The 2018 Wine Fest Hot List

While Daffy weekend gave us a sneak peek of warmer weather and summer vibes, once the Nantucket Food and Wine Fest hits, you know the Nantucket season truly is here! The 21st annual weekend that kicks it all off gets bigger and better each year, and it’s tough to sniff out the can’t-miss events… but don’t worry – as always, we’ve got the inside scoop on how to make your Wine Fest experience the best one yet! Keep reading for this month’s hottest restaurant news, wine tastings galore, ways to make sure you hydrate when you dehydrate and the can’t miss event of the weekend!

It’s a Block Party – Let’s TACO bout it!

This year marks the second season of Happy Place Nantucket – our blACKbook experiential retail and events space tucked into the Island Kitchen compound! And we’re coming in HOT this season to kick it off right, we’ve partnered with our friends from LOCO South Boston for a block party, and it is all about PEACE, LOVE, and TACOS my friends! Your $75 ticket in on Thursday May 17th from 7:30PM to 10PM will get you the full festive pACKage like make your own guacamole, margaritas and tacos  galore, a cider, rosé, and tequila tastings will also help get your evening started off right! Our friends from the Sun Tan Van will be there doling out spray tan temporary tattoos (tan-toos if you will) the ultimate photo bus experience and all this will make it so you’ll be decked out and ready to go to…
 the second annual Rosé All Night party with Whispering Angel! Directly following the LOCO bash, all attendees head on over to the infamous Chicken Box! (this event is also open to the public!) We’ve got those crazy good dueling DJ’s LAYZBOY and BRAUN DAPPER dueling it on stage with the incredible electric violinist RHETT PRICE! (Click below to get a taste of what this awesome musician has to offer!) 

Oh, and we all know this epic THURSDAY wouldn’t be complete without taking some photos in front of the  new happy place wall designed by the oh so talented Meredith Hanson!  So if you’re coming to the Block party, you’ve got the sneak peek into the  new Happy Place retail experience with tees, tanks, sweatshirts, and beach towels coming your way! (BONUS: we also have four other talented ladies sharing in the space!) FYI… store will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to 3PM!

Click below for block party tickets!


One of our vino favs, Donelan Family Wines are bACK at it for another Wine Fest, and adding a special tasting to their sipping schedule! This boutique Sonoma Winery is a family affair that produces some of our favorite Chardonnays and Syrahs, and we’re especially fans of their Two Brothers Pinot Noir. (Named for brothers Cush and Tripp as seen above with their dad Joe!) And special to Wine Fest, you can try it for yourself! Donelan Family Wines will be doing a Wine Fest tasting on Thursday evening at the Gala and then will be at the Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday…  but if you really want to get up close and personal to the Dynamic Family of Donelan Wines, go to Epernay on Friday May 18th from 5 – 6PM for a chance to meet the Donelan brothers, and find out what makes their wines so special. 


Taking it up a notch from previous years, the Culinary Tent at Nantucket Wine & Food Fest has moved locales and can now be found in the upper parking lot of Jettie’s beach. Let me tell ya, this setup does not disappoint! Step inside this culinary oasis for a day full of celebrity chef cooking demos (and samples!), libations, and live entertainment! Wander through the tent taking it all in and chatting with chefs like Elizabeth Falkner, Gabriel Kreuther, Karen Akunowicz, and Matthew Jennings – to name a few – while sipping on a Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktail or a glass of Whispering Angel, browse the vendors, and have yourself a DAY… You deserve it! For more info and tickets, click here!


If ACK (always trending) and Rosé (currently trending) are put together, what do you get? A new summer must-have! Latitude Beverage Company, the innovative, Boston-based company behind national wine brands such as 90+ Cellars and Lila Wines is launching a super-premium, limited edition Provence Rosé celebrating our happy place under the company’s latest brand, Places Wines! And not only is the bottle super insta worthy, but $1 of every bottle sold supports the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club! Head down to Epernay on Saturday 5/19 for a tasting of this new summer staple, and get the latest Elin Hilderbrand best seller signed at the same timeWin – Win – Win! If you can’t make it this weekend, don’t sweat it, ACK Rosé will be available at The Islander, Hatches, Epernay, Fresh, and Bartlett’s Farm so you can get your find and savor this bottle all summer long!


