Wine on the Road

By: Jude Wiesner

No matter the destination or route you choose you’re bound to see signs for wineries along the road. On a recent cross-country trip, I lost track of the number I observed. While it might have been enjoyable to visit each one — it was hardly practical and would have left me crawling from state to state.

Image Credit: Jude Weisner

Instead I chose to experience the annual Wine Walk while in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. This is a quaint town on the Atlantic that has some form of alcohol related event on a regular basis. With a wrist band snugly affixed, tickets and souvenir wine glass in hand, my family made our way from gallery, restaurant, and bar to sample wine. I was disappointed to see that most of the wines presented were the typical from California, Italy, and France. Galleria De Vitro was the exception, presenting wines from the Murielle Winery in Clearwater, Florida.

While fruit wines were not unexpected, I was delightfully surprised by the infusions their nine sample wines consisted of. The Simply Key Lime was a sauvignon blanc infusion. This slightly tart, slightly sweet crisp white is purely Florida. Murielle’s blush infusion was dragon fruit and white shiraz with subtle spices against the sweet fruit. I can attest to the delightful flavors of the Raspberry – black raspberry infused with Merlot and the Blue berry infused with Pinot Noir. The Raspberry balanced perfectly with the Merlot and the Blueberry was understated with a subtle smooth blend. All of the wines were perfectly chilled and made for good sipping under a hot Florida sun.

Of course before I moved on I couldn’t refuse a taste of the Sweet Sunset Red – Chocolate Raspberry Port Style. While I prefer my dark chocolate separate from my port, I wouldn’t have turned down a second tasting. This had just the right understated blend for sipping when the ocean breeze cooled the evening down.

Silver Fork Winery in Morganton, NC
Image Credit: Jude Weisner

Spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Back on the road we saw spring take hold in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. Trees were flowering and a hint of green touched the horizon as we traveled mountain roads.

Friends took us hiking along mountain creeks and steered us to their favorite local winery, Silver Fork Vineyard and Winery. The rolling hills stretched out from the covered patio with acres of vines showing the first sprout of tender new leaves.

We toasted the new season with the Signature Four Dog Red, a medium bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. A nice all around wine.

Spring has busted out all over — so get out on the road and taste some fine Minnesota wine while it’s still mud luscious and puddle wonderful.

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