Saturday, February 24, 2007
While two of our editors were enjoying themselves at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the rest of us drowned our sorrows by cleaning out the wine cellar. We stumbled upon a wine that we couldn't remember purchasing: Duplin Winery's Magnolia. We most likely purchased the wine during a trip to the Outer Banks and it languished in our cellar since. Now, Magnolia is a Muscadine derivative and we know several of you have either never had the chance to try a muscadine wine or never cared to. But we believe you must treat each grape on its own merits and wineries must produce wine from grapes which grow in their specific environment. And in the South, that's the muscadine grape. We opened the bottle expecting an overly sweet wine, but we were quickly proven wrong. The wine had the characteristic muscadine nose and fruity flavor - but it was different from several of the muscadines that we had previously tasted. It had a great balance of sweetness and acidity, which didn't leave a sugary residue in your palate. It was actually quite refreshing and I was sorry to see it go - the bottle didn't last the night. Intrigued by the wine, I checked Duplin's website and found that their Magnolia is a star. For the past two years it was awarded the Muscadine Cup from the North Carolina Grape Council and Double Gold at the North Carolina State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. The award list for this wine contains all the major wine competitions throughout the country - from the Finger Lake International Wine Competition to the L.A. County Fair. What a lucky find. Duplin Winery has a large selection of other muscadine wines as well as a few fruit and viniferia wines. This spring or summer, if you are travelling to the Outer Banks or another southern beach destination you should be able to find a Duplin wine - and we strongly recommend their Magnolia. And at $7.50, what a bargain.