The Newport Mansions Food & Wine Festival was held on September 20-23 in Newport, Rhode Island which is a three-hour drive north of New York City. It was four days of wine dinners, seminars and a grand tasting. The grand tasting was held on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and featured cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs as well as international wines and food from local restaurants. I attended on Sunday afternoon.
The tasting was held at the Marble House located at 596 Bellevue Avenue, one of the many gilded-age mansions in Rhode Island overlooking Narragansett Bay that were built (for an obscene amount of money) for some of the early twentieth century robber barons. More specifically, the tasting was held in the backyard of the mansion.
The event raised money for the Preservation Society of Newport county which maintains and preserves the Marble House and other mansions which are open to the public.
As far as consumer food and wine events go, this festival is one of the best, with good food, an excellent selection of very drinkable wines and a killer view from the backyard.
I was happy to spend the afternoon noshing on some of the many cheeses available, on any paté from Les Trois Petits Cochons, on any cut of beef that the guys and gals from Dole & Bailey Grill manning the grills out back were serving and an amazingly good dish of seared scallop on a bed of pureed spinach with crispy bacon that was from a restaurant I didn’t write down. Of course, there was wine to wash that all down with.
Some of what I sampled:
2014 Miraval Rosé
2017 Chateau D’Esclans The Palm Rosé
2017 Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
2017 Simi Winery Rosé
2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
2017 Qupé Marsanne
2014 Qupé Roussanne
2017 QTR Vineyards Chenin Blanc
2013 Anselmi Capitel Foscarino Soave
2016 Anselmi San Vicenzo Soave
2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley
2015 The Prisoner Wine Co. Thorn Merlot
2015 Justin Vineyards Justification
2015 Justin Vineyards Isoscelles
2014 Smoking Gun Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
2014 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon
2013 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Howell Mt.
2011 QTR Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt.
2013 QTR Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt.
2014 QTR Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
2016 Purple Hand Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard
2016 Purple Hand Pinot Noir Kropf Vineyard
2014 Sbragia Vineyards Gino’s Zinfandel
2009 QTR Vineyards Dark Matter Zinfandel
2013 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino