The Hippo


Apr 23, 2019








Find honey, jam and more for cooking with wine at The Winemaker’s Kitchen at the Merrimack Premium Outlets. Courtesy photo.

The Winemaker’s Kitchen 

Where: Located at the Merrimack Premium Outlets, next to the Food Court
80 Premium Outlets Boulevard, Merrimack
Contact: 424-7709

Culinary wine
LaBelle Winery opens The Winemaker’s Kitchen outlet store


The Winemaker’s Kitchen outlet store is one of the latest additions to the Merrimack Premium Outlets and the most recent addition to the LaBelle Winery brand. 

The new store features the Amherst winery’s culinary product line, The Winemaker’s Kitchen, which includes a variety of cooking ingredients all inspired by wine. The jams and the cooking salts have been infused with wine reductions, and when you mix wine with the protein seasonings, it creates a flavorful marinade. 
“We’ve been really working on our culinary line for the past year,” owner and winemaker Amy LaBelle said. “Wine is always the inspiration, so that’s the jumping off point of the ingredient list.”
The Winemaker’s Kitchen also features products like blends that are used in the restaurant at LaBelle Winery, a line of three olive oils and a balsamic vinegar, a chili starter mix, wine infused salts and sugars, like a purple red wine infused coarse sea salt and jalapeno pepper cocktail rimming salt (made with a jalapeno pepper wine reduction). Other New Hampshire products have also partnered with The Winemaker’s Kitchen, including Suss Caramels and maple syrup from Fuller’s Sugarhouse that’s sold in a wine bottle, plus a vanilla bean maple syrup.
“It’s really delicate and very beautiful — a really unique flavor on your pancakes or waffles. I like it in cocktails,” LaBelle said.
In addition to the culinary product line, The Winemaker’s Kitchen also includes LaBelle’s cocktail cookbook. (She is currently working on the next cookbook, Amuse Bouche.)
The store, which is located next to the food court in the center of the outdoor outlets, features elements like barrel tables and photographs of the winery. The new outlet store allows shoppers to explore The Winemaker’s Kitchen line in Merrimack.
“Our two models for the store were Stonewall Kitchen and LaBelle Winery itself,” LaBelle said. “It looks a lot like the tasting room, as much as a retail store at the outlets can.”
It’s also introducing locals and tourists alike to the winery in Amherst. Already, LaBelle said shoppers have visited the store and then driven to Amherst to dine in the Bistro restaurant or visit the tasting room at LaBelle Winery.
“What we’d hoped would happen is happening,” she said. “Even though it’s just 15 minutes from the winery, it’s really raising an awareness about what we’re trying to do at the winery. ... It’s interesting to see the back-and-forth branding.”
LaBelle Winery’s three culinary wines — tomato, onion and jalapeno pepper — are the “leaders” of The Winemaker’s Kitchen brand, LaBelle said. Currently, the wines are only available at the winery in Amherst, but LaBelle said she is working with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission so that the outlet store can also sell LaBelle Winery wines.
“The fact that I’m in this business — that I make wine for a living and that I’m developing this line — is just a testament that I love innovating and creating in the kitchen,” LaBelle said. “Bringing wine into your kitchen, it just takes your game up a notch.”
For the past year, LaBelle has also hosted a Winemaker’s Kitchen cooking with wine class at the winery. 
“The lightbulb moment in my class happens when people realize they can use leftover wine in [cooking],” she said. 
In the future, the outlet store will also feature demonstrations and tastings of The Winemaker’s Kitchen products as well as demos from the other local New Hampshire companies represented at the store. 
LaBelle said she hopes the next step in The Winemaker’s Kitchen will be to branch out and open similar stores in other states.
“The store opened seamlessly, and my team did an amazing job helping me get that accomplished,” LaBelle said. “Having people around me now and a management team knowing how to make this company grow has been amazing.” 
As seen in the January 8, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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