Furnace Brook Winery

Furnace Brook Winery is located at Hilltop Orchards in Richmond, MA and I almost missed the turn but relied on my GPS to direct me to the right place. Located in the Western part of the Berkshires with great views, Furnace Brook Winery sells not only their wines but other delectable treats such as scones, cider donuts (yum), jams, and of course, fruit pies. My favorite of the bunch were some pickled garlic. I for one, love raw garlic just to munch on with some provolone cheese and crackers but the pickled garlic was really great.

Many of their wines were/are medal winners at the Big E Northeast Wine Competition for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 and upon visiting them the first wine is free and then for $5 more you get to try five more wines. And of course they bottle the wines in the Big Red Barn in the picture above.

Here are the wines I ended up ordering:

Chardonnay Special Reserve – $16.99: A pale yellow color yielded a lot of pear, apple, and grapefruit aromas on the nose. I also got pear and grapefruit on the palate with an apricot finish. I really like this wine as I’m not a real fan of Chardonnays but this was one I’d like to have more of.

Dry Riesling – $16.99: Now a dry Riesling is something I am partial to. I think of most of the white wines, a dry Riesling is one I look forward to trying each time I open a bottle. On the nose were nuances of apple and pear with neither one overpowering the other, a nice balance between the two. I got pretty much the same on the palate with a good touch of acidity.

Mead: This wasn’t for sale when I visited them but they had it on the tasting menu. According to the tasting staff, this is made from an Ethiopian recipe that opens with fresh cut hay and sawdust on the nose with hints of honey. Honey and golden raisin flavors followed and although a bit too sweet for me it tasted good nonetheless.

Cabernet Sauvignon – $18.99: Black berries and cassis on the nose led into red and black cherries on the palate with a neat little mulberry finish. I liked this but not as much as some Cabernet Sauvignons from France, Italy, and California. I’m not knockin’ New England reds mind you, it’s just that we’ve got a ways to go yet to be of the same caliber as those I just mentioned. We do well with white wines through.

Sparkling Blanc de Blancs – $16.99: One of my favorite white wines are of the sparkling kind. This had visions of a Brut Champagne with a pear aroma and apple and pear flavors. This was very effervescent like a sparkling wine should be. Really liked this one.

French Cidre’ – $12.99: This had a bit of sparkle to it but not like a sparkling wine and again it had apple and pear aromas and flavors too. I really liked this but thought it was a bit over priced as most ciders I come across are under ten bucks.

Seeing as it was chilly when I visited this winery they had the indoor fireplace crackling for the tasters to get close to while sipping some of the wines. It was real warm entertainment and quite enjoyable on a chilly afternoon, but where else would you go on a chilly afternoon?

 

Langworthy Farm Winery

As I was traveling from Newport to Langworthy Farm Winery, the GPS directed me over the Jamestown Bridge and of course the big yellow sign alerting me of a toll ahead and seeing as these are such a nuisance I wasn’t looking forward to the experience. So I’m scrambling to get my wallet out of my back pocket and I see another sign that states “EZ Pass – All Lanes” and I immediately look just to the right of the GPS and see a white box about 3 inches square  with the words “EZ Pass” on it and said “Whoa – sweet!” to no one in particular. Alas, I was able to forget about twisting and turning to get my wallet and instead headed right for the sign that said “EZ Pass only” and was a happy camper.

Once I reached the winery it is adjacent to their Bed & Breakfast.

Inside was warm and welcome as the day was coming to an end as this was my last winery of the day and was looking forward to sampling their wines. They had two tasting fees, one for $7 for 5 wines and the other was $9 for 7 wines which included their signature wine glass. I opted for the 7 wines to taste and this is was I got out of them:

Weekapaug White: This Chardonnay had grapefruit and pear on both the nose and the palate. This wasn’t crisp nor did it pop for me, maybe it was too chilled, not sure.

Shelter Harbor Chardonnay: Now this one was a different story. It was aged in American oak for six months. I got fresh grapefruit and lime notes on the nose. This had fruitier flavors than I expected and had a smooth finish with a nice mouth feel.

Shady Harbor Pinot Blanc: This had hints of Chardonnay and Riesling and was steel fermented and then stored in oak barrels for three months. Lemongrass and ocean marshy grasses on the nose with a lemon/lime flavor. This was chilled just right and was very tasty.

