Portland Wine Week

Plans for the inaugural Portland Wine Week (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) have been released. The new week-long summer festival will take place June 18 – 24 at various venues across the city.

Crafted as a boutique experience for wine enthusiasts of all types—from the casual wine lover to the serious oenophile—this week of world class wine, learning experiences, and award-winning food will launch you into summer with style. Activities will include pairing and performance events, incredible wine dinners, tastings, educational classes and seminars, special menus, a passport tour of dozens of local restaurants and their wine lists; and other happenings that feature wine, food, art, and fun.

Nearly 20 events are already on the schedule with more are being added as plans are worked out. They include:

  • Six wine dinners:
    • A Night of Rosé at Sur Lie
    • A Southern Italian white wine and seafood pairing at Scales
    • An evening of natural wines at Piccolo
    • A tour of Burgundy at Lolita
    • A focus on the new release and library wines of Channing Daughters at Hugo’s
    • An exploration of Spanish wines at Chaval
  • A meet and greet with Austrian wine expert Klaus Wittier at Central Provisions
  • A pasta making and wine pairing class at Solo Italiano
  • A champagne brunch at Lolita
  • A wine pairing lunch with Bangs Island Mussels at Scales
  • An historical wine list exhibition and talk from Don Lindgren of Rabelais Books
  • Three wine sails in Casco Bay with presenting sponsor Wine Wise featuring oysters, emerging wines and Italian cooking, as well as a Mediterranean wine walk.

Portland Wine Week will wrap up with a Cabernet Cabaret Gala in collaboration with Circus Maine and food from five acclaimed female chefs (including recent Beard award semifinalists Ilma Lopez and Krista Kern Desjarlais). Proceeds from the gala will benefit Portland’s Preble Street Teen Center.

Follow PWW on your favorite social media platform to stay informed as the event program continues to grow: facebook, instagram, twitter.

Get Involved – If you’re interested in becoming a Portland Wine Week vendor or sponsor contact info@portlandwineweek.me.

Portland Food Map is proud to be a sponsor of Portland Wine Week.

Maine Eats Exhibit

A new exhibit called Maine Eats is set to open at the Maine Historical Society on Friday March 2nd.

From iconic lobsters, blueberries, potatoes, apples, and maple syrup, to local favorites like poutine, baked beans, red hot dogs, Italian sandwiches, and Whoopie Pies, Maine’s identity and economy are inextricably linked to food. Now, a food revolution is taking us back to our roots toward the traditional sources, preparation, and pleasures of eating food that have sustained Mainers for millennia.

Using historical and contemporary stories of individual people and communities, Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here, tells the Maine food story. Throughout the interactive exhibition, visitors are invited to engage their senses and to think deeply about the past, present and future of Maine’s relationship with food.

Alice Feiring to Visit Portland

James Beard award-winning author and the ‘godmother’ of the natural wine world, Alice Feiring, will be at Maine & Loire on March 2nd 5:30pm for a reading/signing of her new book The Dirty Guide to Wine.

We are thrilled to announce that journalist and book author Alice Feiring will be here next month to read from and sign copies of her latest book, The Dirty Guide to Wine. An award-winning writer for magazines and newspapers, such as the New York Times, Alice was the sole voice in natural wine writing for almost a decade, and is called everything from “The Patty Smith” to the “Godmother” of the natural wine world. The Feiring Line, her indispensable blog-turned-newsletter is as much a lightning rod of inspiration as it is a valuable resource. Alice is also the author of the books Battle for Wine and Love, Living with Wine, Naked Wine and For the Love of Wine.

As part of the event Maine & Loire will also be pouring several Muscadets from Domaine de l’Ecu, imported by Paul Chartrand.

This Week’s Events: Marco Sara, Vessel & Vine, Food System Lecture, Whipple Apple Brandy, Fish People

Tuesday – Italian winemaker Marco Sara and importer Matt Mollo will be at Maine & Loire for a wine tasting.

WednesdaySolo Italiano is holding a wine dinner with Italian winemaker Marco Sara, there will be wine tastings at Little Giant and the Old Port Wine Merchants.

ThursdayAmanda Beal from the Maine Farmland Trust will be giving a talk at Saint Joseph’s College entitled Envisioning and Building a Vibrant Food System in Maine and Beyond, there will be a spirits tasting at Bow Street Beverage, and a wine dinner at Petite Jacqueline.

FridayBlack Tie is holding a Graze dinner in Yarmouth, and there will be a wine tasting at the Rosemont on Brighton.

