Friday, April 9, 2010


Putney Mountain Winery based in Putney, Vermont is a small artisanal Winery specialising in hand crafted fruit based wine (i.e. not grapes!). All of the fruit used; apples, cranberries, pears, strawberries, rhubarb and blackcurrants, comes from Vermont farms, making this a truly home grown local production.

Producing just 1200 cases of wine each year, Putney Winery creates seasonal wine of which their Simply Rhubarb is simply the best, in my humble opinion. I recently attended a small tasting of their new fruit wines at their home on the ground floor of Basketville in Putney. Here you can not only taste their wares, but see their small production facility.

The Simply Rhubarb wine has a surprisingly tart edge, making it a perfect aperitif wine. Bursting with intense rhubarb flavours, it is not just fruity but also full of the green leaf smell and flavour so distinctly found in a rhubarb plant. This wine would be perfect with cured meat or cheese as an accompanying snack.

I am a huge fan of wine based cocktails and would recommend that this wine could be used in replacement of the Tokaji, in a fabulous cocktail called the Noble Europe. In addition to this change, swap out the OJ for pressed apple juice in this recipe, garnish with an apple slice and it is fabulous! There you have it, The Simply Rhubarb! Side note to this choice of cocktail recipe is that I was a General Manager for over 10 years for the restaurant and bar chain that was home to this creation in 2002, Browns Bar & Brasserie. Top notch bartenders who deserve a little shout out!

Anyway...Putney Winery's Heirloom Cuvee, produced year round, won a Gold Medal at the Big E Agricultural Expo's Wine Competition 2009, in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This Winery has collected a stash of such awards at this event over the years, competing against 50 or so New England Wineries. The history and continued success of the Big E is also well worth looking into. Have to put that on my to do list!

Meanwhile, I am determined to try out more of Putney Winery's creations. I have my eye on their Cassis for a delicious Kir once the weather warms up! Cheers!!


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