Miranda Vineyard

A short hop from Sunset Meadows, Miranda Vineyard is located just down the street with the iron gates opened to invite you along for a wine tasting event. After you have visited the vineyard just off the parking area and you get ready to enter the tasting room just to the left of the door is an antique wine press greeting you with whispered stories.

Inside the building was a modern decor with a small wine bar that would fit maybe 4-5 tasters although I do not know how comfortable it would be. Off to the right of the wine bar are several tables that fit four each (I guess in waiter/waitress slang is known as a four-top) to accommodate a few small parties.

The tasting fee is $7.00 for seven wines of which you got to pick from eight selections. It would seem to me that they would offer all eight wines for the same tasting fee. You could also taste their white Port style wine for an additional $2. I did and was glad I had done so.

Here are the wines I tried:

Seyval Blanc: This crisp white wine opened with pear, apricot, and nectarine aromas and had a nice pear flavor.

Chardonnay: A much more full bodied white wine produced apricot and peach aromas.  On the palate all I could taste was butternut squash. This truly did not sit well with me at all. This is the first time I have tried any wine that had a butternutty flavor -no, not for me, sorry this wine will not be in my cellar.

Woodridge White: A blend of Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay grapes and aged in oak for one year revealed a grassy marsh aroma like being close to the ocean with a ripe pear flavor. Again, this did nothing for my palate. Well, on to the next wine.

Cayuga White: Now this was more like it. It started with an apple orchard aroma at around dusk and was followed by apple and pear flavors with a nectarine finish. Oh yeah!

Goshen Farmhouse Red: A garnet colored wine had blackberries on the nose with the same flavor and was very fruity.

Merlot: This was quite a different Merlot than what I’m used to. It started with dark cherry and a hint of fennel on the nose. The palate revealed a forward cherry and licorice flavor which blended well with each other. After consuming a dark chocolate morsel, the licorice seemed to blossom.

Rose: With melon and fresh cut watermelon on the nose, the palate revealed a strawberry finish that had sweetness without being sweet. A nice summer sipping wine.

Vinho Fino: This white Port style wine had an apricot aroma with a peach flavor and a sweet lemony finish. This was the gem of the winery.


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.


Truro Vineyards

North Truro is almost to the Eastern end of Cape Cod save for Provincetown and is a three hour plus ride from Southeastern Connecticut but then again I’m on my quest to visit as many, if not all, of the New England wineries within the next year. I’m about 40 % complete so I’ve got a ways to go. You can really see the devastation Hurricane Irene left as many of the trees have lost their leaves and they are severely salt damaged by the storm. However, Mother Nature has a way of mending.

Driving just off Route 6A, the winery is a couple of hundred feet to the right as you enter a spacious parking lot which was nearly full. To the left of the winery tasting room, the vineyards had a lot of grape clusters just waiting to be harvested. This is a sight wine enthusiasts get excited about. The tasting fee for five wines is $8 and if you go with a partner you can taste all ten wines if you “partner up” and each of you pick alternate wines, etc. You also get to keep their signature wine glass to add to your collection.

Upon entering the tasting room the gift shop area is just to your left with many wine items to choose from to make your wine experience a more enjoyable and albeit, easier one from the many gadgets available.

The wine bar was spacious enough but I learned that the wine tastings would be on the patio where there was another wine bar and each party had their own table to sip the wines being offered.

I chose a sunny table to sip and taste the wines. The tastings are held every hour hour and the sommelier greets you with an overview of each of their wines prior to pouring them. Just a note here as I chose one white and four reds to taste, I should have opted for more whites as I found the red wines to be a bit flat, some were watery or lacking deep fruit flavors. Although the red grapes do look delicious.

The one white I chose however was the best of what I tasted hence in retrospect I should have tasted more whites. So, on to the wines I tasted:

2010 Vignoles: This semi-dry white wine had tropical notes on the nose with a hint of cantaloupe and orange zest. Upon first sip a subtle sweetness approached the palate with a delectable tropical blend with undertones of citrus, apricot, and pineapple. A slight mineral finish complemented the tasting experience.

