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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 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
#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...
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.