Nothing makes a great wine better than when you taste it at its source. It’s not that it actually does taste better, it’s the experience of seeing where and how it was made and meeting the winemakers. The experience, in other words, informs your taste buds in a way that a trip to the grocery or wine shop does not.
Wineries often offer free samples of their wines in their tasting rooms. Some also charge for a taste but at friendly prices. They also usually sell bottles of their wines. Often they’ll have special, small batch wines available that they don’t sell to stores!
When visiting Newport vineyards, it’s best to head out earlier rather than later. This is especially true o weekend visits. The crowds will be smaller and the folks at the winery will be fresher – this makes for a better experience all around.
Be sure take along an empty box or a Styrofoam wine carrier. Even if you don’t plan on buying a bottle of wine you probably will. Most of us end up buying more than one! A good carrier will help to protect the bottles from rolling around and the wine getting too hot, which will ruin it.
If you can, it’s a good idea to hire a car or have a designated driver. Just like buying bottles of wine, you’ll undoubtedly taste more wine than you expect to. The experience can distract you from what you’re really doing and those tastes combine quickly. Better safe than sorry!
At the same time, do be careful how much you are drinking, even if you’re not driving. A winery tasting room is not a bar. You want to be able to remember the experience and not embarrass yourself.
It’s always tempting to stick with the wine styles you know and love but, when visiting a winery, try stepping outside the box a bit. If you only taste the styles you already know, you could miss out on something new and fantastic – especially in the case of regional specialties.
Finally – have fun!
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards
162 West Main Road, Little Compton, RI 02837
(401) 635-8486 – www.sakonnetwine.com
582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871
(401) 847-3777 – www.greenvale.com
909 East Main Road, Middletown, RI 02842
(401) 848-5161 – www.newportvineyards.com
Be sure to call or visit the vineyard website before you go to make sure they’re open and what their policies are. Some vineyards offer full tours, others only offer a tasting room. Knowing what to expect will make your Newport winery visit that much more fun!
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