Wolcott Robes, home of “The Breeze” silk robe, is the modern take on a classic seaworthy cover-up style, and we are lucky enough to welcome them to Happy Place for a special Wine Fest trunk show! Stop by Friday – Sunday from 9AM to 3PM to check out their eye-catching designs that are made right here in the good ‘ol USA! Purchase of the their styles and you will not regret it – like a fine wine that ages with time, your Wolcott Robe will live long in your wardrobe and your suitcase for many summers to come! 


bACK at it after their first season, The Club Car, a modern twist on an old island favorite is here for round two, and they are evolving into our go-to lunch and brunch spot! From the bright and sunny dining room that brings the outdoors in, to the upbeat music bringing you back to the fun night before, they’ve got the island vibes down pat! The menu is full of feel good eats, conducive to longer brunches with friends and family… while you’re at it, why not linger over a bottle of wine (or two)? Our friends over at Club Car have turned this into a comfy hangout that you won’t want to leave! FYI… they serve up brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with dinner served this week on Wednesday through Sunday night!


What better way to spend a couple hours this summer than being out on the water? Gather up 5 of your closest friends, and you’ve got yourself a private charter with Nantucket Tugboat Company! New this year, the team has partnered with our gal Jenny Johnson and Champy to make sure every trip out to sea is full of bubbles and fun! What’s more, included in the private charter are Nantucket Oysters, Bay Scallop ceviche, and bluefish Pate for you to snack on! The proof is in the pudding,  so book your Nantucket Harbor cruise today!


 Time is running out to book your dream summer getaway, but luckily our pals over at The Copley Group Nantucket have a couple of STELLAR properties with a few weeks available in June and July! These two downtown stunners have enough room to fit your whole crew, and give you the advantage of being just a few minutes from the heart of it all! Interested in booking? Email to get this special HOT rate!
14 New Mill street is a 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath with a private patio tucked away so you can enjoy indoor and outdoor living spaces. 14 New Mill is available 6/16 – 6/30 at $6K per week, and 6/30 – 7/21 for $10K  per week!
 38 Pleasant Street is a 6 bedroom, 5.5 bath close to main street and downtown activities with entertainment galore! Grab the fam and spend time enjoying the outdoor space (complete with hot tub), or challenge someone to a ping pong competition! 38 Pleasant is available 6/30 – 7/7, and 7/14 – 7/28 for $14,500 per week!


Another Wine Fest, and this is your opportunity for a special Straight Wharf wine dinner, situated in one of the most beautiful dining rooms in all the land! With a casual hour of passed appetizers on the deck overlooking the harbor as the kickoff to the evening, you know you’re in for a treat! This 5-course tasting menu gives you the chance to taste the famous Spanish wine portfolio of winemaker and importer Jorge Ordonez, while getting a first crack at Gabriel Frasca’s food, all of which is perfectly paired with each of the 8 wines you’ll be tasting. Talk about a magical start to the summer! To get your spot for this evening reserved, shoot an email over to

Get a Grip(ah) On It!

You know we can’t have a hot list without including one of our favorite island spots! Cisco Brewers always has exciting announcements and activities, and Wine Festival is no different! Staying on theme with the weekend, they’ve got a new Sauvignon Blanc and Sconset Rosé available, as well as the return of Red and White Sangria and their famous frozen rosé to keep you cool during those warm sunny days on the patio! Jerry Dugger and the Rusty Rainbow will be serving up some lives tunes on Friday and Saturday from 3pm on! Hit up of the food trucks if you feel like having a bite, and join one of the tours they’ve got going if you want to learn a little more about this island institution! Tours run Friday to Sunday at 1PM and 3PM. Click for full schedule 
photo by Emily Mentes


The Summer House is one of many island eateries with a special island package – great food and drink with a beautiful location, and an ocean view that you dream about all winter! Pair that with a curated wine dinner by Whispering Angel, and I’m not sure what more you could ask for. Take a journey down milestone road, and give yourself a chance to discover the Cote de Provence region of France and the highest rated rosé wines in the world and what it takes to produce these fine wines, meet the man who made Whispering Angel into a household name, Paul Chevalier, and party on the east end! Rosé all night and day … S’il vous plait! Click for tickets below:


While getting there and bACK can be challenging at times, it is always worth it! And with the new flights offered by Fly Louie, the struggle is NOT real anymore! With the speed and convenience of a private flight, and one of the best price tags available to Nantucket ($595 each way), this new option is a no-brainer for those looking to save time this summer from NYC and bACK! Book a seat on one of their semi-private, twin-engine turboprop flights that go from White Plains, NY to Nantucket and bACK every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and you’ve got that island getaway in your sights. Even better? Save $50 on your first flight with the Promo Code “HOLLY” — Once booked, all you have to do is get to the private terminal 15 minutes before flight departure, and the team at Fly Louie will take care of the rest! BONUS: got a pup? You’re in luck! Furry friends are welcome on Fly Louie!


