Boston Wine Expo 2014: February 15-16

Boston Wine Expo 2014, February 15-16, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, USA

We will be attending the Boston Wine Expo 2014 as Blog Ambassadors this year. We are very excited for the expo. The expo features wine from around the world. We will have the opportunity to try wines from: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and the US.

The wine expo is a time for tasting and for learning. They are offering many seminars throughout the weekend. Some to highlight:
‘The One Hour Wine Expert’ with Kevin Zraly. 2/15 & 2/16. 11:30a-12:30p. $35.
Kevin approaches teaching wine in a fun and approachable manner, without the “wine-snob” mentality. Kevin explains what terms like tannin and oak mean, and how to pair wine with your food.

Oregon Cool Whites, 2/15, 2:30-3:30. $30
The cool climate, and what makes Oregon wines great will be discussed. Pinot gris, Chardonnanny, Riesling and other white wines will be tasted.

Scotch 101, 2/15, 4:00-5:00p. $35
A tasting and learning course. You will learn what makes Scotch be Scotch. Differences of each region will be explored.

Wine Spectator Presents… World-Wide Wine Adventure, 2/16, 3:30-4:30p, $30
“Stopping” at 5 continents, you will learn about world-famous classics and “local heros.”

Rum 101, 2/16, 4:00-5:00p, $25
Rum dates back to 300 B.C. Different traditions of making rum throughout the world will be broken down through tasting.

We are looking forward to trying some different wines, learning, and enjoying different foods. Any interest in going?  Use code “SOCIAL” (without quotes) to get 10% off tickets for either the Saturday or Sunday Grand Tasting. Buy tickets here!

Prefer to try to win your way in? We will be giving away one pair of tickets to the Sunday tasting. We will announce the winner on February 1st! Your tickets will be available at “Will Call.” Good luck!

Click here to WIN!

Our 40th Visit!! Walpole Mountain View, Walpole NH

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We visited Walpole Mountain View Winery in mid December, which waiting for a snowstorm to set in. Walpole Mountain View Winery is located in Walpole, New Hampshire. We became slightly lost on the way there thanks to our GPS, but were able to get there in one piece. Definitely a food day to test out how my fairly new tires handled the snow covered roads.  100_1181 100_1182
When we pulled up to Walpole Mountain View Winery, we thought it looked very pretty, all dressed up for Christmas. When we entered, we were greeted by David, who introduced us to the Winery. The tasting room has a bar along the right side, and many bar height tables, with comfortable chairs to sit in to have your tasting. 100_1195 the menu100_1194David showed us the wine list, had us pick a glass (stemless or traditional), and told us to pick out 6 wines each. The wine list was extensive, but was easy to view. It was a two sided menu, with dry wines on one side and sweeter (greater than 1% residual sugar) on the other side. They were then listed by dryness or sweetness level. Once we picked out our six, David brought us to a different room to view a short video tour.

Walpole Mountain View Winery Facts:

  • Family run winery, with each member taking part
  • 2000- they began to think about the land (rolling hills, wind and sun) and how located elsewhere, it would be great as a vineyard. They started to look into grape varieties that would work for them
  • 2004- they started to plant the grapes
  • 2009- made their 1st wine
  • They currently operate on 5 acres, with 32 varieties of grapes, producing 28 wines. 4 varieties of grapes they grow are table grapes.
  • They are one of the few estate wineries in New Hampshire. An estate winery is when all grapes used in their wine comes from their property
  • March of every year brings pruning
  • Harvest is mid-September to October
  • Autumn–> Spring= wine production time
  • All grapes are hand picked
  • They add oak chips during some red wine fermentation
  • They strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible

When we finished our video tour, we went out to the deck area to see that setup. The deck area had 3 long, bar height tables with stools. Overhead heat lamps were set up, making the room good for most weather, although too cold for that particular day. 100_1183 Mark, testing the heating lamps  100_1185  100_1188  100_1184 100_1187 View from the deck area

We then went back to the tasting room, where Alysa had put together our tasting trays. David brought them over to us and instructed us on how to properly complete the tasting.

100_1189 My tasting tray

100_1191 the tasting table set up

Our tasting:

La Crosse: white varietal ’11. Oak aftertaste. Only oaked white in ’11. Crisp, warm tart flavor, slight lingering flavor.

Barnett Hill White: plum nose. Easy mouth. White blend, 2012

Seyval Blanc: white varietal, 2012. nose- honey/mead like. “Slowly tart,” a great description- not quite tart. Unfiltered

Marquette ’10: great red, tart and fig. Bold. Would enjoy with a steak dinner.

La Crescent ’12: Sweet with a tartness. Sweet apple and pear with a slight citrus flavor. Unfiltered, white varietal.

Frontenac Gris: white varietal, 2012. Mark said that Kiwi flavor was a good description, smooth also makes sense. Unfiltered.

Leon Millet ’11: off dry red. Nose- cranberry, cocoa, molasses, jam. Mouth- dry, maple, cherry. Yum & great nose! We really enjoyed this one!

