Tag Archives: Mystic

WineFest’s Tenth Delights All

Bruce “Two-Dogs” Bozsum

Bruce “Two-Dogs” Bozsum

by John Stratton

What’s not to like?   Great wines and beers, great food, great friends old and new. And a tenth anniversary swirl and glow in the air in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun…which means lots to see and enjoy.

That’s 32—count ‘em 32—celebrity chefs, vintners, brewmasters. And about 900 distinct wines and brews offered to the diligent taster seeking to develop higher ranges of  connoisseurship.  But who’s counting? You have to pick and choose, and learn. And perhaps share your responses with more than 10,000 others like you, ready with a good word as friends meeting new friends.

Mark and Bridget Freeman of Tolland attended with another couple, Kevin and Renée Furbush of Glastonbury. They’d been to WineFest’s before, for the past five years.  “It’s a great weekend,” they said, just about in unison as they took a break to sample some eats. And the ladies laughed, “Without the kids—it’s a bonus!”

Two friends from the Hartford area were there for the first time, Dan Tarvell of Windsor and Brian Pitney of Enfield. Would they come back next year?  “Absolutely, yes!” they said.

Among familiar local faces were Sandy Chianzi of Mystic and Crystal Merritt of Stonington. They describe themselves as “the two favorites at the Steak Loft,” where they tend an active bar with many regulars.

Sandy Chianzi and Crystal Merritt.

Sandy Chianzi and Crystal Merritt.

Likewise, Lynn Malerba, 18th Lifetime Chief of the Mohegan Tribe, stopped in with husband Paul and daughter Angela and fiancé Matt, as did Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council,  blending with the throng in the expansive ballroom.

Robert J. “Bobby” Soper, President and CEO, Mohegan Sun, was on hand as well, noting the camaraderie that makes the event a special one.

“This event has become the premier wine festival in the Northeast, if not the East Coast,” said Bobby, who added that there was something for everyone to enjoy. “Whether you want to attend a private tasting event or activity, or enjoy the unmatched variety of offerings at the Grand Tasting, or just mingle with the top celebrity chefs in the world—it is truly a remarkable event for wine and food enthusiasts. Or even for people like myself who do not have distinguished palates, and just want to have a great time.”

(l-r) Paul and Lynn Malerba with Angela and Matt.

(l-r) Paul and Lynn Malerba with Angela and Matt.

Bobby also sees the WineFest in a larger context, attracting many new visitors to the complex in Uncasville.

“We are constantly refreshing our property,” he said, “and have had a flurry of openings of new establishments in the past several months.

Restaurants and nightlife choices such as Hash House a Go Go, Landsdowne Pub, Mist in Casino of the Wind, Vista Lounge at Wombi Rock, the Bow & Arrow Sports Bar in Earth Casino and the new Clay Pipe cigar lounge have all joined us.”

À votre santé!

Resident Birthday: Al Klingerman’s 90th Birthday Party

Columbus Day weekend in San Juan, PR at Al Klingerman’s 90th Birthday party. Al is the owner of Klingerman Travel Agency in New London Conn. (l-r) Roland Oullette of Groton, Bob O’Shaughnessy of Mystic, Al Klingerman, and Bob Offen of Mystic.

Beech Brook Provides Haven, Healthcare, and Homes to Horses

Deborah Finco of Mystic, owner and director of Beech Brook Equine Rescue, with Taco, a baby donkey born this Fall at the farm; her mom, Ashley was rescued from the auction block.

story & photo
by Anna Truksy

Tucked away on a 14-acre parcel of land in the woods off Fishtown Road in Mystic is Beech Brook Equine Rescue, a nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and places horses, donkeys, and other animals. The organization was started by Deborah Finco of Mystic, a  Pfizer scientist who initially built the barn for the two horses she and her daughter rode. Deborah has CHA (certified horse association) certification and is a member of the Connecticut Horse Council and the Connecticut Volunteer Horse Patrol.

