Last week, I had the opportunity to join my aunt with her girlfriends for their weekly "Girls Night." Wow - was it a blast... and not only because we were drinking some new wines! (If you know what I mean... hahaha...) Anyway, this week feature Calaboose Cellars from Andrews, North Carolina. (Side note here: If you've never been to North Carolina and seen the Smoky Mountains, you haven't lived yet. This is definitely one of the most beautiful areas of the U.S. that I've seen and worth a weekend retreat.)
(Photo from Google Images)
(Photo from Google Images)
Anyway, for those of you who have never heard of the word "calaboose" before (as I didn't), it literally means "a prison." On the back of every one of their bottles is an explanation:
"In the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains, there's an old stone building with bars on the windows that overlooks our small vineyard. Legend has it that the local lawman locked up the hooligans here to cool down until they went before the magistrate. Now we use the calaboose to incarcerate the wine you are about to drink. Enjoy!"
If you didn't click on the link above, I love Calaboose Cellars website - simple, portrays the theme of their winery, and makes you feel like you've stepped back in time.
Vineyards of Calaboose Cellars
(Photo from Calaboose Cellars website)
The girls and I had 4 for their wines. The Catawba ($16), which is a native variety and was very enjoyable chilled. It's sweeter, and I like to think of this as a toned-down version of the Niagara variety for those that are unfamiliar with Catawba (said: kah-tah-bah). The Revinoor's Red ($14), which was a sweeter Concord variety. Very pleasant and refreshing when chilled. And then I believe we had a Blackberry Merlot and a dessert wine (concentrated form), but I couldn't find details on these two from the website.
Wine Labels from Calaboose Cellars
(Photos from Calaboose Cellars website)
I love the chance to learn about new wines, and I have to admit that it was fun to learn about Calaboose Cellars. I've only been to one other winery in North Carolina, which allows me to say that the state has a booming, up-and-coming wine industry. I'd have to say that Calaboose Cellars is a fine example of what the state has to offer. For those that have a sweet tooth, there are definitely options for you! But Calaboose, like many eastern wineries, offer some dry or drier choices as well. And, for those that want to snub their nose at sweet wines: I have to add that sometimes a little sweetness is quite enjoyable. I bet you'd be surprised how many wines out there (even some of your favorites from California) have some sweetness in them!
Side note, a special thanks to the women of "Girls Night" who allowed me to try some of their wines and witness the madness. =) Cheers to all!