I wish every day could be like today. I spent time with my husband and good friends, tasted delicious wine, tried some new beers, dined out, and then returned home for an evening on the couch watching movies. Today was a good day! 😀
It all started at Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery in southeastern Massachusetts.
Westport Rivers is a family-owned winery that is a top producer of sparkling and white wines. The property is also beautiful. I really could have spent the entire day there just relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
We arrived right when the 3:00 tour was taking off, so we jumped in.
Westport River is best known for their sparkling wines made from 100% estate-grown grapes. Most people would think it’s too cold to grow grapes in Massachusetts, but the climate is actually quite similar to that of northern Europe. Who knew? So just as those regions specialize in wines from white grapes that ripen quickly, Westport Rivers grows only colder climate grapes, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Meunier. (FYI: the Pinot Noir grapes are used to make sparkling wine and rÃ³ses, not red wine.)
We also learned that most “commercial” champagnes– think Andre and Cook’s– are infused with CO2 to make it bubbly. However, “real” champagne (sparkling wine) requires a much more involved process.
At Westport Rivers this process includes delicate handling and pressing of the grapes, bottling the wine along with sugar and yeast, and then storing the bottles for 4 – 14 years. Once the winemaker decides that the wine is ready, the bottles are “riddled” (slowly turned) to allow the yeast to fall into the neck of the bottle, which is then dislodged and the champagne is ready for consumption. Now, I understand why some champagnes are so expensive! There’s a lot of work that goes into the process!
After our tour, we tasted 5 wines while enjoying the scenery of the vineyard.
- 2005 Westport Brut: This was my favorite of the day. Lively aromas of pear and toasty yeast. Crisp and bright with a long finish. Mmm!
- 2007 Chardonnay: Classic East coast Chardonnay. Rich golden color, not too oak-y. Would taste perfect with seafood.
- 2008 Pinot Blanc: Crisp and fruity with a long finish. It made me want to eat a big hunk of cheese with it!
- 2008 Riesling: This Riesling was dry, but rich and fruity. Also a favorite of the day.
- 2008 Rkatsiteli: Citrus-y with aromas of lemon and lemon, medium bodied with a crisp, dry finish.
Cheers to good times and good friends!
After wine tasting, the guys were itching to visit the Just Beer brewery literally right down the street.
We missed all of the tours for the day, but we still decided to do a tasting.
Just Beer had 4 beers on tap to taste: Big Mamie Battleship Brown Ale, Flip Flop Summer Ale, Moby D, and The Golden Flounder. We also tried their 1602 Porter.
Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to drink beer after tasting wine, but I really wasn’t a fan of the beers. I liked The Golden Flounder and the Porter, but the others were just so-so.
Luckily, the guys were more into the tasting and drank my pours.
After spending most of the day boozing face tasting wine and beer, it was time to eat! None of us hadn’t eaten since breakfast! 😯 Our tour guide at Westport Rivers recommended Bittersweet Farm Restaurant & Tavern, so we went there for dinner.
The restaurant was pretty expensive, so we opted for the more affordable tavern.
I still snuck upstairs to see the restaurant. I had a feeling it was adorable!
I was starving, so as soon as the bread basket was delivered to our table, I immediately downed three pieces of bread– two multigrain and a corn bread muffin. I’m telling ya, I was hungry!
For dinner, I ordered the “speciality” salad, which was spinach, watermelon, pine nuts, and goat cheese with citrus dressing. It was quite delicious and I easily finished the entire portion. I also helped Mal with a bunch of his French fries! 😉
What a day! When can I relive it? 😉