A Pretty Hill in Polk County

A Pretty Hill in Polk County

This episode features Sofia Lilly of Overmountain Vineyards in Tryon, North Carolina! We visited Sofia at the vineyard on a sunny day in October. Their extensive patio and spread out seating allowed us to record this episode while observing social distancing practices.

Sofia talks to us about how Overmountain Vineyards started as a small family farm and still continues to live up to that standard. Over the years, many things have changed. The biggest change of all came in 2014 when Sofia decided to make the family business her career.

With more focus on the vineyard and the wines, they were able to put a greater emphasis on quality. For a before and after photo of the same grapes, check out the cover photo for this episode. Since then, quality has improved and so has their following.

At Overmountain Vineyards, they embrace the cultural fusion that makes up both sides of the family blending Lita’s Cuban heritage with Frank’s Irish background. Everything they do is a reflection of who they are.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica talk to us about some of the things that are added to wine to improve the quality and make it ready for drinking. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh

Closing Content

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk. 

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Sami the Wine Cat

In the Wine Light – Sami the Wine Cat

Sami excited about new wines from Défi Wines by Botanist & Barrel

Sami excited about new wines from Défi Wines by Botanist & Barrel

In the Wine Light is our sweet wine cat, Sami.  Long time followers know Sami as our little photo bomber in our wine photos.  It started by accident, but now, we do try to get her in the shot.  Her fans are sometimes concerned if she’s missing from the photo.

Sami the Wine Cat Relaxing

Sami relaxing before dinner

You’re probably wondering why we’re celebrating Sami this week.  Well, you see, we celebrate Sami’s birthday on November 17th.  We don’t actually know when her birthday is or even how old she is exactly.  Sami is a rescue kitty.  She was saved by the Saving Southern Kitties from a high kill shelter in Greenville, South Carolina.  Her vet records listed November 17th as her birthday, but that might just be the day she was pulled from the shelter.

Sami the Wine Cat loves her boxes

Sami loves her boxes especially when they’re from Chewy.

Saving Southern Kitties is a terrific non-profit organization run by our dear friend, Susan, working to save cats from high kill shelters in the Carolinas.  Based in the Charlotte area, this volunteer organization is top notch and does fantastic work.  Visit their website to find out how to volunteer, donate money, purchase fun kitty merchandise, or see their list of adoptable cats.

Sami the Wine Cat relaxing on the couch

Sami doing on her favorite things – relaxing on the couch

Sami is sweet, a little crazy, and VERY loud.  She always has something to say.  Sami loves laying the sun, sleeping under her blanket on the couch for hours, cardboard boxes, and sitting outside on the patio with her humans.  She adds such joy to our lives.  We hope she has a very happy birthday and a PURR-fect day!

#InTheWineLight #SamiTheWineCat

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – International Merlot Day

In the Wine Light – International Merlot Day

Merlot Growing at Laurel Gray Vineyards

Merlot Growing at Laurel Gray Vineyards
Photo provided by Kim Myers, Co-Owner, Laurel Gray Vineyards

In the Wine Light is International Merlot Day.  This wine holiday is celebrated annually on November 7th.

Merlot is one of the most widely planted and noble wine grapes in all the world.  It typically is one of first red grapes to bud break, so it sometimes has issues with the late spring frosts we see here in North Carolina.  Due to the earlier bud break, it’s often one of the first red grapes to be harvested.

Merlot hails from Bordeaux and is an offspring of Cabernet Franc making it a sibling to Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, and Malbec.  It wasn’t until around 2009 that Merlot’s other parent was discovered via DNA testing.  This obscure variety, Merlot’s mother, is formally known as Magdeleine Noire des Charentes.

Sales of Merlot increased in the 1990s along with other red wines following the airing of the 60 Minutes segment on the French Paradox.  Then sales fell nearly 2% following the release of the 2004 movie Sideways which unfairly degraded Merlot.  Merlot has since made a comeback.

Baby Jack Loves Laurel Gray Merlot

Even babies love merlot! This is Baby Jack with merlot from Laurel Gray Vineyards in 2007. These grapes made a 100% estate wine that later won Best in Show at the NC State Fair Wine Competition.
Photo provided by Kim Myers, Co-Owner, Laurel Gray Vineyards

Merlots are often known for being full bodied with medium tannins.  Classic flavors are black cherry, raspberry, and plum.

There are many delightful Merlots in the state.  Just a few of our favorite include (but not limited to) Merlots from Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Laurel Gray Vineyards, South Creek Vineyards and Winery, and McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks.

What do you like about Merlot?  How are celebrating this iconic variety?

#MerlotDay #InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Wine Styles for Fall

In the Wine Light – Wine Styles for Fall

In the Wine Light is wine styles for fall.  We don’t know about you, but fall is our favorite season.  Those warms days and cool nights are a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of the long Carolina summer.  

With the change of seasons comes a change in the wines we drink.  Here are some of the favorite kinds of wines we like to enjoy as the days get shorter and the leaves turn their brilliant colors.

Linn Cove Viaduct

Linn Cove Viaduct around Grandfather Mountain along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Rosés – Rosés are typically associated with the warm days of spring and the sweltering hot days of summer, but rosé is also perfect for Fall.  Whether it’s a warm afternoon in the sun or with your Thanksgiving dinner, rosé is always a perfect pairing.

Sparkling Wine – We’re big fans of sparkling wine anytime of year.  Fall is often about celebration with Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Bubbles are a perfect way to start any celebration or a Tuesday night dinner.

Full Bodied and/or Oaked Whites – As the days get cooler it’s usually good to move from those crisp and cold wines of summer into a more full bodied white wine.  Think Petit Manseng or Viognier.  Add a little oak such is in a nice Chardonnay and you have the perfect pairing with fall foods featuring butternut squash or pumpkin.

Light Reds – Light Oaked or No Oak – The weather can still be quite warm in fall and the food typically isn’t as heavy as in winter, so it’s the perfect time for light reds whether they be oaked or not.  Think a Loire Valley Style Cabernet Franc or a nouveau style wine.  A drier muscadine, Chambourcin or Sangiovese are also good choices.

Cider – Who doesn’t love a good fresh apple in fall?  So, why not enjoy a nice cider?  Many apples can pack some good tannins, so ciders can be heftier than you might think.  Cider also pairs well with Thanksgiving dinner.

Mead – Mead is a perfect fall beverage.  From traditional styles to cysers with apple or pear, mead pairs perfectly with warm days, cool nights, sausages on the grill, Thanksgiving turkey and even pumpkin pie.

What wines do you enjoy in fall?  Do you have a favorite fall food and wine pairing?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #WinesForFall #FallWines

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – North Carolina Cider Week

In the Wine Light – North Carolina Cider Week

Brushy Mountain Limbertwig

Brushy Mountain Limbertwig Apple – This variety is thought to have originated in the Brushy Mountains of NC.

In the Wine Light is North Carolina Cider Week.  We celebrate NC Cider Week annually during October or November.  This year October 19th – 25th has been designated as a week to honor North Carolina Cider!

So, what is cider exactly?  Here, we’re obviously discussing what’s commonly called “hard cider”.  This cider at its most basic level is fermented apple juice.  

Similar to making wine from grapes, cider is made from crushing apples and fermenting the juice.  The sugar content of apples is lower than grapes, so ciders are typically lower in alcohol than wines.  To make apple wine, sugar is typically added in fermentation to allow for wine like alcohol.

Here in North Carolina, many cider apples are sourced from the Hendersonville area and from the Brushy Mountains in Wilkes and Alexander Counties.  Cider producers range from those in the mountains to the southern piedmont to urban areas like Charlotte and Durham.

So, how do you celebrate NC Cider Week?  By drinking a locally grown and produced NC Cider, of course!  You can also celebrate by visiting local cideries and by attending the NC Cider Week Sip and Meet on Saturday, October 24th at the Chatham Beverage District in Pittsboro.  This event will feature cideries from the Piedmont of NC.