2009 Cabernet Franc: A medium bodied ruby red wine with dense forest, herbs, and earthy aromas. Although the nose was quite pleasing the flavor did not blossom as it did with the nose as it had a touch of cherry and pepper but it didn’t pop.

2009 Zinfandel: Raspberry and plum artfully balanced on the nose yielded an oaky cherry and raspberry flavor with hints of plum and spice. Probably the best of the red collection.

2008 Triumph:  A Meritage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot revealed raspberry and cherry notes on the nose with a slight hint of bacon just starting to cook. The aroma was very pleasing, however it stopped there as the raspberry and black cherry flavors were flat and missing was a mocha finish I seem to experience with many red blends.

Cranberry Red: One of their Lighthouse Series and a blend of Rougean and Syrah varietals and infused with cranberry. I got mostly cranberry on the nose which is what I expected but that was it. This was served chilled and the cranberry flavor was as I expected but I didn’t expect the pomegranate finish which delighted my expectation of the wine.

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

Greenvale Vineyards

Traveling along the picturesque inlet towns to Greenvale Vineyards on the winding roads on a coastal route amidst fresh sea scents abound from everywhere you point your nose. Don’t you just love the ocean breeze? Again embarking on the proverbial dirt/rock road to the winery portal you slowly trek down taking care not to damage the undercarriage of your car (I knew I should have brought the truck).

The first thing that impressed me when arriving and parking in the driveway was how well kept everything looked. And there was a freshness in the air. The short walk (unlike the long driveways) to the tasting room along a well manicured sidewalk with seasonal flowers gave you the impression of caring. Well, that caring didn’t stop there as I entered the tasting room I was greeted by the sommelier with a good morning (it was 10 till twelve so it was still morning). In the rustic tasting room complete with boutique wine items for sale the wine bar was small only able to accommodate 7-8 tasters but as there were only three other tasters I had plenty of room. The fee for a tasting was $10 for six wines plus you got to keep the signature wine glass. I just checked their website for another purpose and noticed their tasting fee has increased to $12 for 7 wines.

So, on with the wine tastings:

Rosecliff Pinot Gris: Lemongrass and pear on the nose with pear flavors with a hint of lemon (almost a complete reversal from aroma to flavor) and this had a very smooth aftertaste.

Grrenvale 2007 Chardonnay: Fruit bowl aroma much like having a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table. The palate found subtle flavors of pear and apple. Although a nice wine this wasn’t to my liking.

Chardonnay 2008 Select: This was much better that showed an abundance of pear on the nose with pear and apple flavors with a subtle apple finish that wasn’t overpowering.

Vidal Blanc 2009: A French/American hybrid was very fruity on the nose with a definitive sour apple aroma lead into mostly apple flavors. If there were any other flavors the apple drowned them out.

Skipping Stone White: A blend of Cayuga and Vidal Blanc grapes with a very light opaque color found a floral nose of fresh cut flowers. The fruity palate finished with a hint of lemon zest. For me this was my favorite wine here (I can tell as I bought a bottle which is a dead giveaway that I really liked the wine).

Cabernet Franc 2006: A medium Bordeaux style wine found plum and spice aromas with a hint of cassis. Plum continued into the flavor with a peppery finish. Stored in French and American oak a blend of 82% Cabernet Franc and 18% Merlot rendered a very smooth medium red wine.

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

Connecticut Valley Winery

The day I visited the Connecticut Valley Winery I drove in the driveway to see their winery name emblazoned on the front of the gray building in white letters and what is it I see just below the letters – a tour bus and another van similar to the rental car shuttles parked just in front of the winery entrance. I contemplated as I drove while thinking “quick, turn around and come back another day” but said to myself “remember, it’s the small things in life that are worth living for”.

Plus, as I turned into the driveway there was a great big banner with the words “Grape Vines in Training” on the front side of rows and rows of new grapevines. This had to be a sign that I was destined to stop and face whatever it was inside the tasting room – tour bus or no tour bus – it was karma.