Wine Fest weekend means full steam ahead for Greydon House, and if you haven’t been yet, put this cozy spot on your list! With the new patio furniture, Greydon House seamlessly goes from an indoor speakeasy vibes to a comfy and airy outdoor lounge! Starting on Thursday, they’ve got you covered for every meal – serving breakfast 8AM to 10AM, brunch 10AM to 2PM, a midday menu from 2PM to 5PM, and dinner from 5PM on. If you’re seeking sustenance at any point in the day, this is the place to go! AND Wine Fest weekend marks the first weekend they are open for Sunday supper.


Wine Fest = Beginning of Summer = Things. Are. OPEN! Get excited for Follain’s FIFTH summer on island! Time flies when you’re taking good care of your skin, amiright?! Head down to the newly finished South Beach Street this weekend to visit Follain and see what they’ve got in store for 2018! From new store visuals to lots of new products (read: sun protection), they’re on track to keep us looking and feeling our best. Opening weekend hours are Friday – Sunday 10AM to 6PM! And, while Nantucket is our favorite location, our friends in Seattle, Maryland, and Dallas will be excited to know that there is a Follain opening near them this year!


On a weekend that’s all about food and wine, it’s easy to get over-excited and forget to take care of your body like you typically would. Lucky for us, ROASTD General Store is a one-stop-shop for immune-boosting, hangover-helping hydration! We got the scoop from owner Lynne on the wine fest must-haves to make sure you get through the weekend feeling energized! First up, the Maple Matcha! High in antioxidants with a caffeine kick sponsored by L-theanine, this will give you the afternoon boost you need without the crash. Next up is the ROASTD smoothie. This is THE way to start your day – made without ice so it is better for digestion, this smoothie gives you everything you need in one glass. Last but not least, the vitamin packets from Lypo-Spheric are perfect to add to a glass of water when you’re feeling a little under the weather. These packets are engineered to go directly into your bloodstream, giving you a quick boost right when you need it! ROASTD will be open from 8AM to 2PM all weekend long, so stop by on your way into town and ensure you’re ready to take on the day!


Whether you want to nix the booze this weekend altogether or find a healthy balance between work(out) and play, we’ve got the inside scoop on island fitness! If you’re staying and playing downtown, Studio Nantucket is the place to go. Get sculpted, toned, and work up a sweat in their Barre and HII-Barre classes, offered Friday and Saturday mornings. Looking for something mid-island? Go Figure Barre Studio has that barre and ballet all weekend long and is a great spot to workout and follow it up by a bite at at Nantucket Meat & Fish Market! Supta Yoga and The Yoga Room offer a variety of yoga styles and methods, and Nantucket Cycling & Fitness is your mid-island cardio crush! From Spin to Crossfit to Boxing, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for! Staying close to Cisco? Visit Dharma Yoga at Bartlett Farms for a relaxing Friday night candlelit restorative class, or try your hand at aerial yoga! No matter what you’re looking for, this island has got it. Our Happy Place wouldn’t be complete without a plethora of options for moving the body, and these establishments do not disappoint!


 It wouldn’t be a HOT list without mention of food and drink, so here’s the skinny on the restaurant scene this weekend! This week is your last chance to #ACKNAUTI during the day as this is the last week of lunch service, but fear not you can still get your favorite cocktails once the sun goes down, as they’re doing dinner service all season long! Replace Nauti lunch with a harbor view at Cru, which opened last week (and don’t forget about their rosé brunch on Sunday!) And on a high note, the loss of some off-season lunches brings the reopening of our favorite places to eat, drink, and be cheery! Ventuno, Boarding House and the Pearl, and Straight Wharf, all open their doors this week just to name a few, and Wine Fest is a busy one, so be sure to get reservations ASAP! The island is coming alive again, and so is the restaurant industry, ready to serve up great food and even better cocktails! Cheers to another season!

That’s it for now! We’ll be bACK at it again on June 1st with  our monthly it lists coming in HOT! Got something you think we need to add to the list? Email for details.