Last Sunday was the deadline for turning in our CT Wine Trail passports, and we needed one more stamp to qualify for the prize drawings. So, we figured what better way to complete our trip through the wine trail than by staying close to home and visiting the newest member of the trail, Arrigoni Winery in Portland!
Just minutes from the Arrigoni Bridge, Middletown and Route 9, Arrigoni Winery is firmly planted in the Connecticut River Valley in Portland’s “Gifts from the Heart” plaza. You’ll know you’re there by the huge wine cask that dominates the parking area, and the jolly Santa Claus that flanks the doorway leading into the cozy gift shop and tasting room.
- Pearl – Citrus and honey notes abound in this aromatic white. It drinks well by itself or with light fare, and was especially good with the cheese and cracker plate our hosts provided.
- Sunset – Another good sipping wine, this one brought the tastes of juicy pineapple, peaches and oranges to the forefront. Spicy food would be a good pairing with this fruity wine.
- Orchard Valley – Nothing but apples in this refreshing wine, not a grape to be found! Serve chilled with chicken, pork or fish.
- Drift Wood – A nice red for burgers or pizza, this wine has complex berry flavors and hints of oak and dark cherry.
- Rosso – An all-occasion wine, this fruity wine would be equally at home with a picnic lunch or lightly chilled to sip on a hot summer day.
As we finished our tasting, my eagle eyes spied a big dispenser full of Sangria behind the bar, so we cajoled our server into giving us a little taste. Wow! It was so good we decided to get a carafe and share it with a very nice couple from Durham, Beth and Bruce, who we were chatting with during the tasting. We sat out on their Sunset Patio listening to the live music until the chill in the air forced us back inside, and we enjoyed the rest of the sangria with our new friends until closing time! For those who love sangria, here is the recipe for that delicious drink:
1 Bottle Arrigoni Winery Orchard Valley Wine
1 Bottle Arrigoni Winery Rosso Wine
1 Can Sprite or Club Soda (12 oz)
Method of Preparation:
1. Combine 1 bottle of Arrigoni Winery Orchard Valley and Rosso Wines into container of choice.
2. Squeeze 1 lime, 1 lemon and 1 orange into container. Make sure not to get the seeds in your Sangria!
3. Thickly slice the remaining fruit and place into container.
4. Let Sangria sit overnight to ensure the best flavors.
5. When you are ready to serve your Sangria — add 1 can of soda you have chosen.
Arrigoni Winery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11AM to 6PM except Friday when they close at 7PM. The tastings are $6.95 and include a complimentary wine glass. Click the link for directions, and “like” them on their Facebook page.