Posts Tagged ‘Rockport’

Cellardoor Winery pairs wine with food this spring

February 23, 2010

Taste your way through Maine without leaving the Midcoast. Maine’s Cellardoor Winery, with locations in Lincolnville and Rockport, is hosting wine-and-food pairings every weekend, May 2 through July 25; Saturdays in Rockport, Sundays in Lincolnville. Pairings include Maine cheeses and chocolates, as well as selections from local markets. The detailed schedule is available here.

More Foodie News: Maine Fare

August 21, 2009

Plan ahead for Maine Fare, a celebration of local Maine foods and beverages highlighting both heritage and sustainability, Sept. 11-13, in Camden and Rockport. Planned events include panels, tastings, classes, dinners, and a marketplace.

The keynote panel, Can Maine Feed Itself, addresses whether Maine’s farmers, foragers, fishermen, and producers can feed the state’s population. It’s slated for 2 p.m., Friday, Sept.  11, at Brewster Point, in Rockport. Admisison is free and it’s open to the public.

Panel moderator will be Craig Lapine, president of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the executive director of Cultivating Community (a Portland-based group focused on community and school gardens), and an activist committed to growing sustainable communities. Confirmed panelists include: Eliot Coleman, author and co-owner of Four Season Farm; Seth Bradstreet, commissioner, Maine Department of Agriculture; Russell Libby, executive director of MOFGA; Tim Cunniff, Vice-president, Backyard Farms, LLC, Portland; Glen Libby, chairman of the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association and a member of the New England Fishery Management Council; Marada Cook, Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative; John Piotti, Executive Director, Maine Farmland Trust, Majority Leader, Maine State Legislature.

207 Fall Getaways

October 8, 2008

For those who watched my segment on WCSH’s 207 show tonight, here’s a bit more info as well as links to the two getaways we discussed.


What to do:

• Hike in Camden Hills State Park: Or cheat and drive to the summit of Mt. Battie for grand views over the color-dappled Camden Hills, snug Camden Harbor, and out to the islands dotting Penobscot Bay.

• Sail with Capt. Bob Pratt from Rockland Harbor aboard Morning in Maine. Pratt is both a marine biologist and a Master Maine Guide, so he can identify the the sealife as you sail aboad his 55-foot ketch.

• Visit the Farnsworth Museum and the Lighthouse Museum, both in Rockland, and browse the shops and galleries lining its main and side streets. Don’t miss downtown Camden’s shops, either. Good chance of clean-out sales in both locations. If you’re on a budget, both towns have quality thrift stores and used book shops.

• Head out to Lincolnville to the Cellardoor Winery for a wine tasting overlooking the vineyard. And here’s a heads-up: Oct. 18 is the Romp & Stomp Grape Harvest Festival, with hot air balloon rides, grape stomping, a crafts market, live music, and a free barbecue; events both in Lincolnville and at the winery.

• Noodle around the backroads of the region on a bike or in a car for pretty rural views.

Where to stay;

Samoset Resort, Rockport: full-service oceanfront resort with golf course and indoor pool, easy walk to the Rockland Breakwater.

Hartstone Inn, Camden: Gorgeous inn in downtown Camden with an excellent dining room; reservations required.

Historic Inns of Rockland: Three elegant B&Bs within walking distance of downtown.

Glen Cove Motel, Rockport: A less pricey alternative open through this weekend. Nice location with ocean views.

Greater Augusta

What to do:

Maine State Museum, Augusta: It’s Maine’s attic, with intriguing exhibits.

Old Fort Western, Augusta: The oldest surviving wooden fort in the country, and Sunday features a fall festival with cider pressing and other events. It closes Sunday for the season.

Pine Tree State Arboreteum, Augusta; on the east side of the river, it’s laced with 6 miles of trails for non-motorized use, and many of the trees are labeled, so you can learn to match a tree to its fall color.

• Get pampered at The Senator Inn and Spa, Augusta: See my previous post about this full-service spa that’s great for a romantic escape or a girlfriends’ getaway.

• Take a scenic drive or pedal looping through the backroads around the China, Belgrade, and Winthrop Lakes for gorgeous scenery.

• Mosey through downtown Hallowell, lined with intriguing shops and restaurants.

Where to Stay:

Senator Inn & Spa, Augusta: Full service inn, with rooms in a variety of configurations and prices, full-service spa and fitness center with indoor pool, and a restaurant.

