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Feel classy for cheap at Amherst Winery

Samantha Gillis, Contributor

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Despite the giant retired parade float of a foot sitting outside, the Amherst Farms Winery on Route 9 is easy to drive past without a second thought. The barn is one among many in the area and looks relatively modest – foot aside – with only a sign by the side of the road advertising, “Wine Tasting Today.”

Located a few minutes from Amherst Center on Belchertown Road by Rolling Green, it’s an easy commute from UMass. There is parking for those with cars and for those without, the 30 route bus stop is just a few feet away.

The winery is open Friday through Monday from noon to 5 p.m. and is closed January and February.

Going on a Monday might be a good idea for those looking to avoid the crowds and get more individual attention. Staff members stand around the bar to pour glasses and guide the tasting.

The majority of the wines are fruity, light, and white. Grape wines on the menu are infused with pear, blueberry, or apple. Those who tend to be more of “traditionalists” may opt for Weatherwave White or White Hen.

Red fans have less of a selection with only Barnboard Red and Red Rooster to choose from.

Red Booster – the winery’s most popular wine year round – was the biggest selling red wine at this year’s Big E, after winning the silver medal in 2012. Recommended to everyone, Red Booster is no stranger to favorable reviews and Amherst Winery is no stranger to Big E awards. Their chocolate raspberry dessert wine also won a silver medal in 2012 and the winery’s new maple wine took home the bronze medal.

This year the winery’s mulled wines – warm or chilled – help to set the festive mood for the Christmas season.

After the tasting, guests are invited to treat themselves to a full glass of their favorite wine, and relax around the winery. In the winter months, guests can enjoy the comfy couches in the “fireplace room.” When the weather warms, a porch with tables and chairs makes for a nice lounging area.

It’s a different type of weekend afternoon for a college student and an inexpensive change of pace. With tasting for $5 and $14 bottles that can easily be split between two friends, it’s only $12 to feel classy.

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The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department
Feel classy for cheap at Amherst Winery