I Know My Miranda Rights, Ossifer!
Miranda Vineyards, Goshen
June 15, 2008
[December 2012 Update: For whatever reason, we’ve been to Miranda as much as anywhere else over the years. Perhaps because it’s near a convenient 44 to 4 cutover. Yeah, that’s part of it – but also because the folks there have always been great with Damian. Oh, and they read CTMQ which is always nice. I’ll always have a soft spot for Miranda simply because we’ve sort of gotten to know them personally. Which makes me feel lame that this short little page doesn’t really say much. Oh well.]
“You have the right to remain drinking. Anything you say can and will be used against you as you sample another varietal. You have the right to buy a bottle of wine, even on Sundays in Connecticut. If you cannot afford a bottle, please enjoy the pepper jams in the corner.”
Now those are some Miranda rights I can live with any time. And it’s true. If you are an alcoholic and can’t make the trek to NY or MA, here’s a little secret: You can buy bottles of wine, lots of them!, at Connecticut Wineries! On Sundays! Fancy that! And yes, even Father’s Day!
[2012 Update: As you surely know, Connecticut updated its Puritanical blue laws and liquor stores are now allowed to open in Sundays… Though they might not keep it up for long.]
And so, Hoang, Damian, and I drove west on Route 4, through Torrington and on to Goshen. Past the wonderful Action Wildlife Park and then the surreal Goshen Stampede which has a rather Saskatchewan feel to it. And for you non-Nutmeggers, “Goshen” is pronounced “Go” like “stop and go” “shin.” I know I got it wrong when I first said it a few years ago.
We had already visited the beautiful Sunset Meadow Vineyard a few miles away and were eager for more. There are signs between the two wineries helping out of towners like me navigate the back roads. Another couple had brought their two year old so Damian made a quick friend and flitted off to play with her.
The owner, Manny Miranda, struggled with our tasting but his wonderful wife stepped in to help out. She said, “He just works and belongs in the basement, making the wine. Not serving it!” We tasted six wines, all of which were good. (Well, I only tasted five, but wouldn’t have liked their sweet rose.)
It’s interesting we visited on Father’s Day, because as the Miranda website says, “Some sons learn how to fish from their fathers. Others learn how to play baseball. Manny Miranda learned how to make wine. As far back as he can remember, when summer turned to fall, he and his father and grandfather would be busy for days in the courtyard of the family house, crushing grapes, squeezing them in a hand press and fermenting the grapes into wine. Over the years, Manny learned from his father and grandfather, in the same way they had learned from their fathers and grandfathers before them. He learned how to blend wine, to age it, perfect it, and, of course enjoy it.”
How fitting. And then there’s poor little Damian: “Some sons learn how to fish from their fathers. Others learn how to play baseball. Damian visited Connecticut museums and other curiosities. As far back as he can remember, when summer turned to fall, he and his father would be busy for days hiking the state’s extensive trails or learning about the textile manufacturing history of a town he never knew existed…”
The winery’s site continues, “Since he was a small boy growing up in Portugal, Manny dreamed of planting his own vineyard and building his own winery. It took more than 50 years, but he and Maria finally did it.” Yes… yes he did. And it’s really quite nice, too. Overlooking the rolling western hills, this quaint vineyard has a great deck to sip a glass and apparently has live music in the evenings to entertain guests as well.
And, for the record, Mrs. Miranda’s pepper jam served on crackers was delicious. I could get used to this. (And yes, we bought a bottle – some of the most interesting Merlot I’ve ever tasted, actually. We’ll get to drinking it in a year or so, knowing us.)