Rhody Riesling: Fermented in stainless steel this wine opened with pear and citrus on the nose and continued onto the palate. A nice mouth feel at the end.

Charlestown Cabernet Franc: Aged for fourteen months in oak barrels I found strawberry and red cherry aromas with a red cherry flavor. This medium bodied wine had just a hint of pepper and earth on the finish.

Avondale Cabernet Merlot: This is a blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot found red berries on the nose with black currant and cassis on the palate. I also found a bit of fig on the finish, albeit subtle.

Pawcatuck River Red: Stainless steel fermented and blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot found blackberries on the nose with a blueberry flavor with hints of mocha on the finish.

Haversham Reserve Chardonnay: Aged in French oak this starts off oaky but then turns buttery (yeah, it surprised me too). I got much the same as their Shelter Harbor Chardonnay but more pronounced and could have easily had a glass of this on their outside porch

and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting there and taking in the sun’s rays watching the vines grow. Sometimes slowing down is a good thing.

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…

 

The Magnificent Wine Co. 2008 House Wine White

Okay, I’ve been neglecting my white wine drinking oenophiles for awhile now so I bought this on a whim as I liked the simplicity of the label with the stick house and figured I’d give it a try. Well, this was anything but simple as this straw yellow colored wine from Washington State in the Columbia Valley produced floral, pear, honeysuckle, and peach aromas that took its time traveling through my schnozzola and I enjoyed every second of it. I almost didn’t want it to end. Alas, it must come to end at some point.

On the palate I found numerous flavors of pineapple, pear, apple, peach, tangerine, and lemon that was crisp and clean. I wasn’t surprised to get so many aromas and flavors as this white wine is a delectable blend of Chardonnay 78%, Riesling 11%, Muscat 5%, Gerwurztraminer 5%, and Pinot Gris 1% – gee, ya think? Make sure you serve this chilled as it goes quite well with seafood dinners, creamy chicken dishes, and spicy Asian food. I’ve decided to make this 13.5% ABV a staple in my wine cellar and priced at $10.99 is a very good buy.

Clean Slate 2009 Riesling

Rieslings are one of my favorite white wines and the drier the better. Clean Slate produces a very nice crisp Riesling. It had citrusy notes on the nose with a subtle lemongrass aroma. The flavors were of peach, apricot, some pear, and mineral notes with a hint of lime on the finish. $10.99 for a 750 ml bottle is a pretty decent buy for an imported Riesling. I ended up pairing this with a buffalo chile over egg noodles that was spiced just right – not too hot, not too cool and the Riesling complemented the meal pretty well.

Taylor Brooke Cranberry Riesling

This Riesling is fermented first then aged for around 7 months before blending it with their signature Riesling. The outcome of this effort produced a predominately cranberry aroma and flavor. However, this well balanced wine begins with tart cranberry on the forward palate leading into a crisp and dry finish on the back palate.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, or a Pinot Rose, try this Cranberry Riesling for your Thanksgiving holiday as this should go quite well with the proverbial turkey bird and at $12.99 it’s a great buy. Or if you’ve chosen ham for the holiday meal, I know for sure this will go well as this past weekend we paired this with a semi-boneless ham with sides of carrots, onions, and roasted pineapple. My recipe follows:

In a baking pan with rack, place a 6-8 lb (or other weight) semi-boneless ham (cut side down) and secure pineapple slices by any proven method over the ham. Pour one bottle of your favorite white wine in the pan with quartered onions and carrots cut Julienne (but thicker than normal) style, add 2-3 cups water and bake in the oven @ 325° for approximately 18 minutes per pound. Seeing as your ham is probably already cooked the internal temperature should be at least 140°. The ham should be pretty moist, tasty and a good match for the Cranberry Riesling. Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast!

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…

Haight-Brown Vineyards, Inc.

Well, I was driving to my third winery of the day and as I drove into the Haight-Brown Vineyard grounds I had a tough time getting a parking spot as there must have been 25-30 cars but lo and behold, I found a parking space two-thirds of the way down from whence I came. I decided to take a few pictures before I went in to taste some wines thinking that the wine tasters inside would start to dwindle down before I was ready for the wine tasting experience. H-B Vineyards is listed as Connecticut’s oldest winery.

