a Sweet Profile
~ by Maurajane Rogers, Photography by Kristen Weber
Down by the bay in America’s Hometown, step up to the taste and the sweet creations of Plymouth Bay Winery. The artisan known as Michael Carr has created a convivial atmosphere where he taps into Ephraim Bull (more on him later), Willy Wonka and a splash of Guy Fieri (if Guy were a bit more genteel and a little less wrecking ball) to give every customer a chance to “experience delicious.” For twenty years, Plymouth Bay Winery, recently acquired by Michael Carr and his wife Pam, has been crafting libations with fruits indigenous to the region and the end result is a marriage of aromatic elegance and distinctive taste.
In an antiquated (not outdated) building with sweeping views of the harbor, any visitor searching for a distinctive experience will have success here. Where tasteful cheek is plentiful and sarcasm is free, belly up to the expansive bar and enjoy the selections and delightful education skillfully provided by Carr. Carrying nine wines of authentic variety, Carr pairs and partners with local foodies to complement and inspire the palette ensuring a fresh perspective—one that is uniquely different. With onsite viniculture and with Carr at the helm, Plymouth Bay Winery produces a line of wine using the abundant natural resources available at their fingertips. Instead of attempting to cultivate a grape which simply does not thrive in the tumultuous Northeast (think Cab, Merlot), Plymouth Bay Winery chose the fruits and berries which are plentiful; some of which are cranberries, blueberries, and of course, grapes. Each wine tells a story and if the variety carries the word “Bay” know the fermented fruit is present and deeply enriches the flavor experience. Of those fruits, you can find Cranberry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry and Blackberry wines. Located at eleven o’clock on the wine palette between fruity and dry, there is a wine for any occasion throughout the year.
Make summer spritzers with a Cranberry Blush, enhance Thanksgiving dinners with a Cranberry Bay or just have a spectacular Sunday Brunch with a montage of the available varieties. If you are a white wine lover, the Widow’s Walk and the Drydock are for you. Carr not only paints a picture of the flavor experience but goes on to provide inspiration of what it would be best partnered with. Wonderfully aromatic and sweetly complemented with ice juice cubes (I highly recommend the Blueberry Bay with pineapple juice cubes!) the combinations and potential for taste sensations are innumerable. Ironically enough it is his wife, Pam (a Midwest gal), who makes “wicked pissah” sangria. Literally. It’s wicked pissah. When you’re in the know, you just know, ya know? At Plymouth Bay Winery, Carr would corner the market if you could patent punny but for now, he will continue producing great fruit wines ever so sweetly.
And speaking of patents…back to the aforementioned Ephraim Bull. Who knew the Concord grape had had such a scandalous discovery? In Sleepy Hollow Cemetery located in Concord, Massachusetts you will find the grave of Ephraim Wales Bull whose epitaph reads: He Sowed, Others Reaped. There was more than one revolution in Concord and it was the tedious work of Bull, gold beater by trade, yet a born viticulturalist, who started it all. City mouse turned country mouse due to poor health, it was Bull (not Welch) who discovered a seedling grape on his land and experimented with it. Six years and 22,000 seedlings later was to be what we like to refer to as the Concord Grape; a grape which has held top prize for worthiness from the Atlantic to Pacific, hardy, nay, flourishing, in the Northeast. Bull may have been one helluva farmer but what Bull made up for as a farmer, he sorely lacked in the savvy needed to secure the rights to his discovery and, well, it’s written in stone. I like to think there’s a bit of Ephraim in Carr due to the guileless love for the grape and the wizardry he possesses for that aforementioned fruit. An affable fellow with a quiet enthusiasm and endearing delivery he welcomes the opportunity to broaden your view of the grape (and its cousins of the region). Carr engagingly leads a full tasting with a light hearted yet vastly knowledgeable spectrum of the grape he has so carefully concocted to present to you. With a “Recipe Playbook” available on the Plymouth Bay Winery website, Carr will assist in the proper pairing and accompaniments and hopes all will feel free to browse their Facebook page for recipes and suggestions as well.
Come in for a browse or call to set up a tasting. For parties of six or more, securing a reservation (our suggestion) guarantees the best experience and most personal service. It is a journey through history, on a local and gastronomical level. Whether your tasting is a Voyage or an Adventure, expect to open your palette as well as your mind without emptying your wallet. Hosting groups from all around the world and with high season just nearing kickoff, Carr looks forward to bringing people happiness through fruit. As an added bonus, try the confections from local food companies. His line of wine is infused into jellies from Al’s Backwood Berrie Co., ranging from sweet to spicy, with new additions beyond jellies coming soon. Puopolo’s Candy of Hingham produces a white chocolate bark with Plymouth Bay Winery that incorporates the Cranberry Blush wine with dried cranberries, roasted pecans and sea salt. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. A destination location or a great kickoff to a party (think pre-game for GNO or bachelorette, first date, anniversary, or any special occasion) Plymouth Bay Winery promises to bring a splash of happiness to your day.
A caveat: The wines can be stored at room temperature however, much like revenge, they are best served cold.
114 Water Street, Plymouth
call for reservations at 508- 746-2100