Beech Brook is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on donations through fundraisers, sponsorships, and grants. The farm features a three-stall barn with a tackroom, a small paddock area with a run and a shed for three horses, and a couple of pastures.

Finco and her team of dedicated volunteers perform all the horse-care duties, which recently included protecting the horses from Hurricane Sandy by putting special masks on them to keep flying debris from injuring their eyes. The horses receive excellent veterinary care, which includes special diets when needed. Deborah and her team strive to find homes for the animals they rehabilitate, but those animals who are not adopted get a loving, life-long home at Beech Brook.

“We built the barn for our own horses, but then we fostered one horse, and it grew from there,” Finco explained. “Now we have not only horses but minis, donkeys, and a few other animals we well.” The animals have been rescued from situations of neglect and abuse, as well as from the auction block, where they are often sold to Canada and other countries to be turned into meat for human consumption. Recently, Beech Brook saved two beautiful female donkeys, Ashley and Matilda, who were pregnant. Ashley’s baby girl, Taco, was named through a fund-raising contest.

Beech Brook offers summer classes and programs for kids, and programs for at-risk and special-needs youth. It will be holding a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraising Event on December 7 at United Congregational Church,  Pawcatuck.

Over 60 boats participated in the Annual Mudhead Benefit Regatta. Photos by Chad Tjerandsen

Mudhead’s ‘Go-To’ Regatta and Party Benefit Hospice; ‘Open Jam’ Precedes Regatta at Mystic Shipyard

Patriot, the highest fund-raising boat, underway in the Mudhead Benefit Regatta for Hospice SECT.

For 23 years, sailors in southeastern Connecticut have raced their vessels to raise funds and awareness for Hospice Southeastern Connecticut. This year, some 500 friends and neighbors will also gather for a benefit party hosted by the Mystic River Mudheads. The  club’s annual MegaParty is on Saturday, July 21, starting at 5 p.m. at the Mystic Shipyard, Willow Point, in Mystic.

This party features great food, full bar, prize drawings and music from Rock ‘n Soul Revue, and the public is invited to join the fun.

The Mudhead Benefit Cup has become the “Go-To Regatta” on the ECSA Circuit and 2012 promises another exciting weekend of music, food, racing, and fun–all for Hospice Southeastern Connecticut.

The Mudheads have made the most of their opportunities to manage races over the years. The race committee team has won the accolades of the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association with Best Managed Race four of the last five years. This year, the Spinnaker circle will be doing a couple of Windward-Leewards with PHRF and One Design Classes. The Non-Spinnaker circle will feature a point-to-point race around government marks in Fisher’s Island Sound.

Saturday night, the gala MegaParty under the tent at Mystic Shipyard offers dancing to the music of Rock ‘n Soul Revue, a buffet dinner provided many of the best Mystic restaurants, beverages galore!

The evening before the MegaParty, the shipyard will be jumpin’ as well.

The evening asks, and answers, the question: The Mystic River Mudheads are known for their ability to run a rockin’ race but how many of these sailors can actually rock—on guitar? Sailors and non-sailors are welcome to participate in a Friday, July 20, “Racer’s Jam”at 6 p.m. under the tent at Mystic Shipyard.

There is no charge for admission but people might consider a donation to Hospice. There are promised appearances by Past Mudhead Commodore Bob Austin-LaFrance, Past Commodore Andy Stoddard, Commodore Toby Halsey…plus potential guest appearances from Frank Murphy, Greg Gilmartin, and more!

The Mudhead Board Band will take on all comers for title of Best Sailboat Racing Band.

Hospice Southeastern Connecticut provides care in the home and often in skilled nursing facilities for those facing the end of their life, regardless of age, disease or inability to pay.  Hospice Southeastern Connecticut has been the hospice of choice for over 8,000 families since 1985.