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #NCCiderWeek #NCCider

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Relaxing, Casual, and Fun

Relaxing, Casual, and Fun

In this episode, we sit down with Ken Gulaian and Kari Heerdt of Round Peak Vineyards in Mt Airy, North Carolina! Ken and Kari moved to North Carolina in 2008. Before landing in North Carolina, they lived in California which is where they fell in love with wineries and vineyards in some of California’s most well known regions.

They purchased Round Peak Vineyards shortly after moving. They continued maintain the existing vineyard which focuses on French and Italian varietals. Soon after opening, they noticed an opportunity to release a second line of wines, and Skull Camp was born. This quickly branched out into a brewery and smokehouse restaurant.

As a result, they offer a very well rounded profile sure to meet the palate of any customer. No matter what location you visit, you’re sure to find that each establishment embraces the feeling of being relaxing, casual, and fun.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica talk to us about some of the things that are added to wine to improve the quality and make it ready for drinking. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh

Closing Content

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk. 

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Drink Local Wine Week

In the Wine Light – Drink Local Wine Week

In the Wine Light is Drink Local Wine Week.  Drink Local Wine Week is celebrated annually during the second full week of October, so for 2020, the dates are October 11th – 17th.

This week started in 2008 by the Drink Local Wine organization to encourage wine writers and bloggers to write about and celebrate local wines. The organization has since taken a break, but this week long celebration has continued annually.

Local wine means different things to different people.  Some say a wine is local if it’s sold locally.  Some say it’s local if it’s produced locally.  And still others say it’s local only if it’s both sourced from locally grown products (grapes, other fruits, honey) AND locally produced.  We have some thoughts on that in another post.

Whatever you consider a local wine, celebrate with a local wine or two this week and tell others about it.

Support Local #NCWine

And if you want to join the conversation about local North Carolina Wine, join our new Facebook group, Support Local North Carolina Wine – #NCWine!

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight #DrinkLocalWineWeek #DrinkLocal

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Orange Wine Week

In the Wine Light – Orange Wine Week

Orange Wine Flavors Courtesy of Wine Folly

Orange Wine Flavors Courtesy of Wine Folly

In the Wine Light is Virtual Orange Wine Week.  This day was originally started by Amanda Clair Goodwin (known at The Real Housewine) in 2018 as National Orange Wine Day to be celebrated annually on October 6th.  This year it has been expanded to a whole week to be celebrated from October 5th – 10th.

The goal of National Orange Wine Day and now Virtual Orange Wine Week is to according to the day’s website, “bring greater awareness to this beautiful, yet lesser-known style of wine in a way that is nonjudgmental, unintimidating, and inclusive.” 

So, you may be thinking what is Orange Wine?  No, we’re not talking wine made from oranges.  We’re talking about a white wine made from white grapes.  With orange wine, unlike traditional white wine where the skins are removed, the pressed juice remains on the skins to ferment for days to weeks or even months.  This gives the resulting wine an orange hue.

Orange wines are more bold and complex than many white wines.  They might have flavors not typically associated with white wine.  Also, they can be more tannic due to the contact with the grape skins.  Orange wines are thought of have originated in what is now the country of Georgia.

Have you had an orange wine?  Some past and current producers of orange wine in North Carolina are Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks in Thurmond, DéFi Wines (Botanist & Barrel) in Cedar Grove, and Lazy Elm Vineyard & Winery in Mocksville.

#InTheWineLight #NationalOrangeWineDay #VirtualOrangeWineWeek

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – Virginia Wine Month

In the Wine Light – Virginia Wine Month

RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, VA

RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, VA

In the Wine Light is Virginia Wine Month.  October is designated as Virginia Wine Month.  Outside of North Carolina, Virginia is one of favorite American wine regions.

Virginia’s wine history dates back nearly 400 years.  Just 12 years after the first English settlement at Jamestown, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed “Acte 12”.  This act required each male colonist to plant and tend to grapevines.  Later in 1773, the Virginia Wine Company formed and devoted nearly 2,000 acres of land to start a vineyard and winery near Monticello.  (Source:  VirginiaWine.org)

Today Virginia boasts over 300 wineries, 8 American Viticultural Areas (with two shared with other states), and nearly 3000 acres under vine.  Plantings include Vinifera, hybrids, and native American grapes.  Much like North Carolina, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc do well in Virginia. Albariño is also another up and coming variety that is getting more attention in Virginia.

We look forward to highlighting a few Virginia wines this month.  Do you have a favorite Virginia wine?

#InTheWineLight #VAWine #VAWineMonth

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – How to Hold A Wine Glass

In the Wine Light – How to Hold A Wine Glass

The Incorrect & Correct Way to Hold a Wine Glass

In the Wine Light is the proper way to hold a wine glass.  Yeah.  We know.  You’re probably thinking, “There’s a right way to hold a wine glass?”  The answer is absolutely YES!

You should always hold your wine glass by the stem near the base.  There are two main reasons why this is true.

  1.  You won’t get greasy finger prints on the bowl of your glass.
  2. The most important reason though is that your wine will stay cooler longer if you don’t put your warm hands on the bowl.

There may be cases where you do want to warm up your wine.  Perhaps you’re drinking an oaked chardonnay that’s been in the refrigerator.  A few good swirls with your hands cupping the bowl can certainly make your wine taste better.  But as a general rule the stem is the way to go.

So, now you’re probably thinking, “What about stemless glasses?”  Well, in our opinion, they make lovely water glasses but terrible wine glasses.  So, stick to the stemmed glass!  

Cheers!

#InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – International Grenache Day

In the Wine Light – International Grenache Day

Grenache growing at Jones Von Drehle Vineyards and Winery

Grenache growing at Jones Von Drehle Vineyards and Winery – Photo Courtesy of Jones von Drehle

In the Wine Light is International Grenache Day.  This wine holiday is celebrated yearly on the third Friday in September.  In 2020, that falls on September 18th.

Grenache Day celebrates the red grape Grenache as it’s known in France.  In Spain, it’s known as Garnacha and is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world.

Grenache typically thrives in a hot, dry climate and is believed to have originated in what is now northern Spain.  It is also widely grown in the southern Rhône Valley in France where it makes up to 80% of Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends along with primarily Syrah and Mourvèdre.  Grenache is also used to make rosés with is being the predominant variety in the famous rosés of Tavel.

Grenache is not widely grown in North Carolina.  Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery currently uses their Grenache solely for their dry rosé, Rosa Dia.  Hanover Park Vineyard has a small planting used for blending.  Junius Lindsay Vineyard uses Grenache as an occasional standalone wine but mostly for blending in both reds and rosés.  MenaRick Vineyard and Winery also grows Grenache and has a single varietal of Grenache available.

What do you like about Grenache?  Would you like to see more Grenache grown in North Carolina?

#GrenacheDay #InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
Preserving the Family Farm

Preserving the Family Farm

In this episode, we interview Shruthi Dhoopati and Jeff Frisbee of Addison Farms Vineyards in Leicester, NC. Jeff tells us about the history of the vineyard and how it started out as farmland for his grandparents. After raising tobacco and cattle, Jeff decided that a good way to preserve the family farm would be to plant grapes.

In 2009, he planted his first grapes with subsequent plantings every year until 2013. Now his vineyard contains nearly 6 acres of vines and 5 key varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, and Sangiovese.

Shruthi tells us about some of the difficulties with managing vines in Western North Carolina and how she’s embracing more traditional vine pruning techniques to bring out different characteristics in the wines. She is excited to see how quickly the quality of the fruit and wine is improving in the state and is hopeful that more people are seeing this, too.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica talk to us about wine faults and how you can spot them. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

This episode was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – National Honey Month

In the Wine Light – National Honey Month

Honeybees

In the Wine Light is National Honey Month.  September is National Honey Month.  Started in 1989 by the National Honey Board, National Honey Month celebrates all things honey.  September was chosen because honey collection typically concludes in September as honey bees are readying their hives for winter.

You’re probably wondering –  what does this have to do with wine?  Well, honey can be fermented into wine by adding water and yeast.  That’s the traditional recipe for mead.  Mead is a fantastic addition to your wine collection whether just to enjoy or to pair with your favorite foods. 

