Tag Archives: muscadine

Lakeridge Winery

27 Feb

I finally got to visit Lakeridge Winery in the rolling hills of Clermont this past Saturday with some friends. I’ve been wanting to go to this place for about a year now, I just never got around to it. This is by far the largest winery i’ve been to in Florida. They have machines that shake the grapes off of their 127 acre vineyard and huge vats of wine. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, though. The largeness of the group tour (about 30 or more people every 15 minutes or so) takes away from the intimacy you get when the owner and winemaker himself gets to take you on a tour, like at the Rosa Fiorelli Winery in Manatee county.

The tours and tastings are complimentary making the trip worthwhile. Another letdown for me was the fact that they didn’t provide palette cleansers between the wines they served you to taste. Now I don’t claim to know too much about wine, but as a basic, if you don’t cleanse your palette between wines, you’re not getting the full taste of the wine. They gave us 8 different wines to try starting with the drys and moving to the sweets, as they should. The prices are reasonable with the cheapest being $7.99 for the Chablis and Sunblush and the most expensive being $16.99 for their Pink Crescendo (delicious sparkling wine) and Proprietor’s Reserve.

One thing I noticed during the tasting is that the Muscadine grape indigenous to Florida, which is what they make most of their wines from, has a very gasoline-like smell to it. After the tasting I decided to buy a bottle of the Cuvee Noir Reserve, their driest red wine. It has a deep red color in the glass and a fruity smell. Once you taste it, it’s not too harsh on the palette with a warm, light tannin finish. 12% alcohol by volume at $10.99 a bottle, I can afford. While shopping I also saw a small bottle of 100% Muscadine Grape Juice, which I thought was ingenious since i’ve always wanted to know what the grape tasted like before fermentation, so of course I bought a bottle, it was only $1.50 or so. It tasted like a white grape juice, not too sweet, with it’s own flavor. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Lakeridge Winery.

Image 27 Feb

Lakeridge Winery Cuvee Noir Reserve & Muscadine Grape Juice

Publix Grape Magazine

10 Sep

If you like free magazines then you’re going to love this. Publix puts out a magazine, I believe seasonally since the one i’m currently looking at says Fall 2011, called Grape that is all about wine. There are recipes and what wines to pair them with, some history about wine, wine profiles, and this particular issue had some information about Florida wines. (I’m guessing they tailor the magazine to your region.) You can sign up for this free magazine here

I learned from this magazine that Florida is actually where wine making started in the United States. It was the French who settled in Florida in the late 1500’s who started making wine from the wild Muscadine grapes which are native to Florida and delicious. Muscadine grapes produce red and white wines that are on the sweet side but the University of Florida is working on some hybrids to make it dry.