Can you believe it? The Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival is celebrating its tenth year! And you better believe it’s going to be even more amazing than ever, with more events, guest chefs, and more.

Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Tenth Annual Wine Festival Edgartown

If I were footloose and fancy free or on a girl’s weekend, this would be my dream itinerary. However, in reality I will most likely only be able to venture out to a couple of these dreamy wine and food signature and small batch events.

Small batch events are more intimate and the signature events are those anchors that continue to grow and be crowd pleasers, with new additions and things to experience.

Fresh Off the Farm Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival 10th Anniversary

Year after year, I like to go to Fresh Off the Farm. This signature event is fun way to experience  wines from sustainable family run vineyards with food prepared by Island chefs and local food.

Island Cocktail Company At Fresh Off The Farm Martha's Vineyard Wine & Food Festival

Strolling around the Agricultural Hall, sipping and savoring, while listening to Good Night Louise is a great way to spend an evening. There are still a few tickets available (click here) for this event, highlighting so many great things about the Fall on Martha’s Vineyard’s food scene. This festival kickoff event happens on Thursday, October 19th, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and costs $75.

Friday’s Itinerary

I would have loved to do Lobsterpooloza on Friday, a small batch event, but it sold out quickly. So, I think that Italian Salumi & Specialties Culture 101 would be a great substitute, after all, who doesn’t love cured meats?!

This event, held on Friday, 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m., at The Grill on Main, features Salumi Educator, Expert, and Epicure, Marco Mocellin. Marco has quite the portfolio in this world, and is known for use of traditional and innovated techniques for curing food.

Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

It promises to be an “interactive Italian Immersion Experience as you taste your way through and learn about Italy’s finest artisanal cured meats and cheeses.” Not only will you be able to taste an incredible selection of charcuterie and cheese, and what wines to choose, but you’ll also learn a trick or two on creating your own boards. This taste of Italy in Edgartown is only $50, click here for tickets.

Sommelier Throw Down Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

Next up, I would have to go to the Somm Throw Down with Joseph Carr, Newport Restaurant Group’s Shawn Westhoven, and Bar Mezzana’s Heather Lynch. I love this event, and have gone to the last three. This event is from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the MVFW Main tent at the Harbor View Hotel.

Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Sommelier Throw Down Wine & Food Tasting Harbor View Hotel

If you like wine, winning, and a little teasing, this is for you. These wine experts do their best to win your vote for their wines. They charm and share knowledge, and will definitely make you laugh. You’ll also take away a lot of knowledge, all while enjoying food prepared by Bar Mezzana’s, Colin Lynch. Grab a good friend to take to this one!

Sake & Oyster Tasting Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

Next it would be off to the world of Sake. This is one wine group that is a mystery to me. I don’t know what’s good, the different types, and would like to learn a bit. Shells & SakeThe Best Oyster Pairing you’ve never had! offers just this.

Cottage City Oysters Paired With Sake Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Harbor View Hotel Edgartown

Sake expert, Monica Samuels will introduce you to a number of small, family run sake producers from Japan, and pair them perfectly with some incredible oysters, including our own Cottage City Oysters. I feel as though this is going to be an eye-opening small batch event. It’s at the Harbor View Hotel from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Since I would already be at the Harbor View Hotel, I might as well enjoy an incredible dinner there! Luckly at 7:00 p.m., there’s the Island Inspired featuring Chef Jeremy Sewall and Chef Richard Doucette.

Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Island Inspired Seafood Wine Dinner With Chef Jeremy Sewall, an award winning Boston chef teams up with the Lighthouse Grill’s Executive Chef Richard Doucette Harbor View Hotel

Chef Jeremy Sewall, an award winning Boston chef (Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34 and Les Sablons) teams up with the Lighthouse Grill’s Executive Chef Richard Doucette, who is also amazing, to create a 5-course dinner honoring the diversity of local seafood. I imagine each dish will be stunning in presentation, delicious, and would love to see what wines are used for each course, as a seafood lover myself.

Saturday – An All Day Affair

Let’s have some fun after breakfast. At 11:00 a.m. at the Harbor View Hotel, there is the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Tasting. Here, you’ll meet Jessica Kelly of Woodford, and experience a unique bourbon tasting, and learn about the different flavors, while pairing with bites.

I feel as though this would be a helpful tool for me, since I have recently begun enjoying bourbon more. I discovered it over the Summer at a great race day at the Saratoga Race Track, and have been intrigued since.

Grand Tasting Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Tenth Annual Wine Festival Edgartown

Of course you’d have go to the Grand Tasting, VIP 1:00 p.m., general admission, 2:00 p.m. Last year, at its new home, the Great Lawn at the Harbor View Hotel, I had the most wonderful time. Being under the expansive tent, meeting vintners, and local purveyors, this event is truly a dream experience for wine fans.

Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Grand Tasting At Harbor View Hotel Edgartown

With over 300  winemakers, spirits, and beers, you are sure to find new favorites and enjoy yourself to the fullest. Where else can you chat casually with wine maker, Joseph Carr about his newest Dylan’s Ghost?

Wine Maker Owner Joseph Carr Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

After the Grand Tasting, there are wine dinner options that keep the festivities going. I usually need a little down time after the tasting, but there are really amazing options this year for dinner. There’s the Jean Trimbach Dinner featuring Cultivar’s Mary Dumont and Chef Richard Doucette (Jean Trimbach is a renowned 12th generation wine maker).

Cultivar Wine Dinner Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

There’s also From Knights Bridge Winery to New Jersey – A Coastal Exploration of Sea, Farm and Vine, and the sold out Turnball Wine Dinner.


However, you choose to celebrate wine and food on Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday night will be memorable. The events you go to make great conversation pieces and great memories.

Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

You can end the weekend with brunch on Sunday at the Harbor View Hotel, sipping bubbly, enjoying the Harbor View’s incredible brunch, all while watching a bit of a fashion show from The Great Put on in Edgartown.

Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Brunch Grand Tasting At Harbor View Hotel And it’s a wrap for me. Cheers to all my wine friends! There are many more incredible events in the 10th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival, Thursday, October 19th – Sunday October 22nd, click here for a full list and to get tickets for your perfect celebration of food and wine!

You can learn more about the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival on Facebook. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.


Once a dive bar always a dive bar. The Ritz is getting back to its roots. Not fancy, not a BBQ joint, just a little bar with good food and drinks and a colorful clientele.

The Ritz Bar Martha's Vineyard

Over the the last couple years, The Ritz has been on a journey sort of, trying out new things, learning along the way. Though not the same as it was 20 years ago or even five years ago, The Ritz is where it needs to be.

The Ritz Management & Owners Martha's Vineyard New manager, Kelly Feirtag, has only been on the job for a little while, but is really working to create a the right vibe and make people happy to be at The Ritz. Her first week she spent hanging out with customers. Talking to them, discovering what they liked and didn’t like. You all know that Islanders have opinions to share.

Martha's Vineyard Bar Nightclub The Ritz Oak Bluffs

People like The Ritz because it’s a place to get a drink, talk, and grab a bite. Open early, closing late, full of music all year long, this bar is like the Island’s Cheers. You come as you are. The clientele is diverse, and the “Ritz raf” is always entertaining (the true regulars).

The Ritz Bartender Johnny Bares Oak Bluffs Dive Bar

Kelly is young, beautiful, has plenty of experience and energy, and is working hard to help make The Ritz a great dive bar. There are some fun bartenders, new and old, including Johnny Bares, who usually makes an appearance in the Fall, but is here for the Winter, making the bar the place to hang afternoon, late night or in between.

Pub Fare Ritz Style

There are no chefs in the kitchen, but some great cooks, whipping up some good, simple bar fare. The new menu is no-frills, but has a range of options. And a number of things are made in house, like the turkey is roasted there, BBQ and sauces and more. If you loved the ribs they had, don’t worry, they’re still on the menu.

When meeting with Kelly and owners Jackie and Larkin Stalling, I made sure to come around lunch time to sample a thing or two.

Martha's Vineyard Dining Out: Turkey Pub At The Ritz Oak Bluffs Restaurant Bar

Each of them had their menu favorites. For Kelly, it’s the turkey pub. The sour dough is super fresh, the turkey roasted to perfection in-house, and it’s a serious meal. I had a section, and it was really good. The presentation was awesome too.

Crab Dip At The Ritz Bar Restaurant Oak Bluffs

Kelly also loves the crab dip, as a Maryland native, she is pretty particular about her crab dip, and it was also really tasty.

Martha's Vineyard Restaurants: The Ritz Fish Tacos Oak Bluffs

For Jackie, it’s the fish tacos. The tacos are light and fresh, and make a great dish to have all to yourself or share.

Chicken Wings at The Ritz Oak Bluffs buffalo, housemade bbq, or House Rub Wings

Larkin likes the chicken wings. These are a new addition to the menu, and you can choose between buffalo, housemade bbq, or House Rub. It’s great to have wings at The Ritz, especially for game days. The Ritz has brought back it’s big TV, is offering game day specials, and is actually the Island’s official Patriot’s Fan Club bar which currently has about 50 members.

