Drink Entertainment Lifestyle The Center

A Fantastic, Fun, and Flavorful First West Hartford Wine & Food Festival

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton
Watkinson ad 1 2017

The inaugural West Hartford Wine & Food Festival was held on Saturday, June 17, 2017, on the grounds of Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford.

By Ronni Newton. Video by David Chmielewski/DirectLine Media

Saturday was all about wining and dining in West Hartford as nearly 1,000 guests sampled food, wine, beer, and other libations, and enjoyed live entertainment at West Hartford’s first ever Wine & Food Festival.

“We’re more than pleased with how well the event has gone,” said Matt Whitney of Maximum Beverage, one of the presenters of the event. “We were really concerned with supporting not only the guests but also the vendors and the independent schools that we were raising money for,” he said, adding that for a first-time event, it far exceeded expectations.

JUSTIN Winery of Paso Robles, CA, was also a presenting sponsor. Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman said that although he has traveled to Connecticut and the company’s wines do well here, this was his first wine festival in the state.

“It’s a vibrant restaurant scene, and our wines are very adaptable to the variety of cultures and cuisines,” Spellman said, with a diversity of styles and unique blends in addition to Isosceles, its flagship wine.

“I think it’s a great venue, great restaurants,” said Billy Grant, chef/owner of West Hartford-based Grant’s and Restaurant Bricco as well as Glastonbury’s Bricco Trattoria, whose featured dish was a chilled corn soup made with coconut milk and topped with crab.

“I do a lot of charity events but this venue, with the tent and the set up, is really special,” Grant said.

David Borselle of Park & Oak Restaurant brought a chilled lobster salad that included summer corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, green apple, and a saffron aoili.

“This is exactly what I would want to eat if I was at this event,” Borselle said. All of the dishes had a recommended wine pairing, and Borselle said the Louis Latour Mersault was the “perfect white for the lobster” – and those sampling the combination heartily agreed.

“We like to eat and drink,” said Kristin Kolat of West Hartford, who was attending the event with three friends who live in other nearby towns. “We like the idea of supporting local businesses and also checking out the new restaurant scene,” she said.

West Hartford residents Christina Tarabishy and her husband Raja said they’ve been to wine and food festivals in both Greenwich and Newport, and were so excited to have an event like this right in town. “I love sampling and tasting different foods,” said Christina.

Raja said “spending the day with good friends” was also a highlight of the event.

The diversity of food ranged from Asian-style dumplings and noodle dishes, to Savoy’s wood-fired pizza cooked onsite in the mobile oven, to a beautifully-plated chicken liver mousse prepared by Frederic Kieffer of Artisan (which will open in the Delamar West Hartford Hotel), to grilled octopus from Zohara, to focaccia garlic bread from Butchers & Bakers, to watermelon and pork belly salad from Carbone’s Kitchen, to traditional Indian street food prepared with Chef Prasad Chirnomoula’s (of INDIA) own special flair, to strawberry gazpacho from the North House, to Besito’s signature house-made guacamole, to pork kimchi tacos from the just-opened Chango Rosa.

There were also desserts, like a decadent chocolate nougat cake from Millwrights and the equally decadent apple cider doughnut bread pudding (topped with whipped cream) from Clark Farms at Bushy Hill Orchards.

And for those who wanted to drink something other than the 200-plus varities of wine that were available for tasting, Connecticut craft breweries and distilleries, as well as Fisher’s Island Lemonade, were also available for sampling.

It was impossible to taste everything, or sample every wine, although many guests did their best to try as many as possible.

Natalie and Eric Bezler of West Hartford said the buffalo cauliflower fritter from the Blind Pig was their favorite – but that was after sampling from just four restaurants.

“This is an excellent first West Hartford Wine & Food Festival,” said West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, who attended the event with her husband, Michael. “It’s a beautiful setting, great food, excellent wine, and a wonderful turnout. It’s also extremely well-organized,” she said.

“I hope this is the start of an annual event to highlight the culinary assets of this area,” Cantor said.

“I think it’s a perfect time for this kind of event, with so many new restaurants opening,” said West Hartford resident Kimberlea Chabot who came with her husband and one of his business associates and his wife.

Beneficiaries of the West Hartford Wine & Food Festival were Kingswood Oxford (which also hosted the event) as well as American School for the Deaf, Intensive Education Academy, Renbrook School, Watkinson School, Northwest Catholic, Solomon Schechter Day School, and St. Brigid-St. Augustine Partnership School.

“We can’t wait for West Hartford Wine & Food Festival 2018,” Whitney said.

For more information about the West Hartford Wine & Food Festival, and to see a complete list of the restaurants and vineyards that participated, and the sponsors, visit the website.

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

West Hartford Wine & Food Festival. June 17, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Fletcher

Geico cube david johnson 2017
kaoud cube
Jeff Brand State Farm 2017 cube

About the author

We-Ha

We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Shares
bowh leaderboard 2017
love’s labor capital classics leaderboard
kaoud leaderboard
state farm mobile
keating leaderboard ad
French Cleaners Mobile ad
jp carrol mobile ad