NC Wine

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
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.

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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
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
#NCWine Bloggers Visit the Tryon Foothills

#NCWine Bloggers Visit the Tryon Foothills

We had the opportunity to close out North Carolina Wine and Grape Month 2018 with some of our fellow wine bloggers on a tour of three wineries/vineyards in the Tryon Foothills of Polk County.  Our transportation was graciously provided by Ryan and Terri Watts of the Van In Black.  The Van in Black is THE way to tour wine country.  We highly recommend Ryan.  He is the ultimate professional and takes great care of his guests.

Now on the the main event, wine tasting with fellow bloggers.  Rather than a normal wordy blog, we’re going to let the photos do more of the talking.  Some photos were provided by Ryan Watts.  Ryan also runs Ryan Watts Photography.  We appreciate the use of these photos.  

Our first stop was Overmountain Vineyards where we had the pleasure of a tasting and tour with Sofia Lilly.  Sofia is the one of the winemakers at Overmountain along with her father Frank.  Frank stopped by to visit with us as well.  Sofia also manages the vineyard and the social media presence for Overmountain.  In addition to delicious wine, we also had delicious food from Olive Catering Company.

Our next stop took us to Mountain Brook Vineyards for a tasting with owners Jonathan and Vickie Redgrave and winemaker Liz Pickett.  Mountain Brook has just completed extensive expansions to its grounds.  

We ended the day with Sunday Funday at Parker-Binns Vineyard.  Kelly Binns was holding down the fort as owners, Bob Binns and Karen Parker-Binns, were on a well-deserved vacation.  In addition to the great wines, we enjoyed wood-fired pizza.  And since we were in a for hire vehicle with a designated driver, we did enjoy some Parker-Binns Rosé on the way back home. 

Thanks to the Wine Mouths, Winery Escapades, and HD Carolina for joining us on this tour.  We look forward to our next adventure with our fellow bloggers!

We forgot a take a shot before Winery Escapades left us.  Ryan, Terri (HD Carolina), Us (NC Wine Guys), Jessica and Jessica (The Wine Mouths)

Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
#NCWine – Our Consistent Brand

#NCWine – Our Consistent Brand

Hashtags are all over social media. They’re even in every day conversation. They’re used to identity messages/posts of the same type. But why is that important? How are they “made”? We’re going to explore that bit and help you learn why you need to use them in EVERY social media post.

As we’ve already stated, hashtags are primarily used to make searching for social media posts easier. You can find like posts more quickly. You can find others to follow more quickly. Others can find you more easily. You can join a conversation. Hashtags are often used for “chatting” online. This is particularly true on Twitter. Follow a hashtag, and you can follow a conversation.

Hashtags are also used to denote trending topics on social media. Social media users are often drawn to trending topics. It generates excitement and interest. Plus, it’s free! They are great marketing tools!

So, how do you build a good hashtag? You should start with something that is short and meaningful. This is especially critical on Twitter since there’s a character limit. The hashtag should be easy to read. Its meaning should be easy to discern.

How does all of this apply to North Carolina wine? It’s all about promotion and online presence. It’s about working together and creating a consistent identity for North Carolina wine. It’s all about #NCWine!

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Please use hashtags in ALL of your social media posts.
  • Please use hashtag #NCWine in ALL of your posts!
    • We need a clear, concise standard.
    • We need a hashtag that aligns with the standard for other wine regions. No ‘s’ on the end PLEASE!
    • We need a consistent brand.
  • If you’re in an AVA, please use a standard for each AVA. We don’t recommend adding AVA to the end. It’s more characters that really aren’t needed. We suggest the following:
    • #YadkinValley
    • #HawRiverValley
    • #SwanCreek
    • #UpperHiwassee
    • #AppHighCountry
  • Create a short and concise hashtag for your brand.
    • Use it with every post on every social media outlet.
    • Encourage its use in your tasting room, etc.
  • Other hashtags to consider:
    • #GotToBeNC – Consistent brand for products from NC.
    • #drinklocal – The local movement is big right now. Capitalize on that!
  • Other things to consider:
    • If it’s a holiday or special event, find a way to post using that hashtag (e.g. #NationalWineDay, #WineWednesday etc.).
    • #wine, #winetasting #winedinner are other good hashtags to use if they apply.
    • On Twitter, use them anywhere in your post. On Facebook and Instagram, use them (typically) at the end of your post.
    • Phrases or sentences should not be turned into hashtags. They’re often difficult to read.
    • Case doesn’t matter, but sometimes capitalizing letters can make the hashtag easier to read.