Mead is made in a variety of styles from traditional to melomel (a mead that  contains fruit) to braggot (a mead made with hops or malt) to cyser (a mead make with apple juice or cider) to pyment (a mead made with grapes or grape juice) and many more.  While many people assume mead is always sweet since honey is so sweet, that’s not always the case.  Meads range from dry to off-dry to sweet.  Alcohol content can range from under 4% to nearly 18% ABV.

NC Mead Alliance

We’re fortunate to have many great mead producers in North Carolina.  So, check out the NC Mead Alliance to learn more about mead, and be sure to go visit a local meadery!

#InTheWineLight #NationalHoneyMonth #NCMead

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Mead, 0 comments
In the Wine Light – International Cabernet Day

In the Wine Light – International Cabernet Day

Cabernet Sauvignon at Hanover Park Vineyard - Yadkinville, NC

Cabernet Sauvignon at Hanover Park Vineyard – Yadkinville, NC

In the Wine Light is International Cabernet Day.  This wine holiday is celebrated on the Thursday before Labor Day.  In 2020, that falls on September 3rd, but it can occur in late August or early September depending on the year.

So, is Cabernet Day for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, or both?  It seems that most folks celebrate Cabernet Sauvignon on this day, but we don’t see any reason why we can’t celebrate Cabernet Franc too.  After all, without Cabernet Franc crossing with Sauvignon Blanc, we wouldn’t have Cabernet Sauvignon!

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted and noble wine grapes in all the world.  It typically bud breaks later, so it isn’t subject to as many issues with the late spring frosts we see here in North Carolina.  Due to the later bud break, it’s often one of the last grapes to be harvested.

Cabs are often known for being full bodied with big tannins.  Old World Cabernets and those we find on the East Coast tend to be softer and more delicate.  Both have should have their place in your wine rack.

There are many delightful Cabernet Sauvignons in the state.  Just a few of our favorite include (but not limited to) Cabs from Overmountain Vineyards, Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Laurel Gray Vineyards, South Creek Vineyards and Winery, and Hanover Park Vineyard.

What do you like about Cabernet?  How are celebrating this iconic variety?

#CabernetDay #InTheWineLight

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
In the Wine Light

In the Wine Light

An Introduction

In an effort to provide more content to our readers, we’re introducing a new regular feature to our website called “In the Wine Light”. The aim to provide regular wine related content in short posts.

With “In the Wine Light” we will discuss a variety of wine related topics from grape varieties to wine styles to wine and food pairings to wine holidays and more! We’ll also feature the people and places of the local wine scene here in North Carolina.

Let us know what you would like to see In the Wine Light!

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, 0 comments
NC Muscadines Delight the Taste Buds

NC Muscadines Delight the Taste Buds

August is now North Carolina Grape Month.  To celebrate, the North Carolina Muscadine Association recently hosted a virtual tasting of muscadine grapes and wine with local media, bloggers, and social media influencers.  We were fortunate enough to take part on the second day of this event.

The Mothervine on Roanoke Island in Manteo, NC

The Mothervine on Roanoke Island in Manteo, NC

Native Grape

Muscadines are the indigenous grape variety of the southeast.  The oldest known cultivated grape vine in the United States is a scuppernong vine on Roanoke Island in Manteo known as The Mothervine.  Scuppernong is a muscadine variety that’s also the state fruit of North Carolina.

The association sent a package that contained seven different muscadine grapes varieties along with a bottle of muscadine wine.  The grapes included fresh market as well as wine grapes.  Fresh market grapes are grown for eating.  Wine grapes are obviously grown for wine.  Fresh market grapes tend to be sweeter and less acidic than wine grapes.

Grape Tasting

The tasting was led by Kristen Baughman Taber of Tabletop Media Group and Debby Wechsler, Executive Secretary of the Muscadine Association.  Debby walked us through the proper way to eat a muscadine grape.  You place the stem scar facing your mouth.  Then you squeeze or bite the grape. Next, you decide to chew the skins and seeds or spit them out.

We then tasted through five fresh market grapes.  Three were white/bronze grapes:  Triumph, Tara, and Hall.  Two were red grapes:  Supreme and Lane.  These fresh market grapes had been sourced from Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC.  While all had a common grapey flavor, there were subtle differences particularly when chewing with the skins.

We finished by tasting the two main muscadine wine grapes, Carlos, a white/bronze grape, and Noble, a black/red grape.  Carlos is the most widely planted muscadine variety in North Carolina.  Both grapes have smaller berries than any of the fresh market varieties we tasted.  The wine grapes came from LuMil Vineyard in Elizabethtown, NC.

 

Wine Tasting

After the grape tasting, we moved on to our favorite part, the wine tasting.  Winemaker Nadia Hetzel of Cypress Bend Vineyards in Wagram, NC led us through a tasting of the off dry muscadine wine, Livy Estate.  Livy is 100% Carlos and is a beautiful wine.  The nose is similar to a Riesling as well as the palate.  It is nicely acidic and a joy to drink.

Muscadine Grape Extract Research

Following the wine tasting, Dr. Patricia Gallagher of Wake Forest University School of Medicine talked to us about the research into the potential health benefits of muscadine grape extract.  It’s exciting research and holds great promise in helping those with cancer.  To learn more about it, visit this link.

Thanks again to the North Carolina Muscadine Association, Tabletop Media Group, Hinnant Family Vineyards, LuMil Vineyards, and Cypress Bend Vineyards for a great tasting and celebration of North Carolina Grape Month!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
The Grape Pack

The Grape Pack

We’re celebrating North Carolina Grape Month with a special episode featuring two grape experts. We interview Dr. Sara Spayd and Dr Mark Hoffman of North Carolina State University (Go Pack!).

Mark and Sara both specialize in growing and researching grapes. At NC State, they hold the title of State Viticulturist. They’re responsible for conducting research on grape growing in the state, coordinating Agriculture Extension activities, and promoting the grape industry throughout the state.

Over the years, their primary goal has been to provide support to the grape growing industry. They identify research opportunities to adapt grape growing to our unique climate here in North Carolina.

One of the surprising topics of this conversation is just how little we know about the science of growing muscadine grapes. Sara and Mark discuss their interests and what they hope can be on the horizon. As you can tell by the length of this episode, we had a lot to talk about and we still had plenty to discuss. We’ll have them back to continue the conversation on future episodes.

Closing Content

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica explain the three types of flavors and what goes into creating the perfect sip. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

This episode is made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. For more information, please visit https://www.ncwine.org/

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, 0 comments
Great Wines No Myth

Great Wines No Myth

This episode takes us to Trinity, North Carolina where we recorded with Leslie Zimmerman and Christie Otranto of Zimmerman Vineyards! The vineyard and tasting room sit on a portion of the 140 acre homestead that Leslie purchased back in the late 1980s.

Over the years, there have been many things to overcome. Leslie has focused on her three passions: her love of teaching, her family, and the vineyard. All three come together at the vineyard in surprising ways.

You can definitely see it through her unique partnerships with local businesses, restaurants, artists, and musicians. All events at the vineyard create a great experience for visitors highlighting all that the local area has to offer. Leslie recognizes that what she does with wine is the same as what visual artists do in their medium and what musicians do in theirs.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica explore the array of bottle sizes and alternative packaging. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

Leslie’s Thoughts

Through the years, I have recognized the connection between this business and the arts.  Doing what I do in the world of wine is the same as what visual artists do in their medium and what musicians do in theirs.  We all create something new and unique.  Not only do I recognize this common thread between these mediums but honor it by hosting a string of top-shelf local songwriters to share their work and a bottle of wine with customers and fans.  It’s a perfect blend really!

Leslie Zimmerman, Zimmerman Vineyards
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Acquiesce Winery – Two Wines for Thought

Acquiesce Winery – Two Wines for Thought

We do not often post about wines from outside of North Carolina, but occasionally we do make an exception. We were contacted by Sue Tipton, the owner and winemaker of Acquiesce Winery in Lodi, California. She asked us if we would like to sample two of her favorite wines accompanied by two exceptional food pairings. We figured it has been a while since our last visit, so why not take up the offer. The wines in this package were the 2018 Bourboulenc and the 2018 Clairette Blanche. Read on for more about Acquiesce Winery and our thoughts on the wine and food pairings.  

