For many, wine is not just a beverage but a way of life. Wine lovers flock to vineyards, wine bars and other attractions all over New England to sample the best in the region. Whether you're looking for a romantic retreat or a fun-filled adventure with friends, New England is chock full of activities suited to the wine lover in everyone.
Sample a glass in Shelburne, Vt.
On the shores of Lake Champlain lies Shelburne Vineyard, which features northern varietal grapes and supports sustainable agriculture. Their tasting room showcases a rotating gallery of work by local artists. Just stroll right in to the Route 7 winery and tasting room, and for $5 you can get a tasting along with a souvenir glass. They're open year-round seven days a week from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., no reservations necessary. For more information, visit www.shelburnevineyard.com.
Get 'blushing' in Providence, R.I.
For those looking for something beyond "white" and "red," Blush Winebar combines contemporary decor with an upbeat atmosphere and has become the place to sample wine in Providence. Not only do they offer more than 100 wines by the glass, they also feature a champagne "Bubble Bar" with 25 different champagnes that range in price from $8 to $300 per glass. Blush Winebar is open Tuesday through Saturday. Visit www.blushri.com for more.
Take a tour in South Hampton, N.H.
Jewell Towne Vineyards is the oldest winery in New Hampshire and has received more than 100 medals in international competitions. Visit the vineyard for complementary tours, tastings and sales between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, or 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A guided tour will teach you everything you need to know about the wine-making process, followed by a free tasting of their premium New Hampshire wines. For more information, visit www.jewelltownevineyards.com.
Enjoy a wine dinner in Tyngsboro, Mass.
Pairing wine and food is an art, one that proprietor Levent Bozkurt of Stonehedge Inn and Spa is passionate about. The inn, known for its unique wine center and cellars, holds monthly “Celebration of Wine” dinners with fine vintages and corresponding menus. Each month the dinner is hosted by different winemakers and proprietors from around the world. For details, visit www.stonehedgeinnandspa.com/left-bank-restaurant/wine-dinners/index.cfm.
Visit a shop just for you in Pomfret, Conn.
Why go to just any store to buy wine when you can shop at one that carries more than 400 different varieties? Aptly named the Wine Lovers Shop, it's owned by Margaret and Paul Glorioso and is the place to go when a small selection just won't do. The shop is open Monday through Saturday and hosts beer and wine tastings on the weekends. Call 203-743-1240 for more information.
New England is a great place to be a wine lover. The area is brimming with wineries, tastings and activities, so be sure to check out some of the area's best next time you hear the song of the grape calling you.