Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Sweet Stuff

It's taken me a while to realize this, but things that are new--and maybe different--are good. Not always, but at least most times when it comes to wine. (OK, I've had "new" bottles of wine that turned out to be crap, but you get what I mean.....)

For years, I've always challenged winemaking self to do new wines. Try something a little different. Change things up in order to make them better. Of course, Mother Nature does that for us automatically every year, but I like to change the things I control as well. Nothing like throwing the whole deck up in the air and seeing where the cards land. And now, after doing this for a lot of years, I have a pretty good sense of where they fall. Or, or at least, I know where to find them all after they hit the ground and put them in a semblance of order.

I woke up one day to the idea that I hadn't made any new sweet wines lately. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I like my dry wines, I drink dry wine, and would only make dry wine if I could get away with it. But, I am also keenly aware that my sweet wine sales outnumber my dry wines sales. It's just a reality being a small winery in Pennsylvania.

And, I'm proud of our sweet wines. All of them are technically sound, they are unique, and well-made. I can see why our customers like them. It makes me a little schizophrenic at times, but I'm OK with that. (And so am I....)

This spring we brought in some apple juice that we concentrated by freezing. It's now fermenting away in a cold tank, probably for the next month. Not sure what we'll call it, but it should be a an Aria-style wine. The wine smells like intense apples. Think green Jolly Ranchers if they were trying to make them smell like Golden Delicious instead of Granny Smiths. I can imagine the different desserts it'll go with.....

And, I'm playing around with the idea of doing a blueberry wine. Yeah, yeah, I know, I always said I wasn't doing anymore fruit wines. But I have had some really nice blueberry wines from Bartlett's in Maine, and they are intriguing. Not that I could make ones like they do (mine won't be dry), but it seemed like an interesting challenge. I like challenges, even if they kick my butt sometimes. (Remember, it took me four tries to get Red Lion Red right, and it works now.)

That may be it for a while. I do still have my dry wines that I am tinkering with. Hopefully this will keep all you sweeties happy for a while.

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