Saturday, November 22, 2008

LaBelle Wine Tasting

Margot and I went to the open house and wine tasting at LaBelle Winery in Amherst, NH today. This was our first trip to LaBelle, but not our first experience with their wine.

Amy and Cesar lined up a wonderful selection of wines for visitors to try and we were not disappointed. An example of a sangria made with LaBelle wines was also available, and of course cheese and crackers!

Today's tasting line-up included all non-grape fruit wines ranging from light and fruity to bolder and sweet. Our favorites were the Corazon (Seyval/Raspberry blend), Cranberry Apple, Blueberry and Cranberry. We also tasted the Seyval, Heirloom Apple, Granite State Apple (Apple with Maple), and the Blanco (Peach dessert wine). In short supply the Raspberry Dessert wine was not available for tasting, but having had it before we weren't unhappy. Plus we have a bottle of it in the wine fridge already.

All of the wines presented the fruits very well, with the apple wines being the lightest and striking parallels to Riesling and un-oaked Chardonnay. The Cranberry was the most expressive with the fruit flavors and wasn't as tart as you might as expect. The Corazon is a blush wine that is slightly sweet, fruity and would be a knockout chilled on a warm summer day! The Blueberry wine was slightly sweet and pleasingly tart. I will be using this wine as a guide for the Blueberry wine I have planned for 2009.

I also tasted the Jalapeño cooking wine and while it was spicy, it was pleasing and should work very well in the kitchen.

We bought a bottle of each of our favorites and the cooking wine. Pairing these wines with future meals will most certainly be fun!

We met Christopher and Nancy Obert who just published "The Next Harvest... Vineyards & Wineries of New England". This book is hot off the presses and having started reading it earlier in the week I was overjoyed to meet the authors. I will share my thoughts on the book, the adventures it will inspire and the wonderful time we spent with Chris and Nancy in my next blog post.

Check out LaBelle Winery at


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