Blueberry wine isn’t for dessert. At least not anymore.
Fun fact about me: I’m a native Floridian, raised in The Swamp (Gainesville, FL). Don’t hold that against me non-Gator fans. Just outside of Gainesville, you’ll find Island Grove Wine Company in Hawthorne, Florida. This area has been the lifeblood of the Florida blueberry industry, so naturally wine made from 100% blueberries is the heart and soul of Island Grove. The company maintains over 400 acres of blueberries between two sites each year. As such, Island Grove Ag Products supplies markets with blueberries from March to May. When the season ends there is still plenty of fruit leftover, which led Island Grove to experienced wine maker Chase Marden, and blueberry wine.
Two wines make up the 100% blueberry line: Kinda Dry and Sorta Sweet. The Kinda Dry is most closely related to a Merlot, and is my favorite. Island Grove describes Sorta Sweet as reminiscent of blueberry pie, and suggests pairing with barbecue. Each blueberry wine comes with it’s own host of health benefits including antioxidants and new research demonstrates that blueberries preserve memory. Island Grove also produces several other fruit wines, blended with grape wine that include peach, green apple, raspberry and blackberry.
For those of you not keen on sweet wines, Island Grove is a safe place to be adventurous. I’ve tried several, including the blackberry, and none are overly sweet. If a trip to Florida is in your future, make a stop at Island Grove. After all, Wine Not?