To summarize, please use hashtags in EVERY social media post. And ALWAYS leave room for the #NCWine hashtag.

If you need more advice on hashtags, send us a note. We’re happy to discuss!

Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 2 comments
What Does Drinking Locally Really Mean?

What Does Drinking Locally Really Mean?

The locavore movement has exploded over the last few years. Folks are really interested in eating food that is grown and cooked locally.  It harkens back to the days when folks grew a lot of the food they ate.  With all of this interest in local food, why not local drink?  Well, there has been more interest in locally produced beer and now locally produced spirits.  Local wine is starting to take off too, but is more difficult to find outside of the local winery.  Let’s take a look at wine specifically and talk about what it means to drink local wine.

Drink Local Wine!

Drink Local Wine!

Local wine is more than just wine produced by a local winery.  Truly local wine is wine that is fermented, aged and bottled at a local winery, but it is also wine that is made only from local grapes, fruit, or honey. These grapes should come from vines that are planted in North Carolina soil.  The fruit should come from North Carolina trees, bushes, etc.  The honey should come from a local bee hive.  Let’s be clear, a true North Carolina wine is made from a North Carolina product.  This means that wineries that produce wine from grapes, fruit, juice, or honey from California, South America, and/or Europe are NOT making local wine.  They’re making wine locally, but it’s not a North Carolina wine and can’t legally be labeled as such.  Think about that the next time you visit a local winery.  Ask where the grapes, fruit, or honey originated.  Look at the label.  Is it labeled accurately?  Inquire as to why local grapes, fruits, or honey weren’t used.  The “North Carolina doesn’t produce quality grapes” line no longer holds water.  The same goes for fruit or honey.  Drinkers of truly local North Carolina wine know better!   Let’s be sure our voices are heard.

We must insist that local wine bars and local restaurants sell locally grown and made North Carolina wine.  Farm to Fork restaurants and the like who aspire to serve food made from locally grown ingredients are quite hypocritical if they don’t have locally made wine on their menus.  The same would be said for locally made beer and spirits.  Let’s do our parts to help promote truly locally made wine. Remember the costumer is always right!

Finally, it’s ok to drink something other than locally made wine.  However, let’s be sure we do know the difference between a local wine and not.  And be sure that we don’t use the #NCWine and #NCFineWines to promote a wine that’s not truly local.  Just remember, drinking locally helps the local economy, which in turn helps you!

Let us know what drinking locally means to you! Cheers!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 1 comment
Food Pairings With North Carolina Wines

Food Pairings With North Carolina Wines

Food and wine have been enjoyed together throughout the ages. Each enhances the flavors and richness of the other. From holidays and other special occasions to a weeknight meal, food and wine are matches made in heaven.

Some of the NC Wines suggested for Food Pairings

Some of the NC Wines suggested for Food Pairings

We always pair our wine and food, but sometimes the task is not easy. In an attempt share some of our pairing experiences, here are some suggested food and North Carolina Wine Pairings (in no particular order).

