Thursday, August 6, 2009

First Blush Wine-Grape Juices

Whoa! I went to Asheville, NC, today with my wife and found out that they have a fancy grocery store there (Greenlife Grocery) that carries many interesting things, including First Blush Juices, which are grape juices (unfortunately from concentrate) pressed from single varietal wine grapes. According to their website's store locator, they don't even sell it in Tennessee (our sometimes-food-backwards state). Then again, according to said locator, they don't sell them in North Carolina either....

My experience with them (I got two despite their relative priciness at about $2.50 for 11.4 fl.oz.) is quite a bit like my first experience with single-origin chocolate, which I should repeat and blog about one of these days. They're good; they do and don't taste like grape juice as we know it; and they don't even taste like each other. I've always kind of wanted to taste these sorts of things, but the opportunity just hasn't ever come up. If I can believe the hype, these juices are even ridiculously antioxidant rich, touting claims even about one of the golden-boys of the antioxidant world: resveratrol. (Secretly, I know there's more resveratrol in peanuts and in the outer layers of onions than in wine grapes, but let's not ruin a good thing with that kind of stuff).

The experience was quite a mind-opener, although it really should have been expected the more I think about it. I tried the Syrah and the Merlot (Cabernet and Chardonay are also offered). Both are exceptionally sweet and distinct, characteristic enough of the wines that they would produce to be able to identify certain flavor notes that are characteristic of the different types of wines and yet grape-juicy enough to hit that sugar-loving spot that tingles deep inside every dessert/beverage lover. I'm honestly almost giddy about trying the other two flavors and kind of wish I would have sucked up the cost and got one of each. Particularly, I want to try the merlot and cabernet side-by-side and see if there's more or less difference in the grape juices that make the wines than there tends to be in the wines (which I've read that even Masters of Wine cannot always distinguish in blind tastings).

I'm tickled also, being this kind of nerd, about how the company chose its name (if the bottles are to be believed): apparently the juice that comes from the first pressing of the grapes in winemaking is called the "first blush." Supposedly pumped full of antioxidants (like resveratrol), these extremely interesting and flavorful juices are probably quite healthy (despite being loaded with natural sugars) as well as an absolute delight to get to try and drink (slowly, sip by sip, of course).

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: