Wining and Dining in Rhode Island

The tiny state of Rhode Island does not come to mind when I think about wineries, but believe it or not, there are quite a few in the Rhode Island/Connecticut area now and we decided we'd give one a tasting opportunity. The Nickle Creek Winery is located in the unlikely little town of Foster, Rhode Island, not far from Providence, the state capital. We followed the GPS directions and turned onto a dirt road, thinking there was some mistake, but finally spotted a sign for the winery. nickle creek vineyard rhode island

It's not glitzy like some, but it's out in the country, surrounded by trees and quite pleasant. There are a few umbrella tables outside near the tiny vineyard, but the cool tasting room was much more appealing on this hot, humid day. We bellied up to the bar and began a 7-wine tasting. Mary Jane, our hostess, was both amiable and knowledgeable as we tasted our way through chardonnays, pinot grigios, cabs, pinot noirs, some heavy offerings and finally a suite of sweeter, fruity dessert wines. We agreed their award-winning pinot noir was the best of the lot and bought a bottle with a special occasion in mind.

nickle creek vineyard rhode island

Lin and I enjoyed checking out the “wining posters” decorating the walls.

nickle creek vineyard rhode island

We found it much easier to pose AFTER the 7-wine tasting. Hmmm ...

nickle creek vineyard rhode island

We walked through the small vineyard, the vines heavy with clusters of green grapes, then decided we'd all benefit from some ocean air and perhaps lunch.

nickle creek vineyard rhode island

Wickford, Rhode Island is a quaint little New England coastal village situated on the west side of Naragansett Bay. When we saw the sign entering Wickford village, we all seemed to remember it was the model for some John Updike novel, but couldn't remember which one. In actuality, Wickford was known as Updike's Newtown because of the surname of the first settling family. Coincidentally, John Updike did indeed use the town as a model for his The Witches of Eastwick novel.

wickford rhode island

It was hot and sultry as we strolled along the narrow village streets during mid-afternoon. Antique shops and boutiques lured us in, but our wallets stayed in our pockets. We admired the well-maintained, privately owned 18th and 19th century houses for which the town is known.

wickford rhode island 19th century house

We finally settled on the Tavern by the Sea for lunch, situated on a tiny estuary off the bay. Local craft beers like Newport Storm and Foolproof Brew were on tap and we gladly sipped cool beer while making our menu choices. Salads and sandwiches seemed appropriate for such a hot afternoon. We enjoyed lunch as we watched a fellow tie up his graceful dory in the protected waters just off the restaurant's comfortable deck.

wickford rhode island

The high-pitched cry of a bird overhead caught our attention. It sounded so familiar … not a seagull nor a tern. It was a large osprey perched high on a utility pole calling for its mate.

osprey in wickford rhode island

We lingered over the last of our lunch, walked a bit more and then headed back home. A stop at Three Sisters in Providence for some homemade ice cream topped off a most enjoyed day. No photos of ice cream … I was too busy licking my cone.

For once, David didn't mind the whining ... er, I mean wining.