Have you been to Newport Mansions? It was, simply, the place to BE for the wealthy and social during the Progressive Era (1900-1930), and the mansions are a reflection to a period of unprecedented and unchecked economic growth, fueled by the Industrial revolution. Columns made of marble and financed by steel, if you will. This incredible little pocket of the United States is well worth a visit at any point of year, but most definitely, most especially, during the annual Newport Mansions Food & Wine Festival. There are two days of tastings in multiple mansions: with hundreds of wines, food sampling, and beer and cocktail samplings. There is a decadent Jazz Brunch. There is the opportunity to meet the distributors of some of your favorite blends and chat with them, as well as discover new varieties (we particularly enjoyed Kanonkop Wines – new to both of us) There is the chance to pose with a giant magnum of Whispering Angel, but alas, not to adopt it and treat it as another child.
There is also, of course, the amazing back drop of the Mansions. Thank you to the Festival for giving me a press ticket to attend Sunday’s Grand Tasting. Due to another event in Hartford that afternoon, Scott and I only made it to one mansion (boo – next year will plan for more!) – and then drove back the same afternoon. How did we drive back after so much wine sampling? We took AmRide, and they met us promptly and drove my car back home (with another driver following our vehicle and driving our driver home). The price was incredibly reasonable and the service and experience were impeccable, not to mention the peace of mind of knowing that we could get home on time, enjoy the festival, and indulge in all the wine samplings we desired. It’s basically a personal chauffeur that you can afford because of the genius of tech – download their app and check it out for yourself. Our friendly driver is pictured in the last image of the series below.
(date someone who looks at you the way Scott looks at vintage cars)
(Gosset is one of our ‘go to’ champagnes – highly recommended)
(Israeli wine trail = new life goals)
(Arethusa is, quite simply, the best)