Monday, January 23, 2012
A Different Type of Fruit Winery
Among all the places that I adventured, I took in the Riverwalk Mall next to the convention center downtown to see if I could find some nice souveniers for my wife and kids. Little did I know that I would find a winery right there in the mall.
Sho Nuff! In the Riverwalk Mall there is a wine tasting room for the NOLA Tropical Winery. I just knew in my heart this wine was going to be nasty. But, like a train wreck, I just had to see what this was all about.
As the story goes, the owners, from Mandeville, Louisiana, were on a trip to St. Petersburg when they happened onto the Florida Orange Groves and Winery. They were very taken by the wines made there, and entered into an agreement to have their own wines made by the Florida staff.
The friendly manager, Carrie, met me in the brightly lit and colorful winery. I’m not a fan of sticky sweet and cloying fruit wines. There seems to be so many “panty droppers” (as we call them in the alcohol industry). So I was extra surprise when several of the wines that I tried were either bone dry or semi dry.
The first wine that I really enjoyed was the Orange Sunshine. It is a little off dry with approximately 1% sugar. Lots of fantastic orange flavor that I likened to the soft creamy flavor from inside the orange peel. The wine’s floral and citrus nose was fun to just smell.
When Carrie broke out the Key Limen I was in love. I am a huge key lime fan. I could live on key lime pie if my arteries could hold up. The flavors and nose were soft and citrusy, very dry, and with just enough acid that it finished beautifully.
Another wine that stood out was the Dry Blueberry. It has a lot of the same characteristics of Pinot Noir that has been fermented and stored in steel. Lots of flavors of dried blueberries. Smoky, and rich with flavor.
NOLA’s Black Gold comes in a dry and semi sweet version. I went for the dry. Dark and rich, with blackberry flavors, this wine has all the flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Other wines that I enjoyed were the Cherry, make with Montmorency style cherries, the King Kiwi, which was just like eating kiwi with your breakfast, and last but certainly not least, the Black and Blue Port. Fantastic!
For those who are hardcore grape drinkers, the winery has developed some traditional red and white wines. The Roux St. Louis is a very nice white blend, and the Dah Red is a very nice blend of Napa Syrah and Cabernet grapes that were shipped in to make a real wine drinker’s wine.
If you are ever in N’walins, for whatever reason, I suggest you go check out the NOLA Tropical Winery. I also suggest going down to WINO, the Wine Institute of New Orleans, just a few blocks away, where you can enjoy these, as well as wines from around the world. Oh, and you can carry your solo cup of wine down the road with you in that town!
Of course, if you can't make it to New Orleans any time soon you can find the winery at http://www.nolafruitwines.com/. They ship wine all over the country, as long as you live in a state where you can have wine shipped to you.