Tag Archive | sweet wine

2015 Sleight of Hand The Magician Riesling

Yesterday, a day after getting home from a fabulous spring break road trip down to California on Sunday, I pulled a bottle out of the wine fridge.  It felt like summer in California, even if it doesn’t feel like summer here at home, so I wanted a summer sweet Riesling!

My friends and I visited Sleight of Hand Cellars when we were in Walla Walla last Memorial Day.  It was a great visit, and they had wonderful wines!

The 2015 The Magician Riesling is sourced from Evergreen Vineyard, which located high on the cliffs above the Columbia River in Central Washington. 2015 was a warm year in Washington for wines, but Evergreen Vineyard is a cooler site, which allowed for extra hang time for the grapes.  It has a delicious balanced acidity, with green apple and pear flavors, crisp minerality, and plenty of citrus.

2015 Sleight of Hand Riesling

It is sold out at the winery, but I think it cost about $18.  If you have tried it, let me know what you thought!


Mt. St. Helens Cellars – Huckleberry Wine

Jon and I had dinner last night with my parents and my uncle who was up visiting from Oregon.  The topic of wine came up (because really, doesn’t it always?) and my uncle mentioned that he is not a fan of wine.  Too bitter.  We got to chatting about very sweet wines, and I told him that there was a wine that tasted to me exactly like Martinelli’s sparkling cider.  I must say, he sounded intrigued.

It got me thinking that there are a couple of fruit wines that I have around the house and need to get to, since they aren’t going to last a long time.  Once we got home, I hunted around for a few minutes and found the Mt. St. Helens Cellars Huckleberry Wine.  Jon and I had stopped at this small winery on the way home from one of our many trips to Portland to see family.  It is owned by a retired man and his wife, who decided to try their hand at a second career making wine in the shadow of Washington’s most active volcano.

Gary makes some fruit wines and some grape wines, and we sampled several that day.  I liked some of the grape wines, particularly their Albariño, but was very impressed with the fruit wines.  They have something for everybody, whether you like a sweet wine or something more dry.

Gary has a great sense of humor, giving his wines names like “The Volcano’s Last Syrah,” “Kick Ash Red” and “Sasquatch in a Bottle”.  When you live near the site of the largest landslide ever recorded, I suppose you have to have a sense of humor about it!

The Huckleberry wine certainly is sweet, but still has a nice balanced tartness that cuts through the sweetness.  It is made from high altitude huckleberries from Mount St. Helens, which is impressive, considering that they aren’t very big, and you are competing with bears, coyotes and cougars for the berries – hopefully they aren’t looking for dinner during harvest!  Let’s just say there aren’t that many cases of this wine produced.

So, if you ever find yourself bored on that long stretch of I-5 between Olympia and Portland, take a break at Castle Rock and stop by Mt. St. Helens Cellars.  And let me know if you see a Sasquatch…

Carmen’s Last Dance

My Aunt and Uncle went to Door County Wisconsin on vacation a few weeks before we visited them in Michigan, and took their bicycles along with them to see the sights.  On one excursion, they went wine tasting to a few different wineries, and the third place they stopped at was Harbor Ridge Winery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin.

Harbor Ridge Winery is Door County’s newest winery, but they apparently share a winemaker with Door County’s oldest winery, von Stiehl.  They have over 25 varietals, both fruit and grape wine, and they claim to have something for every palate.  My Aunt and Uncle liked several of their wines, so that is probably true.

My Aunt told me that they only selected the award winning wines to taste, and that this wine was the last on the list.  They were kind enough to bring home a bottle to share with us, and we opened it up for dinner with the family.   It is fermented from Concord grapes, which most of you will recognize most often from grape juice.  Well, this wine tastes like grape juice – sweet like grape juice but with an alcoholic kick!  This was an easy drinking wine, with very low tannin.  It is a drink now wine that doesn’t have a lot of structure, but drinks well for summer!

Carmen’s Last Dance Label

We did a completely unsophisticated food pairing with crabcakes, corn on the cob, Spanish rice, and salad, and everybody enjoyed it.  Maybe one of our future trips will be to Door County, Wisconsin!