THE STATE of Connecticut is home two American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): Western Connecticut Highlands and Southeastern New England. AVA is wine-nerd speak for a government-designated grape-growing region in the United States with specific geographical features (soil, climate, elevation). For comparison purposes, California is home to 107 of the 188 established AVAs in the United States.
Wine snobs love to critique the quality of Connecticut (and New England in general) wines. In my opinion, the enjoyment of wine comes down to a matter of taste and the experience of drinking offerings from different parts of the United States. Objectively comparing Connecticut wines to those of a legendary wine-producing region such as Napa or Sonoma — or, going further, Piedmont or Burgundy – misses the point, and shouldn’t be the process by which a wine is judged.
When I drink wine, I simply enjoy working to break down the various tasting notes that hit my palate. And when I’m drinking in my home state of Connecticut, it’s probably at one of these seven places.