The Ritz New Restaurant Seating Martha's Vineyard Dining Out

You’ll find burgers, nachos, lobster mac & cheese and more. Don’t forget about the Blue Plate Special which us back, Monday through Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. You can get a hearty meal for only $10! There’s also new seating that is sure to impress a little.

Craft Cocktails At The Ritz Bar Oak Bluffs

Beers are a plenty on tap, some local favs, some seasonal like the Jack-O-Traveler Pumpkin Shandy, and of course, plenty of classics like Coors Lite, Sam Adams, Ballast Point and more. The wine list has some pretty good options, and be sure to check out the cocktail list.

The Ritz Bar Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

Try something new or settle in with an old favorite. I should mention that The Ritz makes their own pickle juice for the Pickle Back shots (yikes).

The Ritz Bar Features Karaoke Tuesday Night Oak Bluffs Going Out

Karaoke is back too, now with Johnny Showtime. Tuesday nights are where you can sing along to your favorite songs with gusto and not a care in the world. Everyone can do karaoke at The Ritz, and it really is entertaining to watch.

Of course, other nights you’ll find live music which is such an important part of The Ritz’s legacy. It’s so nice to know that’s an option all year long. The Ritz is really the place where salty meets sexy. There is always a diverse crowd, you never know who might be there which makes it fun.

You can learn more about The Ritz on Facebook. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.

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I have known Nina Carter Hitchen for a number of years from all sorts of things. This amazing mom of 6-year-old twins has slowly and consciously been evolving towards a Zero Waste lifestyle. I always get to see snips of this process, amazing pics on instagram, inspiring snack containers at soccer, but recently I learned the true breadth of her process.

Plastic Free On MV Nina Carter Hitchen

At Living Local a couple of weeks ago, she had a Plastic Free on MV table. Here, she brought many of her prized, non-plastic items from her daily life. As I was talking with her about something totally different, people started to approach her and ask questions, lots of questions. It was amazing to watch the excitement they gained from her knowledge.

Plastic Free on MV

People know that plastic is bad for us, for our environment, but the problem seems so abstract, like, you as one person, can’t make a difference. However, for Nina, it began, one thing at a time, and she has learned how to be the change and is now inspiring and helping others to do the same.

Plastic Free on MV

How did this passion ignite? When she was pregnant with Ondine and Dylan, her mother gave her a printout from a website about what plastics were harmful and what were “safe” to have around the house, and use when pregnant. Interestingly enough, none were actually good, just “safe.”

Plastic Free on MV

She thought to herself, and began to pay more attention to what she used. Then, when one of her dear friends was diagnosed with cancer, the friend went on a strict macrobiotic diet, which made her very careful with her foods, and what the foods were packaged in. This diet did not allow for anything with plastics because they “off gas,” release broken down chemicals into the food contained in the packaging. Another “aha” moment.

After extensive research, Nina was really surprised to discover all the studies that highlight the dangers of plastics, not only for the people, but for our environment. For example, by the year 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic then fish in our oceans. Whoa – just one reason recycling is so important.

This change did not happen overnight, the goal to quit plastic is six years in the making and continuing.

Changing Your World – One Item At a Time

So, she decided that she was going do more to eliminate plastic and waste in her life. It started out small, recycling as much as possible, buying things in glass, because glass can be recycled forever, whereas plastic will always be plastic, and will basically never disappear fully no matter what it’s form.

Plastic Free on MV

Then, she began eliminating plastic containers, using the glass ones from purchases, and augmenting when necessary. She also added stainless steel containers into the mix. This is easier than you think, it just takes a little more time to find the products in glass, and the products are usually higher quality and more healthy, so a win-win.

Plastic Free on MV

Then it was on to figuring out how to not but items packaged in plastic which gets very tricky on MV. However, she has learned some tricks and is happy to share. For a number of items, especially the basics like flour and oatmeal, Cronig’s Market has a good bulk section. Get some canvas bags, also available from Cronig’s or Amazon, and you have plastic free packing.


Buy fruits and veggies not in plastic when possible, and use reusable fruit and veggie bags, available at the same places listed above. Also, don’t use plastic bag when getting your groceries. If you don’t have a produce bag, you can let those babies be free. The produce is dirty anyways and needs a good washing.

Plastic Free on MVFor cleaning products, invest in some glass bottles, yes there will be plastic for the handle and spray part, and make your own. Most recipes are surprisingly easy, and so much better for your home, family and pets. You will know every ingredient.

Fresh Bacon from Shiretown

Want to keep going? Bring containers for your lunch meat to the grocery store, get unpackaged, fresh bacon from a local butcher, like Shiretown Meats. Bring containers to restaurants that you know have large portions, or bring your own containers for takeout (that might be a challenge for me).

