After a week of drinking some pretty special wines, I came back to work to find an amazing surprise — a co-worker had left me some homemade wine made by his dad! Now you may think after Birthday Wines #1-3 that this wasn’t something that I would be excited about, but you’d be wrong! I was touched beyond belief that someone would share their homemade wine with me.
It was a bondafide “gift set” with 3 different wines to sample: a Muscadine, a Scuppernong and an apple wine.
I enlisted another co-worker to try these with me and we both agreed our favorite was the Scuppernong and our least favorite was the Muscadine. We had a split opinion on the apple wine. – I like it, she not so much. I was told one of the wines was fermented twice, but he couldn’t remember which one. I am guessing it was the apple wine as I affectionately referred to it as “wine shine.” It made me want a cinnamon doughnut to go with it, which we did not have, but we did have goat cheese, crackers and cinnamon, so voila! Delicious!
Both Muscadine and Scuppernong varietals are native to the southern United States (Vitis Rotundifolia). The oldest Scuppernong vine – some 400 years old – lives on Roanoke Island, Virginia. The first records of cultivation of Scuppernong are from the 17th Century in North Carolina and it is the official state fruit of North Carolina.
We had never tried a homemade wine before and overall we were really surprised with how good these were. I would like to try making my own homemade wine someday so I really appreciated being able to try these wines. I decided to do a little research on our favorite, the Scuppernong, which revealed it is actually a large white variety of Muscadine. I guess that’s why it is sometimes referred to as Scupperdine.
The thing I love most about wine is that I am constantly learning something new — whether about wine or the history of the world — it continues to fascinate me. For instance, in 1904 a sparkling Scuppernong called Paul Garrett’s Special Champagne took top honors at St. Louis’s Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Within a few years, Garrett’s sweet Virginia Dare wine was among the most popular vinous drinks of the United States. Who knew?
In parting, I’ll leave you with some Kid Rock and Hank Williams, Jr. It turns out I like homemade wine too Hank. Cheers!