Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Old Inn On The Green's wine cellar dates back to the late 1700's by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley

                                            The Wine Cellar dates back to the 1700's


                                          The Wine List's  focus is on French wines

Much has been written about the incomparable restaurant at the Old Inn On The Green, skillfully operated by proprietor and Star Chef Peter Platt. The superb wine program is effectively run by hands-on Wine Director, James Stahl. It’s easy to hop on the bandwagon. The food is great. The ambiance is ‘New England Romantic’ and the wait staff is efficient, courteous and knowledgeable. 

Living a few miles away from this haven, located on Route 57 in New Marlborough, Massachusetts, the Old Inn On The Green has been a true destination for thousands of year round visitors.  
Why not? 

The Inn is off the beaten path, yet, close enough to take in the local seasonal activities: Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow,  Berkshire Theater Festival, Butternut and Catamount ski areas, Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts and the Norman Rockwell Museum, jus to name a few highlights of this cultural mecca called the Berkshires.

There are five guest bedrooms at the Inn. All rooms have been restored with authenticity, antiques, country furniture and that special New England flair. Some rooms have fireplaces, others have balconies.

Next store is the Thayer House, which is part of the Old Inn. Six guest bedrooms, all air-conditioned are housed in the building that has two large living rooms, a country library and a swimming pool.

Each room has a magnificent view of the bucolic countryside.

The Inn dates back to 1760 and was a stagecoach relay station in its heyday. .

In 2013, Yankee magazine rated the Old Inn On The Green as ‘The Best of the Oldest, No.1 Historic Inn. New England’.

With such a pedigree, the Inn can only dazzle you with its affordable rates of $260-$360 in high season plus specially priced room and meal packages in addition to the world class restaurant ($40 prix fixe menu on certain nights).

If you want to enjoy New England’s history in a historic setting, then the Old Inn On The Green is for you.
                                                               The Taproom
                                                      The Old Inn On The Green
                                                             A la Carte Menu

                                                  Chef and Owner, Peter Platt

                                                    Wine Director James Stahl

Visit for more information.

Philip S. Kampe 

Maria Reveley


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blantyre (Lenox, Ma) home of a 12,000 bottle wine cellar and recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award by Philip S. Kampe



I have travelled the world, eaten at the best restaurants in the world, including the number one rated, El Celler de Can Roca in Catalana, stayed in castles in Ireland and mountaintop  retreats in Argentina and Switzerland, but, haven’t had the overall experience as I had recently at a celebrated Relais & Chateaux hotel/restaurant in my backyard.

Blantyre, in Lenox, Massachusetts, is literally a ten minute drive from our house. Nestled in the woods, minutes from Tanglewood, Shakespeare & Company, The Mount and the Norman Rockwell Museum, the charm of this Tudor-style mansion from the Gilded Age surpasses dreams of escaping the area (known as the Berkshires) to find your nirvana somewhere else on this lovely earth of ours.

Blantyre has it all—charm, beauty, a sense of history, a top chef, three wine cellars with over 12,000 bottles and a staff that beckons at your call. We arrived just in time for lunch. ‘Why not’, we said?.

Our party of three was comfortably seated on the veranda at a glass topped, linen covered round table with a large umbrella. Our table afforded breathtaking views of the hills and valleys of the surrounding Berkshire mountainside.. 

Our hostess was Christelle Cotar, the resident Wine Director, who doubles as a food server and accommodation guru, just to name a few of her many inherited jobs. She charmed us immediately by making us feel at home by pouring a delightful glass of Chablis to accompany some welcoming complimentary appetizers. Christelle mentioned that the wine cellar (there are three) houses 12,000 bottles of wine. Blantyre is the recipient of the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award.

The lunch selection from the menu was appealing and  certainly affordable for this  Conde Nast Readers Choice favorite hotel and restaurant.

After discussing the menu with Christelle, we learned that the Executive  Chef at Blantyre is Arnauld Cotar, her husband and father of their two young children, who, at the moment are on holiday in France, staying with relatives.

Arnaud and Christelle have been with the property for the past fifteen years. Blantyre has an interesting history. Known originally as ‘Highlawn’ in the 1890’s, the 220 acre estate was acquired by Robert Paterson. The Berkshires had numerous estates and was known in the inner circles as the ‘Switzerland of America’, an expression coined by Cleveland Amory. Mr. Peterson’s concept was named after his ancestral home in Blantyre Scotland. 

Blantyre was  modeled after ‘feudal architecture’, complete with a castle, gargoyles, turrets and a tower. Construction began in 1901. Furniture was shipped from England. The main house was used primarily for entertainment in the summer and fall. Garden parties with musicians and grand, lavish dinners competed with the numerous large properties,(there were ninety-seven in the Berkshires) for the top socialites from New York and Boston.

For many years, after the Petersons gave up the property, Blantyre went through numerous changes and was finally bought in 1980 by Jane and Jack Fitzpatrick, who fell in love with the property, which had been neglected for years. They bought the property for their daughter, Ann, who reopened Blantyre in 1981 after extensive renovation. The rest is history.

Blantyre is open year round and has been regarded as one of the ‘Leading Hotels in the World’.

We took a tour of the property with Dining Events Manager, David L. Pupo. The property is extensive with rooms in the Main House, Cottages and rooms in the Carriage House, adjacent to the Potting Shed Spa and outdoor swimming pool.

