Litchfield Hills Wine Market
 July 30, 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

The penultimate oyster wine... Grab a dozen oysters from Tilden's or wherever you can find them, and go to town.  The briny oysters and the flashy vibrant acidity in Muscadet makes for a gastronamic masterpiece.  If you can find Wellfleet oysters, good choice.  Otherwise serve up mussels or scallops and contemplate life, liberty, and limestone.

pop pop fizz fizz
(Yes, we carry spiked seltzers.)

Recipe of the Week
Paella, baby!

 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled and then loosely measured
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 3 tablespoons olive oil
 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
 6 ounces mild dried chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half-moons (See Recipe Note)
 3 cups short-grain rice, such as Spanish Bomba rice or Italian Arborio
 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
 1 cup frozen green peas
 1 pound large (21-24 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
 1 pound mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
 1 pound littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat the grill: Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat (375ºF), or light a charcoal grill and let burn until the charcoal is covered with gray ash.

Steep the saffron: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Cook the sofrito base: In a 12- to 14-inch stainless steel skillet or cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium heat on top of the stove. Add the onion and red pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.

Assemble the ingredients by the grill: On a table next to the grill, set the skillet with the sofrito, the rice, tomatoes, infused stock, salt, peas, shrimp, mussels, and clams.

Begin cooking the paella: Set the skillet with the sofrito on the grill. Add the rice, and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and lightly toasted.

Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and peas. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir.

Add the seafood: Nestle the mussels and clams into the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish.

Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes longer (depending on the heat of your grill), or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.)

Check to see if the bottom is browned: Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom.

Sprinkle with parsley and bring the whole pan to the table for serving.

Serve with Muga Rosé


When it comes to classic rosé, Tavel is a historic name. Tavel is the only wine appellation in France totally devoted to rosé. Imported by Alain Juguenet whose portfolio of Châteauneuf-du-Pape estates is brilliant, Domaine Lafond is the only rosé he brings to the U.S. Deeper in color than many other rosés with a bright raspberry hue, this is a vigorous blend of Grenache (60%), Cinsault (20%), Syrah (20%), Sippingly delicious.  
Brewery of the Week

From the brewery...

Our small batch beer: Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. is a small, seasonal homestead brewery, opened for tastings and growler sales/fills August 13, 2016 out of our barn. We specialize in extremely high quality small batch recipes, and are making every effort to support and promote local agriculture. We are very fortunate that our property has a wetland and is in the Salmon River watershed area, resulting in exceptionally high quality well water. Many thanks to the UCONN Agricultural Extension for developing our waste nutrient management plan, enabling us to use all of our waste materials either on the property or for farm animal feed.

Our large batch beer: Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. is a member of a collective called Twelve Percent Beer Project. This enables us to use our small brew system here on site as a beer test kitchen, constantly offering new beers. We partner and contract brew on a large scale with Twelve Percent, enabling us to brew and distribute on a much larger scale while maintaining the small and intimate experience here at the brewery.

Terroir Spotlight
Coteaux d'Ai x en Provence


Second in size, this region is heavily influenced by the famous Mistral winds. The vineyards here date back as far as 600 BC and were prized by the Royal Courts of Europe in the 15th century. Today, Rosé is king and is usually a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah and Counoise. Cabernet Sauvignon is grown here too. The first plantings of this Bordeaux varietal were brought to the Provencal vineyards of Georges Brunet (owner of Chateau LaLagune) just after World War II.

Soybean the Sommelier
Five Favorite Seafood Wines

1. Sara Jessica Parker's Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand).  Tons of minerals and citrus. Almost as bouncy as me on my morning walk!

2. Zenato Lugana (Northern Italy). Crisp and dry with a nice apple backbone.  Pairs well with cod and kibbles.

3. Bonhomme Viré Clessé (Burgundy).  Medium bodied gem with layers of flavors. I would accompany lobster with this if I could catch one without being napped by a claw.

4. Metaireau Muscadet (Loire).
My favorite thing to serve with mussels.  The only thing missing is a tummy rub!

5. Laxas Albariño (Spain)
Breezy, a hint of sea spray, and perfect with clams... Lap it up!

Be well!  See you back 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