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Today we’re covering a trio of bottles from Round Barn Winery’s Weekend line of low-calorie wines. If you’re surprised to learn that “low calorie wine” is a thing, that makes two of us.
The Where: Michigan, USA
To start, Michigan is divided into five different American Viticultural Areas, these being (by order of establishment); Fennville, Leelanau, Lake Michigan Shore, Old Mission Peninsula, and Tip of the Mitt. Feenville was established in 1981, and thus the entirety of Michigan’s wine country is positively youthful even by New World standards.
It should come as no surprise that ‘all’ of Michigan’s five AVAs border the Great Lakes, with the Leelanau Peninsula being wholly surrounded, while the Tip of the Mitt, perhaps unsurprisingly, runs the majority of Michigan’s northern “Mitt” coastline. With all five of the AVAs featuring a cool coastal climate, varietals such as pinot grigio and Riesling thrive in Michigan, although cabernet franc and merlot (no shock there), are also becoming increasingly popular.
Leelanau and Old Mission, contained in the Greater Traverse City area, feature a climate dominated by Lake Michigan and sandy soil, which allows for a longer growing season than much of what is available in the US Midwest. As a result, some fifty or so percent of Michigan’s wine grapes are grown in this area.
Also of note, given Michigan’s cooler climate, the area specializes in the production of ice wine, which requires a hard and rapid early freeze so that the grapes can be harvested while frozen.
The Bottles – A Showcase
First up, we’ll be sampling Weekend Sweet Rose:
Next, we’ll be taking a look at Weekend Sweet Red:
Finally, we’ll be tasting Weekend Sweet White:
Aromatics and Tasting – The Review
The Weekend Sweet Rose introduces itself with a light and fruity bouquet. Think wild flowers and red fruit. On the palate, the wine is instantly sweet, with notes of strawberry and raspberry. Light bodied and refreshing, this is a very enjoyable bottle.
The Weekend Sweet Red greets with dark fruit notes off the top of the glass, and ‘crushed mixed berries.’ On the palate, the wine is light bodied, intensely sweety, a mix of dark fruit from start to finish.
The Weekend Sweet White is a wine that evokes words such as ‘light,’ ‘delicate,’ ‘crisp,’ and ‘refreshing.’ The bouquet is mixed white flowers, reminiscent of a summer garden and tropical fruit. On the palate, notes of apricot, peach, and white stone fruit are the order of the day, carried on a crisp, light body.
What to Eat – The Pairings
With the Weekend Sweet Rose, think light starters and very light fish dishes. Cheese boards, light antipastos, and leafy green salads are all delicious pairings. Conversely, serving this wine simply as an aperitif is also a way to go.
The Weekend Sweet White, is a classic “company and conversation” bottle. Think light starters, such as a mixed fruit salad, or a fresh garden salad. Feather light entrees, like grilled chicken over a bed of greens, are also potential pairings.
With the Weekend Sweet Red crowd pleasers are the way to go, such as my Spicy Korean Burgers prepared with a cayenne and gochujang-based glaze, piled with red onion and shredded cabbage on a homemade biscuit. In addition, pizza, steak, and hardy entrees all work well.0