I wasn’t ready for what I saw as I bounded up a flight of stairs to the tasting room. They had a great looking wine bar area with barstools for about 25 or so tasters and several tables that could seat about another 12-15 wine snobs. Let me get back to what I wasn’t ready for – every barstool, table and chair were completely filled to capacity. So, I figured I would just wait a few minutes and I would browse around the small gift displays that had some delectable looking cheese behind the glass bakery shelves you see in many bakeries. So to say the least I was really looking forward to the tasting I was about to come across. It was nice to see so many young people (24-32 age bracket) in for a tasting. I believe wine has a great future.

After waiting for what seemed to be an eternity turned out to be a 27 minute wait before I sat down for my first taste of wine from this winery. Did I mention I also spent about 10 minutes taking pictures outside? So, what started as an exciting adventure in my quest to visit the 90+ wineries in New England with Connecticut being the first state for me to conquer, my wine experience was going south fast as I waited almost two-thirds of an hour for a taste of the delectable red and white juices.

After being seated the sommelier, Jackie, introduced herself, welcomed me to H-B Vineyards, and asked me which tasting option I would like to do. There were four tastings to choose from. For $8.50 gets you a sampling of the first eight wines on their tasting menu. The second option is for $11 and comes with chocolate, the $13 fee comes with cheese, and the last option for $15 includes all their wines, the chocolate and cheese ensemble. I chose the basic tasting. All of their tasting options comes with their signature glass. You could also add $3 for the dessert wines.

Along with each of the wines, Jackie would explain the complexities of each wine and after the third wine she looked over and said “You’re getting everything I’m saying, aren’t you?” I then explained I write a wine blog and we started to have a conversation, a future story, if you will. We talked about the movie reviews of which she was a fan of foreign, independent, and documentary films. What started as a potential disaster was soon turned back to reality so I could get into “bud break” mode. I was there for about 45 minutes. Jackie was quite pleasant and knowledgeable, not only of H-B wines but of others as well. She made this an enjoyable and memorable wine experience.

So, here are the wines I tasted:

Chardonnay: Aged in steel, I found pear on the nose and a lemony flavor but not overpowering.

Railway White: This was a nice summer wine with aromas and flavors of citrus throughout.

Covertside White: This light, fruity, and crisp wine had lemongrass notes with a melon flavor and a fruity finish.

Riesling: With less than 1% residual sugar this had a floral aroma and indicative of your German Riesling. A good Asian food wine.

Strawberry Bliss: You guessed it, everything strawberry with hints of honeydew melon.

Picnic Red: A full bodied red wine made from the Marechal Foch grape varietal. I got boysenberry, plum, and cherry nuances in the nose and palate. However, there was something else and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was on the tip of my tongue, or at least was on the tip of my tongue. I decided to call Jackie over and explain my dilemma. She simply stated: “Vanilla”, and then it hit me, I smelled and tasted vanilla and this made it a most delectable wine. I really think I’m losing the “schnozzola”! This wine was also served slightly chilled, something I normally don’t do. But I do recommend chilling this per the sommelier.

Morning Harvest: A Malbec and Petit Sirah blend found blackberry on the nose with black curant and cassis. A hint of blueberry rounded out this wine.

Big Red: Dry and oaky, this full bodied red exhibited a black raspberry aroma with cherry and spice flavors. A very smooth peppery finish.

Honey Nut Apple: I didn’t get much on the nose or palate (I’m really losing it), however the finish was like Grandma’s apple pie. Yeah!

And the two dessert wines:

White Harmony: A Port style wine with tropical aromas and mango and honey flavors. A really great white Port.

Rapture: Estate grown Port found wild raspberry, cassis, and mulberry aromas. On the palate I found fresh picked raspberries, blackberry, and pepper flavors. It ended with a pungent Port flavor that makes a Port a Port.

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…

 

 

Newport Vineyards

It was a short hop from the last vineyard to Newport Vineyards and the skies were threatening rain again and when I first left on the trip it was raining at the house and continued until I reached the Rhode Island border when the skies were overcast but the wet stuff wasn’t falling. The tasting room was located in a small strip mall (although I don’t think they call them that in Historic Newport). Inside it reminded me more of a gift shop than a tasting room but being as this is tourist country I understand the decor.

