The turkey hangover has only one cure. . .a trip to Sunnyslope Wine Trail!
There is a tradition in the Idaho wine industry that is pretty cool. Black Friday is a time to celebrate the start of the Holiday Season with friends and good wine! Lots of wineries will open a barrel or two for you to experience wine in process in addition to some great deals on wine to enhance your celebrations. 2019 was no exception out on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail.
We started out at the newest barn on the trail as Huston Vineyards opened their new processing facility to the public for the first time. It’s a huge step up over their old tent and a great way to start to nibble and taste your way through the neighborhood. Gregg and Mary always pair up their wines with great little bites of food and Mary’s Pumpkin Bisque soup. Gregg did a great job comparing and contrasting Merlot and Malbec this year from barrels of good Midwestern oak.
Just down the highway at Fujishin Family Cellars in the Old Shed, Martin Fujishin broke out two barrels of Merlot from the same vineyard but aged in very different barrels, French Oak and American Bourbon! It’s truly a unique experience to taste the effect of the barrel on juice that came out of the same batch of wine. Time and container make a huge difference in the taste of the wine. This is something you can only experience out in the wine country and is all the more fun when you can share it with friends. They were also sharing samples of a wonderful Italian Wedding soup with warm rolls as well!
Williamson Vineyards was just a quick 300 yards further south and they broke out a barrel of 2018 Sangiovese and a 2018 Malbec that are going to be fantastic when they are released next fall. The family was all present and also competing with a soup contest as well. With the weather turning cold it was a great experience to share tastes of the future with such great farmers and winemakers in a friendly family setting.
Over the hill and south of Lake Lowell, the team at Scoria Vineyards was getting ready to close up the Estate tasting room for the winter but getting excited to open their new Downtown Boise location before Christmas hopefully. Tara was pouring a heavenly blend of Syrah, Petite Verdot and Malbec that found its way home with us as well.
Another fun thing that happens on Thanksgiving weekend is that wineries that don’t usually have public hours tend to crack open their doors as well. Case in point is Will Wetmore at Veer Wine Project. Will is the assistant winemaker at Hat Ranch Winery and also has his own small production label as well. He tends to experiment with new varietals and blends. He was barrel tasting a Barbera that will be available next holiday season that will so be worth the wait. Watch for special unique tasting opportunities and try a new place or two as you explore the wine trail in Sunnyslope!
I hope you all had a chance to experience the Idaho wine industry this weekend. As winter closes in please make some time to visit any of the great wineries along the Sunnyslope wine trail. All these entrepreneurs love sharing their passion with you whether over a glass of wine, a bowl of soup or a plate of food. Tell them the Idaho Wine Ambassador sent you!
Cheers to you and don’t forget to ask for Idaho Wine while you are dining out this holiday season!
The Idaho Wine Ambassador
© 2019 Jim Thomssen