How great is it when you can name your organization: WOW? That’s the group I visited this week, the Winegrowers of White County. Many of you may not know where White County Georgia is located. Up north of Atlanta where hills and mountains and greenery abound – that’s where you will find it. I had the pleasure of tasting the wines of White County along with a delicious wine tasting menu at Bernie’s, the restaurant for the Nacoochee Valley Guest House. Glenn and Ward, (the current and future presidents) of WOW met me for the tasting and to share their passion for local artisanal wines. The reason this group was formed is that White County was “dry” until last November. Now that you can order a glass of wine with your dinner – that’s a reason to celebrate. And a reason to promote and support White County Agri-Tourism. They are planning a big wine tasting in February as a kick-off, and I was the beneficiary of an opening discussion about the tasting. I love my job!

You may be surprised that I am enthusiastic about Georgia wines. Yes, Virginia – Georgia wines can be good. Did you know that our Red North Georgia Clay soil is very similar to the “Terra Rossa” in the famous Piedmont wine region of Italy? And, that the elevation of our “terroir” is also significant in that we are high enough to eliminate many disease problems, and also just high enough to enjoy a good climate for growing. Our “terroir” (or special conditions of the geography), can support many kinds of wine grapes beautifully.

I enjoyed each of the 5 wines we tasted on Tuesday. Yes, I know that they are not widely distributed outside the state of Georgia, but for my local readers – here’s my notes, so you can compare yours with mine!

Habersham, American Riesling, 12.5%
Color: Pale Gold
Aroma: Pear, Petrol. Citrus
Taste: Citrus, Nice Acidity, Medium Mouth feel
Finish: Short to Medium

Frogtown Sauvignon Blanc 2006 12.8%
Color: Pale Yellow
Aroma: Lemon Citrus, Stone Fruits, Melon
Taste: Soft Grapefruit, Citrus, Stone Fruits, Green Apple
Finish: Short to Medium

Blackstock Sangiovese Rose 12.2%
Color: Light Salmon
Aroma: Cherries, Citrus
Taste: Citrus, Light Red Fruits
Finish: Short to Medium

Blackstock Merlot 2005 13.2%
Color: Light Cherry
Aroma: Dark Berries, Smoke
Taste: Dark Cherries, Oak, Light Mouth Feel
Finish: Light to Medium

Creekstone Cabernet Sauvignon
Color: Dark Garnet – Purple
Aroma: Dark Fruits, Spices and Herbs, Mint
Taste: Dark Fruits, Smokey, Spicy
Finish: Medium to Long

And here’s a recipe to celebrate White County Wines and the Weekend – perfect for that Blackstock Sangiovese Rose – or any lovely light Rose for that matter…

Ginger Mint Shrimp

2 LB Large Shrimp

¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
3 TB Lemon Juice
1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
6 Cloves Garlic Chopped
1 ½ “ Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Coarsely Chopped
1 Jalapeño, Ribs and Seeds Discarded
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Bamboo Skewers soaked for at least 30 minutes.

Fresh Lemon Wedges
Chopped Mint

Fresh Banana Leaves

Step One
Place bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to soak.

Step Two
Shell the Shrimp, leaving the tails. Slit the back of the shrimp and remove the digestive tracks.

Step Three
In a food processor place the oil, and the remaining marinade ingredients. Puree to a smooth paste. Place the shrimp in a zippy bag, add the marinade and marinate in the frig for an hour (up to 3 hours.)

Step Four
Thread on skewers.

Step Five
Cook on a hot grill, grill pan or under the broiler – turning once and brush with the oil. Garnish with the lemon wedges and chopped mint.

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