Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


Leave a comment

Like Beer? Head to The Festival in Portland, Maine

Today, I’m following up my post on Blacksmiths Winery with a post about craft beer and a great opportunity to enjoy it, and the great city of Portland, this weekend at The Festival.  Brought to you by the Shelton Brothers, The Festival features three tasting sessions with brews and brewers from all over the world.  What makes this festival different (and worth the ticket price) is that it focuses on showcasing small, craft brewers and cideries from all over the world – and the people who make them will actually be there to meet you and talk with you.  In addition, session attendance is limited to no more than 1,200 people per session, so you’re less crowded and the brewers have more time to talk with you.

The sessions begin tomorrow, June 21st, with Session 1 running from 6:30pm – 10:30pm, and Sessions 2 and 3 on Saturday, June 22nd, from 1pm – 5pm and 6:30pm – 10:30pm, respectively.  The event is being held at the Portland Yacht Services Building, 58 Fore St., Portland, Maine.  Among the brewers participating, there are several local businesses: Maine Beer Co, Maine Mead Works, Allagash (a personal favorite!), Oxbow, Rising Tide, Bull Jagger, and Marshall Wharf.

Yum!

Yum!

Food vendors include The Thirsty Pig (a favorite of my mom’s – and eventually, a topic on this blog), Bite Into Maine, Pizza Pie on the Fly, Hella Good Tacos, Binga’s Wingas, and Small Axe.

For more information, check out this great article from the Portland Press Herald, by Meredith Goad, or visit the event website.

I only wish I had known about this event sooner!  Keeping track of it for next year (even if it’s not in Maine)!

It appears that Saturday afternoon’s Session 2 is sold out… but follow the link below for tickets to Session 1 and 3:

Buy tickets here!


Leave a comment

Made in Maine: Blacksmiths Winery

Over the last decade, the popularity of wine has grown rapidly throughout the US.  A well-loved beverage throughout human history, wine does carry an intimidation factor – those who don’t know much about it have simply avoided it in the past – rather than being forced to discuss flavors of pear and citrus, or smoke and plums, with their wine-wise friends.  From my perspective, one of the benefits local wineries and vineyards offer to those formerly intimidated by the world of wine is an accessible, relaxed atmosphere in which to try it and learn about it.

Outside of Blacksmiths at dusk

Outside of Blacksmiths at dusk

Maine has not been immune to the wine fervor, with vineyards and wineries popping up around the state.  I hope to visit more of them in the future, but this post is all about Blacksmiths Winery and my experiences there at wine tastings.  It’s no secret that Nick and I enjoy a good glass of wine, and my mom actually introduced us to Blacksmiths on Nick’s first trip to Maine with me more than four years ago.  Nick knows much more about wine than I do, and he is the person who taught me most of what I know.

Our first venture into Blacksmiths was a great experience.  Located in South Casco, Maine, we headed there from my parents’ home on Sebago Lake to pick up some wine for Thanksgiving dinner (and of course, enjoy a tasting!).  The tasting room space is charming and rustic – the decor very fitting for a New England winery – and includes a gift shop space with wine-themed items for purchase.

Interior of Blacksmiths

Interior of Blacksmiths

From the colonial exterior to the comfortable, warm ambience inside, I enjoyed everything about my first, second, and ongoing experiences at Blacksmiths Winery.  This is a great spot to stop for a bachelorette party, girls’ (or guys’) night out, a family visit (they have soda for the under 21s), and more.

Their beverage list is quite extensive and has grown in recent years.  On my first visit, they offered soda and wine, but most recently, I saw that they are also offering hard ciders under the brand Fatty Bampkins.  So far, I’ve stuck with the wines, and primarily the French varietals at that, but I think next time I’ll give the ciders a whirl.  Of the wines I’ve tried, the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are my favorites.  They make a big, flavorful Cab, with a strong smoky taste – really perfect for a steak or roast.

image

As ice wines go, I thought their Vidal Ice Wine was outstanding.  I prefer dry wines over sweet, but with this dessert wine, you don’t even need the dessert itself.  It’s that good!

Behind the bar..

Behind the bar..

I hope you’ll make time to visit Blacksmiths on your next visit to that part of Maine – I can assure you won’t regret it.  They also offer shipping to 19 states (see list here) and use vinoshipper.com.  They ship to NC, so I do see a purchase in my near future!

Blacksmiths Winery Contact Information & Address:

967 Quaker Ridge Road
P.O. Box 86
South Casco, ME 04077
207-655-3292