Acquiesce

We first heard of Acquiesce Winery when we attended the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference (now called the Wine Media Conference). At the conference, people highly recommended we make it a point to stop at Acquiesce Winery before we left Lodi. On the last day of the conference, we packed up our things, typed Acquiesce Winery in Google Maps and drove out for our visit. We were so happy we did.  

Acquiesce Winery is unique among Lodi wineries. When you think of Lodi, you typically think of Zinfandel or other reds. However, Sue Tipton draws her inspiration from elsewhere. She initially fell in love with the white wines of French Rhone, and her wine offerings reflect just that. Instead of Zins and Cabs, you will find Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Viognier, and a rose made from Grenache (the lone red grape grown just for rose). 

When we visited Acquiesce Winery for the first time, we were hooked. We are huge fans of Rhone style wines and Sue does an excellent job of bringing a taste of the Rhone to Lodi. The wines that Sue sent are two varietals that are very uncommon to most wine drinkers. The Bourboulenc and the Clairette Blanche are most found in the Southern Rhone however the combined acreage is right around 10,000 acres.  


2018 Bourboulenc

Bourboulenc Vines at Acquiesce Winery

Acquiesce is the first winery in the US to release a single varietal wine. The aromas were perfumed and fragrant highlighting apricots and delicate white flowers. Flavors were lively with candied apricots up front. The mid-palate moved to a rich mineral complexity with tangerine peel and citrus oils coming through. It finished on a long drawn out note. Sue recommended we pair this wine with the tuna pate. When we did, the bright citrus of the wine cut through the richness of the pate. Paired together, the pate elongated the palate and accentuated the flavors even more. Overall an excellent pairing.  


2018 Clairette Blanche 

Clairette Blanche Vines at Acquiesce Winery

Another rarity in the wine world, this single varietal wine is like the Bourboulenc yet uniquely different. The nose was still perfumed but it was not as floral. Grapefruit and lemongrass came through with hints of white peach. The flavors were much leaner, relying on bigger mineral presence with good acidity. White peaches did come through in the flavors with a refreshing finish that was slightly herbal. Sue recommended we pair this wine with the Spanish anchovy olives. The meaty olives were a great foil to the bright wine. The little salty bites accented the fruits in the wine and left you wanting another sip.  


Whenever we are in the region, we will always put Acquiesce Winery on our schedule. The wines are fantastic, and Sue is great at telling her story and creating a wonderful experience. Cheers! 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
A Haw River Hot Spot

A Haw River Hot Spot

In this episode, we interview Max Lloyd of Grove Winery in Gibsonville, NC. Max originally started a vineyard up in Virginia back in 1995. His family has been growing gapes and making wine for generations, so he was more than happy to carry on the tradition.

Max wanted to expand his vineyards, but there were several factors in selecting his site. Eventually he landed on the primary vineyard site at Grove Winery and planted his first grapes in 2002.

This location is nicely situated in the Haw River AVA, tucked along side a bend in the Haw River. Situated a bit further east than most of the other vineyard locations, the Haw River sees a longer growing season and allows for different conditions that other AVAs in the state.

Grove Winery offers something for everyone with a range of wines to suit all palates. Max feels that his vineyard sites showcase east coast wines. His Malbec and Nebbiolo are two wines that stand out, but the others also highlight the best of the Haw River.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back! This time Jesse and Jessica explore the depths of white wine and tells us why we should or shouldn’t oak our wines. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Giving Back to the Community

Giving Back to the Community

In this episode, we’re featuring Shelton Vineyards! Mandy Houser, Chip Shelton, and Ethan Brown join us in our second virtual recording episode.

Mandy and Chip take us back to the early beginnings of Shelton Vineyards, all the way back to 1999. Brothers Charlie and Ed Shelton came up with the idea of getting back to their roots in Dobson, NC. After talking with consultants, the brothers were sure that they could successfully plant a vineyard and make some quality wines.

Shelton Vineyards has certainly made an impact on the wine industry in the state. They were the driving force behind starting the Yadkin Valley AVA, the first in North Carolina as well as the Viticulture and Enology program at Surry Community College.

With 10 grape varietals planted and over 20 wines, Shelton Vineyards has something for every taste. Even though they’ve grown over the years, they are still family run and everyone who works there is treated as part of the family.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back. This time Jesse and Jessica dive in to the ever popular Rose wines. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Give it a Try: Dover Vineyards

Give it a Try: Dover Vineyards

This episode features Elizabeth Anne Dover of Dover Vineyards! We took a slightly different approach to recording this episode as we’re still observing social distancing. Elizabeth Anne talks to us about her 7 acres of grapes and 6 acres of produce.

Since starting her endeavor in 2009, she has put the passion of farming and producing outstanding wine at the forefront of what she does. As a modern millennial, she enjoys taking something and creating something completely different. That interest is what fuels her creativity in the winery and keep her moving forward.

Over the years, she’s learned to chill out real fast. There’s no way to control every aspect of farming, so she works hard to control what she can and roll with everything else that out of her control.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back again. Jesse and Jessica talk about the nuances of making red wine and tell us their go-to red wine. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2020 Edition

Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night – NC Wine Month 2020 Edition

We hosted our first ever Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night on April 4, 2020 to celebrate our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

The pandemic is still affecting all of our daily lives and the livelihood of the local wine industry.  In addition, May is now North Carolina Wine Month.  It was previously in September.  So, to celebrate we’re hosting a second Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night.

So, join us on Saturday, May 2, 2020 for this special North Carolina Wine Month edition of Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night, we’re celebrating our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic and celebrating all that we love about North Carolina Wine.

So how can you particpate?

  1. Select a bottle of North Carolina Wine, Mead, or Cider.
  2. Open it on the evening of May 2, 2020.
  3. Take a picture and post on social media.
  4. Share why you chose that bottle, who you shared it with, and more.
  5. Tag the winery, vineyard, meadery, or cidery and tag us too @NCWineGuys.
  6. And use #NCWineNight and #NCWineMonth on your posts!  

Also, look for another livestream on our Facebook page on the evening of May 2nd.

If you need to purchase wines, mead, or cider, head to our COVID 19 database to find out how.  Many businesses are offering discounts and/or free shipping.

Stay safe during this challenging time!

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment
Learning from Nature: Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery

Learning from Nature: Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery

This episode features Pat and Clyde Colwell of Carolina Heritage Vineyard & Winery! Pat and Clyde both ended up in North Carolina for work. When they met they soon started looking for land for a vineyard. Clyde had a lifelong desire to have his own vineyard and Pat was all in as long as they could farm it organically and sustainably.

Organic and sustainable have been two driving forces behind everything Carolina Heritage stands for. Pat has taken to thinking like nature in order to come up with solutions to common vineyard issues.

With 12 acres of grapes, organic farming would seem to be a daunting task. But being a student of nature, Pat decided early on to plant native and hybrid grapes that would be better suited for our climate.

Starting the vineyard and winery was an exercise intended to help them grow as individuals and become a part of nature. Being lifelong learners, they have adapted well and adjusted to what nature throws at them.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back again. This time, Jesse and Jessica talk about the many different American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) of North Carolina. For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night

Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night

We’re stealing a great idea from our friend, Frank Morgan, in Virginia.  Frank, of the Drink What You Like wine blog, is organizing an Open that Bottle of Virginia Wine Night on March 28, 2020.  This is a take on the annual Open that Bottle Night first organized in 2000 by two Wall Street Journal columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher.  The goal of Open that Bottle Night is finally drink that bottle you’ve been saving.  

In addition to supporting Virginia on March 28th, we want to support North Carolina too!  So, join us on Saturday, April 4, 2020!  With this special Open that Bottle of North Carolina Wine Night, we’re celebrating our local wine industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

So how can you particpate?

  1. Select a bottle of North Carolina Wine, Mead or Cider.
  2. Open it on the evening of April 4, 2020.
  3. Take a picture and post on social media.
  4. Share why you chose that bottle, who you shared it with, and more.
  5. Tag the winery, vineyard, meadery, or cidery and tag us too @NCWineGuys.
  6. And use #NCWineNight on your posts!  

