I liked Diana Prichard’s guest post on berries so much that I invited her to be a regular columnist on Try Handmade — she loves food made by real people, and I hope you enjoy her weekly Handmade Food offerings.
“She is a freelance writer and wanna-be homesteader living in rural Michigan with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, three horses, a small flock of chickens and an ever-changing menagerie of other farm animals large and small. She is a self-proclaimed homegrown and artisan food junkie, who in the year 2009 set the goal to grow most of her family’s food in their own garden. She didn’t succeed, but she did make a lot of progress. And there’s always next year.” (more)
I think she’s the right person for this job ;)
A few years ago my husband came home from work with a dark green, unmarked wine bottle in his hand. “Its boysenberry” was the only description I got as he thrust the bottle at me through the front door when I greeted him.
That night after the kids were tucked into bed, the house quiet I settled on the sofa with the bottle, a glass, and a trashy T.V. show. There, I fell in love. The boysenberry wine, it turned out, was a homemade creation by one of the husband’s colleagues from fruit grown in his backyard. Since then we’ve been lucky enough to be the recipients of many bottles of his wine. A few more boysenberry, a handful of bottles of blueberry, a coveted bottle of some of the best strawberry I’ve ever tasted and yes, even a few traditional grape wines. Never will he accept payment, only the promise that we’ll return the empty bottles – and that we do.
Still, I love wine and loving sharing wine even more. His generous gifts are hardly enough to keep me in drinks the year through. Enter: my complete and utter obsession with local wines. An obsession spurred by a lone unmarked bottle of Boysenberry those years ago and encouraged by a bottle of Michigan made wine I received as a gift from my sister-in-law for Christmas in 2007.
I look back now on my quaint naivete with humor. How I had, even if it had only been briefly in the very infancy of my wine sampling journey, eschewed wines not from the wine regions. How I had assumed anything made locally would be subpar. I don’t live in Napa Valley, after all.
Now, I cannot get enough of the stuff. But more importantly cannot believe I spent so much time not knowing how many local wineries there really are. Here and every where. Across the United States, from Pennsylvania’s ninety-nine plus wineries to Arkansas’ well-established Post Familie winery and vineyard, the country is ripe with local drinks made of local produce. Even North Dakota has an established winery. Pointe of View Winery was the state’s first and was federally bonded in 2002. And while I’m no wine connoisseur, their Rhubarb wine sounds delicious.
To find local wineries near you search for wine + your state’s abbreviation in Google. Most states have websites like the one linked above for Pennsylvania that are dedicated to helping consumers locate wineries in the area. Happy sampling!