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.
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!
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.