 

  • BBQ – Lexington Style – If you’re a fan of Lexington Style BBQ, we recommend pairing it with the Barbera from Hutton Vineyards or the Barbera from Brandon Hills Vineyards.
  • BBQ – Eastern Style – If you prefer Eastern Style BBQ, we recommend the award winning Syrah from Misty Creek Vineyards.
  • Spicy Thai – Do you like spicy Thai? If not this pairing works with any spicy Asian food (Chinese, Thai, Indian). We recommend pairing it with the Estate Grown Dry Riesling from Dobbins Creek Vineyards or the Dry Muscadine from Overmountain Vineyards.
  • Lamb – Lamb is one of those meats that you either love or you hate. We love lamb. It’s unique from beef and is great as turned into meatballs or grilled or roasted. We always have our lamb with the Mourvèdre from Hanover Park Vineyard. It’s a classic pairing that you’ll love!
  • Chicken with Creamy Sauce – Chicken with a rich buttery sauce demands a buttery, barrel aged/fermented Chardonnay. Our go to Chardonnays are either the Barrel Aged Chardonnay from Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard & Winery or the Chardonnay from Mountain Brook Vineyards.
  • Steak – Steak calls for a big wine! Petit Verdot is one of those wines. We recommend the Petit Verdot from Jones von Drehle Vineyards & Winery.
  • Pasta and Tomato Sauce – Who doesn’t love pasta with a classic tomato sauce? Chianti is a classic pairing with tomato sauce, so why not have Chianti made in the Carolinas. Try the Sangiovese Riserva from Raffaldini Vineyards.
  • Grilled Sea Bass – Sea bass is a decadent fish. It’s rich and flavorful. Grill it with some olive oil and herbs, and you have perfection! A full-bodied white wine goes perfectly with the grilled sea bass. We recommend the Roussanne from Junius Lindsay Vineyard.
  • Chili – Chili with tomatoes, beans and a good bit of spice is a perfect meal for the cooler months. A big wine is the perfect accompaniment. We suggest the Estate Grown Zinfandel from Rag Apple Lassie.
  • Grilled Shrimp – Lightly seasoned and grilled shrimp are perfect on their own or in a nice, fresh salad. This calls for a light and delicate wine! We suggest the Pinot Gris from Laurel Gray Vineyards.
  • Soft White Cheese with Fig Spread – Ok, this one might seem a little odd, but trust us! Grab yourself a mild, soft white cheese. We recommend Yancey’s Fancy Champagne Cheddar. Get some fig spread or fig preserves. Slice the cheese and spread just a bit of the fig spread on top. Pair this was the Stainless Steel Chardonnay from Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery. Prepare to be amazed!
  • Brownies – Brownies are one of life’s simple pleasures. Chocolate that’s rich and slightly chewy. There’s not much better. A sweet chocolate treat calls for a warm, rich and slightly sweet wine. We recommend the Estate Bottled Port from Shelton Vineyards. This pairing is a great way to end a long day!

 

Try some of these and let us know what you think!

Posted by Joe Brock in Food, Wine, 1 comment
American Wine  – There’s more than just California!

American Wine – There’s more than just California!

American Wine has exploded over the last twenty to thirty years. The number of wine regions and wine regions producing quality wine has helped with this explosion, but does the average American wine drinker really know that there are more wine regions than just California? Sadly, it seems not to be the case. For those of us who love drinking local wine, it seems we have some educating to do!

 

Sure California produces great wine. It also produces nearly 90% of the wine made in American. Grocery store wine aisles, restaurant wine lists and even local wine bars are all full of California wine. California is known for its big, bold reds with high alcohol content. We would argue that these wines are overdone and take away the true essence of grapes when compared to old world wines. For those who don’t know, old world refers to Europe and the Middle East from where wine grapes originated in nature.

US States with AVAs

There are 32 other wine producing states recognized as having an American Viticulture Area.

Given California’s dominance in producing American wine, how are other wine regions going to breakout? As the saying go, it takes a village! Those of us fortunate enough to live near other American wine regions need to step up our game. We need to get out and visit local wineries. We need to buy local wine. We need to insist that local restaurants, particularly those claiming to represent the local food movement, add local wine to their wine lists! We need to introduce our friends and family to local wine. We need to share our experiences on social media. We need to attend events at local wineries. In addition, when visiting local wineries, we need to make sure that local grapes are being used. If you’re not sure, ask! We need to insist on high quality. If a wine’s not good, say so. Let them know!