If you need to purchase wines, mead, or cider, head to our COVID 19 database to find out how.  Many businesses are offering discounts and/or free shipping.

Stay safe during this challenging time!

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
Following in the Footsteps of the Rhone

Following in the Footsteps of the Rhone

This episode features Michael Zimmerman of Junius Lindsay Vineyards!  We talk with Michael about why he’s growing grapes and how he first conceived of the idea.  As he tells it, he has a love for old world wines which came from his time in the Foreign Service.  He was fortunate enough to make several visits to France and tour around the wine regions of the country. His heart landed in the Rhone region and he still looks to them for inspiration.

After his time in the Foreign Service, he came back to his family farmland.  With a little influence from other vineyards in the area, he decided to bring life back to the farm and plant grapes.  He’s expanded his vineyard since the original 2 acres of Viognier, but he is still firmly rooted in Rhone traditions and only grows those varietals.

Michael recognizes there are two people in the winemaking business, the winemaker and the wine grower.  Michael focuses on growing the best possible fruit so that the wines reflect the vineyard.  In the best years the wines really shine and make it all worth while.  After all, Michael is following in the footsteps of great Rhone winemakers which is a great sense of pride.

Wine Class with the Wine Mouths is back.  Jesse and Jessica tell us about how we can get the most out of our tastings with a simple 5-step method.  For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths.  The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris.  You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review.  It really helps spread the word.  Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.   

Did you know we have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more? Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up! 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Wine & Cider: Family Style

Wine & Cider: Family Style

This episode features Sean and Patricia McRitchie of McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks! This family business has deep roots in the wine industry on the west coast. After settling in North Carolina, Sean and Patricia decided to continue their tradition and immediately became an integral part of the North Carolina wine industry.

Sean and Patricia talk about how they integrate family into everything they do. From having their children name certain blends to training their son Asher to be a future winemaker, family is in everything they do.

Plan a visit to taste through their still and sparkling wines as well as their “First in Cider” cider blends made from heirloom apple varietals.

This episode also features our first “Wine Class with the Wine Mouths” segment. Join us as we chat with Jesse and Jessica to talk through an intro to common winemaking terms.

If you like this episode, please leave us a rating and review. It really helps spread the word. Subscribing and sharing with a friend is another great way to support Cork Talk.

We also have a Patreon page that offers Patron Only content, early access to episode, blooper reels, and more! Head to patreon.com/CorkTalk to learn more and sign up.

For more information about the Wine Mouths, head to https://www.winemouths.com/ or find them on Facebook and Instagram @Winemouths. The Wine Mouths theme was written and performed by Joshua Morris. You can find him at twitter.com/joshtimejosh.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Festivus 2019 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

Festivus 2019 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

Today, December 23, 2019, is the celebration of Festivus.  Created in 1966 by Daniel O’Keefe and popularized during an episode of the hit TV show, Seinfeld, Festivus is celebrated with Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances.  So, in that spirit, we’re back for the third year to air a few wine grievances.  This is our one post a year that’s not entirely positive.  Many of these grievances are the same as last year, but there are a few new ones and some updates.  So, sit back.  Pour a glass and read on!

These are in no particular order:

  • Wines that you can taste but you can’t buy.  Why do you allow someone to taste a wine if it’s not for sale to the general public?  Of course that’s the wine we want to buy, but we can’t commit to another wine club.  Just don’t offer it unless someone does join your wine club.

  • Lack of hashtags in posts on social media about wines, wineries, vineyards.  You see we’re big proponents of hashtags as a way to brand.  So, all you #NCWine folks out there, USE THE DANG HASHTAG!
  • Too many hashtags or using hashtags that don’t apply.  You don’t need 14 million hashtags on your post especially if they’re hashtags no one else uses.  And just because you’re drinking wine in a given region, that doesn’t make it a regional wine.  So, don’t post about the Apothic Red you’re drinking in Charlotte and call it #NCWine.  Wine is about a sense of place.  Apothic Red’s place is not in your wine glass.

  • Poor tasting glasses.  We’ll admit it.  We’re glass snobs.  Please no glasses with the “lip” around the rim.  These just don’t show wines well.  Upgrade the glass and the experience!

  • Untrained tasting room staff.  There’s nothing worse than tasting room staff who know nothing about the wines they are pouring.  We understand that getting good help can be difficult, but a poor experience affects your brand.
  • Too many wines on the list.  We see this all the time.  Wines lists with 10, 15 or even 20 wines.  We feel this is just too many to be able to focus on quality unless you have a large production staff.  So, scale it back.  You don’t need a new wine for every season.
  • “Fruited” wines.  Why do we need pomegranate, green apple, cranberry, cherry, pineapple and umpteen other fruits added to our perfectly fruity grape wines?  Wine grapes produce wines with an abundance of fruit flavors. Let the grapes speak for themselves.

  • Wine slushies.  Seriously, why is this a thing?  Ok, maybe in the summer then it’s 95 degrees and 10,000% humidity, but wine is already extra calories, do you really need all that extra sugar?
  • Wineries who aren’t forthcoming in where the grapes for their wine are sourced.  We like to know what we’re tasting and where it was sourced.  If you’re not using local fruit, admit it.  Don’t try to hide it.

  • Perfume, cologne, or other powerful scents in the tasting room.  Nothing spoils a wine tasting more than someone who’s bathed in perfume or cologne.  A majority of the what you taste in a wine is from what you smell.  If you can’t smell the wine, it’s likely not going to taste very good.

  • Children in tasting rooms.  It’s sad that this is still an issue.  This is our #1 grievance if we had to rank them.  Children can’t drink.  Don’t bring them with you to a winery.  Wining is an adult thing and many of us wish to adult in peace and quiet.

  • Parties of 6 or more in tasting rooms who have not called ahead.  This is annoying for tasting room staff and other customers.  If you’re in a group, be courteous!  Call ahead!

  • People who think cider is more akin to beer.  Repeat after us!  Cider is NOT brewed!  It’s fermented!  Thus, it is like wine!  Just because you often see is on tap doesn’t mean it’s beer.  Wine can be served on tap too.  We’d like to see more of that by the way!

  • Farm to fork restaurants who don’t have local wine on their lists.  This is probably #2 on our grievance list right after the kids at wineries.  Don’t call yourself a farm to fork locavore restaurant if you don’t have local wine on this list.  There’s just no excuse!

So, that’s our list for this year.  And keeping with this theme, leave us your comments of what’s your grievances are.  Just avoid personal attacks.

Cheers and Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
A Special Place Where Dreams Come True

A Special Place Where Dreams Come True

This episode features the team from Elkin Creek Vineyard in Elkin, North Carolina!  We met up with Louis and Carrie Jeroslow and Jennifer and Nick White one evening.  In our discussion we listened as the two couples told us how they first discovered Elkin Creek Vineyard.  

It started at Jennifer and Nick’s wedding and a dream was soon formed.  It wasn’t long after that the stars aligned and that dream became reality.  The two couples left their day jobs in Las Vegas to pursue a shared dream.  Together they’ve shaped the vineyard into a retreat that is secluded but not isolated, a place where you can spend time reconnecting with what really matters.  

We hope you enjoy this episode.  If you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or review and share with a friend.  If you’re looking for other ways to contribute, you should check out our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/corktalk  

In our next season we’ll be adding exclusive content to Patreon with several levels of perks.  Please take a look and if you can help support our mission we greatly appreciate your contributions.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Mead Making Starrs

Mead Making Starrs

This episode features Ben and Becky Starr of Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro, NC! Ben and Becky caught the mead making bug after falling in love with it at a Renaissance faire. For the past 8 years, Ben and Becky have been building up their business and refining their mead making skills.

They like meads with big bold flavors and surprising flavor combinations. Visit the brand new Mead Hall and you’ll find the expected off-dry traditional and semi-sweet to flavors more exotic like a Kickin’ Cranberry Orange (perfect for the holiday table and Ben’s favorite) and other fruit and herb infused meads.