1761 Walpole Red: red/white blend. Good nose- peppery. Fruity but not sweet, with a slight spicy tingle.

Mountain View Red: red/white blend, 2012. Raisin with a hint of chili pepper. Fruity taste, but not too sweet. Bolder.

Marquette ’11: red, roasted red pepper. Chili powder with a slight mushroom nose. Berry, cherry and bold.

La Crescent “Late Harvest”: 75% 2009, 25% 2010. Peach & Citrus. Notes of melon. Very sweet and tasty dessert wine.

Cayuga White “Late Harvest”: tropical like; dessert wine

We had a great experience at the Walpole Mountain View Winery. David was very friendly, and made us feel very comfortable.
The set up was interesting, in a good way. We liked that you sat down, chose your wines to taste and went to watch the video tour before coming back to enjoy the tasting. This not only made for a good experience for us, but we can envision this set up working very well during high traffic times.

Want to visit? They are currently closed for the winter, and typically reopen Memorial Day weekend. 

2013 Hours (check their website and facebook for 2014)

Memorial Day- Halloween
Fridays 5-7p
Saturdays: 12-6p
Sundays: 1-6p

November 1st-Late December
Fridays 4-6p
Saturdays: 12-5p
Sundays: 1-5p

Henniker Brewing, Henniker NH

100_1164We went to Henniker Brewing Co. two weeks before Christmas. Located in Henniker, New Hampshire, it was slightly difficult to find, partially because the GPS said we were already there before we were, and partially because their sign wasn’t very large.

The brewery is owned by David Currier. He owned the building and wanted to do something fun and cool to benefit the town. Henniker Brewing Co. has a small bar, but also has a handful of tables for you to do your tasting. When we arrived, there were quite a few people there, some made a space for us at the bar. Their tasting room is not open for often at this time, but with seeing how busy they were, look for additional hours to be added with their growth. If you want more information on the brewery, the brewing process and the beers, go on a tour while you are there.

100_1175their store
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Our Tasting:100_1174

Whipple’s Wheat: 4.8% good wheat beer, dry hopped and citrusy.

Amber Apparition American Amber Ale: 5.2%. Carmel and toffee flavors. Mark- pretty good, light amber, light taste

Working Man’s Porter: 5.2% good flavor. Mark- tastes a little chocolately almost toasted or roasted. Good winter beer.

Hop Slinger IPA: 6.5%, citrus aroma with a grapefurit flavor. Mark- pretty good IPA. Meg- sweet taste at the end

Whipple’s Wheat Aged With Pineapple: they change this variety weekly to biweekly. Smells like pineapple. Good, different, fun. Mark- “pretty good, huh”

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Very busy place, many people came in while we were there to refill their growlers. By the time we left, the line was almost out the door!

Our Tour:

Our tour was given by Chris Shea- the Head Brewer. He knows what he is doing and really seems to care. He formally brewed at White Birch, and appears to see this as his chance to really do well and made a name for himself. When we walked into the brewery, it appeared to be a good sized space with lots of room to expand. We were told “don’t touch anything because it’s super expensive and super doesn’t belong to you.”

The brewery opened “a year and ten days ago” as of our visit on 12/14/13. Construction to convert the building began in December of 2011, with their first batches on December 21, 2012 and released in January 2013. Their initial brewer was James Moriarty, who had been a brewer for Cape Cod Brewery and was commuting from the Cape. When it came time for James to move on (and stop with the awful commute!), Chris had recently left White Birch and was recommended for the position.

Chris told us about how the October 2013 government shutdown impacted them. They are currently planning four seasonal beers and had hoped to have the winter beer out already. Due to the government shutdown, they were still waiting for labels to be OK’d. They are now looking for their winter beer to be released in January 2014.
Winter- roast coffee stout. espresso beans
Spring- Hop 4 Double IPA. Chris has been given the green light to change the flavor yearly.
Summer- Belgian table beer
Fall- double brown ale, possibly with maple syrup

The brewery gets their water from artisanal wells, located behind the brewery. It is neutral water, which Chris is able to build to any chemical composition, such as London water for the Porter.
They buy malt from all over the world. When they make their porter, they make it similar to a 1856 London brewery would, using 3 malts- pale, brown and black. They also use artisanal malts, which can be different colors because of the way they are roasted. 100_1166
We were shown the mill to grist case, which barely breaks open the malt. 100_1167

Some information:

  • they add hops 3x during their hour long boil
  • they currently have their beer available in 22 ounce bottles, but in 2014 will be moving to cans- 6 packs for their regular beers, 4 packs for seasonal. Once they have a canning line, help will be hired
  • Chris is the only one that works back in the brewery100_1173  100_1172  100_1171  100_1169  100_1168

Mark and I felt that the more of a craft brewery it is, and the more educated the tour guide is (here being the brewer), the more you learn during the tour.

Henniker Brewing Co. is a good brewery to keep your eye on.

Want to visit?
Tasting room is open from:
3-6pm Monday-Friday
12-2pm Saturdays
Tour- 1pm Saturdays