February 18, 2012

National Drink Wine Day

"Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil." - Lord Byron

It's National Drink Wine Day!

In honor of today's national holiday, we took a trip to Blacksmiths, one of Maine's largest wineries. It was started in 1999 at the site of William Watkins' home, barn, and blacksmith shop in South Casco. Around the mid-nineteenth century Watkins' was the town blacksmith and, according to the website, he was notorious as a demanding craftsman.

You can visit Blacksmiths to try samples of their wine - and if you get the chance, I encourage that you do. The tasting room and gift shop are very comfortable and inviting, painted in warm colors and decorated in farmhouse-meets-vineyard decor. And the best part? Their staff. I think the general perception of wine drinkers is that they're arrogant, incredibly snobby,and older. That's not the case here at all: you'll find young, educated, relaxed, tattooed men who make wine . . . cool. And relatable. And fun. And incredibly interesting, as they truly know their stuff and are passionate about what they're doing.

Today I sampled their Roughshod, which I appreciate tremendously. It's a dessert wine made with Maine blueberries, blended with brandy. It packs a mighty punch, but is tremendously flavorful, morphing notes as the wine has more time to breathe and changes temperature.

But really, my heart belongs to their Vidal Ice Wine. Ice wines are produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. Blacksmiths ice wine is thick, smooth, and sweet like honey or maple syrup. And it goes down far too easily. It's one of my all time favorite drinks out there (of course I had to pick the most expensive thing on the menu to fall in love with!).

Happy National Drink Wine Day!