If you liked this episode, please leave us a rating and review.  If you really liked this episode, please share it with a friend.  You can find all episodes of Cork Talk on our show page: NC Wine Guys Present: Cork Talk! 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Meads, Podcast, Wine, 0 comments

Davesté Vineyards Rkatsiteli Vertical Tasting

Davesté Vineyards’ Tasting Room

We recently held a vertical tasting of Rkatsiteli from Davesté Vineyards in Troutman, NC.  We first reviewed Davesté’s Rkatsiteli several years ago (Previous Review).  Davesté produces the only known single variety Rkatsiteli in North Carolina.  It’s become their signature wine.

Davesté opened in September, 2007.  The grapes were first planted in 2005.  Owners Dave and Ester DeFehr, whose combined first names are the inspiration for the Davesté’s name, first began plans for the vineyard and winery in 2003.  Land was purchased in 2004.  Today, in addition to Rkatsiteli, Davesté grows Traminette and Chambourcin.  Most other fruit is sourced locally within North Carolina with some coming from Virginia and California.  

Rkatsiteli grapes nearly ready for harvest at Davesté Vineyards

Rkatsiteli is thought of have originated in the country of Georgia and is believed to be one of oldest vinifera varieties.  It’s typically known for producing high acid wines.  It’s gaining popularity in the Finger Lakes region of New York and in Virginia.  

We inquired how Rkatsiteli does here in North Carolina.  Winemaker Leslie Johnson tells us, “In the vineyard, Rkatsiteli is pretty easy to manage. It likes to grow straight up instead of sprawling like a hybrid. The main disease we fight every year is downy mildew for this varietal. We like to harvest these grapes a bit earlier than others to help retain the acidity.”  

She added, “In the past, all of our Rkatsiteli has been fermented and aged in stainless steel. With our increased yields in 2019, we currently have some Rkatsiteli aging in French oak barrels to try something new.”  We can’t wait to taste a barrel aged Rkasiteli!

We tasted the 2015 – 2018 vintages of Rkatsiteli from Davesté.  Here are our notes and information about each wine.

2015

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • Bronze Medal Winner at the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition
  • Nose:  Pear, lemon rind, and honey
  • Palate:  Bruised pear, preserved lemon rind, pithy
  • Finish:  Medium

2016

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Nose:  Faint pear and light honey; Delicate and refined
  • Palate:  Fresh pear and zesty lemon
  • Finish:  Medium+
  • Favorite overall

2017

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 12.8% Alcohol
  • Double Gold Medal Winner at the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition and Silver Medal Winner at NC State Fair
  • Nose:  Floral, minerally, and honeysuckle
  • Palate: Minerally with notes of lemon
  • Finish:  Short and tart

2018

  • 100% Rkatsiteli
  • 12.8% Alcohol
  • Silver Medal Winner at the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition and Double Gold Medal Winner at NC State Fair
  • Nose:  Perfumy, pronounced honeysuckle, sweet pear
  • Palate:  Rose petals, lemon, lime, fresh and vibrant
  • Finish:  Medium+

Davesté suggests pairing their Rkatsiteli with pad Thai, shrimp scampi, or chèvre.  We had spinach pie, roasted vegetables with a lemon tahini sauce and various cheeses.  Rkatsiteli should do well with most vegetables and seafood.

If you’ve ever in the Troutman / Lake Norman area, stop by and visit Davesté.  Their beautiful grounds are the perfect place to relax.  In addition to wine, Davesté produces beer and has many live music events throughout the year, but be sure to pick up a bottle of Rkatsiteli while you’re there!

Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
Wright Wine Sanctuary

Wright Wine Sanctuary

In this episode we sit down with John Wright of Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, NC.  Growing grapes on the coast may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Currituck and the Outer Banks, but Sanctuary Vineyards is proving that you can grow European style grapes and make some top quality wine.

John talks about how this really is a labor of love.  He is constantly pouring time and energy back into the vines.  He treats each vine with careful attention and it clearly shows in the final product.  John really enjoys experimenting and is enjoys listening to the environment to learn what really grows well and produces the best wine possible.  

We hope you enjoy this episode.  If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to leave us a rating and review!  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments

Jones von Drehle Petit Manseng Revisited

We have been big fans of Petit Manseng since the first time we tasted it at Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery some years ago.  This small grape can produce a full bodied high alcohol wine.  It’s often called the red drinker’s white wine.

We did a Spotlight on Petit Manseng in North Carolina in July, 2017.  In that post, we had tasted through the 2013, 2014, and 2015 vintages of Petit Manseng from Jones von Drehle in addition to giving a bit of information about Petit Manseng itself.  This time around, we were fortunate enough to add the 2012 vintage, the first vintage, and the 2016 vintage to the mix, so we tasted 2012 – 2016.  And we should note, all bottles were purchased for this tasting.

We decided to change things up this time.  We did this tasting blind.  We also added a wine from the Southwest of France to the mix.  This wine was a 2011 iLori Les Jonquilles from Domaine Brana.  Made from fruit grown in the Irouleguy appellation, it is a blend of Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, and Petit Corbu.  Bottles were covered in foil by one of us.  The other randomly assigned a number.  Friends arrived and the tasting began.

We used a chalk board to record feedback on the wines.  We discussed the nose, palate, and finish.  We tried to guess the year or whether the wine was the French one.  We didn’t do so well on the guesses of the vintages, but the last wine was clearly different than the others.  This was a big clue that it was not solely Petit Manseng.  Interestingly enough, that wine was by far the least favorite of the group.  Our impressions of it did improve when we paired it with a savory tomato cobbler.

Our group thought wine 1 was young with notes of apricot, citrus, and pineapple.  We guessed it might be the 2016 vintage.  It turned out to be the 2013.  It seems this wine might have a few years to go.

Wine 2 had more notes of pineapple and apricot.  We found banana and an herbaceous note along with a hint of minerality.  We incorrectly guessed this to be the 2014.  It was in fact the 2012.  This wine is still showing beautifully.

Wine 3 had a subtle nose.  The palate gave us mandarin orange and pineapple.  We found the finish was hot.  We thought, for that reason, it might be the 2015 which clocked in at 15.6% alcohol.  It was in fact the 2016.  

We missed numbering wine 4 on the chalk board.  This one was different than the others.  There was lots of stewed stone fruit notes.  Think peaches or nectarines.  Someone got a crème brûlée note on the finish.  A few thought this might be the French wine, but we weren’t so sure.  It turned out to be the 2014.

Wine 5 presented a yeasty note with pear and green apple.  It was silky and soft.  We thought it might be the 2012.  It turned out to be the 2015.  We were surprised by this.  We didn’t feel it was hot at all which is surprising given that 15.6% alcohol.  This one was a definite favorite.

We finally made it to the last wine, #6.  This one was clearly different.  It was green and seemed old.  The finish was astringent.  We were pretty sure this was indeed the French wine.  And we were right.  This was the least favorite of the group.

Once we finished tasting through all the wines, we did the reveals and then enjoyed some food and a bit more of our favorites.

We look forward to exploring more Petit Manseng in the future!  

To learn more about Jones von Drehle, check out our first episode of Cork Talk where we sat down with Chuck and Diana Jones.

Cheers!

 

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
All You Mead is Love

All You Mead is Love

In this episode, we sit down with Diane Currier of Honeygirl Meadery in Durham, NC!  Diane was turned on to mead making in her early days as a home brewer.  She talks about her surreal experience of walking through a fireweed meadow and then hours later tasting a mead made from that specific type of honey. 

Listen to her tell her story about how she got started, where she finds inspiration, and how she continually makes a connection back to the ever essential honey bee.   Enjoy!  

If you liked this episode, please leave us a rating or a review.  Every bit helps spread the podcast to new listeners. 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Meads, Podcast, 0 comments
NC Wine Goes Urban

NC Wine Goes Urban

This conversation takes us to plēb Urban Winery in Asheville, NC to celebrate their 1st anniversary party!  Learn about what it means to truly be an urban winery and make wine more accessible to the masses.  From featuring grapes that grow well, to being more sustainable, plēb is certainly breaking into the Asheville scene and embracing #NCWine.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
From the Board Room & Classroom to the Farm

From the Board Room & Classroom to the Farm

This episode features Chuck and Jamey Johnson of Shadow Springs Vineyard and Windsor Run Cellars.  We discuss how the they traded in the 8 to 5 corporate job for something they’re more passionate about.  Having two wineries that are just over a half mile apart provides many conveniences but also several challenges.  They view the wineries as being alter egos of each other.  Windsor Run Cellars is a bit more adventurous and likes to experiment with fun flavors and innovative beverages.  Shadow Springs Vineyard walks on the more serious side but they still know how to have fun as well.

