Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Day at the Wineries

Check out my 2010 Elliptical Challenge!

I do not remember the exact day we decided it, but somewhere along the years Eric and I have been together, we have become obsessed with visiting breweries and wineries everywhere we go.

I've had my eye on the Southeastern Coastal Wine Trail in Rhode Island/MA for a few years now, but I have only made it to two of the actual wineries, Truro Vineyard and Newport Vineyards. Today Eric and I decided to knock a few more off that list. The three wineries we planned to visit today were all about 60-75 minutes from the Cape house.

First stop? Running Brook Vineyard:

Hmm...not a single car in the parking lot and no signs of life. We knocked but apparently it was not open today, despite the sign (and the website) that says open daily from 12-5pm. A little discouraging, but off to the next place.

Westport Rivers Winery looked a lot more promising...

The inside was just as beautiful. They have a huge tasting bar, and a cute gift shop. Upstairs is an art gallery filled with hand turned wooden bowls, handmade clothing, pottery etc.

The guy working at Westport was busy managing all of the New Year's orders but he took a good amount of time to talk to us about the winery and give us an informal (and free) tasting. They have been making wine for 20 years and since 1998 they have used only grapes grown at their winery. Since the Southeastern MA climate is similar to northern Europe, they only make certain wines that can be grown in these types of climates. I was even amazed to learn how "famous" Westport Rivers is, their Brut was featured in O magazine! He let us try 5 of the wines including: 2003 Westport Brut RJR, 2001 Blanc de Noirs, 2008 Rose of Pinot Noir, 2008 Rkatsiteli and Pineau de Pinot.

I have to admit that I am a pretty terrible wine taster. The first problem is that I basically only like Pinot Grigio so unless it is very similar to that it can only be "okay" for me, or completely terrible. However, I think my tastes may be expanding because I was pleasantly surprised by some unexpected wines today. My two favorites were:
#1- 2003 Westport Brut RJR

This was a delicious sparkling wine, which I am normally not a fan of but in this case I was. Eric and I bought a bottle of this for New Year's celebrating.

#2- Pineau de Pinot

Normally my thoughts on dessert wine are too sweet and too syrupy. This was neither of those. It was perfect, and the guy totally sold me when he mentioned I could pour a small amount on vanilla bean ice cream. Did someone say ice cream?

Needless to say, Eric and I left that winery with a box of goodies...

Westport Rivers was also gorgeous outside, but we did not get to enjoy that because it was FREEZING and windy out today. We were definitely in the country though...

Next stop: Sakonnet Vineyards

The tasting room was beautiful. I was right back in the Christmas spirit here...

Hello tag on scarf.
Anyway, it's $7 to taste wine here, but I didn't even mind because if I pay for the tasting I don't feel like I have to buy a bottle of wine if I don't want to. They allow you to check off six wines you want to try, but she let us try seven...double score.
I enjoyed the Gequrztraminer 2007, Cock of the Walk (white version), Chardonnay 2007 (definitely concluded that I like Chardonnay as long as it is not aged in Oak, then I stop liking it) and Rhode Island Red. I normally am not a red wine girl, so I was pretty happy to find a red wine I actually like.
I did not like Petite White, too acidic, Holiday Spiced Gewurz, tasted like I was drinking straight ginger!, and the Cock of the Walk (red version), too much bite for me.

What's your favorite kind of wine? Do you like visiting wineries?

If you have never visited a winery before I recommend searching for wineries in your area and giving it a try. You don't have to know anything (trust me!) and it's a lot of fun!

If you live in the Boston area, there are several wineries and breweries I recommend visiting (in addition to the ones I visited today):

Nashoba Valley Winery, Bolton MA
Harpoon Brewery, Boston MA
Red Hook Brewery, Portsmouth MA
Cape Cod Winery, Falmouth MA
Truro Vineyards, Truro MA
Newport Vineyards, Newport RI

There are many more I have not enjoyed yet so I'll keep you posted.


  1. A post after my own heart! Yes I love visiting wineries and breweries, and your photos brought me back to warmer days, trips to Horseneck Beach, and the Coastal Wine Trail. I have never been to Portsmouth, but my husband used to work there and loved it! You should come to the Coastal Wine kickoff festival with us next year!

  2. We love wine but have never been to a wine tasting. We don't live in the best area for that :) Will definitely have to find a good area to do it! I pretty much just stick to the white wines too. Anything red is too much for me.

  3. Thanks for this post. I have a site about Newport and have been putting off doing some pages on wineries for awhile. You've motivated me to get working on it soon.

    If you haven't already chosen a wedding location, Newport has some of the most beautiful spots. Some are surprisingly affordable too.

  4. That's so funny, my tag was showing on my scarf last night and Nick was nice enough to point it out (that's rare....) and I was thinking about how annoying it is that scarf tags ALWAYS show!

    The winery looks fabulous. I would love to go to one some day, but have never been. Nick's family even makes their own wine!!! So I guess I have sort of been to one, if drinking fresh homemade wine counts :) But it doesn't count. I want to go to Napa Valley one day, for sure.

  5. oh that's so fun and great to know about now!!

  6. You need to check out the Newport Storm brewery next time you are down there!

  7. So much fun! I love wine and wine tasting. For my bachelorette we went wine tasting in the Finger Lakes region in NY and it was a blast. I am a red girl- malbec, chianti, pinot noir, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon.. I could go on and on haha. I do like pinot grigio though!

  8. I love wine and wine tastings! We go about once a year up to the Traverse City area in Michigan and do wine tours and tastings. They have two gorgeous peninsulas full off wineries.. It is very delicious. I am usually a fan of red wine and pino grigio.. We had a good pino grigo last night with dinner.. it was grand.. :)

  9. I love wineries!! We wanted to check some out around the area in Avignon but everything was closed for Christmas when we wanted to go... we only checked the Cuvee d'Anais ;)

    I'll keep in mind those dessert wines because I usually think they're too sweet too!

  10. I love visiting wineries!! so much fun to taste a little bit of each to find out which ones you like best. Chris and I were fortunate to visit my aunt in Napa a few years ago, and because she works at the wineries we got to taste all over for free. I think my liver was enlarged from all the alcohol lol Glad you found some you guys enjoyed :) that's what it's all about

  11. Great recap! I have been wanting to visit some of those for a while - particularly Westport! There's an easy 2010 resolution :)
    Happy New Year