Waiting Will Be The Hardest Part

Strawberry Wine3

Over the weekend I finished a bottle of exceptional strawberry wine from South Dakota, and now I must wait until summer to go back for another!  If I had known it would become a favorite after dinner sipping wine for cold evenings, I would have purchased at least one extra bottle to tide me over until June.  My husband and I found a new tasting room on a driving tour through the Black Hills.  I cannot remember the name of the place, but we never drive past a winery or tasting room without stopping!  We stayed an hour, chatting with the friendly stewards and sampling everything, then left with several bottles, among them a tart rhubarb (popular in South Dakota), a classic made of wild grapes harvested locally, and the fun looking strawberry.  I planned to do something ambitious with it since I don’t typically sip ultra thick sweet desert wines.

Strawberry Wine2

It didn’t take long for the strawberry wine to convince me that we were meant to be: flawed mortal flesh loves fruited whimsy served in a glass!  I poured the tiniest serving on Christmas Eve, and after sipping it demurely I poured a second glass and sipped it greedily.  On Christmas Day I thoroughly enjoyed a larger glass.  The wine and I made each other very happy for exactly one month, until I poured my last glass and sipped the final jammy remnants wistfully.  I think about how long it will be before I’ll have another bottle.  We will be on our summer vacation in South Dakota, I will be on a mission to fill my car with strawberry wine!

Strawberry Wine6

My wine puddle before I resorted to using a straw.

While pouring my final (sob) glass, I misjudged how much wine remained in the bottom of the bottle, and it overshot my port glass, leaving a huge blood red puddle on my counter.  Nooooo!  I wasted a giant sip!  Our house guest suddenly strolled into the kitchen and witnessed me sucking wine off the counter with a plastic straw.  He was speechless at my desperation, probably thinking: some people will do anything for wine.

Sipping the strawberry wine was like indulging in homemade preserves, but with the benefit of them being spiked by a sinful hand.  Jammy and full bodied, heavy on the tongue, with a slight tang to offset the pushiness of the sweet strawberries.  It paired impeccably with cheeses, any cheeses we could imagine!  I liked to pair it with goat cheese, which has a distinct funky flavor, but it also paired beautifully with cow’s milk cheese, particularly sharp, aged, or even sweet and creamy cheese.  Oh, it was a fine accompaniment to noshes!  Until I can be reunited with a new bottle, my strawberry wine will be (sweetly, not bitterly) missed.

— G

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