BNT’s Wine & Art Festival Exceeds Expectations
“The Birds and The Bees” starred at the 24th Annual BNT Wine and Art Festival held Saturday at The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Retreat Garden on Village Road.
“A new, gently sweet wine called ‘The Birds and The Bees” was a tremendous success,” reports Bristol Wine and Spirits Wine Director Rusty Scates.
He added, “ This year’s BNT Wine and Art Festival went very well indeed. Everyone had a good time. The record breaking 53 wines we offered were well received. And, the weather was perfect. The feedback was excellent.”
The most popular white wine of the day was Italian Chardonnay ‘Bramito del Servo” by Antinori.
The popular event, originally scheduled for October but cancelled by weather, seemed to vibrate with new life, colour, art and action in the new time slot. “The BNT organizers stepped up the game. It was really great fun,” said Mr. Scates. Bristol Wines and Spirits have been the major sponsor for the event for each of its 24 years.
BNT Membership Officer Katrina Cartwright, agreed, reporting, “ The feedback was excellent! People loved members’ night, the circus, the costumes, the culinary demonstrations, the food, the music, and of course…the wine, the art and the weather!
She added, “ All of the food vendors sold out as many people who attended the event stayed a while because there was so much to do.”
New to the Wine and Arts Festival this year was Chef Carvison Pratt’s fusion cuisine. He drew a large crowd of foodies who lined up to learn and sample. What’s his secret to amazing and sophisticated creamy conch chowder?
“I put in a Caribbean twist with coconut rum and the roasted papaya brings out the bold flavors.” Such culinary demonstrations were new to the Wine & Art this year, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism. Chef Pratt’s “ Cream of Conch with Essence of Coconut” and “Roasted Papaya Chowder” paired with Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, $23.95/bottle at Bristol Wines & Spirits.
Among the firsts at the 24th Wine and Art Festival was a “Best In Show Art Competition” won by Artist Sue Bennett-Williams in the 2-D section and Silver Smith Peter Bradley and Jewellery Designer Nadia Campbell in the 3-D section.
Musical performances included “We Love to Play”, “Tropical Depression,” Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Festival Semi Finalists Preston “Puzzle” Wallace, Bodine Johnson, Ian Alleyne-Mc Quay, and Tyrone “Plati Dread” Bartlette.
Costumed characters posed and pranced in the gardens, even on stilts. Performers from Emanji Circus Arts made colourful appearances and models from Explosion and Vindi Dynasty, costumed for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, fluffed their feathers and smiled for photos.
The Wine and Art Festival is a major fund raiser for The Bahamas National Trust.
This 24th Anniversary Year featured wines from 10 countries, a record 53 wines, many of which are on sale at Bristol Wines and Spirits shops at Gladstone Road and East Bay ST., near the Paradise Island Bridge.
More than 40 artists participated, including: Sue Bennett-Williams,Toby Lunn, John Paul, Trevor Tucker, Marco Mullings, Jonathan Bethel, Quentin Minnis, Lemero Wright, Chris d’Albenas, Attila Feszt, Nadia Campbell, Moya Strachan, Dion Lewis, “The Current” Bahamar, Kirk Deal, Allan P. Wallace, Peter Bradley, Rashad Penn, Judith Papilion, Rosemarie Laing and Holly Parotti.
Art collectors mingled with the wine lovers, all enjoying the bright balmy day. Lee Winters bought four paintings: two large paintings from Judith Papilion and two small ones “from my good friend Toby Lunn, because I liked them. They speak to me.” Toby’s “The King” and “The Queen” now hang out in her dining room.
By P.S. News Features