My Great Uncle loved making his own wine. He also loved giving it away to family members. Sounds sweet, right? Yeah; not really. His true calling was demolition. One year, several of his bottles that were stashed in a closet exploded and nearly destroyed every winter jacket. Life lesson: Nobody puts Bacchus in a closet.
There’s a point to this story, I swear. Uncle Joey seriously dreamed of joining one of Connecticut’s biggest hidden gems: the Connecticut Wine Trail.
When I say big… I do mean big.
Started in 1988, the Connecticut Wine Trail has grown so massive, it takes several weekends to complete. Sounds like a challenge, right? It’s a total of 25 wineries located all over the state; from Land of Nod Vineyard & Winery in East Canaan to Saltwater Farm in Stonington. Remember, this is teeny-tiny Connecticut we’re talking about, so no matter where you live – a winery is no more than 45 minutes away from your front door.
There’s a pretty impressive variety of wines, too. The official website of the CT Wine Trail lists Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Riesling, Seval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, Saint Croix, Vignoles, and Foch. There’s also that seasonal offering of ciders and wines made from fruit, like peaches or blueberries.
I don’t know about you, but I was pretty curious about what Connecticut wine tasted like. So, I looked into it. Connecticut’s mild weather creates a slightly “refined” flavor in the grapes. So, if you’re hankering to sample a locally made Merlot or Chardonnay, it’ll taste more intricate than what you’d find in Napa Valley.
Plus, wine tastings are the perfect fun and fancy activity that don’t require you to dress to the 9’s. The reasons to go are pretty versatile, too! First date? Wine tasting. Your daughter just finished college and you need to bond? Wine tasting. Your favorite team won? Wine tasting. Your best friend is divorcing her husband of 35 years? Get her out of the house and bring her to a wine tasting.
All in all, you can pat yourself on the back for supporting local businesses. There’s really no downside there.