SaturdayNikaline Iacono will be holding a Vessel & Vine cocktail pop-up at The Bearded Lady, Maine Craft Distilling is releasing their Whipple Tree Apple Brandy, Allagash is screening the movie Fish People, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayZen Chinese Bistro is holding a Chinese New Year dinner.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Reviews: Bolster Snow, Chaval, Emilitsa, Petite Jacqueline, Tipo

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Bolster Snow,

Everyone in the room laughed, then unsurprisingly went back to focusing on their meals, which are generally excellent and showcase Verdisco’s skill at building structured, balanced flavor profiles. Don’t miss the pork terrine, served with an egg yolk gnocchi that Verdisco unabashedly cribbed from Los Angeles chef Michael Voltaggio. Also, make sure you don’t skip bread or dessert, both of which are made by rising-star pastry chef Sarah Miller. In particular, if there’s an éclair on the menu, order it; Miller’s choux pastry is out of this world.

Down East has reviewed Chaval,

Similarly, Lopez, who scored a nod as a James Beard Award semifinalist last year for her pastry work at Piccolo, always thinks about how her desserts — even the incomparable Spanish sundae — square with the rest of a meal. Indeed, the sundae reflects flavors that show up across the menu. It’s a standout, but the whole dessert list (churros! chocolate mousse!) is a revelation. That’s the most remarkable thing about Chaval: any number of menu items could, at a lesser establishment, steal the show. Despite their individual brilliance, Lopez, Sansonetti, and McDonald have figured out how to create perfect harmony among every bite and sip, one exceptional taste after the next.

Portland Phoenix has reviewed Petite Jacqueline,

For many diners, a meal at Petite Jacqueline will serve as their first foray into bistro-style French cuisine. To that extent, one could argue that the restaurant is right on-track and poised for years of continued success, providing a strong introduction to staple dishes despite some minor flaws in execution. There are certainly more creative takes on French food being cooked and served throughout town at similar price points, but sometimes you’ve just got to stick with the classics.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Tipo, and

I took a bite of the toast first and it was marvelous. It was made from fresh bread and crispy through and through; I found a satisfying crunch in every bite. I ate all the toast first, making room to dig into the egg. The chicken seed was cooked to medium and a smidge spicy. As eggs go, it was quite good. I finished that before moving on to the taters.

the Press Herald has reviewed Emilitsa.

A shining beacon of honest of fine dining in Portland’s Arts District, Emilitsa is perfectly suitable for celebrating an anniversary or similar milestone with a loved one. Thanks to a new bar program, it’s also an excellent option for anyone looking to duck away for a quick solo bite and a well-crafted cocktail or thoughtfully chosen glass pour of Greek wine.

2 Beer Releases: Imperial Stout, Oat IPA

Mast Landing and Battery Steele are releasing Ice Cream Imperial Stout, a new collaboration between the two breweries. The beer is brewed with “[h]undreds of waffle cones in the mash, lactose and a bucket of sprinkles in the boil, then conditioned on vanilla beans.

Battery Steele also plans to release Onsight #3, which they describe as an “Oat IPA (6.5%) heavily hopped with Galaxy, Nelson and Rakau. Very soft, almost no bitterness and busting with notes of passion fruit, pineapple, mango and hints of pine”.

Under Construction: Elsmere in Deering

MaineBiz interviewed Elsmere BBQ co-founders Adam Powers and Jeremy Rush about the second Elsmere they have under development on Stevens Ave in the former Siano’s.

“What attracted us is that the property is the same model as this place, where you’re nestled into a neighborhood,” said Powers. “It’s not tourist-reliant. To use a cliché, if someone goes there, everyone will know your name.”

Powers, Rush and their new business partner Nat Towl hope to open this new Elsmere in May.

2018 Beard Award Semifinalists

The semi-final list of nominees for the 2018 James Beard Foundation awards were released today. There are 11 semifinalist nominees from Maine:

  • Best Chef: Northeast – Krista Kern Desjarlais, The Purple House; Vien Dobui, Cong Tu Bot; Erin French, The Lost Kitchen; Ravin Nakjaroen, Long Grain; Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar
  • Outstanding Restaurant – Chase’s Daily
  • Outstanding Baker – Alison Pray, Standard Baking
  • Outstanding Chef – Sam Hayward, Fore Street
  • Outstanding Service – Back Bay Grill
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef – Ilma Lopez, Piccolo
  • Rising Star of the Year – Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan

The final list of nominees will be released on March 14th, and the awards ceremony will take place on May 7th in Chicago.

Related information: