Two Roads Diverged

Life is all about choices – so which choice is coming next?

“Life is too short to drink bad wine”

on November 8, 2012

During my stay in Greece, one of the things my North Carolinian roommate always talked about was North Carolina Wine.

Now I’m Californian. I know wine.

Ok. That’s a lie.

I don’t like most wine.

Well, I don’t like reds.
Or dry whites.
Or dry rosés.

So really, I’m pretty picky about my wine.

But my Family! They know their wines. Especially my brother.

But – just because I don’t like wine doesn’t mean I haven’t tried it.

So with more than a bit of skepticism (and Californian wine-snoodiness), I went to a North Carolina wine tasting.

North Carolina Wine, Shadow ridge vineyard, Hanover park vineyard, wine tasting

Wine on a cold day: it is pretty perfect.

And it. Was. Delicious.

I mean – WOW! The things these people were doing with wine!

I had three favorites:

    Shadow Springs Vineyard, Strawberry shortcake wine

    Image: Shadow Springs Vineyard

  1. Shadow Springs Vineyard, Shortcake.
    This wine was made from strawberries. Yeah, you read that. STRAWBERRIES! Fermented Strawberries! Drinking that wine was like drinking strawberry juice. With 11% alcohol content. Om nom nom.
  2. Shadow Srings vineyard, Dark Shadow wine, Dark chocolate wine

    Image: Shadow Springs Vineyard

  3. Shadow Springs Vineyard, Dark Shadow.
    Now this was one of those ‘dark chocolate red wines’. Now I’ve had plenty of those. It’s just red wine. Right?
    Well this one. I sniffed it. Smelled just like dark chocolate. I tasted it. It was like drinking dark chocolate! Oh man, this was a decadent wine!
  4. Hanover Park Vineyard, Blueberry wine

    Image: Hanover Park winery

  5. Hanover Park Vineyard, Blueberry.
    Once again, a fruit based wine. This one: blueberry. And just like the name, again, it was like drinking blueberries!

(I brought a bottle of the strawberry and blueberry home to my parents, who vastly enjoyed it.)

When the wine servers found out I was from Cali, they were so tickled by how much I enjoyed the wine – and of course we got into a conversation about what I thought was so special about NC wines.

And I came to this conclusion: North Carolina is doing what California used to do. Experiment.

They’re making wines from different fruits – with great success! If you suggested that to Cali wineries? They’d wrinkle their nose in disgust at you – hardly believing you’re daring to suggest something different from their grape-y recipe.

So I’d come to see that what my roommate was always going on about was true – North Carolina has amazing wines! And I will eagerly search the wine section – hoping to one day see these wines gracing my grocery store shelves.

28 responses to ““Life is too short to drink bad wine”

  1. The Landy says:

    Yep, they’d wrinkle their noses here as well…

  2. Not missing the retsina much then?

    • To be honest: we stuck to wines that were 3 euros and under! I don’t think I ever tried retsina! (bad me! >.<)

      Not missing how strong Greek wine was! Ooph – a couple glasses and I was under!

  3. El Guapo says:

    Never developed a taste for wine. But I cook with it constantly.
    Berries could be interesting…

  4. becca3416 says:

    I am so jealous (as usual when I visit your blog)! I LOVE wine. But really only red wine. Those three creations sound divine! I need to add wine tasting to my list of things to do next year.

    Also, you look mighty happy in that picture🙂. That in itself makes for the best photos!

  5. MissFourEyes says:

    I’m not really a wine person, but those sound so good! Strawberries!

  6. The Hook says:

    I really wish I drank…
    Great post!

  7. There's a frog on my Sprocket! says:

    I’ve grown up bouncing back and forth from Sweden, France and America… It’s always weird when I get back to the states and am too young to have wine with dinner.
    I’m not a wine expert by any account but these sound like they would be well served with desert. The chocolate one sounds amazing… In my travels I don’t know how I missed chocolate wine?
    I’m at the moment in Annecy France so I can have a glass but I’m frightened to ask a French server for chocolate wine. They are serious about wine here and chocolate, though I’d like it is usually not a word I’d be willing to say to a Frenchman or woman about wine.
    Maybe I’ll have to wait a couple years and head to North Carolina.
    Great post,

    • That’s wonderful that you’ve grown up bouncing between Europe and America!! (Jealous!) The first time I went to Europe I was 16, and I remember, like you, being so weirded out when I got home and couldn’t drink again!
      And they definitely got better with dessert (my family drank them with dinner – it’s a bit sweet for that ^.^).
      And I don’t blame you for being afraid to ask for chocolate wine. Other than the one I had in NC, the “chocolate wines” are more for being drunk with chocolate rather than tasting of it. But please ask! I’d be interested to hear what the Frenchman’s response would be! =D
      Thanks for dropping by!

  8. MaximumWage says:

    2 of my brothers used to live in Napa, and they know wine. One of my distant cousins owns a vineyard in zillow WA which makes some nice wines. I’ve been to the local wine tasting here in the Old Dominion (just north🙂 ) And the VA has some nice wines too. I’ll have to give North Carolina another look see. thanks for the recommendations!

    Also ever since California beat the french in the blind taste test in the 70s (bottleshock the movie) Napa has been upturned nose at any other state daring to make wines. I dont know what it is about wines and people acting snobby.

  9. I hate wine snobbery – I mean if they can make beer from cherries, why not wine?

  10. Nicole says:

    I know many people who LOVE wine. For me, it’s okay. I drink it once in awhile. I’ll drink red wine once in awhile, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon but red wine tends to give me acid reflux. Therefore, when I do drink wine, I’ll go for a white wine or white zinfandel. I have more fun with beer tastings. Most wine lovers I know aren’t super snobby about it. However, there is a growing number of tequila aficionados out here and tequila bars…so there is a growing number of tequila snobs out there.

  11. Loved your blog post! There is nothing better than hosting a Californian in North Carolina wine country! Yes, we are making magic here with both the vinifera wines CA is so well known for as well as our native muscadine and fruit wines you mentioned. is the only online wine store for NC’s boutique wines we are excited that you focused on both Hanover Park and Shadow Springs as BOTH of those wineries will be in our online store and wine club in January. We all remember the movie Bottle Shock. Yes, there was a time that nobody had heard of wine for CA. Well, we think this is that moment for North Carolina. Prior to prohibition NC was the largest wine producing state in the country. We are coming back. We encourage everyone to give NC wine a try. Cheers.

    • I’m so glad you found the post and liked it! And don’t worry – I’ve been telling EVERYONE to try North Carolina wines! =D And I never knew that NC was such a high producing wine country! It’s wonderful that that’s back on track, and I can’t wait to visit your site to grab some wine from both those wineries!

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