by Michelle Blackley
Freedom Run Winery & Vineyards on the Niagara Wine Trail USA has a philosophy of crafting wines as a true art form. One of their latest creations is aligned with the best wine trend happening.
After harvesting, stomping strawberries last summer, and allowing the wine to ferment in the production room, their Néktars line is now on the shelf at their 5138 Lower Mountain Rd., Lockport, NY location.
Fruit wines have traditionally been popular with home winemakers in areas with cool climates such as North America, and France. The Niagara Wine Trail is now producing fruit wines to keep up with the demand.
Néktars Strawberry is full of what Freedom Run winemaker Bryan Calandrelli promises. This wine is bursting with explosive strawberries on the nose and very tart on the palate. A fruity wine that gives the senses an effervescent experience, and is best served chilled, making it an excellent summer wine.
Consumed as an after-dinner cordial, or on its own, there are a few ways to enjoy Néktars Strawberry. It can also be used in a vodka martini, with equal parts vodka and Néktars Strawberry. Also recommended for before or after a meal.
Instead of the usual brunch drinks, try Néktars Strawberry Bellini. Recommended with Golden Sparkles Lake Erie Traminette Sparkling Wine from Johnson Estate Winery (Lake Erie Wine Country) a three-quarter champagne flute of bubbly topped off with Néktars Strawberry. The combination dulls the tartness and powerful strawberry flavor, making it bright and fruity. The sparkling wine on its own is reminiscent of a Rosé wine, with passion fruit and guava on the nose. The palate is smooth with hints of citrus and lychee followed by a clean finish.
Be sure to make it to Freedom Run soon, for there are only two cases of Néktars Strawberry left. Calandrelli said more would be available in the fall, complete with a recipe booklet.
Read more about fruit wines in the summer 2012 edition of Edible Buffalo magazine.