tried!
We stopped to check out Billy Costa in the cooking demo tent before heading out back once again. I didn’t realize this last year, but the pagoda that is in the Marble House’s backyard houses some of the best food at the Newport festival in addition to a tasting bar, this year featuring Rhone wines.
While inside the pagoda, I sampled some delicious Grenache Syrah wines as well as some of the most heavenly pumpkin bread pudding with warm vanilla caramel sauce. Add that to my “must-make” fall list!
I have started really enjoying Rhone varietals like Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier, so I was glad to see the Rhone so well-represented. I would have also loved to have seen some Austrian wine, but if it was there, I must have missed it.
We followed the event by toasting with some more Mumm Napa, snacking goldfish at the Newport Marriott, and then heading off for some dinner.
I say it all the time, but I can’t say enough how much I love the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival. It is in one of the most breathtaking settings in New England and offers such high end food and wine, all in a not-too-crowded, friendly environment. I think that next year I want to make an entire weekend out of it to attend more of the events and to soak up the lovely Newport vibe. The event planners do an amazing job; I wish they would do it twice a year!