Wondering where to begin your venial journey at the Nantucket Wine Festival? We've got you covered. Spanning five days from Wednesday, May 14 through Sunday the 18, this year's gala includes offerings from dozens of restaurants and scores of participating wineries. The result? A high-class mishmash of food and spirits you won't want to miss.
Personally, we're partial to the events with nautical themes. Roughly translated, that means piles of seafood ... with elegant wine pairings, of course!
Start your journey with Flight of the Oyster: A Wine Pairing Odyssey. This Thursday, 11 a.m. event matches a variety of oyster recipes with the wines that complement them best. Chef EJ Harvey of Nantucket's SeaGrille Restaurant presents bivalves raw, roasted, pickled and grilled.
Thursday evening, head to the Harbor Gala for wine pairings with an ocean view. Want to skim the cream off the top? Purchase a VIP ticket and arrive at 5 o'clock instead of 6.
Get going again Friday with Bubbles and Claws, a 1 p.m. event featuring Veuve Clicquot champagne and a variety of lobster dishes. Prepped by Executive Chef Bill Bradley from the New England Aquarium, each sampling highlights the delights of this quintessential seaside fare.
Strike a gong before heading to The Art of Pairing Sushi: A Fusion of Two Cultures. On 4 p.m. Friday, experience a gourmet clash between Orient and Occident as Chef Timothy Cushman of Boston's O Ya and Vintner Jean Trimbach of Domaine Trimbach explore possible sushi/wine combos.
Don't miss Saturday's Breakfast on the Harbor, a Harbor Gala reprise featuring coffee, tea, pastries and samplings from restaurants such as Pain D'Avignon as well as Nantucket's own eateries. No need to get up early: the laid-back event stretches from 9 until noon.
Wrap up your weekend with the Pièce de résistance: Sunday's Grand Tastings, the third of the festival (1 and 2 are held Saturday), beginning at 12:30 for most and at noon sharp for VIP ticket-holders. Immerse yourself in over 600 wines and a swath of delectable delicacies for two hours. If you're like us, you'll need to walk back to your hotel to mitigate the damage, but it's sure to be worth it!