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Take the trip to the Newport Wine and Food Festival

For the past several weeks I have been passing out brochures about the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival to all of my Berkshire friends, as well as displaying them at various wine shops and restaurants throughout Berkshire County.

I am somewhat lost with the absence of the Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic, which I was part of, thanks to founders Denis and Susan Toner.

I am replacing the thought of the Tanglewood Festival with that of the Newport Mansions event, which takes place Sept. 21-23.
I mentioned to my friends, “Why not spend the weekend in Newport, one of America’s most charming cities? We can all attend the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival.”

It looks like a lot of fun and an escape from reality before the winter sets in.

“Why not go to Newport for the festival?” has been my mantra for the past several weeks. The festival is for a good cause and benefits the non-profit organization, The Preservation Society of Newport County.

In addition to the Nantucket Festival in May, the Newport Festival is the most sophisticated wine and food festival that takes place on the east coast. Rosecliff, The Elms and Marble House host the festival where more than 100 of the world’s finest vintners and more than two dozen of New England’s finest chefs prepare their signature dishes for the festival attendees.

Wine seminars start on Friday, Sept. 21 at 12:30 p.m. Led by Jerome Hasenpflug, the “ABCs of Burgundy,” looks like an interesting seminar with Jerome’s unique approach to the history, anthropology and terroir of the Burgundy region.

A tasting of reds and whites will help create a better understanding of the appellation of Burgundy.

At 2:30 p.m., Stewart and Suzanne Bryan, the owners of Pride Mountain Wines, will lead you through a horizontal tasting of their wines that come from the Napa/Sonoma divide.

At 4:30 p.m., legendary television hostess Leslie Sbrocco, founder of Thirsty Girls Wine 101, will lead us through a trip around the world with wines from New Zealand to Australia and California to Washington state.

Saturday’s seminars begin at 10 a.m. with “The Adventures of Italian Wine Grapes: From Sparkling to VeniceSpriz.” The seminar is led by Leslie Sbrocco and Sam Ramic, of  International Wine Masters, Casa Comoer and the Italian Trade Commission.

Sandy Block will lead the noon seminar that will focus on “Vinho Verde: Portugal’s Rising Star White Wine.” Sandy is a Master of Wine and works for Legal Seafoods.

Sunday begins at 10 a.m. with “Bubbles for Breakfast,” led by Master Sommelier and co-founder of Corkbuzz Studio, Laura Maniec.

Guests will be walked through the villages of Champagne as Laura explains the region and offers samplings of her personal favorites.

The weekend of seminars concludes at noon with James Beard Award-winning writer Jordan MacKay discussing unique and emerging wines of the Northwest. Jordan will lead wine lovers through the wines of the region and will discuss his favorites while we sip some examples.

In addition to the seminars, the weekend kicks off on Friday with a 7 p.m. Wine Gala at Rosecliff. Music, food and rare wines that retail for $65 and above will be served at the historic Rosecliff Mansion, home of many movies including The Great Gatsby.

Experience an evening of high-style paired with fine wines amidst seaside Gilded Age splendor.

The weekend continues with the appearance of world-renowned celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Jacques and daughter Claudine Pepin.

Attend the Saturday brunch where the Pepins will cook and discuss recipes from their book, Essential Pepin.

On Saturday evening, Michael Greenlee will lead a Collectable Wine Dinner at the Elms.

From 12-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the Grand Tasting will take place. Celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Jacques and Claudine Pepin will be featured on the grounds of the Marble House.

This event gives everyone the opportunity to attend a first-class wine and food festival on the grounds of Newport’s historic mansions.

Spend the weekend in Newport and support the Preservation Society of Newport County.

For further information and tickets, visit

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Posted by on August 30, 2012. Filed under Columns,Food,Opinion,Travel,Wine and Beyond. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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