 

So, what wine regions should you look at besides California? We, of course, are partial to North Carolina. Quantity and quality have continued to improve. 2015 was a fantastic growing year across the state. We expect 2015 to be THE vintage in North Carolina. Washington and Oregon should be considered. They account for over 4% of the wine produced in America. Other areas to consider are Missouri, famous for Norton. If you haven’t tried Norton and you like big bold, jammy wines, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Texas is another upcoming and coming wine region going Spanish, Italian and Rhône Valley grapes well. New York with the Finger Lakes and Long Island is producing high quality wines. The Finger Lakes in particular are now regularly reviewed in major wine magazines like Wine Spectator. Finally, Virginia can’t be overlooked. Just like North Carolina, quantity and quality have increased over the last several years. Virginia is producing superb Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng and Viognier just to name a few!

 

American wine is diverse as our country. Let’s all do our part in helping make sure that diversity is better known. Drink local, explore new wine regions and share those experiences with others! There is more to American wine than California! Get out there and explore!

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, 0 comments
Piccione Grand Opening

Piccione Grand Opening

This past weekend was the grand opening for Piccione Vineyards.  The newest vineyard in Wilkes county is keeping it close to their Italian neighbors (Raffaldini Vineyards, that is).  Established in 2010, Dr. Bill Piccione of Chicago decided to embrace the red clay terrain and plant primarily Italian varietals.  With 16 acres under vine and plenty of room to expand, Piccione Vineyards has helped expand the Little Italy of the Appalachian foothills.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
NC Wine & Grape Month 2015 Intro

NC Wine & Grape Month 2015 Intro

September 1st marks the start of North Carolina Wine and Grape Month.  Last year we made a daily posting on the blog with either a wine or winery review.  This year we’ll be using our social media pages and then posting a summary on the blog.

Head on over to our 2015 NC Wine Month Challenge page to see what we’ve been up to.


Check out our other NC Wine Month postings:

Posted by Matt Kemberling in NC Wine Month, 0 comments
Sunday Adventures #5

Sunday Adventures #5

Sundays are wine adventure days for us. We typically invite a few friends to join us as we expand their horizons of the NC wine scene. Although we did invite a friend, we didn’t get a confirmation. So instead of letting a Sunday go to waste, we continued on ourselves. 

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Burntshirt Vineyards

Burntshirt Vineyards

Western North Carolina is surely one of the most picturesque regions of the state.  The Blue Ridge Mountains tower over the western part of the state creating an isolated feel that is truly relaxing.  One of the many benefits of the mountains is that it also creates a unique climate that sees moderately short winters with long summers.  The summer days are hot, but the evenings are cooler making this a great area to grow wine grapes.  Burntshirt Vineyards is one of the few that are taking advantage of this unique area.  We recently received an invitation to visit the vineyard and winery to take a detailed look at their process and taste their offerings.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in featured, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Sunday Adventures: Part 1

Sunday Adventures: Part 1

Today, like most Sunday afternoons, we’re headed out to visit a few wineries. Our destination is part of the WNC Wine Trail, specifically the Tyron area wineries, previously reviewed during NC Wine Month. We’re taking a different approach today as I plan to make live updates (as cell service allows).

Our first stop is Mountain Brook Vineyards where we will be joining up with some friends for a birthday celebration. From there we plan on going to at least two other wineries, possibly three, ending at Parker-Binns Vineyard to relax with hot woodfired pizza.

Keep coming back for more updates!

Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
September in Review: NC Wine and Grape Month

September in Review: NC Wine and Grape Month

We’re now well into October, so I thought it would be good to recap our September experiences with a quick month in review.  The mini challenge we set for the blog has concluded successfully: Review 30 wines (or wineries) in the 30 days of September.  As a refresher, the month of September is North Carolina Wine and Grape month.  It is a time where the wineries and vineyards in the state are recognized for their contributions.  Our goal was to feature a wine or winery each day and write-up a little review of the selection we made.  In total we reviewed 28 North Carolina Wines and 8 North Carolina Wineries.  For a full account of our challenge, click on the NC Wine Month link in the menu above.  Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments

Daveste Rkatsiteli — Wine Review

To finish up our last wine review of the North Carolina Wine & Grape Month, we decided to finish with one of the oldest grape varietals known to man-kind, Rkatsiteli.  The Daveste Rkatsiteli from Davesté Vineyards, is one of only a handful of vineyards in the US that grow and produce a wine from the grape.  Rkatsiteli is a grape originating from Georgia (the country, not the state) where it is a fairly common grape.  The grape reportedly dates back to 3000 B.C. making it one of the oldest grapes that have been cultivated for wine making purposes.  The pale skinned grape produces a white wine ranging from dry to sweet.  Some European countries even produce Port, Sherry, and dessert style wines from the same grape.  Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 1 comment

Hanover Park Mourvèdre — Wine Review

Tonight’s wine comes from a winery that we’ve already reviewed, but we wanted to review another wine from them as our last one was more of a dessert wine.  For dinner we had grilled lamb meat balls, which is what we normally have when we are opening a bottle of Hanover Park Mourvèdre.  It is also known as Monastrell and is usually a darker wine with heavy tannins and an earthy complex profile.  The wine is common in France, however it is often found in red blends of both French and Spanish origin, usually blended with Grenache and Syrah.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments
High Country Wineries — Winery Reviews

High Country Wineries — Winery Reviews

Today we traveled to the High Country Wineries of North Carolina to visit three unique wineries, each with stunning vistas and delightful wines.  The wineries, Linville Falls Winery, Grandfather Vineyard, and Banner Elk Winery, are located in the western North Carolina mountain area nestled in with the ski resorts and smaller mountain towns.  The journey to get there is full of winding roads, steep inclines and fantastic views.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 1 comment

Junius Lindsay Roussanne — Wine Review

Tonight we decided to open a bottle of something very familiar, the  Junius Lindsay Roussanne from Junius Lindsay Vineyard.  Roussanne is typically found in many French white blends, especially those produced in the Rhône style.  As a straight varietal wine it makes for a unique wine, making it a refreshing option from the run of the mill white wines.    Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

2005 Hutton Cabernet Franc — Wine Review

This evening we decided to open another red to enjoy with dinner.  We decided to go back to the Cab Franc, this time we selected the 2005 Hutton Vineyards Cabernet Franc. This is one of their first releases as they first planted grapes in 2002.  The time in the bottle has allowed the wine to develop into a smooth and velvety wine, full of character and charm while keeping a mild profile.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Brandon Hills Raptor Red — Wine Review

Tonight we decided to opt for another Yadkin Valley red blend, this time from Brandon Hills Vineyard.  The Raptor Red is their premier red blend wine that features a different raptor from vintage to vintage.  The current vintage is the 2008 which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Viognier.  The story behind the name is one of true adoration for nature.  The winery partners with the Carolina Raptor Center and features one of their birds of prey on the bottle.  A part of the proceeds goes back to the Raptor Center to help fund a good cause. Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Cellar 4201 Warrior Red — Wine Review

Rain, rain go away!  But at least it makes the choice of red, white or rosé easier.  Tonight we went for the Warrior Red from Cellar 4201 Vineyard.  This red doesn’t disappoint.  It’s a full-bodied red, but it’s not over the top.  The well-balanced nature makes it perfect to pair with food or to enjoy on its own.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 2 comments

