Now with 24 licensed wineries in the state, the NH Winery Association again came together to host the Second Annual Live Free & Wine Festival on August 6th at the Rochester Fairgrounds in Rochester, NH. The event was bigger than its first year in both the number of participating wineries & vendors, but also in ticket sales and attendance. Growing out of a location in just one year is a strong sign of interest in the industry. The day wasn’t without some headaches that are inevitably going to get bandied about by anyone who went, but overall there is something so New England about a small and growing collective of craftspeople showing off their style. I had fun, not as much as I had hoped, and came away with an accomplished mission.
Wine drinking New Englanders though are likely used to drinking something very different, like domestic wines from the West Coast and imported wines from France, Spain and Italy. How do those wines compare with the local juice? They don’t. To judge the local wines fairly is to take each on its merits and as you get to know a winery being able to compare the consistency of a particular label from one year to the next.