Wine Observed: A bit of the Vermont terroir

PutWineryVermontCassisPUnique and delicious dessert spirits from the Green Mountain State

By Marty Ramsburg

For those looking to shop local and support Vermont businesses this holiday season, we have some truly unique and delicious dessert wines and ciders that make great additions to gift baskets. For those adventuresome wine drinkers with whom you want to share a bit of Vermont “terroir,” we highly recommend the following.

Putney Mountain, Cassis

The Putney Mountain Cassis, once made only from blackcurrants from Cherry Hill Farm in Springfield, is now blended with Putney blueberries and raspberries.  We were delighted to discover the Putney Mountain Cassis when we first moved here. For us, cassis reminds us of our friends in France who begin our evenings together with a lovely Kir Royale—about one part crème de cassis to 4-5 parts sparkling. Alternatively, you could enjoy the Cassis as a dessert wine that pairs beautifully with berry desserts, chocolate or, for something truly decadent, combine those in a cheesecake.

Eden Ice Cider

We confess to having been skeptical when Eleanor Leger stopped by 5 years ago with samples of their first batch of Eden Ice Cider. One sip and we were absolutely enchanted and have become zealots. This is gorgeous stuff!!


Eleanor and Albert Leger at their farm in West Charleston, Vermont

Made at Eleanor and Albert Leger’s property in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, their Heirloom Blend includes apples from their orchard, some from Champlain Orchards, and a healthy dose from our own Scott Farm. The apples are harvested in the fall, kept in cold storage, then pressed into varietal-based ciders after temperatures fall below freezing. The juice is then left outside until the water freezes, leaving a sugary nectar that is fermented, blended and bottled the following September.

Think creamy and sweet for food pairings—maple crème brulée, frangipane, blue cheese and cheesecake are all desserts that have been enhanced by pairing them with a small glass of chilled Eden Ice Cider. Bon Appetit!



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