They had a multitude of gifts for sale from the proverbial wine accessories to chocolates, jewelry, scarves for the ladies, cigar cutters for the guys, etc. What surprised me most was that the prices weren’t exorbitant as you would expect in a tourist place.  I arrived about 10 minutes till 1:00 pm and there were clearly 25 or so people in the tasting room area waiting for the winery tour to begin.  I opted out of the winery tour 🙂 and decided instead to mull around the gift shop until there was enough room for me to taste 5 of their wines for a tasting fee of $10.

So, here’s what I got:

Muscat Ottonel: After swirling the wine to open the aroma I got a burst of cat pee (first time I’ve ever smelled this in a wine and it wasn’t pleasant) so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to taste this or not. I also detected lemongrass and floral notes on the nose once the cat pee subsided. On the palate I found lemon flavor mixed with fruit flavors mostly of the melon category. So, I was mildly surprised with the taste but not overly fond of it.

Vintner’s Select Riesling: Similar in color to the Mosel Riesling I got a floral aroma and again a blast of cat pee on the nose. Lemon and lime flavors but the initial blast of cat pee (2nd time I’ve experienced this aroma) turned me right off this wine too.

Rhody Coyote Hard Apple Cider: I couldn’t resist trying this wine given the name. I asked what apples they were made from and no one behind the tasting bar seemed to know which apples produced the Rhody Coyote so I tried to figure that out while I was tasting this. Upon the first sip it reminds you of a sparkling, bubbly sensation like a sparkling wine. I obviously got apple on the nose and if I were to guess the types of apples they used to produce the apple flavor I would say Russet or Cortland. This was a very tasty cider and best of all, no cat pee.

Rose Pinot Noir: Strawberry and cranberry notes on the nose (no, no cat pee) led into a mostly cranberry flavor. I would have liked to taste strawberry on the palate and this was not what I expected in a Rose Pinot Noir. This didn’t knock my socks off either.

Rochambeau: A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Landot Noir produced a musty forest floor aroma sort of like a being in a forest with a lot of moss around the trees. I also detected plum and raisin and the three aromas worked quite well with each other. On the palate I got black and red cherries with a nice peppery finish. This was clearly my favorite of the five wines I tried.

 

Tarima 2009 Monastrell

Your sixth date is a hurdle in the dating game as you now get to meet the parents. Oh, this is getting interesting. You are told by your date that “Mom” makes a great lasagna – the best in the world and you contemplate on your choices of wine. You also learn that the “Dad” is a bit of a wine connoisseur and has quite a nice wine collection of around 120 bottles. And that the father is a red wine drinker and the mother is a white wine drinker. Now, you’re getting nervous as to what wine to bring. You know that traditionally a full-bodied red is a perfect match for the lasagna and are at wits end for what other wine to bring for the mother. All is not lost, remember the first date and listening to the wine clerk was a good thing to do.

Well, the wine clerk urges you to buy a local wine instead of opting for one of the major wine regions. As you’re from Connecticut (you had to expect this didn’t you??) and the wine clerk has reassured you that Taylor Brooke’s Winter Pomegranate Riesling will surprise the mother. But you’re unsure about the wine pairing with lasagna. You would understand if the main meal was Fettuccine Alfredo and Caesar Salad as you would feel more comfortable. Goodness, you just didn’t know but finally decided to trust the wine clerk.

You decided on the Jorge Ordonez selection for the main course. This Spanish gem is a deep dark garnet color. With blueberry on the nose and hints of earth and licorice it is sure to attract any wine drinker. Savory red and black fruits on the palate with hints of plum and black pepper and a very faint chocolate finish. A great value priced at $7.99 makes this an everyday table wine and certainly to be a smash hit for the lasagna.

Well, much to your surprise “Mom” served several courses in the Italian tradition and started with a cheese plate and after opening the pomegranate wine which went quite exquisitely with the first course and complemented the dandelion salad (an Italian favorite) you were off to a pretty good start as “Mom” raved about the pomegranate wine and what a good choice it was. Now on to “the old man”. Well, didn’t ‘cha know that the Monastrell worked wonders as he is not all that familiar with Spanish wines as his specialty is Italian wines. Looks like you hit the jackpot as all evening, “Mom” was looking at you and kept smiling as she knew finally her only child had met the perfect soul mate. Uh oh, what does this all mean, things are spinning out of control, you’re wondering where this all started and where will it end.

