And The Winner Is…

The results of the 12th Annual Connecticut Specialty Food Product Awards Competition were announced this morning. We are pleased to report that Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen, CT was awarded 2013 Wine Product of the Year for their outstanding 2010 Midnight Ice.

"We are proud of our entire staff for all of their efforts and share with them the recognition for this achievement," stated George Motel, owner of Sunset Meadow Vineyards and vice president of the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association. "This is confirmation of the ability to create a quality wine that is also a genuine Connecticut product."

This was only the third year that Connecticut wines were included in what was formerly a food and non-alcoholic beverage competiton. All of the wines submitted were required to be made from 100% Connecticut grown fruit. The Connecticut Specialty Food Association (CSFA) received 28 submissions from 5 wineries.

"We applaud the CSFA for conducting the state's only competition that requires every wine to be made from 100% Connecticut grown fruit," said Motel, "and for recognizing the contribution of those wineries that work to produce these wines."

After participating in the judging last week, Renee B. Allen, director of the Wine Institute of New England, shared the four wines from among her favorites that she picked as likely to appear in the winner's circle. All four of the wines chosen were awarded first place finishes in their respective categories. To read Allen's impressions of these wines, visit http://wineinstituteofnewengland.com/judging-connecticut-wines-for-the-ct-specialty-food-association/

Analiese Paik, founder of the Fairfield Green Food Guide, served as a specialty food judge and was happy to see all of her picks for best products receive an award. For a complete list of food winners from the competition and to read about Paik's favorites, visit http://fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com/2013/04/02/2013-ct-specialty-food-award-winners-announced/  

And the wine winners are…

 

THE CT SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION’S

2013 PRODUCT AWARDS COMPETITION WINNERS:

2013 Wine Product of the Year

Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

Midnight Ice 2010

MidnightIce

 

Wine – Blush

 

1st Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Sunset Blush, 2010

2nd Place            Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Amazing Grace

 

Wine – Dessert

 

1st Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Midnight Ice, 2010

 

2nd Place            Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Corot Noir, 2011

 

3rd Place             Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Woodstock Valley Red, 2010

 

Wine – Dry Red

 

1st Place             Jones Winery, Shelton, CT, Cabernet Franc, 2010

 

2nd Place            Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, St. Croix, 2008

 

3rd Place             Jonathan Edwards Winery, North Stonington, CT, Cabernet Franc, 2011

 

Wine – Dry White

 

1st Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Cayuga White, 2010

 

2nd Place            Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Wine Dog 1, 2011

 

3rd Place             Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, Woodstock Hill White, 2011

 

Wine – Fruit

 

1st Place             Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Hyland Red

 

2nd Place  TIE    Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Celebration

              Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Honey Peach Melba

 

3rd Place             Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Happily Impeared

 

Wine – Other White

 

1st Place             Jones Winery, Shelton, CT, Woodland White, 2011

 

2nd Place            Bishop’s Orchards Winery, Guilford, CT, Hard Cider – Semi-Sweet

 

3rd Place             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Blustery Blend, 2010

 

Wine – Rosé

 

1st Place             Taylor Brooke Winery, LLC, Woodstock, CT, St. Croix Rosé, 2011

 

2nd Place            Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT, Rosé, 2011

 

3rd Place             Jones Winery, Shelton, CT, Rosé of Cabernet Franc, 2011

 

You can visit the Connecticut Food Association at www.ctfoodassociation.org

Judging Connecticut Wines for the CT Specialty Food Association

I had the pleasure again this year of being involved in the Connecticut Specialty Food Association's Product Awards Competition. The competition was held at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. Although this was the Competition's 12th year, it is only the third year that Connecticut wines have been included in the competition and the judging was intense. A total of 28 wines were submitted by five wineries for judging in seven different categories: dry white, other white, dry red, rose, blush, fruit and dessert. Only wines made from 100% Connecticut grown fruit were allowed to be entered into the competition. 

The wines were blind tasted with only the vintage and fruit or grape variety being revealed. Each wine was judged on its appearance, aroma, body, taste and finish. Judges conducted their individual assessment of a wine and, once all scores and notes had been recorded, some lively discussions ensued. Although the judges were often in agreement, there was some debate over the course of the 3-hour tasting, with each judge having his or her particular favorites. Some general observations were the fact that Connecticut wines continue to improve and that no serious flaws were detected. One judge was particularly excited to award one of the wines he tasted a perfect score. 

The Connectiuct Specialty Food Association is now charged with the task of tallying up the scores and awarding the winners of each category. Once the list comes out, we will publish it here. In the meantime, here are a few of the wines that particularly stood out for me. I would not be suprised to see them in the winner's circle.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards Sunset Blush – a delicately sweet wine with hints of citrus, plum and blueberries, this wine earned one of my top scores for both its structure and balance. From first sniff to lingering finish, this wine provides a rewarding experience. 

Jones Winery Cabernet Franc – made from my favorite red grape grown in Connecticut, this dry red wine hit the mark with its earthiness and black cherry notes. Nicely balanced.

Bishops Orchards Winery Hyland Red – made from farm fresh raspberries, this wine captures the essence of the fruit with a journey that begins with heady aromas and sweetness and ends with a pleasant, tangy tartness.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards Midnight Ice – one of only two ice wines being made Connecticut, this sweet nectar burst with tropical aromas and flavors like mango and lychee. Perfectly intoxicating.