Visit www.mudhead.org for more information and join your favorite rockin’ sailors for a goal of 100 guitars on stage! For more information or to register for the race, visit: www.mudhead.org. For more information on Hospice SECT, visit: www.hospicesect.org

Over 60 boats participated in the Annual Mudhead Benefit Regatta. Photos by Chad Tjerandsen


Octagon Celebrates South African Wines at U.S. Reunion Dinner

By Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Critics On The Aisle, Out and Travelin’


(l-r) Waterford Group CEO Len Wolman chats with Mystic Marriott's Octagon Chef Paul Krawic and South African vintner Ken Forrester at the Mystic Marriot's Octagon Restaurant Wine Dinner Event on June 13

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to enjoy a six-course dinner as we did at the Mystic Marriot on June 13. Created by Executive Chef Paul Krawic the superb fare was accompanied by Chenin Blanc wines introduced by one of South Africa’s best vintners, Ken Forrester.


Host and General Manager Farouk Rajab joined Waterford Hotel Group Chairman and CEO Len Wolman in welcoming Ken Forrester of Ken Forrester Wines to the area.  Len and Ken went to school together in South Africa, and this renewal of their friendship was the first visit to Mystic Country by Mr. Forrester and his wife Teresa.


A proud supporter of Connecticut farms, top-ranked Chef Paul, who resides in Gales Ferry, featured locally farmed ingredients in his new spring/summer menu.  Selections from the wine dinner included local apples and Cato Farms ‘womanchego’ cheese fondue, Stonington seared scallops with mushroom risotto, grilled swordfish with toasted Israeli cous cous, chicken statler with jicama slaw and potato skins, and a desert sampler plate. The six courses were all beautifully prepared and plated, and served perfectly by the charming and attentive wait staff.


Each course was accompanied by one of Ken’s organically certified wines, and the name of the dinner “Chenin Celebration” featured a Petit Chenin Blanc, Reserve Chenin Blanc, and FMC Forrester Meinhert Chenin that each paired with a course.  Red wines included a Pinotage (Pinot Noir/Meritage) and Renegade (Grenache and Sirah), with the luxurious dessert wine “T” Noble Late Harvest concluding the luscious selection. The buzz at this convivial pairing dinner seemed like nothing but raves for each of the wines.

Sara Ryan, Wine Distributor for South African Wines, poses withLen Wolman, Chariman and CEO of the Waterford Hotel Group


Ken explained that “We are located near the ocean, and the cool breezes and sunshine contribute to the brightness of the wine.  Our grapes are farmed and harvested by hand, and the soil is tilled by hand as well.”  The Wine and Spirit Board of South Africa has certified Ken Forrester Wines as a vineyard offering sustainability and integrity. Ken continued by proudly stating: “We use no pesticides or herbicides.” www.kenforresterwines.com.  The land on which Ken Forrester Wines now stands has been a vineyard since 1689.


Len Wolman announced that the wines are now included in the wine list at the Octagon Restaurant in the Mystic Marriott. www.octagonsteakhouse.com


As the gala evening ended with dessert and coffee, Sara Ryan, representing Ken’s U.S. distributer, told us that the wines served at the Chenin Celebration will be available locally at the Cask N’ Keg in Mystic – two of them for less than $12 per bottle!

Len and Ken really know how to host a dinner party, with the best food, wines, service and clubby ambience at the AAA 4-Diamond Octagon at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa.  We highly recommend it!

51st Annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival

The 51st Annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival Jury and the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce this years winning artists. The 51st Annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival took place on Saturday and Sunday, August 9th and 10th, 2008 along the streets of downtown historic Mystic. 285 international artists and craftspeople participate in this annual event showcasing over 100,000 pieces of artwork.

For more information about the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival contact the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce at 860.572.9578.

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern CT & Southern RI,

Just minutes away from the heart of Mystic, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center offers something for everyone. We are a combination wildlife sanctuary, natural history museum, and educational facility set in a 300-acre nature preserve. Visitors can experience the diverse woodland, wetland and meadow habitats and native wildlife of southern New England through a combination of interactive displays, live animal exhibits, or by hiking or walking our more than 10 miles of trails.

