Our slub love for a good bottle of wine knows no bounds.
My personal appreciation of wine has taken a little while to mature. It’s an acquired taste for some and certainly was for me. The first time I tasted a red wine, I was sure something had gone terribly, terribly wrong for someone to have wanted to do that to a grape. The first time I had a heaping plate of pasta and a nice, cool glass of Pinot Grigio, though, was an entirely different story. This is why wine has been around for roughly 10,000 years (according to my bestie Wikipedia, wine is estimated to have been first produced around 8,000 BC): a good glass of wine is incredibly appealing to experience.
Yesterday, the slub house – which is now complete because NORA MOVED IN – and friends, aka Maddie Hansen and Kirsten Petersen, shared their immense appreciation for all things vino by volunteering to harvest grapes at the Cannon River Winery vineyard in Cannon Falls, MN. We had a wonderful, slubby time. The sun was out, blocked occasionally by the few wispy clouds that floated across the blue sky. It was a warm day, in the mid-80s, but a light breeze helped cool us down as we wandered through the rows of vines and harvested bunches of green and red grapes. The conversation amongst the volunteers was amiable. The grapes were ripe and sweet, and we sampled as we picked (which was definitely allowed). The clusters were easy to cut, although some grew around the wire that supported the vines in impossible ways.
We harvested three types of grapes – Prairie Star, Somerset (a table grape), and a new, experimental grape that has yet to be tested as a wine: Shannon. I kid you not. The grape was called Shannon, and I am going to fervently lobby for the wine to be called Shannon as well. The vineyard owner referred to Shannon as a “unique, special, flavorful grape”. I can only assume he meant to compliment me personally.
Having my own grape is reason enough to honor Cannon River Winery with the Slub of the Week award, but of course, there’s the little matter of the wine itself.
After grape harvesting we went to the Winery to purchase a couple bottles of wine for ourselves. Fortunately, the slubs have already had the distinct pleasure of tasting Cannon River Winery’s selection: in May, before graduation, we spent a day during Senior Week at the Winery tasting, learning, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. We were given a rundown of the history of the Winery and allowed to smell a barrel of wine that was in production. The vintner himself (who is adorable and named one of the wines after his mother) explained to us the process of creating a new wine, including adding a certain amount of sugar to taste. He let us try a Riesling that was absolutely perfect, and when he mentioned that he might sweeten it a bit we all unanimously protested against it. After having ranked my wines from most to least enjoyable, and thoroughly cataloging my description of each wine on the provided menu, I purchased one bottle that day (the Graciela, which comes highly recommended by the slubs). Yesterday I made off with a Sogn Blanc and a Sogn Blush, both of which were a big hit at the tasting. Rest assured: the next few weeks of dinner at the slub house will be thoroughly palatable and classy events.
So here’s to you, Cannon River Winery, for being the most enjoyable slub hub of the week. Your vineyard is idyllic and makes me proud to be Minnesotan. Your wine is beautiful – you’ve even converted me to your Mill Street Red, a feat which clearly deserves some sort of trophy of accomplishment. Always know that you have a very dear and special place in the slubs’ hearts.
For important information on visiting this honorary slub location yourself, go to: http://cannonriverwinery.com/