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Wine festival coming to Nantucket

Posted by Paul Kandarian  May 15, 2012 07:44 AM

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A variety of unusual and familiar events await wine and food lovers at the 16th annual Nantucket Wine Festival May 16-20. Former CBS newsman Bill Kurtis is scheduled to be on hand touting the virtues of Tallgrass Beef, why it's healthier than regular beef and more environmentally responsible and more humanely raised than other grass-fed beef. Verve Clicquot will be back this year offering champagne during the festival, and winemakers from that champagne house will conduct special seminars throughout.

The festival's signature event, "The Grand Tasting," will be held at the historic Nantucket Yacht Club, and back for that this year, after a one-year hiatus, will be fare from Duxbury's Island Creek Oysters.

In all, more than 200 wineries from the world over will attend the event, each represented by the winemaker or vineyard owner. Celeb chefs from Boston, Nantucket, Providence, Newport, New Jersey and New York. The festival's popular symposia, which organizers say is the equivalent of a graduate course in advanced wine philosophy, features hour-long tastings and discussions followed by lunch, paired with wines produced by participating vignerons.

The White Elephant hotel serves as the festival's home base and hosts many of the events, including the Harbor Gala and celebrity chef and winemaker auction dinners, along with most of the wine and food seminars.

For a complete description of events, prices, lodging and more, check out www.nantucketwinefestival.com, or call 508-228-1128.

Nantucket's not an inexpensive place to be, but getting there is a little cheaper by ferry. the Steamship Authority's high-speed ferry from Hyannis to Nantucket has a discounted fare this year: $50, round-trip, for same-day travel, Monday through Thursday ($25 for kids five to 12). Wayne Lamson, general manager of the Steamship Authority, said the special midweek fare is for those travelers with the flexibility to travel at less-busy times. The fare is $17 less than usual, and will be in place through the rest of the year. If you do go and bring your car, plan ahead: Lamson said this year, car reservations are about six percent higher than last year and he expects that to continue all summer.

for information, visit www.steamshipauthority.com or call 508-477-8600.

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