MochaMottsNina is full of ideas, and it takes a couple tries to remember and modify your routine but once you do, it feels good. I don’t do enough good every day, so this is a little way.

From her, I have learned to have metal straws with me for drinks if needed, have a coffee to go cup in my car. There’s a sort of bag of “be good to MV” in my car, loaded with shopping bags, produce bags, and more. It’s now just part of me.

Plastic Free on MVYou can go even further. There is silk dental floss, bamboo toothbrushes, you can make your own toothpaste and mouth wash that have been proved affective — all in glass if you want. Choose products, whether at Reliable or shopping online at Target, that have glass or metal containers which you can save find other uses for or recycle.

Plastic Free on MV

Can you image how few times you’ll be having your trash collected? Add composting to your things-to-do list. This is super easy, but can be gross. I must confess, my husband is in charge of this at our house. For Nina, her compost goes into a lidded jar on the counter, then outside almost daily. Mine go into a bucket outside by my deck. Some people have a container under the sink. Hey whatever works.

plastic free on MV

For Nina, this process has allowed her to really know what goes into her family’s life. It has lead to a lot more beauty. The colors of fresh, naked items are always brighter. She has challenged herself to make things that she could not find, like bread or tortilla shells or pudding cups. She spends more time with her children creating things together, and each week has some new adventure for her quest to be “zero waste.”

plastic Free on MV

Though I am not as, how shall I say, dedicated, as Nina is, but I am proud to do what I can when I can. I knew I had a little passion for this when I made us save our recyclables when we were on vacation in Florida last Winter. I collected them for a week, and had a very hard time finding a place to take them. However, find it I did. My children understood that this means something.


I still buy things in plastic and use plastic, um hello Legos and Barbie Dolls and lipstick, but I do my best. I forget my straws sometimes, but I sometimes remember to ask the server for no straw in my drink. I do like straws for iced coffee and frozen cocktails. I don’t need a straw. I use it once and it stays forever. Seeing Straw Free MV stickers on Island businesses remind me too!

Plastic Free on MV

If you’d like help reducing your plastic/waste, Nina can help. She is a “zero waste” consultant and can help you make the changes you want. There are so many more things that she learned along the way. Things that are surprisingly easy to do.

Plastic Free on MVReading this, you might think she’s got time to burn, but she has a family and works. Interestingly, she recently finished school with a degree in interior design. Ultimately, it is her goal to help design and create, plastic free, waste free, beautiful healthy homes for people. It is possible, just a choice. It might take more time at first, but it becomes part of your life.

Plastic Free on MV

It might slow you down a bit, inspire you to connect with the moment, be more thoughtful. I know she inspires me, and I am grateful for her sharing her knowledge.

Plastic Free on MVAuthor’s Note: Nina informed me that with smaller companies like esty and ebay, you can request PLASTIC FREE shipping. How easy is that! Also, how great is ebay for recycling? It’s an endless treasure trove of amazing used items!

50 Things You Should Stop Buying & Start Making

I also found this handy article on-line, 50 Things You Should Stop Buying & Start Making. Could be fun to add somethings with a long, grey Winter looming on the horizon.

You can learn more about Plastic Free On MV, including services through Facebook and instagram, @littlehouseonthevineyard. Also thanks for some great pics. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.


Gay Head Lighthouse Tour Martha's Vineyard Bucket List Lighthouse tours

They stand as welcoming beacons to Martha’s Vineyard — representing both the island’s maritime past, and today, a favored family photo op, and selfie spot.


The five lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard have become iconic island images.

Martha's Vineyard Lighthouses: Edgartown Lighthouse Tour

They stretch from Edgartown Harbor, to East and West Chop on Vineyard Haven Harbor, to Cape Pogue on Chappy, to the cliffs of Aquinnah. Our own Guinevere Cramer is your Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse tour guide.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum now oversees the tours at the Gay Head Lighthouse, East Chop Lighthouse, and Edgartown Lighthouse. Click here for more information. The one other lighthouse that is open for public tours is the Cape Pogue lighthouse on Chappy. The Trustees of Reservations oversee that one. Details

Martha's Vineyard Lighthouse Tours: Edgartown Lighthouse Vineyard Bucket List

Most of the lighthouses are available for touring during the summer months and into early fall. These iconic island experiences belong on everyone’s Vineyard Bucket List.

Point B Vineyard Bucket List

Gay Head Lighthouse Tours: Martha's Vineyard Bucket List Adventure - Click here for Our Vineyard Bucket List Video Library

Martha’s Vineyard is a magic place for many people. Our series of Vineyard Bucket List videos is our guide to some of the most classic, and magical, experiences on Martha’s Vineyard. Click here for the Vineyard Bucket List Video Library.