Well, when I walked in all the tables (about five) were completely full seating about twenty tasters sitting by the fireplace although not lit and the wine bar was two deep which meant there were at least sixteen tasters having a lot of fun. Alas, the tour people were everywhere but one of the owners (I recognized him from their website pictures) beckoned for me to join him at the wine bar saying as I approached that he would make room at the end.

Wow, was it a festive mood once I scuttled through the sea of glasses, tables, and chairs with the occupants of the tables getting up and adjusting their seating arrangement so I could get by. Not a bad sort, these tour people. I was beginning to like them as they were jovial and quite pleasant to talk with. They were asking what winery I just came from, how did you like it, where was I going next, etc. Several of them urged me to join them for their next winery stop but knew I was not destined for that trip at this time. So, I respectfully declined and they understood but they wish I would still come along so they could hear more stories about the Wit Is Out wine blog.

Once the tour people were safely tucked away in their coach another one of the owners began pouring the wine for my tasting pleasure. The woman behind the bar reminded me of my own Italian aunts in the way she smiled and used her hands to speak to me. I didn’t get the cost of the wine tasting and in all the fuss they decided not to charge me the tasting fee – karma – catchin’ my drift?

For each of the wines she had a quick memory of how it was made, what the weather was, the day of the week, etc. However, it was her rendition of the black bear that really caught my attention. Seems that awhile back a black bear would visit their Port grapevines and eat at his will when the mood struck him. As the family was unwilling to have the bear killed or trapped they allowed the bear to come and go when he got the urge to eat the Port grapes, hence they named their Port – Black Bear Port. Yes, I bought a bottle for a couple of reasons, one the story intrigued me, the Black Bear Port was really tasty, and I love Port. Karma, what was that about karma?

Here are the wines I tasted while I conversed with the tour people and later alone as they left for another adventure:

Chardonel: This wine opened with melon aromas, was very crisp and abounded with grapefruit on the palate.

Chianti: This is a blend of four grape varietals producing earthy aromas and plentiful on the nose with dark cherry flavors with a plum finish. Not quite the Chiantis from Italy but it’s close. An everyday good table wine.

Ruby Lite: A blend of 60% Chardonel and 40% Chianti and I experienced the aromas and flavors of the Chardonel and Chianti except for the earthy aroma, that wasn’t present. But I did get the melon aroma and cherry flavor but not as pronounced as the Chianti.

Deep Purple: You guessed it, this wine was a deep purple color and had reasonably good clarity. Produced from the Chamborcin grape which not all wine lovers are in love with. I got plum and raisin on the nose with blackberry flavors.

Midnight: Made from the Frontenac grape, this wine produced a boysenberry aroma and pepper and mocha flavors. This wine had nice tannins and good acidity.

Just Peachy: Peaches galore as you would expect from the name. Can’t tell you much more than that – peachy.

Raspberry Delight: Oh yeah! Everything raspberry. A really good dessert wine for after the evening’s meal.

Dolce Vita: Sweetness abounded in this wine with citrus flavors. I wasn’t crazy about this wine but you know me and white wines…

Black Tie Cabernet Franc: This delectable wine had fruity notes with pepper and smoke aromas. On the palate I found a cherry flavor with a hint of chocolate.

Orange Vidal: This wine started with an orange zest aroma. The flavors were tropical and citrus notes – kind of weird, huh? Although this was a decent tasting wine it was not my cup of tea.

Black Bear: This red dessert Port named after the bear noted above had a black currant aroma. The palate however found black cherry and black berry flavors with that pungency of Port I so enjoy. My only regret with this wine is I only bought one bottle. Another wine trip perhaps?

The winery also let me try a Sangria but it wasn’t ready for sale yet. I can’t wait for the release as this wine is laced with brandy, yeah, you read this right. Not like any Sangria I’ve ever had.

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


Sakonnet Vineyards

The ride from home to the coastal region of Rhode Island began with a beautiful gorgeous day that was sure to thrill me mile to mile on my trek of New England wineries. First up on my Rhode Island tour and Coastal Vineyards Passport series is Sakonnet Vineyards.