Maple Hill Farm, Hallowell: Just as it sounds, a B&B situated on a gentlemen’s farm; quiet location to escape.

A Rise & Shine, Monmouth: an unfussy B&B on the former Woolworth family estate, a horse farm, in the Winthrop Lakes region

Wings Hill Inn & Restaurant, Belgrade Lakes: Craving a great meal? This chef-owned inn provides both comfy rooms and excellent fare.

Chocoholic’s choice

September 13, 2008

Just back from nibbling my way through the first Mid-Coast Maine Wine and Cheese Festival, held at two Rockport locations, Cellardoor Winery’s retail shop and the State of Maine Cheese Co. Plenty of food fun, including tastings of cheeses, wines, chocolates, jams, sausages, smoked seafood products, and more.

I dutifully toured my way through all the vendors, but my faves (no surprise, here), were chocolate related. I’m a huge fan of Safe Harbor Confections, a Waldoboro chocolatier that dedicates a percentage of income, donated in product or cash, to animal-related causes. I love their salt caramels, and the raspberry truffles. And… mmmmm.

For truffle perfection, Dean’s Sweets wins for its stout truffle. Oh my! The bitterness of the stout (beer) brings out the bitterness of the chocolate, without being, well bitter. No sharp edge, just that sublime taste of dark chocolate with depth. Now, the tequila lime, the needhams (made with Cold River Vodka instead of mashed potates), the scotch, the cayene, and the ginger, and… well, let’s just say I spent a bit of time here immersed in quality control. Portland-based Dean’s only uses dark chocolate, and it doesn’t use nuts. The truffles are available at Rosemont Market, in Portland and Yarmouth, from the house by appointment, or via the internet.

Now I previously knew about Safe Harbor and Dean’s, but South Portland-based Nutmeg Foods new Coastline Chocolates were new to me, but one taste (then another, and, okay, another) of the Rivermill salted dark chocolate bar, and I’m a convert. I’ve always been a fan of the marriage of dark chocolate and salt, but usually it comes via chocolate-covered popcorn or potato chips. This is simply a bar accented with Maine sea salt. Not that the other bars I tasted weren’t delicious, but this one was a standout. Nutmeg Foods also makes a line of truffles, including one, Ned’s Red, sold only at the Cellardoor Winery.

Quite the delicious afternoon. Now, must exercise.

Lincolnville wine and dine

September 6, 2008

I sipped and nibbled my way through Lincolnville the other evening, beginning at the Cellardoor Winery for wine and cheese. Cellardoor is actually Maine’s oldest vineyard–not winery, Bartlett Maine Estate, a producer of fruit wines, holds that distinction.

Tucked in the folds of the rolling hills, just inland of Lincolnville Beach, Cellardoor occupies a farmhouse and barn overlooking six acres of grapes. Inside the barn, the retail shop offers free tastings, and you can pick up cheeses and other munchies for an impromptu picnic. on the back deck.

On the night I visited, owners Bettina Doulton and John Tynan were offering tastings not only of their wines, but also of Maine’s Hahn’s End cheeses paired against cheeses “from away.” Hahn’s End stood up to the test. As for the wines, Cellardoor produces about 18. I tasted a couple of different whites, including the chardonnay and a barrel tasting made easy by a way-cool in-barn silo siphon.

Cellardoor also has a demonstration kitchen, and it plans to open a cafe. Plan ahead and visit on Oct. 18, 2008, during Cellardoor’s second annual Romp & Stomp Harvest Festival. By the way, Cellardoor is just one stop on the new Maine Wine Trail.

From the winery, it was onto The Youngtown Inn, where chef Manuel Mercier draws on his Parisian heritage and European training to create sophisticated French-inspired fare served in a country-elegant setting. My surf and turf paired a lobster tail with filet, both butter soft and delicious. Both the mashed potatoes and the butter served with the roll were enhanced with truffle flavoring–just a tad, but enough to make a difference. Service was excellent. Now this was a group function, so the menu was limited, but the chef’s ability to put out perfectly cooked, tender, and moist lobster paired with equally tender and juicy filet for a group numbering close to 60 was impressive.

From there, we went to Cellardoor Winery’s Rockport shop for a dessert wine sampling paired with after-dinner sweets. Now one thing to note: Even if you’re not a fan of wines, this shop (and the one at the winery) has some of the most creative gifts I’ve seen anywhere. There’s one very savvy buyer here, who has a keen eye for distinctive, fun and useful items. I could easily do all my holiday shopping here.