Food & Wine
Wilmington, NC Makes Good Wine?
It turns out I am a wine snob of sorts. On a recent trip to Wilmington, NC I was extremely skeptical that decent wine could be made on the North Carolina coast, and Noni Bacca Winery proved me wrong.
Going in I had several assumptions:
It didn’t seem like the beach would make for great grape growing conditions.
Small wineries with large gift shops and souvenir sections are often compensating for mediocre wine
A long wine list at a small place usually means few if any, are done well.
So when we pulled up in front of the strip shopping center where the winery was located, I was there for the adventure and the social aspect.
Walking into the brightly lit and colorfully decorated tasting room and staring at the tasting sheet of over 65 wines, my assumptions remained intact.
It wasn’t until we started tasting that I realized I was mistaken. 🙂 The grapes were not grown locally (in this case a plus), the winemaker sources from all over, including Chile and California. Having so many wines on the list didn’t mean the wines are all made at the same time — the winemaker makes them in small batches throughout the year as he finds quality grapes.
And he clearly knows what he was doing. The whites were decent, some of the reds were outstanding. Even some of the dessert wines had as much flavor as sweetness. Many were award winners at various wine competitions (which admittedly I discount) and the prices were imminently reasonable.
The tasting room attendant by her own admission didn’t know much about the wine but was incredibly friendly and attentive which makes for a good experience. The pours are quite generous and you can do 6 tastings for $9 or 9 for $12, $3 more if you want to keep the glass.
We shared tastings so we could try as many as possible. The Chilean Riesling is worth a try, as is the Sicilian style Fratelli Siciliani. If you like reds, don’t miss Under the Tuscan Sun Lambrusco, Vino Grande Brunello, and the She’s e nice a, no? Amarone.
If you’re in the Wilmington area, this place is definitely worth a visit, and the extensive wine list means everyone in your group will probably be able to find something they like.
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