On the back roads of Rhode Island I reached the Little Compton winery via a scenic route indicative of the New England coast. Driving down the long dirt road (yes, we continue to go down long dirt roads) the winery is in the tradition of New England style coastal homes with plenty of room for outdoor seating in a multitude of areas: by the pond, by the vineyard, outside the vineyard tasting room entrance, outside the tasting room under a covered patio. There is a lot of room to sit if you want to spend a bit of time here. The grounds were manicured exquisitely without a tree limb out of place, but of course that was before tropical storm Irene hit so I’m sure they came under some high winds and plenty of rain.

Once inside the small boutique shop, there were many wine items to buy at reasonable prices. You also paid for your wine tasting here which cost $10 for six wines of your choosing plus you get to keep their signature wine glass. Entering the tasting room you immediately realized it was quite large with room for a couple of dozen tasters at a time and along the walls were racks of their wine ready for the taking. Once inside the room, I walked right to the wine bar and patiently waited to begin my wine experience.

Here are the wines I tried:

Vidal Blanc: This wine opened with grapefruit and orange zest on the nose with a nectarine flavor with hints of lemon-lime on the finish. Quite a nice tasting wine that I would tempt to pair with a cedar plank salmon, roasted red potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. And yes, sourdough bread would be nice too.

Gerwurztraminer: The Estate grown, French style dry Gewurztraminer would go well with spicy Asian cuisine as it opened with spice notes on the nose with a lemongrass flavor and nice acidity.

Chardonnay: Steel fermented this opened with apple on the nose with a slight hint of pear. The apple continued to the palate but the pear was missing so this wine didn’t do it for me.

Rhode Island Red: Their most popular selling wine found black cherry on the nose and the flavor as well with a slight peppery finish.  I had a bottle of their 1999 vintage about  eight or nine years ago and it was much better than their current release, hopefully with cellaring it will be just as good.

Cabernet Franc: One of my favorite wines (well, I guess most wines are my favorites) the medium ruby colored wine found bell pepper and the aroma was almost like standing in a back yard garden. Plus there was a lingering fig aroma too. It was actually quite pleasing. This medium bodied wine found red cherry and pepper flavors complementing the aromas quite well.

Claret NV – 35th Anniversary: Blackberry aroma with fig nuances on the nose with a hint of bacon just starting to cook. Cassis and black currant on the palate. A slight pepper finish most likely white pepper. A nice stand alone wine as well as pairing it with a grilled steak, corn on the cob, and a garden salad with balsamic vinegar dressing.

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

Dalice Elizabeth Winery

I decided to take the back roads to Dalice Elizabeth Winery traveling on Rte 165 until it intersected with Rte 164 toward Amos Lake on my quest to visit all the Connecticut wineries this year (a feat I will undoubtedly accomplish given good health and other stuff) plus getting my wine passport stamped at each winery as I go along the trail.

Once I arrived the views were spectacular with the rolling hills and trees surrounding the lake and just a short jaunt down the rock driveway was the tasting room. However, on the way I did get to see a few birds and sheep on the lawn in the distance. Just off to the right of the tasting room was a small pond, no doubt to be used by the various forms of farm animals enjoyment. I’ll bet if it’s hot enough (and it was this day) you’d be tempted to jump in to cool off a bit. Something I learned at an earlier winery – take time to smell the roses, take in those little pleasures in life. We don’t always see them but they’re around waiting for us to recognize them. Now, there I go getting philosophical – okay, back to the wine experience.

Dalice Elizabeth’s tasting room isn’t much larger than an overgrown tool shed, however it’s what is inside that counts. The decor was rustic in nature with plants and pictures and a few local products for sale and the ambiance of the small dwelling was picture perfect for a wine tasting. The tasting fee is $10 for four wines plus you get to keep their signature wine glass which was stemless. However, the day I visited the fees were only $8. This is the second winery I’ve come across so far on my Connecticut wine trips that has offered tastings from a stemless wine glass. This wasn’t quite as large as the one from another winery but large enough to really get a sense of what the wine’s all about.

