Venison and Veal at Nashoba Valley Winery

Dateline: 2/1/99

A Massachusetts powerhouse when it comes to delicious fruit wines, Nashoba Valley Winery's restaurant is also well known for its fine foods. Recently, they paired together food and wine at their final Case Club dinner of the 1998 season. It was certainly a special evening.

The dinner was held in the actual working areas of the winery, so the guests were able to view new wines aging while sipping the current releases. First came a Cranberry Apple Holiday Spice to set the mood. It was sipped while guests examined the sorting/de-coring machine and the press.

The first food station sported a delicious seafood bisque soup, along with Caesar salad with their own, quite tasty, dressing. This combination was served with the Cyser - a semi-sweet wine made from honey and apples. The match was quite good, and even by the end of the day the group agreed that Cyser was one of the best wines served over the evening. The pepperiness of the soup made the wine "less sweet" and worked quite well.

Another pair of appetizers awaited in the room which held the large stainless steel tanks and the bottling equipment. This was the pan-seared venison sausage and New England crabcakes. The crabcakes were very fresh and well spiced, and were served with Vidal Blanc. This was voted the "goes with anything" wine, dry like the Baldwin but without the apply flavor. The venison, served in a flavorful wild mushroom ragout, accompanied the Dry Blueberry. This was a light-medium weight dry wine, not overpowering.

Then, the main dishes. A grilled breast of chicken, with wild mushrooms applejack and pears, with the Baldwin. Another good general-use wine, the Baldwin's apple taste went well with the fruit flavors in the chicken. A Veal Osso Buco in tomato sauce was voted the best meal of the evening, and was paired with the Chrysleton. This is a thin, fruity wine, perhaps outshone by such a fantastic dish. Third was a grilled vegetable phyllo tower, with the dry pear. The pear tasted deliciously woodsy against the vegetable concoction.

Finally, dessert came. While dessert was served, the winemakers discussed the wines that had been tasted, and plans for the future. The desserts included a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, a sweet almond tart, and a delicious chocolate frangelico mousse cake. The two wines served with these were the after dinner peach, which is quite a favorite, and the raspberry wine, which is another all time favorite - very smooth and even flavored.

As an added bonus, the tasting bar was open and the guests were also able to sample the two dessert wines that garner the most praise - the Azule blueberry port and the Amora blackberry dessert wine. Both were simply phenomonal. The Azule is smooth and rich, with a long, lingering finish. The blackberry is pure and true blackberry flavor. Both were purchased actively after the tasting.

As a final note, Nashoba has brought back a favorite from years past - their Apple Sparkling Wine. The bottles were upside-down in wood racks near the center of the tasting area, and there was a great deal of interest in this product. A review of this wine will be coming in a few weeks, as part of a general "high end fruit wines" article.

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All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.