Jones Winery was the third winery I visited on the Connecticut Wineries Tour #1 and the farm was a typical New England farm setting, complete with the red barns. After I parked the car I took a leisurely stroll about the vineyard and winery grounds and then went to the tasting room. Upon entering the tasting room you get a sense of enormity as the room could easily fit approximately 100 people in it with around fifty at the wine bar. A very rustic stone wall and glass enclosures gave it a very rustic yet modern look to it. Nice place to have a family reunion as it would accommodate most families comfortably.
The tasting fee was $6.75 plus state sales tax and you tried six of the nine wines they had. Plus you got to keep the signature wine glass too. Off the tasting room was a gift shop with wine paraphernalia, t-shirts, and other such stuff plus a few wine racks displaying their wines. The wines available for tasting were: the Pinot Gris Vintner, Stonewall Chardonnay, Woodlands White, in the white wine category. For red wine they had a Cabernet Franc Vintner Select, a Merlot, and Ripton Red. One fruit wine called First Blush. The dessert wine list had the Black Currant Bouquet and the Raspberry Rhapsody.
I chose the following wines:
Pinot Gris: This opened with floral notes and citrus on the nose. Honeydew melon was the dominant flavor. I would have liked to pair this with steamed shellfish such as clams or oysters (although I prefer the oysters raw) or maybe mussels. If not steamed then a hot grill would work well too.
Woodlands White: Made from the Cayuga grape this semi-sweet wine had floral notes and melon aromas and flavor. This should pair well with sharp cheeses, grilled chicken and asparagus, or maybe a grilled cheese sandwich – hmm, I’ll have to think about that a bit more.
Cabernet Franc: Opening notes were of earth and spice. Red berry fruits on the palate with a raspberry finish. A very decent Cabernet Franc.
Ripton Red: A blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and Estate Grown Connecticut grapes. This was very earthy (or as one of our oenphiles said: “It’s like chewing on sticks!”). However, this reminded me of a decent Chianti. And yes, I would pair this with Grandma’s spaghetti and homemade marinara sauce with plenty of Italian bread to soak up the extra sauce you put in the bowl.
Black Currant Bouquet: A dessert wine, and you guessed it, black currant aromas and flavors abound in this nice after dinner wine with hints of plum on the finish.
Raspberry Rhapsody: Sweet with everything raspberry as the name suggests. This would go well with European chocolate or for that matter, any chocolate. The sommelier remarked that this wine “was a party in a bottle” and I couldn’t agree more. This wine really popped.
Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…