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New England Wine Books Ripen

wine guides to New England and NHSEACOAST BOOKS 

Few NH residents may know that the original settlers of Strawbery Banke set up a plantation in Portsmouth for the expressed purpose of searching for precious metals and growing grapes for wine. That experiemtn didn’t fly, but today New England (NH too) is gaining a reputation for its grape affairs, as these two books prove. (Continued below)

What are the chances that two richly illustrated hardcover books about wines produced in New Hampshire would land on our seacoast bookshelf at the same time? Pretty good, apparently. The first volume from Pear Tree Publshing offers is the first full guide totally dedicated to New England wines. The second from Blue Tree Publishing focuses in on the wines, ciders, and meads of New Hampshire. So without further ado, here’s what the publishers have to say about their new books.  

The Next Harvest, Vineyards & Wineries of New England
by Christopher P. Obert & Nancy S. Obert
8.5 x 11 / 292 pages, hc, $40
Pear Tree Publishing
Web site

The Next Harvest is a unique guide to exploring the wide variety of wines produced throughout New England. However, that is not all that is included in this fascinating book. Wine lovers wil discover chapters devoted to the history of New England, the history of wine and other New England beverages, such as mead and cider, and a description of the varieties of grapes grown in New England.

Wine_in_new_englandThe authors have detailed their adventures over the last year while visiting many of the wineries, including observations and recommendations concerning the wines. There are many books devoted to the wines of Europe and California, but this is the first book devoted to the extraordinary wines being produced exclusively in New England.

Whether it is a light and refreshing Cayuga, or a robust Cabernet Franc, you can find it being bottled right here. The authors have profiled 74 of New England’s vineyards and wineries, and there are more opening every year. This book is the perfect resource to use when planning either a weekend getaway or an extended stay in New England, complete with driving maps to regional wineries. Whether you are a wine connoisseur or have just begun your wine adventure, this is the book.

Many wine enthusiasts wish that they had a time machine. With it they could travel back to sunny California during the 1970’s and witness firsthand that exciting time in wine history. Well, you don’t need a time machine to experience wine history being made. It is being made right now in New England! New England has long had a reputation for Yankee hospitality and ingenuity. Today those same values are being harvested and refined by a new generation of New

England winemakers. Using their winemaking skills and the natural down-home goodness of the New England air, soil and sun, they strive to create some of the most unique wines available in America. From Boston to Bar Harbor, Hartford to the White Mountains, Newport to Quechee Gorge, New England has hundreds of new and exciting tastes and smells to explore. The adventure awaits, are you ready to join in the fun?


Wine & Dine with New Hampshire
By Carla Snow, CSW
Photographs by Brian Smestad · Foreword by Jude Blake
$19.95 hc · 88 pp · over 40 color photographs
Web site

One may be surprised to know that New Hampshire, a state with four seasons and dramatic weather changes, has its own wine country, but Carla Snow, the state’s first female Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), can certainly attest to it. In Wine & Dine with New Hampshire, Snow offers an in depth look at New Hampshire’s award winning wines, ciders, and meads, and the pioneer companies who create them.

wine_and_dine_in_NHCandia Vineyards is known for its Noiret wine, which Snow describes as, "lots of blueberry notes, with moderate acid and a touch of oak, and is fruity but not sweet." This wine is one of the ingredients in the featured recipe, Sirloin with Noiret Pan Sauce, created by Chef Liz Barbour of The Creative Feast.

Flag Hill Winery and Distillery has received a silver medal for its Apple Cranberry Fruit Wine, "This wine offers a dry apple finish with a burst of tart cranberries," explains Snow. Ted McCormack, the executive chef at the vineyard, created a Coq a Vin recipe that uses this wine as one of its flavorful ingredients.

Jewell Towne Vineyards uses Chancellor as the primary grape in their New Hampshire Port and Snow describes it as "Cigar-tobacco sweetness combines with chocolate and vanilla." Chef Even Mallett from Black Trumpet Bistro created a Cardamom Plum Cake recipe that pairs with the New Hampshire Port.

The other four wineries featured in the title are Farnum Hill Ciders, Zorvino Vineyards, LaBelle Winery, and Piscassic Pond Winery.

Blueberries have long conjured New England summers, and apples evoked New England autumns—now it is time to add grapes and honey to our sense of the region, and to experience all their flavors year-round. Thanks to advances in hybridization, with cold tolerant grape varietals developed at wineries and universities, winemaking is now possible even in New Hampshire’s relatively chilly climate. Apple orchards have evolved to explore the marvelous potential of cider apples at peak ripeness. Meanwhile, the August tradition of meadmaking, which involves the fermentation of honey, is seeing a resurgence. Illustrated with stunning color photography, and winery labels, and featuring recipes created specifically to pair with or incorporate the beverages described, Wine & Dine with New Hampshire delivers the good news that New Hampshire viniculture and its sister arts are making a splash at home and abroad.

About the Author

Carla Snow has more than twenty years of restaurant experience. She studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Australia, earning both Culinary and Sommeliers certificates. Snow moved to Bordeaux and then the Rhône, to apprentice with the world’s best winemakers. Upon returning to her home state, New Hampshire, Snow began selecting wines for the area’s finest restaurants and stores. Now the owner of A Grape Affair, she creates fun, entertaining, educational events, ensuring wines are approachable by removing the "intimidation factor" of wine selection. Snow lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with her husband and daughter.

About the Photographer

Brian Smeastad was drawn to the art of photography at age twelve, and by twenty-two his first book was published. His passion for artistry and his enthusiasm for travel have carried him around the world. Smestad works in medium format using a Hasselblad, and currently lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

About the Blue Tree

Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Blue Tree was founded in 2004 and is dedicated to publishing unique photography books, art books, cookbooks, and children’s books.

"Wine & Dine is a treasure! Having been in the wine business for forty years, it’s thrilling to discover a wine region with which I’d been previously unfamiliar. Carla brings the wines of New Hampshire alive with her essays, giving insight into seven of the area’s key vintners. Adding depth to her writing are the stunning photographs of Brian Smestad. I can’t wait to bake the Rosemary Apple Puffs to try with my first taste of Farnum Hill Cider! This is a book that will appeal to a wide audience, wine lovers, gourmets, those who like to travel, and historians, as well as those looking for creative food and wine pairings."
—Carissa Chappellet, Chappellet Winery, Napa Valley, California

"A terrific, attractive, and compelling report on the wines and cuisine of New Hampshire! Shari and I travel to New Hampshire for both the promotion of our wines and other business. We can’t wait to visit the wineries described, and taste the recipes and wine pairings suggested."
—GarenStaglin, Owner, Staglin Family Vineyard, Rutherford, California

"As people discover the rewards of winemaking all over this country, it is so important for books such as this one to be written to share the passion and joys that are created when people, wine and food are brought together. How exciting to learn of a prosperous and growing wine industry in New Hampshire which can offer so much to locals and those from afar. A sumptuous offering which makes me want to head to New Hampshire immediately."
—SimonLittler, CEO, Global Wine Company, California

"Carla Snow has done a terrific job with New Hampshire’s foods, wines, and wineries. The photographs and recipes capture the state’s produce so well and the book is both educational and entertaining! Change the state motto to "Live Well and Dine!"
—Michael Mondavi, Founding Partner, Folio Fine Wine Partners, Napa Valley, California


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