It was a stellar Memorial Day weekend at Black Walnut Winery, where folks gathered for the wine, and stayed for the pizza and tunes!
The historic Sadsburyville location at 3000 Lincoln Highway hosted its 2nd Annual Blues Festival, with local artists such as John Costello, Sister Blue, and the Deb Callahan Band. Refreshments included pizza from Forno Inferno Wood Fired Pizza & Catering, and plenty of wine.
For $6 a person, patrons could taste seven Black Walnut house wines. Tasters could decide their favorite flavor, buy a bottle, sit in the patio area out back, and enjoy a wood-fired pizza pie from Forno Inferno and the blues stylings of area talents. Popular whites, reds, seasonal, and port-style wines provide an array of options so that everyone can be sure to find one that suits their palette.
The Sauvignon Blanc 2010 is a light white wine with the perfect balance of citrus, floral, and fruit notes. Not too sweet and not too tart, the Sauvignon has a soft mouth-feel and a clean finish. And at just $17 a bottle, it’s quite a steal!
Another popular variety is the Pinot Gris (off-dry) 2008. At first pour, this press may be mistaken for a red wine – or even an ale – with its orangey amber hue. Grape skins, explains owner Karen Kuhn, are responsible for its color. These are typically removed during pressing, but in the Pinot Gris they are kept on for about twenty minutes, yielding a peachy complexion. At about .5 percent residual sugar, this press is not too sweet, but does possess a touch of tartness that is not overpowering.
The Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 is a dry, light, “just right” red wine, with notes of black cherry and a clean finish. This cab was not too tart and not too heavy – a perfect snag for any BYO event.
The Black Tie 2007 is an aromatic red composed of a unique blend of Cabernet Franc grapes and Merlot. This dry press had an interesting, though not overpowering, green pepper undertone.
The Chambourcin 2009 was a tasty variety with berry notes and a clean, earthy finish. This wine is for everyone – sweet and dry lovers alike – because it combines just the right amount of sweetness and flavor to please any palette.
Two seasonal wines currently offered are the Spiced Apple 2007 and the Smitten 2009. The Spiced Apple, made with 100 percent pasteurized apple juice, is the only non-grape wine by Black Walnut. This delicious wine is lightly oaked, and matured with a blend of cinnamon sticks and whole cloves for that perfect apple pie flavor, and just a touch of sweetness.
Black Walnut’s Port-Style “More than ‘M’” 2008 is 100 percent Merlot infused with un-oaked, PA-distilled brandy. At 18.5 percent ABV, you may want to consume this variety with some discretion – and some dark chocolate! Black Walnut’s taste test includes this Port-Style wine with a square of dark chocolate for $1 up-charge of the tasting price. The extra buck is well worth a taste of this delicious port. An interesting note about the port: at the bottom of your empty port glass, you’ll notice what look like sugar crystals. Owner Karen Kuhn explains, they’re not sugar crystals, but tartrates, natural by-products of a chemical reaction involving grape skins during Port wine production. Turns out, tartrates are antioxidants and acid-regulators. Drink up, Port-lovers!
Outside at the Blues Festival, patrons sat at picnic tables enjoying the pizza, music, and sunshine. Forno Inferno Wood-Fired Pizza parked a pizza truck – complete with wood grill – outside the winery for easy service to fest-goers. To order, patrons could fill out a sheet indicating their preferred pie. Each customer received a number, and when their order was ready, it was hand-delivered to their table. An impressive system –second only to the pizza itself! My pizza was delicious: a veggie classic complete with mozzarella, pesto sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, tomatoes, onion, and roasted red peppers. The crust was thin and crispy, with a satisfying smoky wood-fired flavor.
The 2nd Annual Blues Fest at Black Walnut was a swinging success! Check out Black Walnut at the Brandywine Food & Wine Festival on Saturday, June 9 at the Myrick Conservation Center. Tickets on sale now!