Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Taste of Nantucket Artisanship in Pawtucket


So, I had a meeting today in Pawtucket with the fine folks from Hasbro. We discussed many new book ideas and come up with some really good concepts.

To get there and back, I had to drive from our farm in upstate New York. It was the easiest route. Unfortunately, we are in the middl of an ice storm. It's beautiful...but I am haunted that ice storms are sometimes tragic, like in the novel and movie The Ice Storm (Kevin Klein, Sigourney Weaver, Toby McGuire, Nina Ricci, and many others.

So, since I arrived early, I decided to stop at this giant liquor warehouse, and see if they had any local wines. I trolled and found a few.

When my meeting was over, I called my wife on the cell, and she told me to be careful, because of the ice. For sure, the ride home was slow and agonizing. It was cold and raw.

I found a wine I opened...Nantucket Vineyard Merlot 2004. I was curious.

According to their website, "Located in the pastoral heart of Nantucket on the way to Cisco Beach , Nantucket Vineyard was established in 1981 by Dean and Melissa Long. Next year marks the 25 th anniversary of our vineyard and we hope you'll join us in person to celebrate this special occasion."

The cool part about these folks is that they also distill spiritis and make beer. They're the classic "triple threat."

"Part of the mission along the way has been to educate consumers about the production process involved – now islanders and visitors alike have had their consciousness expanded in regard to our fine hand-made libations."

As to wine, they write, "Combining old world techniques with state of the art technology Dean Long's selections include unique and delicious wines that you won't find anywhere else. No longer restricted by the islands geography and climate, Dean now finds the best grapes in the given year, and the wines are better than ever."

So I am even more curious now. I am sitting with a big bowl of pipping hot penne with arabiata sauce and meatballs. The steam is rising from the bowl as the plow trucks rumble by outside. The wine has a pleasant aroma. A nice scent of oakiness. In reading the label, one finds out that these merlot grapes were grown in Washington state, but the wine was made here. And a lovely pluminess to it's deep, red color. A nice drinking red.

Of course, they're located on Nantucket. But if this wine is any indicator, there's a lot to look forward to on our next visit to that island. We'll want to tatse the Nantucket Vineyards line of wines, as well as their line of fine ales (sold in champagne bottle like French farm house ciders or fine Belgian ales to be cellared), and their distilled spirits from the Triple Eight Distillery including vodka and rum.

This was a nice wine and we are most intrigued. And kudos to these folks for the Trple Treat combination.