I just returned from the Family Winemakers of California Wine Tasting event.. so I have a good excuse for any typos/mispellings that follow. the Family Winemakers of California may be an “organization that reflects the ‘little guy’s’ point of view” but with over 400 wineries represented (and at least 1000 different wines), it offers one of the largest tastings around.

You could taste your way from Albarino to Zinfandel, compiling your list of favorites, and i had one long list. However, there were two quirky little contenders that really stood out for me which I want to report on…
1. Heidrun Sparkling Meads
Mead, an ancient honey based wine is often referred to as the “Nectar of the Gods” and after tasting Heidrun Sparkling Meads, the nickname is well-founded. Ex- beer brewer, Gordon Hull ’s signature style of sparkling meadmaking— is to reveal the natural essence of honey, be it sage, orange or thistle blossom. All very uniquely flavored and not overly sweet. But my fav was the more primitive,slightly cloudy Humbolt Wildflower varietal, capturing the raw essence of earthy herbs. Can order from the Heidrun’s informative website.

2. Deviation is a seductive after-dinner wine that definitely deviates from the norm. Bascially it’s a modified version of Quady Winery’s popular Essensia, an orange blossom muscat, which is sexed up by infusing it with lemon rose scented Geranium and minty/herby Damiana. Have to try it yourself because describing it sounds like a mouthwash blended with your great grannies cologne.

By Vagablond’s Token Redhead.