By Chrystal Corsino aka “The Babysitter”

After a quick exchange of wine trail companions, drop off mom and pick up Ashleigh it was on to the next 5 wineries. At least the switch off gave me some time to sober up after the previous 6 wineries of half glass tastings. 

The next stop was Whitecliff which in all honesty is not one of my favorites and actually none of the next 5 are on my top 5 wineries of the valley list (this will change as the day progresses).  With the pasta dish they served an ’08 merlot which seemed to be a great pairing. Definitely was  impressed by this winery and enjoyed there Red tail a sweeter berry red and I enjoyed their Awosting White as it was dry yet sweet and refreshing definitely perfect for sipping on a warm summer day. Thank goodness they served us actual tasting sizes here. 

Adair was hands down Ashleigh’s favorite winery and boy was I glad to make it here as it always seems it is last on my trial list and I never ever make it.  The spring orzo pasta left a lot to be desired but it did pair well with the Cayuga white.  We enjoyed all the wines we tasted but the Kir Rouge was amazing – a red and blackberry wine blend, perfect for sipping anytime. Not to heavy and  perfect for any event, a close second was the Peche the amount of peach flavor in this was surprising but perfect, now where is the fruit salad to go with it. Ok well three more to go and not sure I am going to make it glad Ashleigh is here with a clean palette and clear mind, at this point everything has started to become fuzzy. 

All day I kept hearing about Glorie Farms kicked up mac and cheese and boy did I need some food, they paired it with the Seyval Blanc which was amazing. This wine had a vanilla taste with a dry peppery finish, not one I would drink alone but with this dish awesome. The recipe for the mac and cheese is on their website and I suggest it to everyone. I truly did not enjoy any of the wines I tried until they allowed us to try their new Candy ass Red a sweeter red with hints of raspberry, but crisp and smooth. This is definitely a keeper for them. 

On the short 2 minute ride to stoutridge I quickly explain to Ashleigh how this winery is a little different and that the wines at first taste are a little different as they are organic and unprocessed. I know this because it has taken me 3 trips to find any wines here that I enjoy, but the history of the land and the process they use makes it a winery not to miss. I only enjoyed the Frontenac probably because of the blackberry taste; at this point it seems anything with a berry type taste is on my good list. Time for our coffee chaser; always look forward to the coffee here, and definitely the pep up we need to make it to Benmarl. 

Benmarl the last stop. They only offered one white their trimanette a lot of citrus but very dry. The Dechaunac was def my favorite red of the trail and I did buy 2 bottles because the Cia brother had to taste it. You cannot miss the mix of cherry and vanilla spice in every sip of this wine, just amazing. The CIA brother served this at a dinner he cooked for friends and they were all raving about it. We also got to taste the Baco noir not on the tasting list but definitely would be great with a steak, smoky, dry smooth delicious.  Ashleigh enjoyed the Sangria.  We did get to go into the wine cellar at Benmarl and if you ever get the chance it is pretty amazing with bottles of wine dated back to when they opened, and a great ambiance.

Eleven wineries  in 8 hours and I am still standing and kind of making sense. I think if the wine trial was spread out over 2 days it would give people a better feel of the true tastes of HV wine, however doing all eleven in one day definitely something to experience. Each winery has it s own amazing ambiance and view of the Hudson Valley. Even if you do not make it to a trail event, pack a picnic lunch and go enjoy a bottle of wine with friends at any of these wineries, you will not be disappointed