Friday, October 5, 2012

As local wineries go, Cassidy Hill in Coventry, CT delivers!


There is a winery almost in my backyard, and I didn’t know it existed until a friend told me about it. I’m going to have to lodge a complaint against the webmasters at ctwine.com, because they don’t list this vineyard as part of the CT Wine Trail, and yet Cassidy Hill is in my Passport!

I can’t think of a better afternoon spent with a friend than at one of CT’s own local wineries, and Cassidy Hill delivers. It delivers a spectacular view, a brand new tasting room with a rustic, yet open and almost modern feel, and some truly delicious wine offerings. It’s also handicapped accessible, and this was vitally important since my friend is wheelchair bound. We were not bound to the tasting counter – the server allowed us to enjoy our wine tasting at one of their cafĂ© tables, provided I retrieved our pours from the tasting bar. She explained that they were not allowed to pour wine for customers at the tables – only at the tasting bar, which was fine and perfectly understandable. But she was right there at our table talking about each wine and answering any questions we might have about them. We felt very welcome at this winery!
What can I say about the wines, except that I truly enjoyed all of them on one level or another.  Some I would be happy to sit and sip, others I would rather pair with an appropriate dinner.  For a mere $6.00 each, we tasted 6 wines and then each enjoyed a full glass of our favorite for just a few dollars more.

Three wines stood out for me, and I took some home -The Summer Breeze, the Coventry Tricentennial White and the Jet’s Red. I would buy the first two again!

Summer Breeze was like drinking summer in a glass. A sweeter white, it was made with strawberries hanging in the barrels for a time during fermentation – lending an ever so slightly pink color, an appealing strawberry nose, and flavors of citrus and strawberry – oh so pleasant!

Coventry Centennial White was made to commemorate Coventry’s 300th anniversary, it’s a blend of 4 grapes grown right in Coventry, and while my friend did not care for this one, I felt it needed another chance and a little love. I’m so glad I gave it another chance! I would classify this one as semi-sweet, the nose was orange zesty – and the flavor was exactly as described, grapefruit with a honeydew melon finish.

Jet’s Red, a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Malbec, was interesting and different. In the same way the Summer Breeze was made with the strawberries, Jet’s Red included some blueberries hanging in there for a while. The wine boasts a taste of cherry and blueberry. The flavor for me was very cherry, no doubt. I could not taste the blueberry – but my friend could taste a lot of blueberry and only a little cherry. Aren’t different tastes interesting? This is just a quick lesson that you should never let anyone tell you what you should taste in a glass of wine! I did take home a bottle of this one to give it another chance, thinking that the right food pairing might work for me, but alas, it didn’t thrill me. My friend, however, really enjoyed it! So don’t let my taste in wine stop you!

Cassidy Hill offers several other wines, they were all very pleasant – if you’re in Coventry on a weekend, you MUST stop by and check them out. In the summer, there is live music on the lawn and folks are invited to bring their lawn chairs, picnics, and purchase wine to drink while listening to some great local music. I will be visiting Cassidy Hill again!