Litchfield Hills Wine Market
 August 13, 2020
We realize some of you are frustrated that we have not reopened to the public and that you cannot browse labels.  You can't go to baseball games either. But there are good reasons to remain curbside for now.
It's for your health and safety and the health and safety of our staff and families.
We are a small shop so social distancing is nearly impossible.
We have roughly 10,000 bottles in the store.  It's an impossible task to wipe them down and sterilize them constantly.
We work many extra hours to deliver a great service and product while maintaining a spotless work environment.  Doing our jobs through this pandemic has been stressful for all of us.  Please be patient.  Please be kind.  We're all in this together. I owe my staff a debt of gratitude I cannot begin to describe. 
Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Michael Higgins,
Owner and Protector 
We are happy to take orders over the phone and have the wine brought out to your car when you arrive.  It's really easy! Just call 860-361-6700 to order and to let us know you're here!
     * Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 11-5
 Visit us online at: 
You can view our inventory, meet the staff, and view archives of recent newsletters.
  Be like Soybean - wear a mask! 
Download PDFs of our Wine & Spirit and Beer Inventory
We'll continue to add new items as they become available.   

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What to Drink Tonight
Hopefully you have power back!
If so, chill a bottle of Muga, close your eyes, and dream of Spain...

Varietals: 60% Garnacha, 30% Viura, 10% Tempranillo. Muga Rosé, like the other wines from Bodegas Muga, is produced from a blend of trellised and head trained vineyards in the highest altitude zones of Rioja Alta. ... Farmed completely sustainably and organically, but uncertified.

Pale pink wine, with a bright, elegant sheen.

Very complex and intense nose with aromas of stone fruit (peaches, apricots), citrus (mandarin peel), strawberries and notes of dried hazelnuts.
Silky-smooth mouth-feel with good acidity. Balanced and very long on the palate.

Perfect to accompany white meat, pasta, rice dishes, salads, cheeses.
We are taking orders for Kelley's latest stellar Pinot Noir release. 
Very limited.  Secure yours today!

2018 Maresh Vineyard Star of Bethlehem Flower Block $79
The Star 2018 is a medium to dark-medium, cool red with some blue tones and shimmering transparency. Like all of my other 2018 bottlings, it is certainly deeper in colour than my 2017. As always, the Star is my most detailed and beautifully subtle block at Maresh to date: maybe it's because of Jim Maresh Sr.'s favourite cherry tree that used to grow in its midst until the Columbus Day storm, or maybe it's because of the Star of Bethlehem flowers that grace the vine rows. Who knows? True to the classic Maresh character, though, the nose and mouth are filled with sun-warmed strawberries, but those ones that are still cool inside. The nose also has some powdery, soft minerals and disarming purity. There is the slightest hint of blossoms in the silky mouth, and the length is enduring.

2018 Maresh Vineyard Star of Bethlehem Flower Block $640/12, $54.33/ bottle
Deep scarlet color. Highly perfumed and finely detailed on the nose, the Star of Bethlehem Flower Block displays spice- and mineral-accented red fruit and floral scents, along with a touch of musky underbrush. Pure, focused and lithe on the palate, this Pinot Noir offers vibrant strawberry, redcurrant, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors. As the wine opens up five-spice powder and blood orange nuances come forward. Strikingly graceful and lively, it shows no excess fat and finishes extremely long and silky, with resonating floral, mineral character and just a trace of fine-grained, polished tannins. If I was told that this wine came from a hot vintage I'd think that somebody was pulling my leg. Made with 50% whole clusters.

-- Josh Raynolds 96 points
Recipe of the Week
Pesto Chicken Caesar Salad with Tomatoes and Burrata


   2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    2 cups torn ciabatta bread
    2 cloves garlic, smashed
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts,
       cut into bite size chunks
    1/2 cup basil pesto
    red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black
    6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
    2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    8 ounces burrata cheese, at room temperature
    fresh herbs, for serving, such as chives,
     thyme, and basil

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    juice of 2 lemons
    1/4 cup tahini
    2 tablespoons dijon mustard
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1-2 cloves garlic, grated
    kosher salt and black pepper
    1/3 cup grated parmesan

Serve with nice cold bottle of Selva Capuzza San Vigilo Lugana!

This is a classic Lugana in its most traditional
interpretation: delicate, floral and fruit driven with delicate palate and lingering, fresh finish. We produce this wine since the sixties.
Past technical sheet

Produced from the local grape Turbiana (a.k.a. Trebbiano di Lugana) this lively, quaffable white wine shows the character of the grape in its easiest to drink version.

Delicately fruity, sometimes austere like the real characther of this grape variety. It has typical scents of grass, herbs, hay, citrus and apple.

It can be enjoyed young but you may leave it for a few years rest in bottle to have more body and minerality

                                WINE OF THE WEEK
Fratelli Alessandria Verduno Pelaverga 2019  

The red Pelaverga grape is native to Verduno. 20 years after the DOC was established, Alessandria honors the wine by naming it Speziale. This unique indigenous grape, Pelaverga Piccolo is only grown by a handful of producers. It looks particular since its color; but the most fascinating peculiarity is the unmistakable scent of spices, especially pepper,that is the reason of Speziale.  Pelaverga is at its core lively and refreshing, with tangy, red plum flavors and floral aromas. Locals like to chill Pelaverga wines slightly, better to enjoy it during the heat of the summer. Pelaverga too has a bit of a saucy side; locals say it's a natural aphrodisiac, its spicy nature inspiring equally spicy behavior. A steal at $25.99!
Cocktail of the Week
Classic Tom Collins

With one sip, you'll discover why the Tom Collins is a true classic. It's been a favorite cocktail for over a century and is basically a tall, refreshing gin sour that's incredibly easy to mix up.

