Hello! My name is Jess. I'm a new mom who has decided to take a hiatus from my career for a while and stay at home with my little. During this time I plan to start two blogs. The first is one I started years ago and let follow off. This is Going Local NH. This blog is all about New Hampshire; the people, the places, the crafts and more. I hope you'll enjoy my Drinking Around New Hampshire series, my History in New Hampshire series and my Hiking NH series (just to name a few I'll be working on). My next blog will be Wonderland's Mad Tea Party which will be a bit more whimsical but not less fun. Wonderland will be about crafting, cosplay and themed party fun! I am definitely a geek at heart. I have a special place for cosplay, crafting and themed parties in my heart. I can't wait to share it with you. I hope you'll take the time to check them out once they open.
According to Men’s health Manchester, NH has an A rating for happiness only beaten out by Honolulu, which let’s be honest sunshine and happiness are in the air and water in Hawaii, but New Hampshire has had this silly reputation for being cold and wet. Many people think it snows all year here, that’s only on Mount Washington and I don’t think they will let you live up there and from someone who’s hiked it, trust me, you don’t want too!
So how has Manchester beat out cities in California, Texas and sunny Florida? Well Men’s Health did some statistical research based on the suicide rate, the unemployment rate and the number of people on antidepressants and Manchester fell in second place. Is this because we are a freer state? Is it because we enjoy our weather and all of it challenges? Are we just healthier? Are we more innovative? I’m not sure. Let me know what you think…
The Smithsonian Institute has recently determined, statistically, the best small towns to visit in America. Towns considered had to have a populations of less than 15,000 that have exceptional concentrations of museums, art galleries, orchestras, theaters, historic sites and other cultural blessings. Hanover, NH was named 13th out of the 20 best small towns to visit.
Hanover was also ranked number 2 in 2007 and number 6 in 2011, in Money Magazines Top 100 best small towns to live in.
Drinking Around New Hampshire returns for blog number 2! This time I visited Flag Hill Vineyard & Winery in Lee, New Hampshire. Flag Hill is a little piece of California set in charming New Hampshire scenery. All of Flag Hill’s wines are local. The grapes are grown right on the property and all of the fruit is purchased locally!
Flag Hill was founded originally as a family owned and operated vineyard in 1990. Their first grape sale was in 1994 to the New Hampshire Winery in Henniker. Flag Hill produced its first wine in 1995 which was released in 1996. They produced 500 cases and 4 different types of wines. Today Flag Hill has six varieties of grapes and 13 types of wine as well as in 2004 they added a distillery.
So that’s a very brief history of Flag Hill, onto my visit to Flag Hill. Flag Hill is a really beautiful natural looking vineyard like something you would see in a photo from Sonoma. A large old farm house surrounded by vineyards on either side stands facing the road as you pull up to the well-marked winery. The tasting room is around the back in a well maintained vintage barn. It’s a large rustic building. Inside is a warm offering of wines and wine drinker gifts in the gift shop. In the back of the room is a large bar for tasting.
The tastings at Flag Hill was free. I was shown a menu of what was available for taste. The front of the menu was wines for tasting and the back was spirits. I enjoyed five different samples of wine while I was at flag hill; two white, two reds and a fruit wine. The first white wine I tried was the Vignoles. It was light and mildly sweet. It was summer day/ porch relaxing kind of wine. I enjoyed it especially since it was freezing outside the day I tasted it, and it made me think of summer days! The Cayuga White Had the same effect, which was the second white I tried, except it was a bit sweeter. I sipped some tasty red wines next. The first red was the Flag Hill Red. This red wine was earthy and dry. Next was the De Chaunac which was lighter in flavor but sweeter. From there I tried Flag Hills’ Wild Blueberry wine. This wine was hands down my favorite wine! It wasn’t too sweet and held onto the delicious character of the blueberry. Just for fun I also tasted the Sugar Maple Liquor. WOW, is all I can say! For those interested in a tasty breakfast martini, this liquor will make it or an apple pie martini?? Just some suggestions! It was a very tasty liquor.
Flag Hill works with Cocheco Valley Human Society in their Uncork the Love campaign. This campaign helps raise money for the animals in the shelter. One bottle of the Uncork the Love wines, raises almost $4.00 a bottle for purchased for the Humane Society. Great way to give back and enjoy a glass of wine! I purchased the Raspberry Rabbit. Flag Hill makes an excellent Raspberry Wine!
