Plus, a wicked delicious Hibiscus Hard Cider. Who knew?

Our verdict? 🍷🍷🍷 and 🍸🍸🍸

For the first weekend in I-don’t-recall-how-long, we found ourselves with the calendar penciled in! Alas, the remnants of Hurricane Delta rendered the weekend wet, though we did salvage one of the two activities; and filled in nicely with this one when we awoke today to discover that the meteorologists had been wrong about the forecast. Yes, color us shocked on that point.

Tastings in the touristy areas near the GSMNP tend to be a little hit-or-miss, with many servers weary of those simply looking for complimentary nips. We like to engage and to learn about the grapes, and we were pleased that the servers took time with us. Must be the lingering Austrian-ness in us.

Tennessee Homemade Wines use local fruits and craftsmen. The soil here is not terribly kind to the non-sweet grapes, so we were tempted to scrap the tasting because we are not EisWein people. Or so we thought.

Wow. Just, wow. The Blackberry Wine was a winner. Hand-picked along country roads. I like that. Icy cold and the perfect sweet/tart combination for our amateur palates.

Near to the winery is their Hard Cider tasting room. Love the logo.

Somehow I neglected to take snaps of our tasting, but this was our menu. Hands down, all of the apple flavors were…awful. Just a big “No” of apple-ish Sturm and other stuff mixed in.  Tony tried the Pineapple Hard Cider and proclaimed it, “Not bad.” I took his word for it. Pineapple only belongs salsa-ed with jalapeños atop grilled Swordfish Tacos, and nowhere else.

Down to one final tasting, I chose the Hibiscus Hard Cider. Love at first sip, and with a brilliant finish.

Obviously you know what we brought home. One to pair with smoky and spicy carnitas on Taco Tuesday; and one to take to our Smoky Mountains picnic in the coming days when the leaf-peeping is at its peak.