Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Muscadine Wine - Another "Sweet" Drink


Wine. The nectar of the gods. Bacchus was totally right. And here in the South, we like our tea sweet along with our wine. Every week, driving down to Auburn during football season, I kept seeing the signs for a local winery in Harpersville, Alabama. I decided that it was time to pay the place a visit and learn about muscadine wine.

Morgan Creek Winery http://www.morgancreekwinery.com/ ,
is a beautiful little spot in the tiny town of Harpersville.


The building is right next to the vineyards and also a blueberry field. Set among oak trees, the winery houses a nice gift shop and, in the back, the actual working part of the wine making process. Established in 2000, the winery has quickly risen in popularity. It has several varieties of wine made from different species of muscadine. They also offer some blueberry wine and a peach wine made from Chilton County peaches.

Open Monday through Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm, the ladies in the gift shop conduct tours to explain the making of wine and then offer free wine tasting of their products.


It was very informative and I didn’t realize a lot of the work that goes into the making of wine, whether sweet or dry.


Most of the wines offered by the winery are sweet or semi-sweet, indulging the Southern sweet tooth. I particularly like the Carlos (named for a type of muscadine) and the Regal Red. They also offer a dry white wine, Cahaba White (also named for a muscadine) which I like because it reminded me of my youth, sneaking off into the woods and eating muscadines. The wine held that distinct taste. Another dry wine, Vulcan Red, was very smooth and rich. I enjoyed the wine tasting and the ladies showed us how to mix the peach and the blueberry to make a lovely Sangria which they say in the summer is a great drink when combined with fruits. I have to say it was wonderful, even in the spring without the fruit.

Every fall, the winery has a grape stomping held on the third Saturday of September. They hold a Lucy-look-a-like contest (remember the Lucy wine stomping episode?), with live music and lots of local products. I intend to go back for the contest. It should be fun. During the spring and summer, the winery also has live music and they encourage you to bring a picnic to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the music. After the concert, there are fireworks. Sounds like a lovely evening, especially if you’re sharing the wine with someone special under the stars.

And what wine is complete without cheese? The ladies at Morgan Creek Winery directed us to a local shop, Millers Cheese House in Vincent, Alabama. Oh boy! The lady at the cheese house had samples of various cheeses, made by the Amish, set out to try. She also had various pickled products and bean dips to try. Everything tasted wonderful, especially the blueberry cheese. I am going to try it with the blueberry wine. I can’t wait.

There are many wineries in the State of Alabama and this one is exceptional. I hardily recommend it as a day trip from our area. It’s about 25 miles southeast of Birmingham just off of Highway 280.

After we finished our tours and explorations, we stopped at a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Inverness Plaza (Birmingham) which is on Highway 280. The Crazy Cajun Boiling Pot offered the best crawfish ettouffee I have had since I visited Brennan’s. It’s really a bar with the feeling of a dive on Bourbon Street but there were lots of families there and the atmosphere was upbeat and happy. I cleaned my plate and would have asked for more Hoppin’ John if I hadn’t already been so full. It’s a wonderful place to eat and I also recommend it after a hard day of wine tasting.

Do you like wine? Have you ever tried the local muscadine wines? Did you know that muscadine wine has more anti-oxidants that its grape cousins? Give Morgan Creek a try and I am afraid you’ll be hooked!

11 comments:

  1. I'm not a big wine drinker but I do love sweet wines. I should give these a try.

    I've been on lots of wine tours and tastings. Two stand out: a tour of the Rhine River in Germany and the wine tour I went on during the RWA Conference in San Francisco, the year I discovered Port!

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    1. Oh Kathy, how envious I am of you! I've done the Napa Valley tours but to be able to have done such a tour in Germany! WOW! I love the German Rieslings! All of the German table wine is wonderful (they do add sugar to it). Your really should try the muscadine wines, even the port (I got a wonderful muscadine port from Seabreeze Winery in Panama City, Florida). I love the port.

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  2. I am not much of a drinker--less than I used to be. I like a Bloody Mary best. When I do drink wine, I like sweet wine. I always say the the closer it comes to being fit to pour on pancakes, the better I like it. However, I have never doctored wine up with Sweet n Low.

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    1. I don't drink much either but I do love Abita beer! And the muscadine wines are so sweet and good. I'd bet you would like them. The blueberry wine is almost sweet enough to pour on pancakes, especially blueberry pancakes. LOL

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    2. Bet it would make a great sno-cone

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  3. Well I love a glass of very dry red wine...as in my mouth puckers, stretching for another sip! I'm not particular about brands, just quality of taste. And I don't confess to be a wine expert by any means either. Y'all can keep the sweet wines, I won't bother you for them at all. Sadly, when I lived near Napa Valley one summer during college, I detested wine. I guess I had to grow into it.

    Nowadays I'm curious to try Prosecco (Italy's Prozac), which is a dry white sparkling wine. (I can't call it Champagne or I'll be arrested by the bubbly-police!) My favorite drinks are Glenlivet, straight up (because who would contaminate such perfection?) and Drambuie. Mmm. Yum!

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    1. I have some Prosecco - had some last weekend. It's pretty good; not like champagne because it doesn't give me a headache. Being married to an Italian we keep a lot of wine around the house. I am really more fond of a full-bodied cabernet (most of the Italian reds are this way). And, like you about the sweet wine, you can keep the Scotch. Smells like charcoal to me now (bad law school memories -LOL). I don't even want to be in the same room as the stuff. Most of the time I'll just stick to the beer; safer for me.

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    2. Champagne gives me a headache too. Sigh.

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  4. Oh! And thanks for the info, Cheryl! Maybe I'll stop by Morgan Creek Winery on my way to or from the beach. ;)

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    1. Might be a bit off the path going down I-65. If you're headed to Panama City, Seabreeze Winery is there and they also have some pretty good wines (not as good to me as the Morgan Creek wine).

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    2. It's okay. I tend to wander when I travel. It's the gypsy in me! And it's not too far off the path... just enough to discover a few new back roads! ;)

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