Happy Bastille Day! It was a day of gorgeous food, until dinner that is. I started out with a great green monster (spinach, Amazing Grass, blueberries, banana, pumpkin, and choc soy milk) and for lunch had a delicious homemade gazpacho (canned plum tomatoes, 1/4 red onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1 large cucumber, 1 large red pepper, drizzle olive oil, 1/3 cup cold water, cracked black pepper, all blended together) with a sandwich thin and a big ol’ bag of cherries and almonds. The dinner at my favorite restaurant, Petit Robert, was one of the most disappointing meals in a long time. I will blog about that tomorrow as today I have reserved for only good things: New England coastal wine.
After our fab day in Newport on Sunday,we drove about 5 miles to Portsmouth, RI for a visit to Greenvale Vineyards. Back in June, we tasted some of Greenvale’s wine at the Coastal Wine Trail Kickoff and wanted more.
If you read my blog, then you know that I love wine. I love all of the dozens of different flavors that can come from grape varietals and storing methods, and I love the way the flavors bring out food. Over the past year plus, I have really gotten into visiting vineyards, and I have been lucky so far to visit vineyards in Italy, wine tastings in Spain, a wine tour in Oregon, and several vineyards in RI and MA, plus many other local tasting events and wine dinners.
I don’t just love the wine in visiting vineyards; I also really love the whole experience, the fields of grapes and the beautiful scenery that often accompanies these visits. Greenvale Vineyards certainly offered the whole package.
From the long country road, to the fields and marshes leading down to the bright blue sea, to the fields of grapevines, and the quaint, beautiful wooden house, Greenvale takes you on a mini vacation from the second you arrive. Though not far at all from Newport and the main road, I felt totally worlds away from the city.
We were greeted in the tasting room by a friendly member of the staff and a gorgeous black lab. Nature: check, dog: check. . . wine: check. Meghan is a happy girl!
We definitely planned on doing a tasting and got started right away. Over the course of the tasting we tried:
2006 Chardonnay Select: Oak aged, this chardonnay was not for me. I am not a chardonnay fan in general, and while this wasn’t bad, it just had a burst of oaky flavor that I don’t care for.
2005 Greenvale Chardonnay: This chardonnay was better as it was a blend of oak and steel aged wine. It had a more buttery finish and was definitely more drinkable.
2007 Greenvale Vidal Blanc: This refreshing, light, delicious white was the star of the day on Sunday, as it was at the Coastal Wine Kickoff. It has crispy, sunny flavors that are perfect for drinking out on the deck. I would pair it with anything from a light cheese to seafood to a light summery dessert.
Skipping Stone White: I also tried this at the Coastal Wine Kickoff. It is my second favorite Greenvale wine now, with a very floral nose and a slight acidic crispness that I would love with a nice curry.
2005 Cabernet Franc: This is a very lovely, rich red that tasted like dark red fruit and had a nice smooth finish. We didn’t buy any of this, but I plan on buying some for the fall.
The lovely and engaging woman who poured the wine for us chatted with us quite a bit about her upcoming wedding, and we talked about our wedding a bit as well as travel. She was a delightful person, and our conversation added another element about wine that I love, communication and socialization. The friendly staff at Greenvale are reason enough to return, and the variety of different, yet all delicious wines are a definite bonus. They also have jazz every Saturday afternoon. If you are in the RI/MA area, I would absolutely recommend a visit to Greenvale. I know that we will be going back and look forward to more adventures on the Coastal Wine Trail!