So, here are the wines I tasted. I’ll have to go back and try the ones I missed (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Old Vine Zinfandel, and the Sangiovese) on this trip.

Chardonnay: Lemongrass and dried hay on the nose sort of like being in a barn with a breeze blowing through and you’re enjoying the moment. Tart apple and citrus flavors complemented the aromas with a subtle vanilla finish. A very decent white wine.

Pinot Grigio: Honey and pear on the nose leading into melon and pear flavors. This was clean and crisp. Would go well with Asian cuisine.

Cabernet Franc: Cherry aroma in an earthy tone on the nose. The palate consisted of raspberries and black currant with a smooth finish. I think I would tend to just sip this instead of serving it with food.

Syrah: A deep garnet color yielded blueberry, blackberry, spice, and smoke aromas. The palate had black berry and black currant with hints of semi sweet chocolate. Another great sipping wine but would go great with grilled meats.

And as a bonus the sommelier let me try their dessert wine.

Ice Angel: Peachy aromas with honey and apricot flavor. This was way too sweet for me, but it was good though.

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

Holmberg Orchards & Winery

Holmberg Orchards is located in Gales Ferry along the rolling hills of Route 12. Alas, another wine trip where I did not have to drive down a long rock road and instead drove up a driveway just past the farm market where you can get fresh farm vegetables whenever they are in season. Hidden from the road as you drive up to the tasting room you can see the orchards on your left and front of the driveway.

The tasting room is about the size of a large tool shed dwelling and you come to wonder what the experience will be like. Well, don’t let first impressions dictate the mind or set in stone any preconceived notions. Once inside it was quite cozy with a wine bar to accommodate 7 or 8 tasters comfortably at a time. The sommelier was a friendly and pleasant individual and quite knowledgeable with their wines. She also offered food pairings that would make your mouth water wishing you were sitting down to a delectable meal. The open doors let in a breeze and the cross winds enabled the taster to get caught in a cooling effect from the winds but hold on to your tasting menu as it has the tendency to blow away.

For only being open a short time making wine, they certainly have done quite well producing very tasty ones. They also have plans to produce the Vidal Blanc grape which I will look forward to tasting in the future. The wine tasting fee is $6 for the seven wines available and it includes their signature wine glass which is a fairly decent size wine glass. I really didn’t know what to expect from the wines here at Holmberg but was mildly surprised to find that I liked them quite a bit. Maybe it was the warm summer breeze filtering through the tasting room and the chilled wines were just what the “wine doctor” ordered. Although I didn’t get a whole lot of aromas from the wines the flavors were apparent. Just because this is an orchard doesn’t mean you can skip this from your wine trips. I think you’ll be mildly surprised with the results when you drop in for a tasting. I know I was.

Here’s what you get with the tasting:

Pearfection Pear Wine: Okay, I promise no puns or references to what they call sommeliers at orchards. I wasn’t overly fond of this particular wine but I have been here twice and overheard others say they enjoyed this. And yes, it did taste like pears.

Three Sheets Apple Wine: This was a nice apple wine and I can imagine what you’d be called if you had too much. This isn’t like a Chardonnay but not like a Sauvignon Blanc either. I’d venture a guess that is would go nicely on a warm summer eve while cooking poultry or the other white meat out on the backyard grill.

World Peach: This I liked a lot as it reminded me of a crisp Riesling. While not a strong peach flavor it did have subtle peach nuances unlike a peach infused Riesling. According to their tasting brochure a portion of the proceeds go to charities promoting world peace – so, on my second trip here I bought a bottle.

Bleuphoria Blueberry Wine: This dessert wine was good and I bought a bottle and it’s in the wine cooler waiting for me to open this. It had a great blueberry flavor that was not overpowering but just right. It wasn’t like eating a blueberry pie but more like a blueberry infused drink.

