Alsace Wine Information

Mother's Day at Newport Vineyards

Newport Vineyards Logo Some days, everything just goes right. Mother's Day dawns with glorious sunshine, the motorcycle purrs like a kitten, and we spend the day wending down gorgeous coastal roads through Rhode Island, ending up at Newport Vineyards, located in Middletown. As befit this perfect day, their wine selection was extensive and delicious.

Let's backtrack a bit, because this actually was an extremely lucky accident. We were intending to go by Sakonnet Vineyards, a huge operation which is the largest winery in New England. I usually like smaller wineries where I can chat with the winemaker, so perhaps psychically I encouraged us to get lost along the way. Just as we hit the "point of no return", or 4:30pm, we ran smack dab into the Newport Wineries intersection. Fate had brought us here.

The first thing that struck me as I walked in the door of their strip-mall location was the selection of wines lining the walls. This was not a four-wine operation! My eyes lit apon a port - one of my favorite wine types - in half and full bottles on one side. Their Great White rack even had t-shirts to go with the wine. Custom labels and gorgeous pictures of Rhode Island sites (including the infamous Old Stone Mill!) hung on the walls.

Custom Label Bottle We approached the tasting desk and explained our dilemma. It was far too late to get to Sakonnet, but I had become quite intrigued with the wines here in front of me. With a cheerful grin, we began the tasting. First, the whites. I'm normally not a white person, but the popularity of the Great White seemed immense, so I opted for that. What a treat! Full melon and apricot flavors swirled from the wine, and the finish was long and mouth-suckingly good. I was an instant convert.

It was hard to choose only three more from their extensive list of 14 varieties, but next we went for the Gemini, a medium-bodied red. This is a blend of Landot Noir, bMaréchal Foch, and Chancellor, with a smidge of Merlot in there for good balance. This was very smooth, tasty, and had an excellent finish - slightly peppery.

Continuing down the red trail, we had a Merlot, aged in French oak. This was also quite smooth, silky and tasting of currant. Again, the finish was long and flavorful.

Finally, the one I'd been waiting for, the Ruby Port. They blend this over a series of years, as most Portuguese ports are, and the grapes used here are again the Landot Noir, Maréchal Foch, and Chancellor. This port has won medals, and it's easy to see why. Not sickly-sweet, but with a bit of tartness to it, the port was rich, full and filling. An excellent post-dinner lounging-by-the-water treat.

We were so impressed that, despite having arrived on the motorcycle, we carefully packed two bottles of Great White and one of Port into our tank bag for the trip home. The fact that I would choose two Whites over the other delicious wines they offered struck me again - this is truly an exceptional white wine.

Old Stone Mill The ride home was just as sunny and enjoyable, but I think the next time we venture down to Newport we'll bring the truck. I know I'll want to bring a case back with us, and also that picture of the Stone Mill!

Historic Note: Newport Winery was originally called Vinland Wine Cellars.

Visit Date: 05/10/99

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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.