America’s Oldest And Longest Running Food & Wine Festival Is Back

America's Oldest And Longest Running Food & Wine Festival Is Back

28 years ago, Chef Daniel Bruce founded the Boston Wine Festival. In the nearly three decades since, it has grown into one of the most important annual events for top winemakers from around the world – and one of the best for wine and food lovers to attend.

Most Food & Wine festivals showcase so called “Grand Tastings,” big tents or auditoriums where dozens of winemakers, good and so-so, pour tiny samples of wine for those milling about. There’s none of that at the Boston Wine Festival, which consists of a two-month long series of one at a time intimate special events, mostly sit down dinners. It takes advantage of the slow winter tourism season in Boston to give gourmands and oenophiles a reason to visit, and it is a very good reason. The 10-week festival features an all-star lineup of winemaker-hosted dinners, seminars, thematic receptions, and celebratory brunches.

Here’s the background: Bruce is Executive Chef at Meritage, one of the world’s greatest wine-focused restaurant, a Forbes 4-Star eatery and Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner that in turn is set within one of the nation’s top luxury hotels, the Forbes 5-Star Boston Harbor Hotel. I’ve eaten at Meritage and stayed a few times at the hotel, and both are spectacular. You so not need to be a hotel guest to attend events, but if you come from out of town, you would be hard pressed to do better – especially since the hotel just redid and upgraded all its rooms.

There are lots of other restaurants with awesome wine lists, but almost none that take the approach Meritage does: instead of simply offering well-chosen wine pairings with food, they specialize in food pairings with wine. Instead of courses, like most menus, the food is divided by types of wine. Instead of appetizers there are “Sparklers,” small plates designed from the ground up to go with bubbly. Instead of starters you have “Light Whites,” and so on. In addition, all dishes are available as small or large plates, so your dinner can be as varied and unstructured – or as course by course traditional – as you choose. The sommelier helps select precise pairings and Meritage has around 1,400 different wines.

But while the restaurant always focuses on wine, the big event is the Annual Festival, a series of winemaker dinners that runs from January to March each year. The nation’s longest-running wine and food festival kicks off on January 13, 2017 with a special Grand Opening Reception and continues through March 31, 2017. Along the way are 32 distinct events, mostly dinners but also a few receptions, seminars and even a Valentine’s Day Jazz brunch – there’s a Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance too, for real wine “lovers.” Not surprisingly, it will feature champagne, including Dom Perignon.

An industry legend, Chef Bruce travels around meeting winemakers during the rest of the year to do his research, and has cultivated deep and long personal relationships with many top producers. “Each year I strive to create a new and exciting experience at the Boston Wine Festival to intrigue, surprise, and delight guests whether it’s their first time or their 28th. The festival is all about celebrating these incredible winemakers from around the globe and I’m honored to be a part of what has become such a wonderful tradition in Boston for three decades.”America\'s Oldest And Longest Running Food & Wine Festival Is Back

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