I have always been amazed at the amount of wineries that Connecticut has. Given that wine is my drink of choice, I have been equally amazed that in all of my years in CT that I have not explored any of them until last Saturday. A few months ago, I bought a groupon for Chamard vineyards in Clinton, CT. The deal came with two wine tastings, two free glasses and a free bottle of wine. You can’t beat that! I can’t remember how much the deal was, but I do remember feeling like it was a steal.
Soror N and I headed out early in the afternoon and arrived as two women were setting up their wares of brie, fresh bread, and cured meats outside of the building. The vineyard is very quaint, but has a lot of character. There is a small pond in the back of the building along with picnic tables and rows and rows of grapes. It seems like a really nice place to bring an al fresco meal and relax with friends over good food and wine.
As we entered the main building, I took the time to glance at the large windows, stone walls and wood beams that resided throughout the tasting room. People were enjoying the various wines and the company of their friends or significant others. Soror N and I set up shop along the farthest end of the wine bar and were quickly introduced to the world of Chamard wines.
1. Stone Cold White, which was fermented in a steel drum. The steel drum gave it a very clean taste. It didn’t have the earthy flavor found in wines that are fermented in wood drums.
2. 2004 Chardonnay- which was fermented in French oak barrels. We could definitely taste the oak in this wine.
3. 2005 Estate Reserve Chardonnay- this is Chamard’s signature wine. I thought out of all the white wines that we tasted that this one was the best. The grapes are produced on the vineyard and were partially fermented and aged in more neutral French oak barrels. The wood taste wasn’t as prevalent, but it still was drier than what I like. I prefer a good German reisling. However, I found that adding chopped up peaches to the wine made it great. In addition, the winery used this wine to make a wonderful sangria, which they allowed us to sample. Yum!
4. 2006 Merlot–I couldn’t tell you much about this red wine, other than it was aged for about 18 months before being bottled in 2008. Red wine always makes me think of baptism, so I don’t partially care for it. I need to find a sweet one…maybe a port?
5. 1989 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon-again, another red wine. To me the Merlot and this one tasted the same, but I think it is because I haven’t developed my taste for red wines yet. Maybe if I wasn’t such a die-hard white wine drinker I would reconsider.
Overall, Soror N and I had a blast and this experience definitely made me want to explore more wineries in CT. I definitely will be coming back to Chamard because they told us that the wine selection changes often because they are such a small vineyard.
So What is your favorite kind of wine?