Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival returns to the island May 17-21, 2023. Hosted by the White Elephant, this prestigious event founded by Denis Toner brings together purveyors, retailers, and restaurateurs for four days of tastings, pairings, seminars, and more.
The festival signals the start of the season for many islanders. In preparation for the anticipated crowd of more than 3,000 participants, shop owners, chefs, galleries, and tour operators are ready for the reawakening of the Grey Lady, Nantucket’s nickname, from its winter hibernation. While widely revered, the festival remains a boutique event, with a series of intimate gatherings designed to showcase the island as a true culinary destination.
Let’s peek at some of the grand events planned for this legendary festival.
Wednesday, May 17
The event begins with a welcome reception on Wednesday, attracting the who’s who of celebrity chefs, vintners, and sommeliers. Only the best wines and culinary creations are featured in this limited-ticket event.
Thursday, May 18
Thursday begins with a luncheon with the “King of Chablis,” Christian Moreau. Featuring multiple vintages poured from Jeroboams, the luncheon will delight participants as the host regales the participants with family musings and wine tidbits.
The day continues with various champagne tastings and the decadent Harbor Gala, featuring winemakers from around the world paired with renowned local and regional chefs. This is your opportunity to mix and mingle with wine luminaries while being served delicious culinary creations by the chefs themselves.
Concluding the first full day of the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival, the Great Wines in Grand Houses offers a chance to enjoy a 5-course dinner in one of Nantucket’s private homes. This year’s event features wines from Chateau Margaux.
Friday, May 19
The Rose Brunch starts the second full day of events, followed by an introduction to Pinot Noir, several tastings featuring the wines of great vintners, plus luncheons, seminars, and pairings. Pace yourselves for a full day of extraordinary wines, fantastic food, and inspirational discussions.
Saturday, May 20
Saturday dawns brightly with more great tastings and luncheons, but the crown jewel of the day quite clearly is La Fete. This unique wine dinner begins with champagne and caviar and ends with a four-course dinner accompanied by bottles shared by the guests from their own cellars.
Sunday, May 21
Sunday’s round-up continues with more grand tastings and a final Grand Houses experience. After four whirlwind days and nights of wining and dining, the festival comes to an end. But the memories and moments shared with food and wine luminaries will linger long into the season and breed a thirst for a return visit next year.
We look forward to clinking glasses with you at this year’s Nantucket Wine & Food Festival. Book your favorite room at the Seven Sea Street Inn well in advance of this extraordinary annual event. Some of the programs are already sold out, so be sure to check the schedule and get your tickets for the events that interest you most.