Yay or Caber-Nay

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Yay or Caber-Nay

12 Unique Wines You’ll Find in Appalachia

by Candace Nelson

Wines offer a colorful array of choices for varied tastebuds on the immense spectrum of deep reds to sparkling whites.

This month, red-lovers and white fans can celebrate their favorites with National White Wine Day on Aug. 4 and National Red Wine Day on Aug. 28.

We’re not just talking about your merlots and chardonnays. There are all kinds of wines in between! From cooking wines made with vegetables to sweet wines made with local fruits, here are some of the unique wines you can find in Appalachia:

  • Ramp Wine – The wild spring onion is a coveted delicacy when harvested after the cold winter. Many choose to pair their ramps with ham or brown beans. But Kirkwood Winery in Summersville, West Virginia, turns their ramps into a cooking wine. The springtime tonic imparts a garlicky flavor fit for savory dishes. Try it with vegetables or protein for an extra tasty bite.
  • Sugar Plum Wine – This spiced plum wine from Forks of Cheat Winery, Morgantown, West Virginia, could put you in the holiday spirit. Or, if you’re just feeling something sweet, comforting, and fresh, this may be the one for you. Try it with a holiday meal or a picnic with fresh fruits and cheeses.
  • Dandelion Wine – Those bright yellow flowered weeds are good for more than just ruining your freshly mowed lawn. Dandelion wine from Kirkwood Winery tastes slightly of honey and is a good source of potassium and vitamins A, B, and C. Add some to your greens or even use it in a spring pasta dish for all the crisp flavor.
  • Cherry Blossom Wine – Get a taste of Washington, D.C.’s famous festival in Appalachia. From West Virginia Fruit and Berry, in Bridgeport, West Virginia, this wine is sweet, a bit tart, and a lot refreshing. It’s perfect for a girls’ night or even a date night out.
  • Concord Stomp Wine – Kirkwood Winery hosts an old-fashioned grape-stomping festival once per year so you can live out your “I Love Lucy” dreams. Hike up your pants, squish some grapes between your toes and sip on this semi-dry wine that is crafted specifically for the festival.
  • Blood Orange Wine – Are you a citrus fan? Lemons. Oranges. Grapefruit. If you answered yes to any of the above, consider this blood orange wine that combines sweet and tangy flavors for a unique wine you have probably never tried! This wine is from Chestnut Ridge Winery in Spencer, West Virginia.
  • Grapple Wine – What do you get when you cross a grape and an apple? Grapple! This Kirkwood Winery wine combines their grape wines and apple wines for a unique flavor that is perfect for that wine connoisseur in your life who has already tried every other varietal.
  • Ginseng Wine – This Kirkwood Winery wine is made from the ginseng root, which many people harvest while it’s in season because it is believed to be a tonic for improving well-being. Take all the benefit from the root and impart it into a wine to sip – now that’s multitasking.
  • Wild Elderberry Wine – Elderberry is thought to have some health benefits and is found in syrups, cocktails, mixers, and, at Kirkwood Winery, in wine. Try this wine with family or loved ones who can recall plucking elderberries right from the bush before they became trendy. It’s a little sweet and a little tart and a lot satisfying.
  • Red Currant Wine – This wine from Kirkwood Winery starts but ends with tart notes. Did you know: Red currants grow in clusters like grapes and were once banned in the United States? Make sure to get your hands on this one while it’s still around.
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Wine – This classic tart and sweet combination is commonly found in pies. Kirkwood Winery has turned it into a wine that will have you reminiscing about grandma’s recipes. It is perfect with biscuits and jam.
  • Swiss Chard Rhubarb Wine – Talk about tart! This Kirkwood Winery specialty wine draws on the prior strawberry rhubarb wine but drops the sweetness in favor of a more sour flavor. Use this to sauté up some Swiss chard or other leafy greens to get the full impact of the flavor.

If you want to go:

  • Visit Kirkwood Winery & Isaiah Morgan Distillery at 45 Winery Road, Summersville, West Virginia, 26651, or call 304-872-7332.
  • Visit West Virginia Fruit and Berry at 3927 Brushy Fork Road, Bridgeport, West Virginia, 26330, or call 304-842-8945,
  • Visit Forks of Cheat Winery at 2811 Stewartstown Road, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26508, or call 304-598-2019.
  • Visit Chestnut Ridge Winery, 15 Chestnut Ridge, Spencer, West Virginia, 25276, or call 304-377-5721.

No matter what kind of wine your palate fancies, there is sure to be one you can enjoy on these upcoming wine holidays. Cheers!