It’s America’s birthday next week. Let’s raise a toast with wines made from grapes grown on American soil.
A diverse selection of wines are being made in the United States. It’s exciting to see the industry flourish, especially in places that don’t immediately spring to mind for wine.
Wine is made in all 50 states. Some states’ industries are just getting started, while others, such as California, are well-established. We celebrate American can-do spirit when we support local American producers. If some of these aren’t on your radar, seek out a bottle or two on your next trip to the wine store.
• Show-stopping rieslings are coming out of the gorgeous Finger Lakes region in New York. The district should be on everyone’s lists for a must-do wine trip.
• Although Oregon’s signature white grape is pinot gris, the quality of riesling from that state may challenge that idea. Michigan and Colorado boast a couple of top-notch rieslings, too.
• It’s hard to believe grapes can even grow in New Mexico, but sparkling wines from here can be tart, delicious, and affordable.
• Try Arizona for delicious Rhone-style grape blends that show pretty fruit and spice character.
• Traminette and chambourcin grapes are hybrids, crosses between the more familiar European varieties and the hardier but lesser-known American varieties.
Standing in a pretty North Carolina vineyard with a grower recently, I asked what should be growing in our hot, humid summers. Those two were his top picks. Our neighbors in Virginia already know it. Traminette is a hit there.
• Texas is doing wonderful things with tempranillo, the grape best known from the Spanish wine region Rioja.
• Muscadine wines, ranging from slightly sweet and fizzy to full-on dessert wines, are terrific from Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
• Ohio is home to producers making pretty and elegant wines from the chardonnay grape.
And these are just a few of the wines to try. Check out what is on the shelves at your favorite merchant. When the fireworks start to pop on the Fourth, perhaps you can pop a cork to American wine.
Catherine Rabb is co-owner of Fenwick’s and a senior instructor at Johnson & Wales University. Email: Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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