Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Few Bites of Heaven at Stonington Vineyards

This is a bit of a departure from what I normally do, but today, instead of telling you about the latest recipe I've tried, I am writing about something I had the pleasure of eating while out yesterday.

Living in New London, I am very lucky to be a 30-minute drive from Stonington, where there are three (yes THREE) wineries. I asked my friend Jen, who I used to work with at the Middletown Press, and don't see nearly enough of anymore, to come down and winery hop with me this weekend. The plan was to hit up all three, but we ended up only making it to two- the Jonathan Edwards Winery and Stonington Vineyards- we'll have to visit the Saltwater Farm Winery another time- a whole 'nother day devoted to wine! I certainly can't complain about that. 

We visited the Jonathan Edwards Winery first- we did a tasting and then sat and had a glass of wine each. Although I am generally a fan of a dryer wine, I LOVED their Table Red and chose that for my glass of wine- totally not my M.O. as it was a more sweet, fruity wine, but it was really, really good. After we finished our glasses we went on the tour of the winery (at 3 p.m. each day they are open)- it was very cool to get the inside perspective on how the wine is made and the winery is run.
Jen and me at the Jonathan Edwards Winery in Stonington, CT

After that, we went to Stonington Vineyards. Well to be fair, we got lost after leaving the Jonathan Edwards winery and ended up taking about 1/2 hour longer than we should have to make it to Stonington Vineyards. So Google maps, thanks for getting us lost! 

The tasting room there closes at 5 p.m. each day, and by the time we got back on track from our little detour, it was already 4:30 p.m. With just 30 minutes 'til they closed, we knew our visit would have to be much less relaxed than last stop. However, when we walked in, we were met with, "Sorry ladies, we're closed." Then three seconds later, "Just kidding." Whew. I would have been BUMMED. 

Jen and I loved that the staff was so much fun and joked with us, just like that. It may have also helped that, being so close to the end of the day, we were the only ones there- we got a totally personalized, relaxed tasting, and had a really great time chatting with the awesome staff there. The three of them were fun, and funny, and made our visit a blast. They even pulled our arms and convinced us to try one of Joshua's homemade wine soaked sponge cakes… Well, who am I kidding? Basically they got out half of the word "cake" and I practically screamed, "Yes please!"

Joshua explained to us that he made a wine reduction, using the Vineyards Seaport White, key lime, and honey, and soaked petite sponge cakes in it. Topped with whipped cream, I think that Jen and I devoured ours in all of like 30 seconds flat. It was THAT good. The cake itself was perfectly tender, and the reduction was a wonderful mélange of flavors- the Seaport White's refreshing balance really shone through, and the key lime in it provided just enough of a crisp tanginess while the honey rounded out the mix. With just a dollop of whipped cream on top, it was the perfect accompaniment to the flight of wine's in the Vineyards tasting lineup, which featured just one red wine- the 2007 Cabernet Franc. I explained to the staff that I am not generally much for white wines- but honestly, their white's may have converted me- I even took home a bottle of their 2009 Riesling (which I hear is in short supply. If you want to try it- and believe me, you NEED to try it- you should go pick some up sooner rather than later.) 

Check out Joshua's masterpiece:
Joshua's Wine Soaked Spongecakes at Stonington Vineyards

I'm not kidding when I say you have to visit this place, and when you do, ask for Joshua's sponge cakes soaked in wine reduction. You'll be thanking me for sending you there once you've tried it!


  1. The 2009 Riesling was DELICIOUS! One glass was definitely not enough!

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