Laurel Gray Cabernet Franc — Wine Review

It’s cold and raining again today!  That means we get to open a bottle of red wine and enjoy a nice warming dinner.  Tonight we decided on the award-winning Laurel Gray Cabernet Franc from Laurel Gray Vineyards.  This wine received double gold at the NC State Wine Competition and a bronze at the INDY International Wine Competition.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Medaloni Cellars — Winery Review

Medaloni Cellars is a small winery on Shallowford Rd in Lewisville, NC.  The winery is just outside of Winston-Salem and makes for a nice detour when you’re on the road.  Medaloni has around 22 acres of land which is positioned on a very hilly plot, perfect for growing grapes.  The wine trail offers visitors a chance to walk around the property and takes you through the vineyard and past some of the cabins they offer for rent.  The business concept at Medaloni is simple, offer great quality wine in a relaxed atmosphere.  Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments

Carolina Heritage Blueberry Wine — Wine Review

Ten more days left in our September wine month challenge!  Today we took a slightly different approach to our wine.  Usually we pair our wines with dinner and go from there.  However, we will be eating out this evening to celebrate a friend’s birthday and we were unsure if the restaurant offers North Carolina Wines.  To make sure we have our wine of the day covered, we decided to have a small glass of the Carolina Heritage Blueberry Wine from Carolina Heritage Vineyards to help pass the afternoon.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Stony Knoll Viognier — Wine Review

Arrrgh, it is Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Although we should have celebrated with rum, we wanted to keep our NC Wine streak going.  This evening we decided to keep it in the Yadkin Valley and went for the Stony Knoll Viognier from Stony Knoll Vineyards.  This light white wine was a welcome addition to our grilled shrimp dinner.

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Huffman Fire Side Red — Wine Review

The weather today was horribly uncooperative with major thunderstorms and heavy showers for most of the late afternoon and evening. The solution to bad weather: red wine.  Instead of going for a lighter more delicate white, we decided to open a nice red and cook inside (we really didn’t have much choice in the cooking arrangement as grilling was out of the question).  Tonight’s wine is the Huffman Fire Side Red from Huffman Vineyards in Richlands, North Carolina.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Olde Mill Silver Pines — Wine Review

We’re half way through the month; 15 days down, 15 more to go! To celebrate our half way marker (and to go with dinner) we opened up a bottle of the Olde Mill Silver Pines white wine.  This white wine is mostly a Pinot Gris, so we decided to pair it with a stuffed pork chop and roasted potatoes.  The flavors balanced nicely off each other and made for a nice light meal. Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Divine Llama Traminette Divine — Wine Review

After visiting two wineries this afternoon, we decided it was time to move on from crackers and settle on an actual dinner to enjoy some North Carolina wine.  We made our way home from the south-east part of the Yadkin Valley so we could fix up some sweet potato gnocchi and grilled salmon.  The wine we selected for the evening was the 2010 Traminette Divine from Divine Llama.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Jones von Drehle Petit Manseng — Wine Review

Tonight’s wine caused us a bit of a problem.  We weren’t sure which glass we should use to fully enjoy this unique wine.  I would hesitate to say we are glass “snobs”, but we definitely know that the glass has a major impact on the wine.  We ended up going through three different options before finally settling on the fourth (it ended up being the Syrah glass).  If you don’t have a Syrah, you shouldn’t worry.  The Jones von Drehle Petit Manseng is one wine that will not disappoint, regardless of the glass you use.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Dobbins Creek Rosé — Wine Review

Dinner this evening proved an interesting challenge for the wine pairing.  On the menu was a honey Sriracha fried chicken with cheddar waffles.  This was a somewhat last-minute menu swap, so I was hoping that the Dobbins Creek Rosé  would pair nicely.  And it did, quite nicely.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Elkin Creek Chardonnay — Wine Review

