Thursday, September 11, 2014

Winey Tasting Notes: It's North Carolina Wine Month

Why am I telling you about wine from North Carolina? I mean, I could talk about wine from anywhere in the world, right? Well, I have good reason for my interest in this lovely southern state. You see, three weeks ago, my Winey nest emptied out as the Winey Daughter headed south to start college. Yup, you guessed it. Her school of choice is in North Carolina. So now I have a vested interest (not to mention a sizeable financial deposit) there. For the record, she chose an amazing school (Elon University – Go Phoenix!) that has everything she wanted. But I truly believe that the fact that North Carolina is below the Mason-Dixon line and thus somewhat immune to the brutal
Elon University campus
The new home of the Winey Daughter.
Photo by Winey Mom, who, for the record
was NOT crying when it was taken.
Ohio winters like the one we just survived was also a factor in her decision. She outright rejected the idea of even applying to The Winey Hubby’s and my alma mater because it is in – brrrrrr – Chicago. We are coping.

And thus we come to wine, because the state of North Carolina has over 100 vineyards and wineries.  Yup, that many. The vineyards plant many of the well known varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot), but they also plant a muscadine grape called Scuppernong. This is important because Scuppernong was the very first grape grown here in the US and is the official fruit of North Carolina. 1 You gotta love a state who has a wine grape as its official fruit, don’t you? And according to said state, September is North Carolina Wine Month. How timely!

So in honor of the Winey Daughter’s new adventure, I went in search of some North Carolina wine before we left to drive home. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and you can’t buy wine until noon in North Carolina on Sunday. By noon, we were in Virginia. Luckily, you can find North Carolina wines all over, so I went shopping when we got back home. And since I thought the word Scuppernong was so fun to pronounce, I went looking for that. The one I chose comes from Duplin Winery (NV, 12%, North Carolina). Duplin is the largest and oldest winery in the state, and is also the world's largest producer of Muscadine wine.

This is such a fragrant wine! Like breathing pure apple blossoms. The first taste when you sip it is white grapes and honey and some sweet apple. There is something like a line of minerality running through the wine, which ends in a bit of green apple. This is a sweet wine, but it doesn’t feel overly thick and syrupy, like some sweet wines do.  This is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

Duplin suggests that you serve this wine very cold, but with all of its apple and honey flavors going on, I’m going to go out on a grapevine here (instead of a limb, this is wine blog after all) and suggest that this would be a great wine to warm up and use in mulled wine, too.  

Drink this wine if you like sweet wine, because this is a truly sweet, fruity wine. It’s widely available at grocery and wine stores for about $9 a bottle. Chill it for now, warm it for later and enjoy!


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  1. Just stumbled across your blog and was delighted to see North Carolina (and Duplin winery in particular) getting some love for its wines. I lived for five years in coastal NC as a transplant from WA before returning home. The first wine I ever drank was Duplin's scuppernong and I've still yet to have anything quite like it since. Sadly, the only way for me to enjoy it now is to have it shipped direct from the winery (or a friend). It will forever hold a special place in my heart though. Just one sip is enough to transport me back to the Carolina beaches, summer thunderstorms, and slower pace of Southern living.

    1. Nikki, I am so glad you liked my winey words about Duplin... NC is a gorgeous state, isn't it? It sounds like you really enjoyed your time there....I love me a good summer thunderstorm too! Cheers to you!


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