On August 27th 2008 I attended a wine tasting cruise hosted by A Grape Affair around Newburyport, MA harbor at sunset. It was a brief, nifty little tour (around 1.5 hours) around Newburyport harbor which did look beautiful at sunset in late summer.
There were approximately 25 people aboard the small boat. I did manage to break a glass by putting it on the seat next to me. Also the cheese and crackers flew at one point. The wine, view, atmosphere, and our gracious host Rhonda Grady of A Grape Affair made up for lack of creature comforts, however.
There were 4 wines to taste, 2 of which I enjoyed quite a lot. The Quinta da Murta Branco Bucelas DOC Portugal 2007 is a delicate white wine made primarly from the Arinto grape. It smelled precisely like peach chiffon cake to me (with vanilla) and had sprightly acidity to balance the peachy, sweet impression. The Martin Ray Angeline Pinot Noir 2006 was surprisingly agreeable for an inexpensive pinot from California (retailing for around $14). According to the web site, the crushed fruit undergoes ‘cold soak’ which mitigates some of the tannic influence. Relatively lighter in body than some, say, Oregon pinots, it really is such a delicious summer quaffer. In fact, I have quaffed it this fall as well already. I have already expressed my enthusiasm for the Martin Ray Angeline Gewurztraminer in a previous post: evidently, I’m a fan of this producer and line.
So I would say this was a nice experience, especially for beginning wine tasters, and I will look for other wine event offerings from A Grape Affair.