This past weekend we visited the Amana Colonies here in Middle America. It was an interesting trip. Not so much in what we learned (which was mostly not taking kids to places with breakables and don’t forget to sample as much wine and beer as you can) but in the things we brought home.
When we there we purchased some locally made wines. We have a number of wineries around here that make local wine, but the differance with the Amana wines is that they weren’t grape based. They are based on fermenting fruits. THey had a ton of flavors, but the most pugnent were rhubarb, dandelion, cantawba, along with cherry, raspberry and other berries. Now, things have changed since the times 150 years ago, so not all the fruits are local, but they still make them right there.
I just found it interesting how wine was such an integral part of their lives that over time recipes were developed for things it’s not customary to turn into wine. Maybe in the past it was customary for people to turn these fruits into wines, but I think, now, it offers an interesting look at wines and how to obtain these types of beverages without having to have a huge stockpile of grapes.
I wish some of our local wineries would look into this instead of producing the same red and white wines that everyone else does.
We sampled a glass of the catawba we brought home last night with some cheese and crackers. It’s very nice. It’s a little sweet so you couldn’t drink a lot of it, but I liked the taste well enough. We’ll be opening the other soon. It’s too bad they don’t wholesale the wines. You can only get them by ordering for the stores in town.
By the way, they also have a fantastic brewery there in town, Millstream Brewery. Their new Octoberfest flavor for the fall is fantastic.