Harvest Wine Tasting: Charlton Orchards

While strolling through the Wayland Farmer’s Market, eyeing stalls boasting their beautiful heirloom produce, a chalkboard easel advertising ‘Wine Tasting’ in neat handwritten block letters stopped me right in my tracks and reeled me in like a fish on a line. The sign and the wine were property of Charlton Orchard, which hosts Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery. The family has been growing fruit for half a century, and ventured into the wine making process in 1999. Not only do they produce the traditional grape varietals, but their niche lies in their uniquely crafted fruit wines which was precisely what had me salivating as I walked up to their booth.

The orchard’s wine list features a huge array of fruit wines, mostly on the sweet side ranging from Plum, Blueberry and Cherry, to Strawberry Rhubarb and Pear. For research purposes, of course, I had to test every one of them. The pear and cherry versions were true to their fruit essence, but a little to sweet for my taste. I found the Shiro Plum to be just as it is described by the winemaker: ‘delightful’, and would surely pair nicely with a pork loin.

The Peach Wine won my prize of the day with its distinct, tangy sweet flavor meld. I brought a bottle home with me, and decided that it would be delicious as an apertif or mixed with a bit of seltzer and fresh ginger or lime as a refreshing spritzer. Their Carbonated Apple Wine was a close second, evoking the crisp feel of fresh fall cider interlaced with the bubbly effervescence of sparkling wine.

Charlton Orchards is currently open Wednesday-Sundays through October where you can ‘pick your own fruit’, and hosts wine tastings on the weekends.

Contact:

44 Old Worcester Rd.

Charlton, MA 01507

Phone: (508) 248-7820 / (800) 649-1476

Email: info@charltonorchard.com

Web: www.charltonorchard.com  & www.obadiahmcintyre.com

Wine Tasting! Krupp Brothers, 2007 Black Bart Marsanne

I first tried Krupp Brothers wine at the Vintner’s Collective in Napa and knew that I liked their style. This 2007 Black Bart Marsanne is a blend of 97% Marsanne and 3% Chardonnay, aged in French oak which lends itself to a lovely yet unique flavor. Although smooth and succulent, this sprightly white has a complex nose with a balanced finish. Tasting notes (in my opinion!) include: almond, honey, amber oak, and mossy spring grass. Try this wine as a first course for a light outdoor dinner!

Also, I’m loving the label….

Favorite Splurge & Save Wine Recommendations

I’ve enlisted my favorite fashionista and winestress (my personally coined term), Pauline Sargetakis, of Parallel Wines for her favorite recommendations of some tasty wines to pair with what’s for dinner this weekend. Here is her list of delicious Splurge or Save wines to try tonight, or for a special occasion.

REDS              Splurge- Anomaly 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley /  $85.00

Pauline says: ‘It’s a very full bodied wine with dark berry flavors, and reminds me of home. The complexity of this wine makes enjoying a glass fun because it starts of bold and strong with a velvety smooth finish’.

Try with: Braised pork chops, or hearty roasted portobello mushroom steaks.

Save- Chateau Ste. Michelle 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley / $15.00

Pauline says: ‘It’s a flavorful cab that is perfect for sipping on its own. Great light berry notes and is my favorite with a hot bath after a long day.’

Try with: Blue cheese and pear, or dark chocolate.

WHITES         Splurge- Grgich Hills 2006 Violetta Late Harvest, Napa Valley / $95.00

If you couldn’t tell, we LOVE Grgich wines. Just simply can’t get enough. So, even though I’ve made numerous recommendations (and several trips to their tasting room…), here they are again. There is a reason why Mike Grgich is in the Vintner Hall of Fame!

Pauline says: ‘I really like the Grgich late harvest (Violetta) for a splurge. A bit sweet, it’s fruity, deep flavors linger on the palette. This wine is refreshingly good with spicy foods.’

Try with: Hot Pad Thai or Spicy Cioppino Soup

SAVE- Luna Vineyards 2006 Freakout White Wine, Napa Valley /  $16.00

Pauline says: ‘Freakout is my go-to for a delicious, reliable ‘pick-me-up’ bottle. It’s a great blend (41% Chardonnay, 38% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% Pinot Grigio, 8% Ribolla Gialla) that has bright flavors and crisp body.’

Try with: Chicken Kebobs or Grilled Halibut