Some refreshing summer sippers

JIM BEAUREGARD July 15. 2014 9:46PM

Yes, summer is most definitely upon us now. Let’s look at a few more wines and beers for the warm weather, making stops along the coast from South Hampton to Boston and on to the home turf of the Pilgrims.

Jewell Towne Vineyards is located not far from the coast near that little body of water known as the Atlantic Ocean, which, as all oceans do, exerts a modifying influence on the nearby land, giving us more of a Mediterranean type of atmosphere so that our winters are not quite as cold (if you can believe that) in our summers not quite as hot (if you can believe that too) as they are further inland.

That warming influence is bought to you courtesy of the Gulf Stream, rather than the Mediterranean, but I for one will take moderation wherever I can get it.

Jewell Towne’s Peter and Brenda Oldak have been growing vines on their property for several decades now, having sought out hardy varieties that can withstand their allegedly mild New England winter, and that continue to produce delightful wines. One of these, Jewell Towne Aurore, is made from the Aurore grape, which in Jewell Towne’s hands produces a light, pale gold wine with good balance and very good acidity, on par with the acidity of a good Pinot Grigio, a light palate, in which the nose and flavors reflect white fruit, and some good hints of citrus, in a dry presentation that holds the fruit through to the finish. Very refreshing, and calls for summer salads, and whitefish on the grill. Or some of the less spicy Chines foods. $13.99, 11% ABV, just right for a warm summer night. This one can be enjoyed both at room temperature to bring out its full flavor profile, or just slightly chilled for some nights. Jewell Towne Vineyards offers tours and wine tastings in a regular basis. You can find out more at

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Sam Adams continues its seemingly endless presentation of beers with its Summer Ale and Cold Snap — in this case, both in cans. I thought these were worth a look again to see how they fare in metal instead of glass.

The Summer Ale is a wheat beer, golden with good carbonation under a medium-size white head, with the light aromas of citrus. The palate is light and refreshing with flavors of citrus, hops, medium acidity and just the very slightest hint of grain. Long, pleasing finish, also great for a warm summer night.

Also from Sam Adams is Cold Snap, one of their seasonal brews, “crisp and lively, a white ale brewed with spices and spices added.” It’s golden, a bit cloudy with good carbonation and a large white frothy head. The nose is light with hints of hops. The spice comes through on the palate, noticeable, leaning toward orange, some clove, held in very good balance with hops in the background, lower acidity and good continuity through the finish.

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Now, to change gears just a bit, have you ever been aboard the replica of the Mayflower in Plymouth, Mass.? I’ve been several times, and the thing that has struck me on each visit is how very small the vessel was for the large number of Pilgrims who traveled across on their journey to the New World.

It’s worth a summer trip, as is Plimoth Plantation, where you can visit with Pilgrims who will speak with you only in their 17th-century English dialects and, just a short walk away, you can visit the re-created village of the Wampanoags who interacted with the Pilgrims from their arrival.

Why am I telling you this? Because the Mayflower Brewing Company is making its first appearance in this column today with its Pale Ale, brewed and bottled in Plymouth. From a label: “In 1620, the Mayflower set sail on a bold voyage to the New World. On board were hundreds of barrels of beer that sustained the Pilgrims on their arduous journey. Try our English style pale ale and taste the history.”

OK, let’s: Mayflower Pale Ale, light golden in the glass with good carbonation under a very large white frothy head. The nose is quite light, and delivers hops and some slight citrus notes. The pallet brings a flavorful bitterness from the hops, and the flavors remain light and engaging through the finish – citrus, bitterness, and just the slightest hint of earthiness, giving it some depth. Also excellent for warm summer nights. They also make an IPA loaded with malt that I will bring to you soon; I had a sip of the IPA from my father-in-law Harry, who was drinking during a visit to LaBelle Winery this past week. Yes, if you didn’t know it, they serve beer to.

Contact New Hampshire beer and wine writer Jim Beauregard at


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