Blantyre is located less than three hours from Manhattan and under two and a quarter from Boston. Visit their website at

*Note: More on the Blantyre Wine Cellar and Sommelier Christelle Cotar in my next article

Philip S. Kampe 

Photos courtesy of Maria Reveley

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The 2015 Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic comes to Lenox, Massachusetts from August 13th-16th by Philip S. Kampe

Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, means to most of us, music, opera, piano concertos, popular artist concerts, scenic beauty and on July 4th, James Taylor.

Tanglewood is located in western Massachusetts, known to locals and visitors as the ‘Berkshires’. Located two plus hours from Boston and under  three from Manhattan, Tanglewood lies in the historical, quaint town of Lenox.

This year, from August 13th to 16th, Tanglewood means more than just music. Tanglewood , besides the musical program will be the home of the ‘Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic’.

The four day event focuses specifically on wine and food. If you have not attended the Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic (TWFC) in the past, this is a great opportunity for you to learn about food and wine from some of the country’s leading authorities.

Luminaries will lead seminars, tastings and wine dinners within the bucolic Tanglewood setting.

The four-day schedule is designed specifically for the consumer to learn about food and wine. Experts and world-renowned chefs will educate the attendees.

If there is ever a week to support Tanglewood, this is the week. This is the 10th year of this amazing event.

All of the events take place on the grounds of Tanglewood. Attendance is limited.
Why not attend the wine and food events and afterwards take in a concert at the Shed or Ozawa Hall.

The signature event (as always) is the Grand Tasting at the Hawthorne Tent ($90), which takes place on Saturday, August 15th,,  from high 12-3pm in the afternoon.
Hundreds of wines from around the world are featured with cooking demonstrations from locally sourced food.

Opening this great schedule of events is ‘The Best of the Berkshires Wine Dinner (Hawthorne Tent)  ($195) from 4:30-7:45pm on Thursday, August 13th. Seating is limited. The event begins with a cocktail reception, followed by a three course dinner made by local chefs with local ingredients and paired with Frog’s Leap wines presented by Howard Imber.

If you opt for a wine and cheese reception on August 13th, go to Highwood Manor House from 6-7:45pm and partake in the revelry ($60).

Friday, August 14th  will be an exciting evening at Seranak.. A wine dinner (5:30-8pm), hosted by Cain winemaker, Chris Howell will feature his wines paired with the innovative cooking of Chef David Becker ($195)  Alternatively, from  6-8pm, the Hawthorne Tent Cooking Stage Demo area will light up with a charcuterie throw down and wine pairing ($65).

And then comes Saturday, August 15th, which is what I believe is the “Best Wine and Food Day of the Year in the Berkshires”.  Tanglewood comes alive with the not to be missed Grand Tasting. Sample hundreds of wines, gourmet food and cooking demonstrations from 12-3pm ($90)
If the Grand Tasting is not enough for your palate, why not attend the ever so popular
Rose & Petanque Provencal event from 3:30-5:30pm ($55)

Sunday is not the day of rest. Enjoy a festival ending ambrosia brunch, hosted by Chef Eric Brennan at Seranak from 10-12:30pm.($75)  After brunch, partake in the festival ending(1-2pm) Riedl wine glassware, Miner wines and Lindt Chocolate event ($75) at the Hawthorne Tent.

For tickets to any or all of the events, call 888-266-1200 or visit

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Coastal Chile's Amazing New Releases: Kalfu Sumpai Pinot Noir & Kalfu Kuda Chardonnay by Philip S. Kampe

                                                     2012 Sumpai Pinot Noir

Newly released Chilean coastal wines from Vina Ventisquero have hit the market. The two wines from the Leyda Valley, under the Kalfu label are Kuda, an unoaked Chardonnay and Sumpai, a Pinot Noir.

Chile has undergone a viticultural transformation. High technology coupled with innovative wine makers who are willing to take a risk has proven to pay dividends. Kuda and Sampai are examples.

Chile is an isolated wine region, protected by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountains to the east. The isolated conditions, with its environmentally protected land,  are ideal for ;consistent', yearly grape growth, which is not the norm in the other wine regions of the world. 

Winemaker Alejandro Galaz heads the operations at Kalfu.. Mr. Galaz’s reputation is known worldwide as the winemaker who specializes in cool climate wines. According to Alejandro Galaz, “from the vineyard to the bottle, producing cool climate wines can be challenging…but, I enjoy a challenge…always striving to produce wines that are a sincere expression of elegance, distinction and subtlety of the grape”.

The two wines that were sampled are:

 2013 Kalfu Kuda Chardonnay
Aroma> Green apple aromas masking vanilla
Palate>> Acidic with freshness that reflected flavors of creme brulee, tangerine and other tropical fruits. Well balanced and elegant
Ageing>Up to five years in ideal conditions.
Area: Leyda Valley
Price: $19

2012 Kalfu Sumpai Pinot Noir
Aroma> Chalky, peppery and sour cherry aromas abound.
Palate> Concentrated, complex, well-balanced wine with a meaty, fig and date flavor
Alcohol> 13.5%
Ageing>  Up to fifteen years in ideal conditions.
Area: Leyda Valley
Price> $24

The Leyda Valley is located four miles from the Pacific Ocean and close to the Maipo River. The vines face the ocean with its morning fog and cooling breezes.

Both wines were unique and powerful on the palate. The Pinot Noir was atypical, which made it the most interesting and unusual Pinot Noir in the marketplace. It's worth a try!

Other releases from Kalfu include the 2013 Kalfu Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc ($24), 2013 Kalfu Kuda Sauvignon Blanc ($19) and the 2013 Kalfu Kuda Pinot Noir ($19).

Philip S. Kampe

                                                   2013 Kuda Chardonnay

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