Over a Barrel was a fabulous introduction to the homegrown wine industry in New York's Finger Lakes. Of course the winegrapes grown in the northern part of the state of New York were not the European winegrape-bearing Vitis vinifera that I am familiar with. No, in the early days, the native grape species grown in vineyards around the Finger Lakes region for wine production were predominantly Vitis labrusca and Vitis rotundifolia. I have tasted wines produced from these two American Vitis species (anybody remember my Wines of the World class?) and at best the wines produced from those grapes provided entertainment value only.
So where am I going with all of this? Well, I am travelling at present visiting family members in the Beehive state - yes, I am in Utah once again (and have been since last Thursday). But I could be forgiven for thinking I was actually in Pennsylvania as I spent some time today hanging out in an Amish store. And it was in the Apple Creek Amish Market, in Provo, where I spotted some bottles of grape juice made from native American Vitis species. Yes, an Amish store in this bastion of Mormonism. But it's not wine, it is just juice made from V. rotundifolia, the Muscadine juice, and V. labrusca, the Concord juice - from Arkansas. Very convoluted. Just thought finding these two juices in an Amish shop was amusing (not amusing enough to buy, though). Besides, I would have thought I'd have found some mead in the Beehive State.