Where: Wentworth by the Sea Hotel, Great Island of New Castle, New Hampshire
When: Festival events begin on January 15th and continue until February 27th, 2010
Why: Your future dinner party guests will thank you for broadening their palates. The festival will feature food prepared by many well-regarded New England chefs, and vintners from prominent local and worldwide wineries will offer pairings and tasting seminars.
If you’re in the mood for a spontaneous winter retreat, attend this Friday’s launch event, and have your taste of over a hundred wines, paired with food from 20 New Hampshire restaurants. Dance it all off to live music in the Wentworth’s two palatial grand ballrooms. Festival highlights include a Valentine’s Day four-course Veuve Clicquot Champagne Grand Vintner’s Dinner ($69.95/person) with Chef Pierre Gignac of 98 Provence restaurant in nearby Ogunquit, Maine. Helping to orchestrate this evening will be Moet Hennessy education director John Tattos. (View the full event calendar here.)
The festival culminates on Saturday, February 27th, with a highly anticipated wine fair and sale; expect wine brokers to be pouring roughly 150 premium wines. (Note: there will be generous volume discounts).
A portion of the proceeds will go to Taste of the Nation.
How to get there: You have your choice of alternatives to Boston, but bargain-priced Bolt Bus will bring you right to South Station for a smooth connection. To get to Portsmouth, take the C&J Trailways line from Boston’s South Station to the Portsmouth/Pease stop. If you manage to snag a good airfare to Logan, C&J Trailways has frequent airport- to- Portsmouth departures as well. From Portsmouth, you can catch a taxi to the Wentworth, or give the hotel a call a few minutes before you are pulling in, and they just may send the hotel van to pick you up. (Wentworth by the Sea, 588 Wentworth Road, New Castle, NH, 603.422.7322, wentworth.com)