The author, Chuck Blethen, has traveled over 5 million miles in pursuit of his business. Along the way he indulged his hobby of trying all sorts of wine, beer, and spirits in every country he visited. He also discovered many country wines made from common plants growing in gardens, yards, and farms. Country wines are generally known as non-grape wines. He made it a point to collect the recipes of country wines he thought were worth making (and drinking) and spent the past 2 years organizing them in his book. Plus he has offered up his 40 years of experience of country winemaking know-how and included it in his book so absolute amateurs can make a respectable country wine out of whatever they find growing nearby.Our ancestors came to this country hundreds of years ago and brought with them country winemaking knowhow. They made wines out of flowers, berries, wild fruits, honey, leaves, vegetables, roots, bark, herbs, tree sap, seeds, native grapes and even mushrooms. The old world vinifera winemaking techniques for grape wines didn’t work well on the native grapes they found here in the colonies. But their old favorite standby country wine recipes made rather nice wines to drink on any occasion.
Chuck offered up an unusual wine last fall to the Asheville Amateur Wine Competition and won a Silver Medal – one of his favorite country wines made from carrots! He was interviewed by one of the local radio stations about his country winemaking. He stated “Our ancestors didn’t have the benefit of modern yeasts and testing equipment to make wines. But they made perfectly acceptable drinking wine out of whatever plants were in season and growing in their neighborhoods.”
Country winemaking is experiencing a resurgence. The UK and Australia have country winemaking clubs in major cities with hundreds of members. Hopefully Chuck’s book will assist in growing such clubs here as more and more people want to become self sufficient in winemaking.
“The World’s Largest Collection of Country Wines Recipes” with 195 country wine recipes is now for sale on their website and in their farm store for $34 including shipping. The book is bound with a spiral binding making it easy to stay open as a person works with a particular recipe.
For additional information call Chuck Blethen at Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard 828-606-3130.