By Wes Narron, Chief Wine Ambassador, City Wine Tours
You love wine. And you’re a conscientious person who wants to support the farm-to-table philosophy. The problem? Wine and “local.” Yeah, this is Boston, not L.A. You can’t easily wander down to your corner winery and grab a case of delicious freshly-bottled spectacularness, to sip while you rake your lawn.
But fear not, Massachusetts has some great wines for fall. You just have to know where to look. There is some good, local Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and sparkling wine…you know, wines you want to drink.
What local wine should you guzzle this fall? Look for these 5 tipples:
Westport Rivers 2006 Robert James Russell Brut Sparkling Wine
Here’s a sparkling wine good enough to have been served at the past 3 presidential inaugurations of both Democrats and Republicans. Politicians of all stripes agree this is a wine that tastes like a true vintage French Champagne: toasty brioche, peach marmalade and lemon curd. This is the best wine made in Massachusetts. Perfect for cheering the arrival of football season.
Westport Rivers Winery
417 Hixbridge Road
Westport, MA 02790
Turtle Creek 2012 Estate Chardonnay
When you see the word “estate” on the label, it means they grew the dang grapes themselves. These Chardonnay grapes were grown on Conservation Hill in Lincoln, MA. Turtle Creek Winery owner Kip Kumler makes serious wines. Definitely gives off a stay-off-my-lawn vibe. He doesn’t want tour buses pulling onto his property. Result? Instead of spending his time serving sweet swill to your Aunt Betsy, he made a white Burgundy-style unoaked Chardonnay with fresh, fruity apple and citrus flavors that you won’t believe came from Lincoln. Put on your bulky sweater and enjoy with a chunk of cheddar.
Turtle Creek Winery
PO Box 601
Lincoln, MA 01773
Running Brook 2007 Pinot Noir
Yep, Running Brook winemakers Pedro Teixeira and Manuel Morais had the gumption to try growing the most notoriously difficult grape, Pinot Noir, which requires special conditions and constant attention, on Buzzards Bay. And these cocky gents succeeded in creating a light and lively red wine, with a hint of spiciness and earth that compares to a smooth Oregon pinot. That smoke you smell isn’t just coming from your fireplace. Running Brook captured hints of it in the bottle.
Running Brook Vineyard & Winery
335 Old Fall River Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747
Hardwick Quabbin Native Red
Want to sample the wine your ancestors drank back in Civil War times? The Hardwick Quabbin Native Red is made from the Pink Catawba grape. The Catawba grape was the most widely grown grape in the 19th century. The Pink Catawba produces a bright fresh rose’. Don’t be afraid of rose’. Men drink rose’. In Civil War times, it was the booze of choice for burly, impatient wine workers. “We can’t wait 3 weeks for the wine to turn red. Let’s drink it now!” Thus, rose’; the manly man’s wine. Leaf-peeping is hard work. Reward yourself with something from the Quabbin.
Hardwick Winery and Vineyard
3305 Greenwich Road
Hardwick, MA 01037
Still River Apfel Ice Wine
If you’re gonna drink wine in Massachusetts made from fruit other than grapes; let’s go with the state’s big daddy crop, apples! Apfel Ice wine tastes sweet, crisp, golden, and full-bodied. It’s blended from 80 different Massachusetts apple varieties. Next time your sweetie tries to coerce you into going apple picking, open a bottle of Apfel Ice wine instead. How do you like them apples?
Still River Winery
Massachusetts Apple Ice Wine
104 Bolton Rd
Harvard, MA 01451
All of these wines should be at your local wine merchant. Or you can buy them directly from the winery. Gas up the roadster, invite your friends and family, and go see some foliage…on your way to the winery. Here’s a link to all of the Massachusetts’ wineries (and cheese makers!).
Wes Narron is the Chief Wine Ambassador of City Wine Tours and thinks learning about wine should be as much fun as drinking it. City Wine Tours hosts weekend wine tasting tours in several Boston neighborhoods, plans corporate and private events, and encourages learned debauchery.