Southern Charm

I was born and raised in the South.  Except for a few years from the second through the fifth grades when my family moved to Indiana, I have always been a southern girl.  As a southerner, I use several colloquialisms that are common to my roots.  For example, when I see someone I know, I don’t say, “Hi,” I say, “Heyyy!”  Most southerners have never met a stranger – we smile and speak to strangers, we strike up conversations in the checkout line with people we have never seen.  I personally never call anyone, “Sugar,” but if you visit a traditional southern restaurant chances are the waitress will address you this way.  Most people seem to appreciate the southern drawl.

Another thing Southerners like is sweet tea.  When you are below the Mason-Dixon line and you order tea at a restaurant, if you want it without sugar, you must specify when you order that you want unsweet – they may have it and they may not!  And sweet tea isn’t just sweet, it is REALLY sweet.  I have been told several times over the last few years that this sweet tea phenomena leads southerners to prefer sweet wine as well, which may be a good thing as the conditions in the deep coastal south only allow for growing either Muscadine grapes or a close relative of Muscadine.

The reality is though, these sweet Muscadine wines sell.  There has been a quiet resurgence of sweet wine over the last couple of years.  Part of the reason is that people love spicy foods.  Dry wines are not as easy to pair with spicy fare, but sweet wines pair with almost anything from Asian to Thai to Latin.

So in comes September Oaks with all their Southern Charm and a full range of sweet and semi-sweet Muscadine wines.  Their driest wine is a Chardonnay made with grapes sourced from California.  They also have a Sauvignon Blanc but add a touch of Muscat to it so that it has some residual sugar.  The rest of their lineup has increasingly more residual sugar ending with 5.5% in their Carolina Wren which can be served as a dessert wine.  Muscadine wines are not meant to be aged.  These sweet wines have a 6-12 month drinkability, are meant to be consumed soon after purchasing and are best served well chilled.  They are perfect for the long, lazy days of summer.

SO Registry


SO wines

Grady Woods, winemaker and vineyard owner, is working diligently to establish the Lenoir (pronounced le-nwah like Pinot Noir) grape as the state grape for South Carolina.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cliff
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 10:58:47

    My wife who grew up in SC loves her sweet tea. When we visit the area, she constantly complains that I don’t wave vigorously to people I don’t know when they wave at us. I prefer the simple head nod to acknowledge those folks, but she disagrees. She always tells me, we’re in the South, we wave.

    I should add, she may love sweet tea, but prefers her wine dry.


  2. talkavino
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 06:21:53

    Very interesting. I have to admit that I don’t quite get this sweet wine phenomena – I’m not sure that the love to the spicy food is increasing soooo dramatically to explain the renewed love for the sweet wines – so I really wonder what might be causing this sweet wine phenomenon…


    • Red Wine Diva
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 08:55:51

      I will admit that when I read about sweet wines gaining popularity, I was surprised (and confused). I personally don’t care for Muscadine wines. Unfortunately, local wineries in SC (all 12 of them) will all carry a big selection of Muscadine wine.


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