One thing that comes across in this conversation is how passionate Chuck and Jamey are about the wine industry here in North Carolina.  When they were first getting started, the industry helped them to get their winery up and running.  Now that they’ve been in the business for almost 15 years, they’re looking for ways to “give back” to the industry to help others along the same path.  In many ways they’re still pioneers in the industry, but they’ve definitely left their mark and are looking for ways to contribute more.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Wine, Sangria, and S’mores!

Wine, Sangria, and S’mores!

Bonus Episode!  Banner Elk Winery & Villa is a mainstay of the High Country of North Carolina.  No matter the season, this winery is always a popular destination.  The wines are delicious, the sangrias are a hit in the summer, and who doesn’t love s’mores.  Escape the heat and head to the mountains for a visit!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Laurel Gray Vineyards is located in the Swan Creek AVA, part of the Yadkin Vally in North Carolina.  Listen to the story of Kim and Benny Myers about how they transform Benny’s family farm into a vineyard.  Years of hard work have gone into building the vineyard and winery, and they certainly have a loyal following.  

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 2 comments
From Shine, to Milk, to Wine

From Shine, to Milk, to Wine

We sit with Charles and Ann Edwards of Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyards on a warm spring evening.  Listen as they tell us how a family farm transitioned from moonshine to dairy, and is now producing excellent wines. We recorded this episode outside because there’s nothing better than relaxing under the shade trees when you visit. 

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Cork Talk with Raffaldini Vineyards

Cork Talk with Raffaldini Vineyards

This episode we chat with Jay Raffaldini from Raffaldini Vineyards. We discuss how Jay discovered his property and has put a lot of effort into bringing a bit of Chianti to North Carolina. Jay wants his visitors to relax and enjoy what he calls the exhale moment because as he says, “Life is meant to be slow.”

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 5 comments
Cork Talk at the 2019 #NCWine Blogger Summit

Cork Talk at the 2019 #NCWine Blogger Summit

As a special treat, we bring you the panel discussion from the 2019 #NCWine Blogger Summit held on March 25th, 2019. On the panel we interviewed four winemakers about some of the challenges of making wine in North Carolina. We hope you enjoy this special bonus episode!

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Sensoria Food and Wine Festival 2019

Sensoria Food and Wine Festival 2019

We recently were invited to attend the Sensoria Food and Wine Festival.  This festival was a one day event to conclude “Sensoria:  A Celebration of Literature and the Arts” at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.  The food and wine festival was presented by the Piedmont Culinary Guild with sponsorships from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s #GotToBeNC Program and Springer Mountain Farms.

The day featured classes ranging from Riedel glass seminars to turning wine into vinegar to blind tastings just to name a few.  Another part of the event was a food and wine pairing.  Food from Charlotte area chefs was paired with North Carolina wine!

Here is a slideshow of photos from the event.  We appreciate the complimentary tickets for this event!

This event was a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
Cork Talk with Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery

Cork Talk with Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery

Episode 4 takes us to Silver Fork Winery & Vineyards. We sit with owners Jennifer and Ed talking about their love of wine and how they are making Silver Fork part of their authentic lifestyle. They traded in the corporate life for one that’s at the pace of wine.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Cork Talk with Piccione Vineyards

Cork Talk with Piccione Vineyards

Our third episode of Cork Talk brings us to Piccione Vineyards. We chat with Bill and Hailey about why Bill decided to start a vineyard here in North Carolina, how he caught the wine bug, and how Hailey has made her way through the industry and joined the Piccione team.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 6 comments
Hanover Park Vineyard

Hanover Park Vineyard

Episode two finds us sitting down with Michael and Amy Helton of Hanover Park Vineyard. Michael and Amy truly are pioneers in the North Carolina wine industry having planted the first vineyard in Yadkin County. We talk about things they’ve learned over the years and how it influences their wines.

Continue Reading
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 0 comments
Jones von Drehle

Jones von Drehle

Join us for our first episode! We sit down with Diana & Chuck from Jones von Drehle Vineyards. Diana and Chuck discuss how they discovered a prime vineyard location in Thurmond, North Carolina. Learn how they work hard to socialize their brand and expand into restaurants and wine stores across the state. We talk about wine club events, driving more than 1 million miles in the pursuit of wine, and the future holds for Jones von Drehle and North Carolina Wine.

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, Wine, 2 comments
Festivus 2018 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

Festivus 2018 – Airing of Wine Grievances!

Today, December 23, 2018, is the celebration of Festivus.  Created in 1966 by Daniel O’Keefe and popularized during an episode of the hit TV show, Seinfeld, Festivus is celebrated with Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances.  So, in that spirit, we’re back for the second year to air a few wine grievances.  This is our one post a year that’s not entirely positive.  Many of these grievances are the same as last year, but there are a few new ones and some updates.  So, sit back.  Pour a glass and read on!

These are in no particular order:

  • Wines that you can taste but you can’t buy.  Why do you allow someone to taste a wine if it’s not for sale to the general public?  Of course that’s the wine we want to buy, but we can’t commit to another wine club.  Just don’t offer it unless someone does join your wine club.

  • Lack of hashtags in posts on social media about wines, wineries, vineyards.  You see we’re big proponents of hashtags as a way to brand.  So, all you #NCWine folks out there, USE THE DANG HASHTAG!  And don’t put an ‘S’ on it!  Be consistent with most other wine regions!  The ‘S’ is not necessary!

  • Poor tasting glasses.  We’ll admit it.  We’re glass snobs.  Please no glasses with the “lip” around the rim.  These just don’t show wines well.  Upgrade the glass and the experience!

  • Untrained tasting room staff.  There’s nothing worse than tasting room staff who know nothing about the wines they are pouring.  We understand that getting good help can be difficult, but a poor experience affects your brand.
  • Too many wines on the list.  We see this all the time.  Wines lists with 10, 15 or even 20 wines.  We feel this is just too many to be able to focus on quality unless you have a large production staff.  So, scale it back.  You don’t need a new wine for every season.
  • “Fruited” wines.  Why do we need pomegranate, green apple, cranberry, cherry, pineapple and umpteen other fruits added to our perfectly fruity grape wines?  Wine grapes produce wines with an abundance of fruit flavors. Let the grapes speak for themselves.
  • Wineries who aren’t forthcoming in where the grapes for their wine are sourced.  We like to know what we’re tasting and where it was sourced.  If you’re not using local fruit, admit it.  Don’t try to hide it.

  • Perfume, cologne, or other powerful scents in the tasting room.  Nothing spoils a wine tasting more than someone who’s bathed in perfume or cologne.  A majority of the what you taste in a wine is from what you smell.  If you can’t smell the wine, it’s likely not going to taste very good.

  • Children in tasting rooms.  This is probably our #1 grievance if we had to rank them.  Children can’t drink.  Don’t bring them with you to a winery.  Wining is an adult thing and many of us wish to adult in peace and quiet.

  • Parties of 6 or more in tasting rooms who have not called ahead.  This is annoying for tasting room staff and other customers.  If you’re in a group, be courteous!  Call ahead!

  • People who think cider is more akin to beer.  Repeat after us!  Cider is NOT brewed!  It’s fermented!  Thus, it is like wine!  Just because you often see is on tap doesn’t mean it’s beer.  Wine can be served on tap too.  We’d like to see more of that by the way!

  • Farm to fork restaurants who don’t have local wine on their lists.  This is probably #2 on our grievance list right after the kids at wineries.  Don’t call yourself a farm to fork locavore restaurant if you don’t have local wine on this list.  There’s just no excuse!

So, that’s our list for this year.  And keeping with this theme, leave us your comments of what’s your grievances are.  Just avoid personal attacks.

