Thursday, April 05, 2007

Yes, Virginia--Connecticut makes wine, too

When I went to school in Massachusetts, Connecticut was not thought of as a great viticultural center. But that is changing now, with more and more regions of the US trying their hand at growing wine grapes. While grapes have been grown in the state for hundreds of years on small family farms, the first modern wineries were established in the late 70s. Currently, there are more than 15 vineyards in the state, all producing wine with limited distribution.

Recently I had a wine from Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret in the eastern part of the state. Sharpe Hill's wines have have received over 185 medals in international wine competitions. The NV Sharpe Hill Vineyard "Ballet of Angels" white blend ($10.99, Colorado Wine Company), nick-named "Creepy Baby Wine" by irreverent consumers due to its distinctive label, is the best-selling Connecticut wine. And for me, it was a real eye-opener. This excellent QPR wine made from a secret blend of ten white grape varietals that probably includes melon de bourgogne, riesling, vidal blanc, and vignoles. Plentiful aromas of honeydew melon, honeysuckle, and citrus hint at the flavors that develop as you sip the wine. Though floral and slightly off-dry, a bracing acidity keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying or overpowering. This was a wonderful wine that would be exceptional with spicy food or Asian cuisine, like these Thai peanut noodles with chicken, or Thai salmon with rice salad.

The store where I bought this, Colorado Wine Company in beautiful downtown Eagle Rock, specializes in unusual, high value bottlings like these. It's worth stopping by if you live in the LA area or are here on a visit. They recently started a blog for customer reviews and discussion of wine. It's a great idea for Wine 2.0 types, and I've already found a great blog I didn't know about while reading.

The NV Sharpe Hill Vineyard "Ballet of Angels" is widely available throughout the country, but if its not to be found at a store near you, ask your local merchants if they can start carrying this great white wine. If you like Riesling, you will love the "Ballet of Angels."

1 comment:

paperkicks said...

I have a bottle in my cellar and have been hesitant to open it. Now I know I'll save this for a special meal!!