22 May 2012

Nantucket Wine Festival

Nantucket wine festival
Ordering a “nice glass of wine” with dinner has become a complex affair. White or red? French, Italian or domestic? Dry or fruity? Expensive or not? These were some of the decisions facing experienced wine enthusiasts and novices alike this past weekend at the Sixteenth Annual Nantucket Wine Festival. This event has evolved into a highly acclaimed international affair, with winemakers and chefs from around the globe gathering in Nantucket for a 5-day gastronomical extravaganza.There was an expansive agenda of culinary and tasting options, offering a little something for everyone. With over 200 wineries showcasing the fruits of their labor and dozens of food purveyors and local chefs serving unique delicacies, the island was well primed for one of its first big parties of the year. On Thursday night, the festival Gala was held under large white tents on the lawn at the White Elephant. The Nantucket harbor provided the ideal backdrop for an evening of celebratory indulgence.As I perused the many booths, I was captivated by the passion the purveyors displayed in describing their wines. Each enjoyed sharing the story of their vineyards and the complex process behind the wines they were serving. I particularly enjoyed watching fellow tasters sniff, swirl and sip. It was definitely easy to spot what the preferences were. Some tasters were fans of the full bodied, others preferred light and fruity, a few (like me!) were simply along for the journey. I like wine….I really do. But I’m certainly no wine connoisseur. Blindfold me with 5 glasses in front of me and I’ll always just go with the one that tastes the best. But I confess, I love hanging around wine enthusiasts. They’re interesting and passionate and I love how they pause to watch for a reaction after they offer me a glass of the good stuff.

It occurred to me that selecting the perfect wine for your Nantucket table is a bit like selecting the perfect Nantucket home for rental or purchase. Historic antique or contemporary new construction? Beachfront cottage or in-town charmer? High end amenities or quintessential “Summer of ’42” modest? When it comes down to it, I think one of the Napa winemakers summed it up best. When asked how one can really tell if it’s a good wine he replied, “If you taste it and like it, it’s a good wine.”

The next time you’re in the market for a Nantucket property to rent or purchase and find yourself facing endless possibilities, follow the Napa winemakers advice. Go with what you like. In no time, you’ll find yourself gathered with friends and family in your Nantucket home, raising a glass of your favorite vino, toasting to good taste.


Shellie Dunlap


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