Another story perhaps…

 

 

Taylor Brooke Winery

Traveling through the scenic roads of Northeastern Connecticut along the rolling hills you eventually come across a gray New England style building enticing you to drop by. In back of the tasting room you can take some time from your trip to enjoy a self-guided tour of the vineyards amidst the many outlying trees and a gentle breeze. Then you are ready to embark on a wine extravaganza.

Taylor Brooke’s wine tasting fee is probably one of the best I’ve come across so far on my Connecticut wine trips. You can taste any two wines free of charge or eight wines for $4 or everything on their wine menu depending on the season for $6 which includes the tax. This is the first winery on my trip not to charge the CT sales tax as they have opted to incorporate it into the cost of the tasting fee. You can purchase their signature glass if you want to.

Upon first entering the tasting room you get a sense of New England at its best. The bar area would easily accommodate 12-15 tasters at a time without being crowded with enough room to swirl and sip your wine. They also carry local products from the area. The owners, Dick & Linda, are two of the friendliest people you’ll ever come across. Dick was a wealth of knowledge citing facts about residual sugar, brix, and of course, bud break.

I’ve never seen anyone so excited about “bud break” and after looking at some of the vines afterward I could see where “bud break” would be exciting. You see, bud break is when the bud breaks and begins the process of becoming a grape and you can guess what happens after it becomes a grape. Well, bud break is like stopping and smelling the roses or taking time to smell the coffee or watch the sun go down in the evening or watching the sunrise in the early morn or going to the beach at dusk and take a leisurely stroll just where the ocean hits the sand and you don’t care if the water gets your pants wet. It’s just a small aspect of life but it’s those small happenings that make us who we are. I think I like “bud break”.

Taylor Brooke winery has also set up a scholarship fund for a Woodstock Academy senior that will be entering the field of agriculture. They also have an “Adopt A Vine” program where you receive a certificate and for three years you get one bottle of wine from the previous harvest.

If this winery isn’t on your wine tour you should make a point of adding it. Usually when I visit a winery there is at least one wine that just doesn’t sit right with my palate and I wish I never tried it. Well, that didn’t happen here as I enjoyed all eleven of the wines I tasted and the wine quality was exceptional. Okay, on to the wines I tasted in the middle of spring:

Riesling: On the nose was a floral and fruity aroma sort of like a bowl of fresh fruit. The flavor was also like a bowl of fresh tropical fruit with a hint peach.

Traminette: This wine is a blend of Gewurztraminer and Seyval grapes and very similar to the Riesling.

Green Apple Riesling: What can I say, the aroma and flavor said “apple” but it’s unlike an apple fruit wine I’ve ever tasted. You can definitely tell the difference between the two. Try this on a warm sunny afternoon. It will cool you down with crisp clean flavors of apple. Try it with ham, chicken, or pork. Better yet cook these meals with the wine, the apple gives the pork and ham a great flavor.

Summer Peach: This wine is what the name implies – peach, pure and simple. Although I have not tried this with food as every time I open a bottle the temperature is usually above 80 degrees and slightly humid and between my wife and I this bottle is gone in seconds flat. Not really seconds flat but it seems that way as this is a great wine to sip on a hot sunny day. I should try this with grilled chicken and asparagus.

St. Croix Rose: I really questioned if this was a Rose as it was as dark as a Merlot but was not a Merlot. I’m not sure if it was a Rose either. Gee, I’m confused – think I need to go back and try this again.

Cabernet Franc: Lighter than most Cabernet Francs I’ve tasted with lots of fruit on the nose and palate with a hint of chocolate, my favorite part of tasting Cabernet Francs. Almost reminded me of a Pinot Noir.

Woodstock Valley Red: This medium bodied wine was full of cherries, with hints of bell pepper and spice. I could picture having this with grilled upland game such as pheasant or quail with wild grain rice and a medley of pearl onions and peas or perhaps Brussels Sprouts cooked with bacon.

Roseland Red: This is a blend of St. Croix, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I love the flavor of blends and this one didn’t disappoint. Both red and dark berry aroma and flavor took my senses into another world with a spicy finish. Yeah, you read my mind – pair this with a juicy steak.

