Jonathan Edwards Annual Spring Festival

Marguerite Barrett
Contributing Writer

Expect to be in the Northeast/Southern New England in early June?  If so, consider stopping by Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, CT for their Annual Spring Festival:

From Andie Martin at Jonathan Edwards Winery

The Details:
Saturday June 6th 12-6pm
Local food vendors, an Artisans tent
and dancing to two bands including Boston’s premier Soul and Funk band Chicken Slacks! 

Admission includes our logo wine glass and a wine tasting voucher.

$15 in advance or $18 at the door. (Kids under 21 free with an adult.)

Tickets are available via our website at or call 860.535.0202

Check the website for more information:

Hope to see you there!

Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries

Marguerite Barrettpassport2
Contributing Writer

Each year the Connecticut Farm Wine Development Council sponsors the Passport program, a contest designed to encourage Nutmeggers and visitors to check out the state’s wineries.  

The contest is simple: pick up a Passport booklet at anyone of Connecticut’s wineries and carry it with you as you explore the wine trail.  At each winery you visit, you collect a “stamp” on that winery’s page in the Passport.  Once you’ve collected a minimum of 14 stamps you can drop your Passport off at any winery to be entered into a drawing for one of 17 great prizes.

This year there are 26 participating wineries, and the contest runs from May 1 to November 8, 2009, plenty of time to collect 14 stamps!.  Prizes include:

First Prize
Trip for two to Spain!  January 31-February 13, 2010
Prize includes:
Roundtrip Airfare for two to Spain and
a 13-night stay at the Benalmadena Palace with great views of the Meditteraneanirst Prize

Second Prize
Also a trip for two to Spain!  February 14-27, 2010
Prize includes:
Roundtrip Airfare for two to Spain and
a 13-night stay at the Benalmadena Palace 

There are also 15 Weekend Getaway Prizes which include a two-night stay at the Courtyard by Marriott, Norwich, Connecticut.

The wineries of the Connecticut Wine Trail are easily accessible from most points within Southern New England (MA, RI, CT), and are also within easy distance of eastern New York, Manhattan, Northeastern New Jersey and Long Island.  If you’re visiting the area and are interested in planning a long wine weekend, there is a ferry that runs between New London, Connecticut (Eastern CT Wine Trail) and the North Fork of Long Island.  It’s a beautiful 90 minute trip across Long Island Sound, and allows you to plan a do-able two-day, two-state wine trip.




What To Do With All Those Glasses

Marguerite Barrett
Contributing Writer

One of the side effects of my Win(e)ding Road adventures is a growing collection of souvenir wine glasses.  In most wineries, at least here in Connecticut, the tasting includes the wine glass etched with the winery’s logo.  A nice idea, but what do you do with the wine glasses when you’re done?  

Courtesy of great sales at IKEA, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, I already have a large collection of basic wine glasses which I keep on hand for parties.  And courtesy of my friends Richard and Charles, I have a set of beautiful crystal white wine glasses for special occasions.  I also don’t have the luxury of a huge wine cellar and/or bar room, so finding space for souvenir wine glasses poses its own challenge.

When I can, I politely decline the glass at the end of the tasting ~ if the winery can wash it and reuse it, it saves them money and me space in my cupboard.  My rememberance of the visit is usually several bottles of wine I purchase at the end of the tasting.  Sometimes, though, the winery won’t keep the glass, or they wrap it up and slip it in with my wine before I remember to tell them I was fine not taking it home.  I’ve given a few away to my friend and wine-trail-buddy, Christy, so she can have matched sets, but I’m still finding myself with a nice little collection of wine glasses in my garage.

So what does one do with all those glasses?  Take a page out of Seinfeld and re-gift them!  I can’t take credit for this idea, as I got it from a staff member at Priam Vineyards who while sympathizing with me when I said I already had too many glasses and really didn’t need to take another home, also told me that she doesn’t do dishes, so the glass was mine.

I regularly give gifts of local wines; it’s a great way to promote local wineries, and it’s a unique gift because I’m finding most people haven’t tried their local wines.  Combine a bottle or two with one or two tasting glasses etched with the winery’s logo, and presto – a gift that feels like you put some thought and creativity into it.   And best of all the idea can be expanded for any occasion.  Need something more special (or substantial) than just a bottle of wine?  Combine the wine and glasses in a basket with local cheeses, fruits or other foods; or add a cookbook featuring local cuisine, or a special book on wines of the region ~ you’re only limited by your imagination (and budget).

And best of all?  You’ve found a use for all those glasses…

Win(e)ding Roads: Continuing Adventures on the Connecticut Wine Trail

Merlot Madness!

Marguerite Barrett
Contributing Writer
So, how did I do? Let’s just say Rory doesn’t have anything to worry about from me anytime soon…
Seriously, though, while I identified two of the wines correctly, one was a complete fluke. The other, though, wasn’t, and I was particularly proud of myself for recognizing this because it was the McLaughlin Merlot. And no, I wasn’t too proud to say I told you so. As soon as I smelled it, I knew it was a Northeastern wine. I don’t know if it’s the soil or or that despite the tempering influence of the ocean, it’s colder here than along the California coast, but there is a brightness and a “tang” to the Long Island/Northeastern grapes, particularly the reds, that is very noticeable. I was proud of myself for recognizing it – and I’ll definitely be doing some more research to figure out exactly what it is that I’m picking up.
As for the others…
Wine #1 with a total of 6 points Lindemans, 2005 – South Africa
Wine #2 with a total of 4 points, and 3 votes for this being the Ringer Ravenswood 2006 – California
Wine #3 with a total of 24 points and the overwhelming favorite of the evening Tilia 2006 – Mendoza, Argentina
Wine #4 with a total of 4 points McLaughlin Vineyards – Connecticut (Long Island Grapes)
Wine #5 with only 1 point and 1 vote for this being the Ringer Chateau de Castelneau 2005 – Bordeaux, France
Wine #6 with a total of 8 points and 3 votes for this being the Ringer (this was the one I suspected was the Ringer) Yellow Tail Reserve 2006 – Southeastern Australia
Even knowing this was the Reserve, I was shocked because I have never been a fan of Yellow Tail Merlot. Just goes to show you can’t judge a wine by its label.

Wine #7 with no points was THE RINGER! Palestra – Portugal. The label says only that it’s made from grapes indigenous to Portugal. None of us were impressed, but also none of us thought this was the ringer.
Wine #8 with a total of 7 points and 4 votes for this being the ringer Casa Lapostolle 2006 – Rapel Valley, Chile. I had guessed this, but it was a total fluke – I was down to two wines I hadn’t selected yet, so I flipped a coin.
Wine #9 with a total of 9 points Chateau Ste Michelle – Columbia Valley, Washington
All in all a very successful evening. As we left, we all signed up for next month’s seminar, The Wines of France