The Tom Collins belongs to the Collins family of mixed drinks whose primary differences stem from the choice of the base liquor and, in this case, it's gin. It appears in the first bartending book, "Professor" Jerry Thomas' "Bon Vivant's Companion," but as with many classic cocktails, it's very likely that it was a hit years before the book's 1877 printing-some sources say this drink started earlier as a John Collins.

In case you're wondering why it is called a Tom Collins, it stems from the Tom Collins Hoax of 1874, whereby one person would tell another that someone with that name was speaking ill of him or her at a nearby bar or business, sending that person off to find such an individual and seek revenge. A clever bartender in New York decided to deliver a drink to someone looking for a so-called Tom Collins at his bar, and the name stuck.
Back in Thomas' time, "gin" was often referred to as Old Tom Gin, Plymouth Gin, or Holland gin (known better as genever, today). If you want a taste of a Tom Collins made in the truly classic style, try it with one of those, but there are, of course, many more choices in gin.

Beyond the gin, you will need lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda, which are likely to be in your bar or kitchen right now. (If you don't have club soda, seltzer will do.) Simplicity is one reason that the Tom Collins has long been a staple for drinkers worldwide.

    2 ounces London Dry gin
    1 ounce fresh lemon juice
    1/2 ounce simple syrup
    club soda, to top
    Garnish: lemon wheel
    Garnish: maraschino cherry

Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup into a Collins glass.
Fill with ice, top with club soda and stir.
Garnish with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry 

Terroir Spotlight
Paso Robles, California

Paso Robles is a wine region for the wild-hearted. The town El Paso de Robles (which means Pass of the oak trees) was co-founded by Kentucky outlaws Frank and Jesse James' uncle Drury around 1869. Today, Paso Robles is still considered by many as the wine industry's wild west, characterized by that same rule breaking diversity and innovative spirit in which the town was founded.

"Paso Robles is the wild west of California wine."

Paso Robles is California's fastest growing AVA. Since 2000, the number of bonded wineries has grown from 50 to over 200, driven by growth in ownership by small family-owned producers.
Understanding Paso Robles Wine

Paso Robles makes an amazing diversity of wines, but which ones should you be seeking out? The key styles of Paso Robles wine to pay attention to can be summed up into 5 categories:

    Zinfandel and blends
    Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends
    Rhône Blends including Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, as well as Viognier
    Cal-Italians including Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera
    Innovative Blends - non-traditional wine blends

Basic Taste Profile: Opulent, sweet-fruited red wines with a plush mid-palate, high alcohol levels, and a suprisingly firm backbone of acidity that will make you sit up straight in your seat. Paso Robles wines are typically enjoyed in their youth, although the best ones do stand the test of time.

Because Paso Robles is a large viticultural area, there is a range of styles.  The valley floor makes much more opulent wines, while the higher elevations to the west make higher toned and more structured wines.

Wines to try: Bishops Peak, J Lohr, Clesi, Daou

Soybean the Sommelier
Take Me to the River... and to Dinner

So terribly hot out there... why they're called "dog days" of summer is beyond me.  They're not my days.  Now, I'm no water dog.  I prefer air conditioning, a snappy dry Austrian riesling, and some gelato, but I am lucky enough to be very close to the Farmington River.  So, just sticking my paws in for a minute helps get through the hot day.  My sleepy and quaint town of New Hartford has more than just the River.  We have some fantastic dining options these days.  The always creative menu at BLT (Bridgestreet Libations and Temptations) serves up a terrific dinner under the care of Chef Jimmy.  If you're looking for BBQ (and I almost always am looking for BBQ!), Smoke King is fantastic.  I had the lamb the other night... I'm still dreaming about that one.  And the latest addition, Grey Area Tavern is a fantastic addition to the gastronomic scene here under the guidance of Chef Josh.  You don't have to travel too far to find great food and drink in Litchfield County, but some people forget about my cute town.  If you're passing by, you can find me near the river every evening cooling down... come say hello and Bon Appetit et Salut!  See you in a couple weeks!
              - Soybean

About Us
 Litchfield Hills Wine Market opened in September, 2010. 
Our wonderful staff is here to serve you seven days a week:
Monday - Saturday 9 am - 6 pm, Sunday 11 am - 5 pm. 

When Mike isn't around (or even if he is),  Sara Martin is the capable, outstanding person in command.
Pierre, Anastasia, Manuela, and Dante are also at your service.
(We'll go back to extended hours when Covid-19 goes away.)

We carry nearly a thousand different wines, Dozens of beers and large selection of spirits.
We're also happy to place special orders if you need something we don't have in stock! 
Litchfield Hills Wine Market
8 Village Green Drive, Litchfield, Conn. 06759     860.361.6700