Monday, October 19, 2009

New Hampshire foliage - gorgeous; New Hampshire wine - not so much

This past weekend I was in New Hampshire for a wedding. Several of my friends were also there, including Jen VB, a regular reader and sometime commentator. As we drove through a blaze of fall color, we stopped to check out a local "winery" with our friend, Shawna. And by "winery," I mean someone's cluttered basement, complete with exposed insulation and other detritus, that doubled as a tank room and a tasting room. Apparently folding tables aren't just for poker.

We knew this wouldn't be a Napa-type experience, but we didn't realize it wouldn't even be close to your local lemonade stand until we pulled up the driveway and weren't sure which split level held the "award winning" (as advertised on their sign) wines. We parked, looked around skeptically, and then found the sign: "Go to the side door for great: WINE." (Note the colon usage.) They over-promised.

It turns out the side door led down into a basement and as we descended the stairs I swear I could hear the theme from Jaws playing as random scenes from various horror movies flashed in front of my eyes. Were we sure the door didn't lock behind us? Luckily, the only things mutilated were our taste buds.

There's really no need to go through the various wines we tasted. JVB declared the supposed award-winning Noiret to be "blech-blech." What's frustrating is that I really would love for some great wineries to develop in unexpected places. Everything, though, tasted like oak pulp with some pepper additives.

Then again, I can't feel too bad that the wine was terrible because the winemaker was a condescending jerk who seemed bothered that we were there. Moreover, it's a little creepy to wine taste when you're worried that Leatherface will be jumping out of the corner.

So the wine was awful, but the experience was quite memorable. Some day, someone in the Northeast will make a red wine that I love. Until then, I'll keep bumbling around and stopping into wineries in random places because you never might get a good story and, even better, a good glass of wine.

Until the next sniff, sip, quaff or random non wine country visit,

Alli M. and Jen Vb


JenVB said...

Perhaps this is all a hoax? Were you in cahoots with the vintner?!

Alli M. said...

Not only were you there with me, but you also helped me write the account of our visit. If I'm in cahoots, so are you.....Maybe it was a scam on both our parts so I'd have a posting about the weekend

elliej said...

Well, I'll stick to the known wine areas and skip
New Hampshire. I never thought of it as a great source for wine, anyway.

JenVB said...

Maybe that is why you were late picking us were arranging this "supposed" visit to the winery. =)