Cheers and Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment
Cork Talk Kicks Off

Cork Talk Kicks Off

We’re excited to announce that we’re starting a podcast!  We’re calling it Cork Talk.  We’ll be meeting with important people in the wine industry starting with our home state of North Carolina.  

We’ll be meeting with vineyard owners, wine makers, fellow bloggers, and other important people in the industry.  This is our introductory episode where we kick off our idea and get you ready for what’s to come. 

Sound interesting?  Here are a few things you can do to help:

  1. Subscribe – Go to your favorite podcast app and click the subscribe button.  You’ll get instant notifications when we post a new episode.
  2. Give us your Feedback – Go to our show page and leave us a comment or let us know who you want to hear. 
  3. Rate and Review – Wherever you listen to podcasts, leave us a rating and review.  Leaving a review goes a long way for helping others discover Cork Talk. 
  4. Share – If you like what you hear, please share with a friend and help them subscribe.   
Posted by Matt Kemberling in Podcast, 1 comment
North Carolina Wines for Your 2018 Holiday Table

North Carolina Wines for Your 2018 Holiday Table

The holidays are here! It’s a time for celebration with family and friends which often means good food and good drink. With a growing industry and higher quality of wines, it is time to consider adding North Carolina wine to your holiday table. But where do you start?  What should you pair with classic holiday foods?  We’re back this year with some updated suggestions!

Biltmore Estate 2015 Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs

Appetizers – Start your holiday meal with an array of appetizers.  What pairs best with appetizers?  Sparkling wine!  Sparkling wine is a versatile wine choice that pairs with just about anything.  We suggest the 2015 Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs from Biltmore Estate Winery in Asheville.  It’s a beautiful wine full of tropical notes with a yeasty undertone.

McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks 2016 Muscat Blanc

Winter Salad with Oranges – Oranges and spicy greens are perfect this time of year.  Add some feta cheese, walnuts and a tangy vinaigrette and you have magic!  To further that magic, pair the salad with the 2016 Muscat Blanc from McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks in Thurmond.  Made in the Alsatian style this wine is dry with notes of citrus and honeysuckle.

Ham – Ham is a classic main course for any holiday. We love ham studded with cloves and topped with pineapple and brown sugar.  We have two recommendations.

  • The first is the 2015 Viognier from Junius Lindsay Vineyard in Welcome.  White peach, tropical fruits and a clean, crisp finish pair beautifully with ham.
  • The second is Christina’s Magnolia Estate from Cypress Bend Vineyards in Wagram.  This dry Magnolia wine has a grassy undertone with nice citrus notes.

Overmountain Vineyards King’s Mountain Rosé

Turkey – Roast turkey is versatile. You can pair with a white wine or a lighter red wine, but rosé is the classic pairing.  This is especially true if you have your turkey with cranberry sauce.  We recommend the 2017 King’s Mountain Rosé from Overmountain Vineyards in Tyron.  This wine is bright and crisp with notes of strawberry, watermelon, and lime.

Dover Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Franc

Duck – Ah, duck! It is poultry that has the umph of a steak! Classically you would pair duck with a Pinot Noir. This year we’re going with the 2015 Cabernet Franc from Dover Vineyards in Concord.  Spicy and peppery, pair this wine with duck breast seasoned with salt and pepper with an onion marmalade.

Roast Beef – Roast beef is another holiday classic. Of course, this calls for a hearty red wine!  We have two best in show winners for you!

  • The first recommendation is the 2015 Double Barrel from Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg.  A blend of Petit Verdot and Tannat, this wine definitely meets the qualifications of a hearty red.  It wine was Best in Show at the 2018 NC Fine Wines Competition.
  • The second recommendation is the 2013 Steel & Stone from Jones von Drehle in Thurmond.  This is a blend of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  It’s lush and rich with notes of fig, blueberry, and blackberry and was 2018’s Bunch Grape Wine Best in Show at the NC State Fair.

Laurel Gray Vineyards Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

Seafood Lasagna, Roast Chicken or Roasted Vegetables – Any of these dishes make for a great additions to your holiday table.  For pairing with all of these, we recommend the 2015 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Laurel Gray Vineyards in Hamptonville.  This wine is oaky and buttery yet retains good fruit.

Piccione Vineyards 2014 Sangiovese

Any Tomato Based Dish – Are you having a dish with tomato sauce and maybe a little spice?  We recommend the 2014 Sangiovese from Piccione Vineyards in Ronda.  This wine has notes of oak, caramel, vanilla, and bright red cherry with balanced acidity.

Lazy Elm Vineyard and Winery 2013 Selfish Port

Chocolate Desserts – Decadent chocolate desserts call for port-style wines. They are perfect with rich chocolate or just by themselves on a cold night. We recommend the 2013 Selfish from Lazy Elm Vineyard and Winery in Mocksville. This fortified wine is made from Cabernet Franc.  It’s rich and decadent and pairs perfectly with chocolate!

Parker Binns 2017 Petit Manseng Dessert Wine

Pumpkin, Apple, or Pecan Pie – Fruit or nut pies pair wonderfully with white dessert wines.  We recommend the 2017 Late Harvest Petit Manseng from Parker-Binns Vineyard in Mill Spring.  This wine is warm and rich with notes of pear.  At 18.5% alcohol, a little bit is all you need.

These are our recommendations for 2018.  We’d love to hear your recommendations, so leave us a comment!

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 1 comment
Mulled Wine and Cider

Mulled Wine and Cider

Mulled Wine and Cider are always favorites in the cooler months of the year.  We often serve Mulled Wine during the holidays or on days with wintry weather.  We have gone through several iterations of recipes.  Most have been made just using red wine as a base with bit of bourbon.  A year or so ago, we found a recipe that incorporated wine, cider, bourbon and tawny port.  We have played with it a bit and would like to share it with you.

If you are looking for a warm mulled drink that is just slightly sweet, give this recipe a try.  If you would like a sweeter version, you could always add honey or brown sugar to taste.

Start with spices.  You will need cardamom, whole cloves, star anise, whole black peppercorns, whole allspice, cinnamon sticks, and a whole nutmeg.

Crack the cardamom pods.  Toast the cracked cardamom pods, star anise, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice berries in a skillet for just a few minutes.  Two – three minutes is all you need.  Stir constantly to prevent burning. The smell will be divine!

Next, make your cheesecloth bundle with sliced ginger, orange peel, and your toasted spices.  Secure with butcher’s twine.

In your slow cooker, pour in your liquid ingredients including the juice of half an orange.  Stir.

Add your cheesecloth bundle, cinnamon sticks, and sprig of rosemary.  Heat on low for two hours.  Then remove cheesecloth and sprig of rosemary.  Grate fresh nutmeg.  Stir.  Heat on low another two hours.  Remove cinnamon sticks and turn setting to warm.  Serve warm.

Here is the full recipe:

INGREDIENTS

3 Whole Star Anise

5 Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Cracked

1 Teaspoon Whole Cloves

1 Teaspoon Whole Allspice Berries

½ Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns

1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Peel

1.5” Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Sliced Thinly

2 cups Apple Cider

1 bottle Dry Red Wine

1 cup Tawny Port

¼ cup Bourbon

Juice of ½ an Orange

6” Sprig of Rosemary

3 Cinnamon Sticks

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

4 Quart Slow Cooker

Cheesecloth

Butcher’s Twine

METHOD

  1. Heat small non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the skillet is hot, add Star Anise, Cardamon, Cloves, Allspice, and Black Peppercorns.
  3. Toast for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  4. Place toasted spices in cheesecloth along with Grated Orange Peel and Ginger.
  5. Secure with Butcher’s Twine.
  6. Pour wine, cider, port, and bourbon into slow cooker.
  7. Add cheesecloth bundle, rosemary sprig, and cinnamon sticks.
  8. Stir.
  9. Set slow cooker to low.
  10. Heat for 2 hours.
  11. Remove rosemary and cheesecloth bundle.
  12. Grate a dash or two of fresh nutmeg.
  13. Stir.
  14. Continue to heat on low for another hour or two. 
  15. Remove cinnamon sticks.
  16.  Set slow cooker to Warm until ready to serve.
  17. Serve warm.
Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment