Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Got the Last Lehigh Valley Nouveau!

Holy Toledo, Batman! I missed the Lehigh Valley Nouveau Wine Weekend!

The nine family-owned wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail proudly introduced their first vintages from this fall’s harvest during the annual Nouveau Weekend event on Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16.

"Nouveau" is the French word for "new" and in wine making it applies to a specific style of wine produced just weeks after harvest. Nouveau typically is a red wine that goes through a rapid fermentation. This style of winemaking produces an aromatic, fruity, soft wine with vivid colors that are delicious and ready to drink shortly after harvest. These Nouveau wines can age for several years, however they are meant to be drank while young and at the height of flavor.

The wine trail members also had special food items available for purchase at the events. Some weekend food and drink highlights included:

• AmorĂ© Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth – featured new releases of Chambourcin Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay along with Goot Essa cheeses.

• Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville – turned back the clock, releasing a traditional style of Nouveau, made with Gamay Beaujolais, along with a seasonal spiced apple wine for the holidays.

• Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars, LTD., New Tripoli – paired their 2008 Nouveau with cranberry glazed chicken. Also their Mountain Spice wine was heated and served with pumpkin spice cake.

• Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards, Saylorsburg - paired "Mary's Marinated Mushrooms” with DeChaunac Wine.

• Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville – featured the new release of Turtle Rock Red. They were joined by Breakaway Farms of Manheim, Pa. who sampled and sold their 100 percent organic and chemical free cheeses and meats.

• Franklin Hills Vineyards, Bangor – paired their wine with a delicious sampling of roast turkey, stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce.

• Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas – warmed up with Chambourcin mulled wine tasted with Vinkaka (wine cake) made using our Barrel 29, a Chambourcin port-style dessert wine.

• Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown –sampled a taste of Austria. Their NuVo follows the Austrian tradition of Heuriger wines. This freshly fermented white wine of the new harvest is offered in the taverns surrounding Vienna. They will be pairing the winery’s white NuVo with Austrian goulash and tiny homemade dumplings.

• Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville – released its first vintage of the 2008 season, a Gamay Beaujolais Nouveau wine. They paired it with caramelized onion herb & cheese focaccia bread.

What a great event. Make a New Years resolution to tatse these great wines, and make sure to mark it in your 2010 calendar (November 21 & 22) so you don't miss it next year!