View live snakes, turtles and a variety of frogs in our indoor exhibits. Learn what happens outside after the sun sets in our “Night in the Meadow” theatre. Investigate life under a log, or learn to identify bird flight patterns and migration paths. Touch and feel items from our bog display — our newest exhibit which depicts the changes that take place as a pond transforms to a bog and eventually a forested swamp.

Step outside and visit our resident birds of prey in outdoor flight enclosures before exploring the trails that criss-cross brooks, forests, meadows, ponds and rocky outcrops. Whether you’re interested in birding, plant identification, plant life, hiking, or nature photography, you’ll find a way to enjoy our 300-acre preserve. You can search for bluebirds in the meadow, painted turtles or bullfrogs in the pond, admire our summer wildflower garden or simply enjoy a peaceful walk in the woods all four seasons of the year.

Looking to learn more about the world around you? DPNC offers a variety of year-round environmental education programs for all ages. Our programs offer unique opportunities to learn about ecology with the guidance of our professional education staff. From discovery, after-school classes and summer camps for children, guided hikes and workshops for families, and kayak, wildflower, and hawk watching trips for adults, DPNC provides class participants with an expanded appreciation for the natural world that leads to responsible stewardship.

The Nature Center’s facilities include an outdoor treehouse and picnic area that may be used in warmer weather. We also stock a selection of unique educational nature items and hard-to-find field guides at the Nature Center Store.

The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center was founded in 1946 by the Dension Society. We are open year-round, Monday thru Saturday from 9a.m. to 5p.m., and Sunday from 10a.m. to 4p.m.. We are located at 109 Pequotsepos Rd. in Mystic. For more information, please visit www.dpnc.org or call 860. 536.1216.

Jennifer Johnson
Director of Marketing & Communications
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

MASH 6th Annual Auction & Iron Chef Competition

story & photos
by Alexis Ann

On June 21st, from 6-11 p.m.,  Enders Island was the backdrop for the 6th Annual Mystic Area Shelter and Hospitality (MASH) Auction for Action and Iron Chef Competition. The benefit was to raise awareness and funds for local homeless families and children. The evening was blessed with beautiful weather and a successful turnout. 250 people attended the event, raising an outstanding $40,000

The winners of the cook-off were Jamie Fowler of Noah’s Restaurant in Stonington, and his Sous Chef, Kevin Rogers, a teacher in Ledyard  and bartender at Bravo Bravo in Mystic. Other participants included Jeff Walker of Anthony J’s Bistro in Mystic and his Sous Chef Eva Franchi.

The ingredient of the night was monkfish. Jamie  prepared a Portuguese Monkfish Stufato, Thai Monkfish Cakes with a traditional carrot salad & mango sambal, and Monkfish Grand-Mere, served with onions, potatoes, and truffles.  “It was nice to pay homage to the Stonington area’s heritage,” Jamie says about the Portuguese stew (Stufato).

The judges for the event were Executive Chef Michael Luboff of Mohegan Sun, and Father Thomas Hoar of Enders Island.

“Having the MASH Iron Chef Competition at Enders Island, with the ‘Rock of Hope’ was providential.  Their ministry is built on Hope and I think Hope was the ‘real’ secret ingredient used that night!” Remarks Jessica D. Morrissey, a member of the MASH Iron Chef event commitee.

Good News that ROCKS!

Dear Alexis:

It was great to connect with you at the MASH event at Enders Island. It was a wondrous and magical evening/event. It was particularly wonderful to connect with you because I have wanted to thank you and the Resident for so long in regards to what the Resident has done for me and my business.

So here, I go with my acknowledgement: Thank you Resident News for being here! I remember over 16 years ago putting my first classified advertisement in your paper that headlined: “Holistic Voice Instruction.”

Those beginning calls I received, begun the intricate weave of students that created the continuum that continues today. I remember my first call was from a Cantor in Hartford, who today is a well admired Rabbi in South Windsor. His wife found the Resident ad and well, the rest is history! Thanks, Alexis Ann for creating the Resident News and living your dream!

Valerie Walsh
Holistic Voice Teacher, Mystic
Author & Founder of Holistic Expressions, LLC