Michigan’s Leelanau Cellars Witches Brew

I live in southern Ohio and I was quite suprised to find this wine in my local liquor store. Even though it’s still August I couldn’t resist picking of a bottle of this Autumn-themed wine from Michigan’s Leelanau Cellars. This red with cinnamon and cloves is probably best served warm, but I decided to take my chances and chill it – opening it up on an evening when it was still 80 degrees outside. I actually found it quite delightful served cold. The spices gave it a touch of sweetness, and the colder temperature of the wine didn’t let the cinnamon and clove become overpowering. It was a great departure from the crisp whites I’ve been drinking most of the summer. I could even see this wine combined with some fruit and ginger ale to make a summer sangria.

Still…I’m sure this wine was initially meant to be served warm and is probably at its very best when served that way. If you’re hosting a fall get-together this wine would be perfect to serve ladled from a crock pot. Even though I enjoyed it very much chilled, I think I am going to pick up another bottle for a cool fall evening.

You can read more about this wine and order it from the Leelanau Cellars website: www.lwc.wine

Hawaii Wine

It may be hard to believe, but each and every state in the U.S. produces wine – even Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to try the wine of Hawaii, but figured I would probably never make it to a Hawaiian winery in person (but I can still dream). While shopping at a specialty store I came across this Maui Blanc Pineapple Wine produced at the Maui Wine winery, which  is made from 100% fresh pineapples. I was skeptical at first because I don’t care much for sweeter wines myself, but the bottle proclaimed that it was done in an off-dry style so I thought I would give it a try.

I brought it home and kept it in my wine refrigerator for three months. I kept meaning to open it but instead I found myself reaching past it for a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio on warm days. I finally decided to give it a try last night and I was pretty impressed. It really is off-dry, starts off as a crisp but smooth white wine, but then finishes with a fresh pineapple taste. This is one every wine lover should try…if only to say they did. (But it’s really good!!)

Maui Wine Website

Manchester Hill Winery

I am so thankful for a spur-of-the-moment decision to stop by Manchester Hill Winery in Circleville, OH.

Manchester Hill has recently re-opened under new ownership (the winemaker actually bought out the previous

owner). It is no longer a farm market / winery….but they are now concentrating solely on the wine. As of the time of this blog post they only have four wines bottled for sale, but several more are on the horizon and I can’t wait.

Their spacious tasting room offers plenty of indoor seating and a cool, casual atmosphere. Open entering the tasting room manager, Justin, was very welcoming. He was very knowledgable and explained th

e wines they currently had available for sale, a few more available for tasting (not yet bottled for sale but available for tasting and by the glass) and more that would be coming soon. I sampled five wines which included a

 

Dry Riesling, Strawberry, Sweet Red, Pink Catawba and House Red.  I’m a dry wine drinker, so I liked that even the sweeter wines I sampled were not syrupy sweet. My favorite by far was the Dry Riesling – very light, crisp and refreshing. The winemaker does it in a German-Style and I enjoyed it very much. I also loved the House Red – a complex dry red blend perfect for pairing with a steak or dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

Manchester Hill also offers a menu of tasty treats – a cheese board, Mediterranean platter or chips so you can plan to stay for a spell. It was the perfect day to sip a glass of Dry Riesling outside where I was able to have an in-depth conversation with the winemaker. He is knowledgable, talented and I would watch for great things to come from this newer Central-Ohio Winery.

Wines to be offered in the near future: Seyval Blanc, Vignoles, Niagara, Sweet Riesling, Concord, Blackberry, Winter Solstice Iced Wine…plus both a dry and a sweet cider.