North Carolina can put an awful lot of effort into trying to be special. That effort is not always wasted in, for example, the university system. It also makes a big deal of all the people who died or vanished here. Lost a colony? Special! Notorious pirates? Extra special! James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson? Uh.
But today we are talking about alcohol. North Carolina really wants to get into the wine scene. If you had asked me a few years ago where wine is made, I probably would have said, "I don't know. Somewhere over there?" and waved my hand in the general direction of either the Arctic or Europe.
Now, after watching a lot of Top Chef, I know that grapes don't grow at the North Pole and that wine is also made in California. But just on the other side of the country, there is little old North Carolina, and in North Carolina we have the muscadine grape. This grape, I am told, is often used to make sweet wine that makes connoisseurs of fine wine gag.
I don't know anything about wine, but I do know that the Duplin Winery is a cool place to learn!
Located in Duplin County, which is made up almost entirely of the middle of nowhere as far as I can tell, the Duplin Winery is one of eastern North Carolina's classy claims to fame. They offer free tours of their facilities ending in a free wine tasting (a grape juice tasting for minors). They also sell jams and jellies made from muscadine grapes, along with knickknacks and the sorts of things you find in stores attached to restaurants. (There is also a restaurant. I have never eaten there.)
So as long as you are old enough, dear readers, you should head down to the Duplin Winery, take a tour, and find out which wine you like best. Then come back and tell us!
Visit the Duplin Winery's site for all the information you could ever want about it so you can plan your visit.