Russett Hard Cider: Until I visited Holmberg I can’t remember the last time I had a hard cider drink. Probably Kansas in the mid-1970’s. It was a fairly nice sipping drink and it’s made from the Russett apples and did I mention it was tart, if not it was tart.

Cortland Hard Cider: Sweet but not too sweet with a bit of a sparkling effect giving you the impression it may have been a sparkling wine. I can’t put my finger on it but I did like this.

MacIntosh Hard Cider: Yes, you guessed it, this is made from the MacIntosh apple. ‘Nuff said.

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

Connecticut Wine Festival

This past weekend I visited the Connecticut Wine festival on the first day of the festivities along with my wife (she was the designated driver, bless her soul) and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Fourteen of the thirty-two wineries were there pouring wines from the moment they opened up to the last minute of the first day’s events, although I wasn’t there the whole time so I’m surmising here:)

I won’t go into the tastings here as I have or will be reviewing each winery as I visit them throughout the year so it would be redundant to do so here. Instead, I’ll comment on the general atmosphere at the Third Annual Connecticut Wine Festival.

The wineries participating in this year’s wine festival were:

Bishop’s Orchards Winery
DiGrazia Vineyards
Gouveia Vineyards
Hopkins Vineyard
Jerram Winery
Jonathon Edwards Winery
Jones Winery
Land Of Nod Winery
Miranda Vineyard
Priam Vineyards
Sharpe Hill Vineyard
Sunset Meadow Vineyards
Taylor Brooke Winery
White Silo Farm & Winery

The large crowds made for long lines and the weather was hot, but all in all, the CT wine festival was well attended and everyone I came across seemed to be having fun. Or at least they were smiling a lot. For the price of a ticket each wine taster received a signature wine glass and a tote bag for carrying six bottles of wine. Mine was full by the time we left the festival. And I think my wife had some “stuff” in her bag as well.

Now, I guess I get to be critical. Although it was great to see a lot of wine enthusiasts attend the festival, the committee needs to organize the tasting lines (or queues, if you prefer). At several of the wineries the tasting line was nonexistent and instead had a mob of thirsty tasters that were not going to give up the spot they inherited after some other oenophile had their fill of the delectable juice. So, seeing as there were as many as five deep waiting to taste wines kind of defeated the purpose of having a great time. This would try many oenophiles‘ patience. However, being in “bud break ” mode, I enjoyed watching all the tasters vying for a spot to sample the wines.

However, all was not bleak as there were many vendors outside the tasting areas. The local artists were set up with exhibits of their craft whether it be of oil & vinegar items, jewelry, scarves, beer & wine items, ecological stuff, and don’t forget the food vendors of which we did not partake in as we had enough for one day and decided to stop on the way home. But before I left I did get to say “Hi” to Cousin Carl’s Schnozzola Sanctararium, Sparing Sharon, Linda and the rest of the crew at Taylor Brooke Winery.

As we were leaving I noticed the line had increased greatly since we first arrived. We got there a half hour after the wine festival opened and there were three booths with two attendants in each booth. So, that equates to six lines of which the average line had approximately 7-8 people. Now there were clearly 18-20 in each line. I was happy to be leaving. One final note on the tastings – it was clear the crew at the Taylor Brooke Winery booth had the largest crowd by far with the tasters reaching 9-10 deep. I can see why as I have visited this winery several times and their wines are outstanding and truly delectable.

On the way home we stopped at a restaurant called Apricots that had outdoor seating nestled along the Farmington River complete with kayakers and tubers floating down the lazy river. We had a marvelous time (I now became the designated driver as I consumed maybe a half glass of wine at the festival) and I figured my wife was so gracious to be the DD at the festival she deserved to have a bit of fun too. Although we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do at the wine festival, we had a picturesque trip into the hills of Litchfield, mingled with a lot of oenophiles, bought some food delectables, a bunch of wine, got to say hello to some friends, learned about making wine from one of the vendors, bought some of the local artists’ crafts, and we happened to be with great company. You know, that sounds like a “bud break” day to me. So, it was a pretty darn good day. That’s what the wine experience is all about.

What kind of “bud break” day was it for you?

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