Another Snowy Saturday

A light snow is falling softly today, quite the contrast to the howling blizzard we endured Christmas weekend.  The air has a damp, cold touch that encourages you to stay indoors, wrapped in a blanket, enjoying a good book.  

I opted for The Wild Vine.   A friend introduced this book at his Christmas party, which was as much wine-tasting as holiday gathering.  An evening of good friends, good food, good wine – exactly what the holidays should be all about, by my estimation.  I picked up a copy of the book shortly after his party and started reading it today.  According to the inside jacket, this is “a rich romp through untold American history”  and promises to be “the tale of a little-known American grape that rocked the fine-wine world of the nineteenth century and is poised to do so again”.   So far, so good. 

The book is a story of Norton, a grape native to America that some say is the only one to produce drinkable wine.   All the rage during the late nineteenth century, winning gold medals at wine-tasting events in Europe,  Norton was forgotten and nearly disappeared completely.  A few vineyards are beginning to grow Norton again, primarily in Virginia and Missouri.  I was lucky enough to sample a glass, thanks to my good friend’s efforts, and am now planning my own wine-tasting excursion to Virginia. 

And so I took a photo, with my cellphone, to share my snowy Saturday afternoon with  you.  The photo, taken with an Android X,  has only minimal processing.  The wine, alas, is not Norton!  I hope you are enjoying your Saturday afternoon as much as I am mine!

6 thoughts on “Another Snowy Saturday”

    1. far so good..the first 50 pages or so just zipped by, then my grandkids came over and I took a break…I am enjoying the author’s writing style..very lively.

  1. I’ll have to check and see whether this book is available in my library. Sounds interesting. When I lived in VA, I enjoyed going to one of the big wine festivals. I don’t remember reds being very prominent. Do wines made from the Norton grape get labeled as something else?

  2. There are now 235 Norton wineries in 23 states, with the best of these wines coming generally from Missouri first and Virginia second. Do not judge your first tries of this wine negatively since not only is it a developed taste, but also most all Norton wines (sometimes referred to as Cynthiana wines) need to age for several years to fully develop. And this wine needs to breathe no less than 40 minutes before enjoying. If traveling, the best of Norton wines by state can be found at: White Oaks (AL); Mount Bethel (AR), Three Sisters (GA); Century Farms (TN); Elk Creek (KY); Castle Gruen, Cooper, DuCard, Chrysalis (VA); Stone Mountain Cellars (PA); Blumenhof, Heinrichshaus, Stone Hill’s Cross J, Montelle, Robller, Peaceful Bend, Westphalia (MO). Doug Frost, a Kansas City wine writer and Norton fan, describes the wine as “powerful, muscular, crazy intense in malic acid and capable of staining teeth or even wineglasses. [The wine is] probably something most drinkers have to learn to love, with its rough and rustic personality often evident.” I really like how Kim , a Madison, WI journalist stated an introduction to Norton wines as “I love the way [Norton] wine becomes an example of what it means to be American, a symbol of a country and a culture” after reading Todd Kliman’s The Wild Vine. I look forward to your encounters with the Norton wine which I hope you will not try to compare it with California or French wines.

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