Ohio’s Own: Dutch Creek Wine
Dutch Creek Winery isn’t an import from the Netherlands. It’s an operation based out of Athens. The business is the culmination of several pursuits: beekeeping, harvesting (it grows its own apples, peaches and pears), and alcohol production in the form of small batch meads and fruit wines*.
Priced around $20-25 per bottle, its wares can be found at many local grocers, including Lucky’s, Weiland’s and The Hills. There’s an array of options to try, including a seasonal Winter Spice featuring accents from oranges, cranberries and holiday spices. For those who are sick and tired of all things winter, there’s Summer Peach, one that’s accented with ginger.
The store clerk indicated that the Cherry Lime Honey Wine had been a popular choice, and that’s a good enough recommendation to give it a whirl. Popping the top (synthetic cork) of the handsome bottle yields an immediate waft of cherry that is subsequently delivered to the palate in an uncommonly crisp, clear sip. Not too sweet, it bears a natural cherry accent, so contributions from its honey and lime complement the fruit. The winery recommends pairing it with blue-veined cheeses and dry cured meat. With a random leftover holiday Stilton wedge, the wine’s clarity cuts through its flavors, which ends up accentuating both the characteristics of the wine and cheese.
For those interested in mead terminology, we sent Paul and Cindy Freedman, owners of the winery, a question about the relationship between mead and honey wine. Their response was helpful and worth sharing in its entirety:
“The terms (‘mead’ and ‘honey wine’) are quite interchangeable, as mead is a subset of wine, a wine being any fermented beverage where the primary sugar is not derived from grain. That most technical of answers in my mind really comes down to that fact that most meads are traditionally a sweet wine, almost always on par with the sweetness of dessert wine. Our wines are less cloyingly sweet, and as such, are meant as a fine dinner wine and pair well with other foods, are great to cook with, and make great cocktails. To highlight this distinction, we often use the term honey wine to help broaden the marketplace for meads into that of the more traditional wine buyer.”
You can learn more about its varieties and a full list of places that sell Dutch Creek Wines at dutchcreekwinery.com.