Monday, October 16, 2006

A Winter White - Haight Vineyard Covertside


So I came home this evening and my wife, Dominique, had made a winter brothy stew, made of collard greens, wild rice, and grilled sausages. I looked at her quizzically. What kind of soup was that? I asked. It sounded strange, but indeed, in one of the first cool nights of fall here in New Jersey, it smelled good.

But what to drink with it? A chardonnay? A vidal blanc? a Sauvignon blanc? I searched the fridge for something interesting that might stand up to this clear broth stew. To my own surprise I went with a Haight Vineyard Covertside White.

More than two decades ago, Haight Vineyard was among the first to plant Chardonnay and Riesling near the historic Town of Litchfield, Connecticut. In 1978, the State Legislature passed a Farm Winery Act. Haight Vineyard became the first established winery. Haight now has two tasting rooms - one in Litchfield and one in Mystic.

I first discovered Haight Vineyrd when it was only Hopkins Vineyards, Haight Vineyard, and DiGrazia Vineyards in Connecticut. This was in the early eighties. It was among the first eastcoast wineries I ever visited. But it's been a while since I was last there.

To find this bottle of Covertside White was a special surprise. It's a light Seyval Blanc, that has just the slightest touch of sweetness, which comes across like a little bit of sour apple. This is not a sweet wine to the taste. Promise. Instead, it's puckerish, dryish white. We sipped it, and it tasted wonderful. Then came he moment of truth. What would this brothy concoction taste like?

I asked her, "Why not white cheddar maccaroni and cheese and sausage?"
"Because," she said, "That would be fattening."
And of course, she was right. And the soupy stew was wonderful.

And the Haight Vineyard was a delicious compliment to this steamy bowl of soup. And as if I didn't already know, it could stand up to many more wonderful winter meals. Here's one winter white worth serving.