With Labor Day in the rearview mirror and Fall right around the corner, nows the time for wine lovers to restock and update their cabinets & collections. Even if you dont have a wine cabinet, the change in season makes it a great time to explore new flavors and maybe even discover a new favorite Fall go-to created right here on Aquidneck Island.

To bring you some fresh, local recommendations, WhatsUpNewp checked out Newport VineyardsChefs Dinner last night and sampled 6 tasty pairings of localgrown wine and food. The dinner, hosted outdoors overlooking the vineyards 52 acres of grapes, was served with commentary by Newport Vineyardsnew Executive Chef Andy Texeira, veteran winemaker George Chelf, and owner John Nunes, Jr.

Thursday nights dinner was the first in a new recurring Chef Series, dinners which will feature guest chefs, assorted local food, cocktails and of course wines periodically through June 2017. If you missed tickets to last nights dinner, stay tuned for the next one to be announced around the holidays. In the meantime, Newport Vineyards is hosting plenty of exciting fall events, like the much anticipated CarnEvil on October 28th and the First Annual Harvest Festival on October 29th. Check out their Fall Calendar here and dont miss out.

To whet your palette for the next Chef Series event at Newport Vineyards and recommend a few local wines to try this Fall and what to eat with them, heres a rundown of 6 pairings from the September 8th Chefs Dinner:

Pairing #1

The Wine: Tranquility

A Gold Medal Winner for Best Vinifera Blend at the Atlantic Wine Competition. A mix of Gewurztraminer, Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Gris and Riesling.

The Dish: An amuse-bouche

Housemade lamb sausage on focaccia toast with beet barbecue sauce.

Pairing #2

The Wine: Gewurtztraminer

Aromatic, fruity, sweet. an Alsatian style, with aromas of rose petals and lychees and flavors of apricots and pears.

The Dish: Not Tuna

Sesame-crusted watermelon, roasted for several hours, to achieve a texture delightfully and surprisingly similar to ahi tuna. Accompanied by pickled vegetables, avocado, Thai chili and sticky soy.

Pairing #3

The Wine: Sauvignon Blanc

Dry, citrusy undernotes with hints of passionfruit and gooseberries.

The Dish: Panzanella

Local tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, cucumber, focaccia croutons, red onions, capers, and cucamelons – a delightful fruit hybrid that looks like a grape-sized watermelon and tastes like a cucumber. Drizzled with the Chefs secret stash of barrel-aged sherry vinaigrette.

Pairing #4.

The Wine: In the Buff Chardonnay

A refreshing Burgundian chardonnay fermented in French oak barrels.

The Dish: Hake

A local, deliciously flakey fish in the cod and haddock family. Accompanied by sweet potatoes (Greenview Farm in Wakefield) prepared like a hash brown with cumin, butter, salt and pepper, carrots from Greenview and an orange habanero gel.

Pairing #5

The Wine: Newport Merlot | A 2014 merlot thats been in the barrel for 18 months. Currant, raspberry, and blackberry with added Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon for complexity.

The Dish: Duck Breast with Foi Grois Bread Pudding

The stand out dish of the night – roasted duck breast, foie gras-mushroom bread pudding, braised cabbage, with a Newport Vineyards Pinot Noir reduction.

Pairing #6

The Wine: Brut Sparkling | Made in the traditional champagne method. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Dry finish.

The Dish: Pumpkin Tiramisu

Pumpkin mousse, cider-soaked lady fingers, gingersnap crumble, caramelized apple-Rhody Coyote Hard Cider and topped with white chocolate flakes.

Check back in next week to learn about growing, pairing, and enjoying wine on the island in our weekly wine column sponsored by Newport Vineyards.

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