Flag Hill also provides beautiful wedding services. They can perform you ceremony and your reception. Our server told us they were almost completely booked for this year and were booking into 2014. Also on a fun note Flag Hill has name a liquor after our very our General John Stark, so if you are a Vodka drinker let me know what you think!
As part of my drinking around New Hampshire Series, I thought I would share this amazing bit of prestige for Throwback Brewery, one of New Hampshire’s nanobreweries… Throwback has won the title of being 1 of the 10 best nanobreweries in the US according the Bon Appetit Magazine! Congratulations Throwback! Your brews have always been enjoyed in my home!
Hundred Nights is an emergency cold weather shelter in Keene New Hampshire, open from December through March. This shelter, started by Don Primrose in January 2010, is a volunteer/ donation run charity. They offer a resting place on cold nights for those who have been displaced or are homeless. They cater to individuals and families.
On March 30th they are hosting their 2nd annual Hundred Nights’ Masquerade Ball. This event will be to help raise money for the shelter. It will include dinner, a cash bar, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 with a guest purchased before the event or $50 at the door. Please check this event out. It’s a fun night out and great way to give back to the New Hampshire community!
Mom Prom is a nationwide event that came to New Hampshire three years ago. It was started in Canton, MI with a desire to raise money for a local charity and for women to have a great night out. Women get together to get dressed up in their best or tackiest dress and bring awareness to a charitable cause, in New Hampshire they are raising money for St. Joseph’s Breast Cancer Center.
On April 20th Mom Prom Nashua will be hosting there 3rd annual Mom Prom event. It will include snacks, one drink ticket with a cash bar, dancing, a photo booth, and a silent auction. Tickets are $50. This event will help kick cancer out of our lives and help improve the quality of care offer to patientsfighting breast cancer. Please check out this event! It’s great night out for women!
Local shopping isn’t limited to the little locally run shops downtown. They are great and I recommend checking them out to everyone but what about locally made shopping? The stay at home mom who knits the cute caps, the local wood carver who creates bears from logs or the local farm who turns seeds into veggie feasts, they aren’t always easy to find. We search the net, craft sales and expos to find these fun treasures.
So I’ve found a few for you to check out.
Castle Berry Fairs is host 3 different local crafts events around New Hampshire.
These are great opportunities to check out local crafters and find some great gift but that’s not it. Don’t forget to check out NH Made’s website. They have a great calendar for local events. They offer links for the farm to restaurants connections, NH Farmers’ Market Association, NH Winery Association, New Hampshire Cheese Maker Guild and more. This is a really exciting site for NH goods, products, and events.
This last event I’m really excited about, it’s the 18th annual Made in NH Expo. It offers a wide variety of New Hampshire Services and products wines, desserts, chiropractors and more. The current list of vendors seems endless. It is April 5-7. Tickets are just $9 for endless tastes of NH. It is being held in Manchester at the Raddison.
New Hampshire has an ever growing local wine industry. Currently there are about 21 wineries in New Hampshire that have wine you can purchase locally, whether it is from the grocery store, the state liquor store or directly from the winery itself. The New Hampshire Winery Association has even published a map of all of the wineries in the state.
Of course wine drinking doesn’t stop at local wines, although they are amazing. New Hampshire does provide a state liquor store on most major highways. Wine can be purchased at the grocery store and even local wine shops, like the WineNot Boutique in Downtown Nashua or the Wine Studio in Manchester. If you’re in a pinch some beer stores like Beer Store NH also offer wine. There is always the gas station which often sells wine as well.
Oh course now we are all curious where I’m going with this, well here it is… WMUR posted on their website that New Hampshire has the #3 highest wine consumption rates per capita per state. Now #1 was DC, which, well to be frank isn’t a state since we only have 50 states not 51. With that said New Hampshire is still really high on the list. So is this because we are super wine drinkers or is it because Mass, Vermont and Maine jump the border to buy their wine here because it’s cheaper or does New Hampshire really enjoys their wine? I can’t say for sure but I found the stats interesting. Check out the link below for WMUR’s post.