Do They Know How Much People Hate the Arrigoni Bridge?
Arrigoni Winery, Portland
October 20, 2012
I forget exactly when I learned of Arrigoni, Connecticut’s newest winery (as of late 2012), but I remember thinking, really? A winery in Portland? Hm.
We have enjoyed plenty of wines from the Portland… Oregon area and Portland… Maine has some really top notch restaurants that serve great wine. But Portland, Connecticut? And they named after perhaps the most aggravating bridge in the state? Color me intrigued.
The bridge is somewhat of an icon and landmark in the area and is also a marker of where the water begins to freeze in the river (as south of this point the tides are able to bring enough salt water north to keep the water from completely freezing over.) If you’re curious, it was named after the state legislator who promoted the project, Charles J. Arrigoni.
It has caused more people to yell the f-word on a daily basis than any other bridge in the state. You can’t argue facts. Though the Q Bridge (which is actually the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge) in New Haven might have an argument here though.
We showed up on a beautiful fall Saturday and found the whole place rather busy. Busier than most other state wineries. Now, this might be due to the fact that the winery also houses one of those kitschy Americana stores that seem to dot route 66 down towards the river, I’m not sure.
I had to walk past all that junk to get back to the wine bar area. My younger son, Calvin, seemed intrigued by the various knick-knacks. Whatever, dude… It’s not happening in our house.
With the boys, there was no way we were going to have a tasting but quite frankly, I don’t think we would have if we were alone. It was just crowded and the layout amongst all the knick-knacks would have taken far too long.
I ordered some sort of red wine and got Hoang some sort of white. I wish I could tell you more about the grapes used and whatnot, but I can’t. Check out their descriptions here.
Oh wait, let me check my magic bag (I’m writing this four and a half months later) for my nicely ordered items from my CTMQ visits and… voila! Here it is, the tasting menu from Arrigoni! I remember I had to sort of sneak away with it because there were only a few on the bar.
Please know that it’s merely a half sheet of paper with wine stains on it – not something worth even a penny. Unfortunately, even this menu tells me no specifics about the grapes. At all. My guess is that Arrigoni uses grapes from Chile and/or growers on Long Island or other places in Connecticut. Oh sure, they have a little vineyard of their own, but that’s how this game is played.
Note: I don’t really have an issue with this.
We took our glasses of wine out to the sun-dappled patio just as a family was leaving a table. Every single table was occupied. What’s up Portland area? Is this the only game in town?
Let’s see what they say about themselves:
Arrigoni Winery brings wine tasting fun and sophistication to Central Connecticut! Nestled in the fertile Connecticut River valley, our wine vineyards, winery, wine tasting room, and relaxing “sunset wine patio” offer you a scenic and enjoyable way to sample and purchase what are fast becoming some of CT’s most talked about wines!
After sampling some of our robust red and refreshingly crisp white wines, we invite you to browse our extensive New England Wine & Gift Shop. From there, a relaxing visit to our wine patio will treat you to soothing music and scenic vineyard views as you enjoy a glass or two of your favorite new wine—with some great new friends! BYO picnics and hors d’oeuvres always welcome!
Quite presumptuous. But that’s marketing I guess. I can report that neither of our wines were very interesting or exciting – though they weren’t terrible either. The patio though, IS a place to get to know people. It helped that our two boys were being cute and well-behaved eating their snacks and drinking their milk.
It was so nice out on that patio (that’s my family in the center of this picture) that I procured Hoang a glass of the house sangria. It was wildly expensive; something like 9 bucks for a glass, but whatever. Hoang likes sangria. And according to the Arrigoni website, theirs is “world famous!”
(Some red, some white, some citrus, some soda, done. Amazing.) Of course, Hoang liked it fine and we had a lovely time on the Arrigoni patio. I can’t imagine how much of their wine I’d have to drink before I’d consider purchasing anything they sell in their gift shop, but it obviously appeals to other people.
In the end, it’s cool that there is now a winery in the middle of the state. Even if they are just using unnamed grapes from parts unknown.