Most of you know me well enough that I am not real fond of dessert wines especially with them being so sweet. Well, the following dessert wines are in a different class of dessert wines.

Late Harvest Riesling: Although this was sweet it seemed more to have sweetness without being too sweet. I got a whole lot of fruit on this from nectarine, peach, pineapple, honey, and apricot to name a few. A real delectable concoction of fruits.

Chocolate Essence: When I first heard this was a chocolate infused Merlot Port I had to make sure I heard correctly so I said “Chocolate infused what…?” Well, I’ve been told by some that the chocolate reminded them of a Tootsie Roll and others have said it reminds them of Dove chocolate. The first time I tried this was quite the experience and each time I try this it never ceases to amaze me how they even got three distinct flavors in a wine. On the first sip it was like a dark chocolate Hershey Kiss exploding on impact with my taste buds. Let that mouth feel sit for a spell before taking the next sip. When you feel adventurous enough take a second sip where you’ll get a fruitful concoction of raspberries and cherries (flavors indicative of many Merlots). Again, let this sit for a while and when you get brave enough have a third sip of the Chocolate spirit and you get the pungency of port. How the wine maker got three distinct flavors and at different times of the sipping wine cycle is magical – is his name Merlin?

Raspberry Rendezvous: This is a raspberry port style wine and yeah, you guessed it – raspberry, raspberry, and raspberry in this. It reminds me of a raspberry sundae. Get the picture? I wonder if I mixed the Chocolate with the Raspberry – Hmmm, I don’t even want to think of the possibilities.

If you’re not a fan of dessert wines you will be after you’ve tried these. They also have the following wines but were sold out and I’ll have to wait for their next release: Woodstock Hill White, Autumn Raspberry, Winter Pomegranate, and Cherry Riesling. Taylor Brooke will be coming out with an inaugural release of 100% Connecticut grown Merlot  from the Dave Brown Vineyard sometime in the fall. I have already marked my calendar for the weekend I think it will be available.

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…

Cassidy Hill Vineyard

Driving to Cassidy Hill Vineyard I went through the farmlands of Connecticut complete with nuances of cow manure in the air: you either love the smell or despise it. Driving down the last turn from the secondary road I almost felt like I was in the Twilight Zone episode, Walking Distance. Eerie, but not spooky. Anyway I decided to have lunch here as it was around 12:15 pm and it was such a gorgeous day I opted to eat outside with a sandwich and bottle of water I brought along before going in to taste the wines.

Coming into the Cassidy Hill parking lot the vines are viewed from your left (unless, of course, you drove in backwards, then they would be to your right) and the day I arrived I found the parking lot quite full and had to park on the lower level. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I wasn’t going to let an extra 250 feet distance keep me from enjoying some wine. On the patio to the entranceway there were picnic tables and iron cafe tables with chairs for you to enjoy the warm sun with a chilled glass of your favorite Cassidy Hill wine. Entering the tasting room, the decor included a stone fireplace with seating for several parties. It was an open, high ceiling room and the walls were light pine paneling but well done.

Cassidy Hill’s tasting fee is $5 for six wines and if you wanted a signature glass they sold for $3. And you got to taste the wines at a long bar that accommodated about 20 tasters.

Winding Brook: A blend of the Chardonnay and Viognier grapes open with tropical and floral aromas then into melon and peach on the palate. This was crisp and well chilled.

2010 Chardonnay: Fruit aromas with mostly pineapple flavors.

2009 Riesling: Floral, honeysuckle, orange peel aromas led into honeydew melon, tangerine, and nectarine with a hint of cantaloupe. This was very pleasing to the palate.

2010 Summer Breeze: Wow! This wine exploded with strawberry aromas. Strawberry and citric flavors abounded upon the palate. I could have taken a bottle of this wine and sat on their patio all afternoon enjoying the wine and fine weather. It was an exceptional wine.

2009 Malbec: Red berry, clove, and smoked bacon aromas even Cousin Carl would appreciate were on the nose while flavors of red berries and earth tickled the taste buds. This wine was quite like the Argentinian Malbecs I love so much. I was mildly surprised a CT red could be so good.

2009 Coventry Spice: Spice (what did you expect) and boysenberry aromas were the dominating aromas, there were more but I couldn’t detect them. Spice (what did you expect) and fig flavors rounded out this decent red wine.

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…