Sweet Baby is a small vineyard in Kensington, NH with a tasting room attached to their home. I stopped in for a tasting and was pleased to find a selection of fruit wines. Their wine runs between $11-$13 a bottle, with dessert wines costing more. You might assume that with a name like “Sweet Baby” their wine would be sweet, but they have a wide variety ranging from dry to sweet.
A few weeks after my visit, I was in McKinnon’s meat shop (Salem) and saw Sweet Baby hosting a tasting. I walked up and the owner immediately began pouring me a sample of raspberry (the wine I purchased at my first tasting). I was shocked that he not only recognized a new customer’s face (and I know it’s not from this blog, because it was BCP: Before CP), but he also recalled what I’d purchased and poured me some.
The first time I try a wine, I don’t finalize my opinion. This could be because I am not a wine expert, because I struggle with making decisions, or because the order of samples/what I ate before changes my palette. I like to try a wine at least 3 separate times before I commit to my opinion (and all wines reviewed here I have tried at least 3 times). At some wineries, when I ask to try a wine they know I have tried on a separate occasion, they look at me strangely as if to say “you’ve had this before, why should you try it again?” And I say back (realistically, I hate confrontation…so I ‘think’ back) “I suffer from ‘Can’t-decide-on-the-first-go-itis,’ and I need to try that wine to cure it.” I am thankful that Sweet Baby is happy to pour a sample of wine even if they know you already like it.
They have recently completed a beautiful new tasting room where they sell not only their fabulous wines, but also a wide variety of local products such as spices, soap, jellies, and glassware. ¡Salud!
Blueberry While I liked this wine at a tasting enough to purchase it, I LOVED it when I got to enjoy in at my leisure. The flavors really shined when I opened the bottle at home and I savored every sip (don’t tell my husband, as I didn’t share this one). I tried the wine both at room temperature and chilled, and the taste is far superior at room temp. Rich and smooth and everything a Blueberry wine should be! With the aroma of a red, but without the jarring oak, this wine has just a touch of sweetness to make it light and easy to drink. Just a note, by day three of being open, this wine had lost a bit of it’s magic. So…next time bigger servings!
Strawberry Many NH wineries offer a strawberry wine but I have yet to find one I can really get behind. Sweet Baby’s strawberry has an excellent nose. The aroma is light and puts you right smack in summer strawberry shortcake mode. The flavor is too floral for my tastes, with a perfume-like aftertaste. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to try a wine three times before I review it (usually three evenings in a row) but unfortunately this bottle crashed to the floor as I was putting it away, so I’m unable to give you as well-rounded an opinon as I’d like. On the upside though, my floors finally got mopped and my house smelled like sweet strawberries for days!
Niagara I had Sweet Baby’s Niagara wine at two separate tastings before I was convinced it was worth buying, but now that I’ve worked my way through the bottle at home, it is one of my favorites from this winery. It’s a light, sweet, white wine that reminds me of crunching into a refreshingly cool apple.
Raspberry Sweet Baby’s raspberry wine is light and unobtrusive; sweet without being syrupy. The next night, I happened to have some cheesecake in my fridge, and together they made a great pair. The third night, I tried a glass with a dark chocolate truffle and I finally understood why people pair chocolate with wine. This raspberry works solo or with paired desserts. The $12 price tag seems inexpensive, but remember it’s only a 375ml bottle.