McLaughlin Vineyards: A Perfect New England Experience

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Last Friday, I went to an estate sale in Newtown with a friend. Earlier that morning, the most perfect snowfall had descended upon Connecticut — enough to lightly coat the branches but not enough to make for a messy commute.

Since we were so close to McLaughlin Vineyards in Sandy Hook and hadn’t been before, we called to see if they were open. Dee Dee, the woman who answered the phone, asked if we had four-wheel drive (we didn’t), but we didn’t have a problem on the driveway.

I can see why she asked though! ImageDee Dee graciously met us at the door when we walked in and brought us back to the tasting room. A little stove happily emitted heat and beautiful tables made out of wine barrels were a nice, rustic touch.

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Alright, enough about snow and decor — what about the wine? We had a tasting of the four wines at the vineyard.

  • Blue Coyote: A white wine with hints of green apple and spice — a blend of Vidal Blanc and Aurore grapes
  • Vista Muse: Lemon and grapefruit notes — made of 100 percent Seyval Blanc
  • Snow Goose: A blend of estate white grapes, including Cayuga
  • Merlot: Spicy, with notes of cherry (and served with an awesome chocolate that paired well)

My favorite is the Blue Coyote. It’s an easy pour — it’s not too biting, bitter or overly sweet. Dee Dee told me that Blue Coyote and Snow Goose could be served warm, with spices. They get extra points for that!

Have you been to McLaughlin Vineyards before? What’s your favorite wine? 

I especially loved how everything is local at McLaughlin Vineyards, from the awesome gifts for sale in the shop to the art on the wine labels.

The owl below was made by Lon Smith of Stone Carve Ranch. Smith is based in Woodbury and can be reached at 203-266-9104. Go local!

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But the coolest part of the trip was when Dee Dee told us that McLaughlin Vineyards is working on something new — mead! Mead consists of fermented honey and water. She said it’s possible the first batch could be ready in February, so stay tuned!

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