|The vineyard was beautiful in the snow.|
During my college years in the UK my alcoholic drink of choice was hard cider. I liked both sweet and dry varieties, both were on tap in the pub and both packed quite a punch! When I moved to the US in 1990, hard cider was nowhere to be found. Occasionally you could find an import in a liquor store, but never at a restaurant or bar. Fast forward twenty years and hard cider is available both as an import and from US breweries. Lucky me!
I was very happy to find out that a Rhode Island vineyard is producing a hard cider. Newport Vineyards held a Holiday Open House this weekend and Computer Man and I, along with some good friend of ours, attended mainly to try the cider.
Newport Vineyards produces a wide variety of wines and nearly all of them were available for tasting. I prefer sweet wines and enjoyed sampling the dessert and Rieslings the most. Our friends liked the port and red wines. The cider, called Rhody Coyote, is very good. In between sweet and dry, it is produced with a champagne yeast so has a little fizz. We came home with a couple of bottles, as well as two bottles of Rhode Trip, a Riesling.
As well as the wine tasting, we were able to sample and purchase from local food vendors. I love buying local food, as you know, but I really like meeting the people behind the products. Their knowledge and enthusiasm is infectious. We came away with a great assortment of local food: condiments from Wicked Natural, honey from Aquidneck Honey, chocolates from Hunt Chocolate Studio and cheese from Rhody Fresh.
The more I research what food and drink is being produced in Rhode Island, the more I realize how lucky we are to live here. It makes buying locally really interesting and personal.
On Sunday, I attended a local artisan craft fair to support my good friend who was debuting her new jewelery line, Parthena Perry Designs.
A very talented designer, Tracey has designed for department stores and clothing stores such as Chico's, and is now branching out on her own. Parthena Perry is all her original designs and hand made by her in her studio.
I bought the silver seed bracelet, which is such a great design for a gardener, and another bracelet for my friend Etsuko, Art Girl's Japanese teacher. You can see more of Tracey's designs on Parthena Perry Design's Facebook page and learn more about the materials she uses. As soon as you can purchase items on line I'll let you know! Computer Man, who is a talented photographer, took the product shots. I think he did a great job. You can see his portfolio on his website. He also took the shot of the vineyard at the head of this post.
Supporting local merchants and consuming local food and drink-what a great way to spend the weekend. Supporting a friend as she makes her dream a reality is even better.
Are you purchasing gifts locally this Holiday season?