Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Silver Coast Winery- Shallotte, North Carolina

RNH traveled to the beach about mid-summer. We stayed at the KOA Kampground in Shallotte, NC and had a wonderful time. While there, we just so happened to stumble upon a vineyard: Silver Coast Winery.
There had been a few signs along the highway that sparked my interest. Much to my surprise, RNH was pretty willing to go. We had arrived in the area on a Friday late-afternoon, and with a cloudy gray sky, going to the beach was pretty much out of the question. RNH was up for heading to the winery and checking out what they had to offer.

The best thing about the directions to this winery; the winery is located on Barbecue Road. Really? How awesome is that.
We passed a few fields of soybeans and made a right onto Barbecue Road. Down a dirt road, past a farm-style home, and voila. There lies Silver Coast. I will tell you this, it doesn't look that inviting. Almost like a warehouse type building with an addition, that looks pretty crappy from the driveway and a little bit better as you drive around the sort-of back-side entrance.
Don't let my description keep you from going here. It is fabulous!
We walk in and we're kind of scared. Wine can be (and was originally thought to me,) intimidating. The guy at the wine bar is an older man, with a kind smile and wonderful southern accent. He made us feel at home. My nervousness told him immediately that we had never done a wine tasting, and this was going to be our first experience. He relaxed us by telling us our different options for the tasting and what we'd do.

For $10, we could taste all of 10 (plus 2 others) that the winery produces. This would include reds and whites, as well as the souvenir glass! We were sold! He lays a small sheet of paper out in front of us with a pencil. The paper has a list of all of the wines and he encourages us to make notes on each wine, what we liked and didn't like. Having verbiage that states "Calabash White: very pale straw in color; the nose is treated to vanilla, red apple and subtle tropical fruit. Full and round, this well balanced wine seduces the palate with pear and creamy vanilla. Nicely balanced fruit and acidity make this a perfect pairing for seafood or poultry." realllllly helps describe what you were tasting.
With each sip, and constant reference to the sheet in front of us, we were able to dissect the tiny flavors in each sip of wine.
I learned very quickly that I do not like Chardonnays or really any type of wine that has been processed in an oak barrel, where as RNH loves it. The oak barrels really give wines the musky, earth-flavor that you'd fine when drinking bourbon. I like the stainless steel process. That is a much cleaner, crisper taste.

I also learned that 75% of your taste comes from your nose. That is why it is important for you to swish the wine around in the glass before tasting. It helps vent the wine, letting off much more of the bouquet.

Turns out RNH and the wine bar guy know the same people from Lexington, NC. Its a pretty small world.

I loved Silver Coast because they made me feel at home and not intimidated. The man there taught me a lot of basic stuff without making me seem like an idiot.
Our favorites were the Calabash White (not opened yet or reviewed on blog!) and the Holiday Red. (RNH decided this will be our special Christmas Day wine! We'll have to wait til December for a review on that one!)

I must also pay credit where credit is due. Thanks to the tasting host at Silver Coast, I realized that wine isn't half as intimidating as it seems to be, anyone can enjoy a glass of wine and describe it with posh words, and... going to vineyards and wineries is FUN!

*August is the start of harvesting at Silver Coast. Pick your own muscadines for $1 per lb!*

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