One third of the way through! Tonight we opened a bottle of the Elkin Creek Chardonnay from Elkin Creek Vineyard.  This Chardonnay is so rich and creamy, I mistakenly thought it was finished in oak and pulled out the wrong glasses for the wine.  After quickly reading up on the wine, we realized it was 100% stainless steel (I was shocked, Joe had a lingering suspicion), and we changed glasses.  While the wine wasn’t bad out of the oaked Chardonnay glasses, it was remarkably better and the flavors were more concentrated out of the stainless Chardonnay/Viognier glasses.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

Silver Fork Merlot — Wine Review

Tonight’s wine took us by a bit of a surprise.  The Silver Fork Merlot can definitely change one’s opinion that the east coast doesn’t produce good Merlot.  Normally when you think of Merlot, you imagine a big bold red wine with a complex yet robust profile and distinctive characteristics.  Typically, you would be right.  This particular bottle of the 2012 Merlot from Silver Fork is anything but “typical”.   Continue reading →

Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wine, 0 comments

McRitchie Muscat Blanc — Wine Review

Tonight’s feature is the McRitchie Muscat Blanc.  It comes from a small winery in the Yadkin Valley, McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks.  McRitchie has a small vineyard on property but works with other local farmers to source their grapes for their wide variety of wines.  They are a small-scale winery, selling mainly out of their tasting room but they are expanding as their following grows.  In addition to wines, they also produce a few ciders made from local apples (and this fall, they will have a pear cider too).  Continue reading →

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White Wines from Native Vines and Adagio Vineyards — Wine Review

Sundays are a special day in our house.  Not only is it the end of the weekend, but it’s also a day where our good friend Susan can join us in our wine adventures.  After a quick trip to the local winery nearby, we came back to enjoy a nice dinner out on the patio accompanied by two delicious North Carolina wines; the Native Vines Sauvignon Blanc and the Adagio Vivace.  Continue reading →

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Misty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon — Wine Review

On a Friday night, one of the first priorities is to relax after a long week of work.  Among other things, that means a bottle of wine that is familiar, reliable and oh so good.  To fulfill all requirements of a relaxing Friday night, we decided to invite over a few friends, make some black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, and we opened a bottle of the 2006 Misty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Continue reading →

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Weathervane Ionosphere — Wine Review

Although things were a little rushed today, we were still able to unwind this evening with a delightful wine from Weathervane Winery. Weathervane offers an ample selection of the sweeter wines as well as vinifera. Their wines have a large following and for good reason. Their motto is “wines without the attitude” and they hold true to that image.  Tonight we enjoyed the Weathervane Ionosphere. Continue reading →

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Raylen Viognier — Wine Review

Continuing with our Yadkin Valley streak, we opened a bottle of the 2012 Raylen Viognier, from Raylen Vineyards.   For those not familiar with Viognier, it is a white grape that produces a wine across a wide spectrum ranging from bright and acidic to mellow and tropical.  No matter what style Viognier you are having, they will all be very aromatic with notable characteristics.   Continue reading →

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Chatham Hill Cabernet Franc — Wine Review

Tonight’s feature is another Yadkin Valley selection; the 2009 Chatham Hill Cabernet Franc from Chatham Hill Winery. This dark red wine is rich with dark fruit flavors and a nice balance of tannins and smoke.  We decided to pair it with a barbecue pork chop, baked sweet potato and corn on the cob.  The dark flavors of the wine really complimented the charred sweetness of the pork.

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Shelton Dry Riesling — Wine Review

To kick off the NC Wine and Grape month, we decided to start with the Shelton Dry Riesling from Shelton Vineyards.  This full bodied white displays characteristics that are typical of a cool-climate Riesling without having to venture to the colder regions of the country.   Continue reading →

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September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month

September is a special month here in North Carolina. Not only is the weather gorgeous, but it is also officially recognized as Wine and Grape month.   Almost all of the 100+ North Carolina wineries participate in their own ways, offering delicious wines and a great experience.  Trying to do all of the wineries in one month would be an amazing task.  It might be doable, however it would take a multitude of planning, a strong determination to do it all, and don’t forget the designated driver (that’s a lot of wine).

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