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This Fourth of July wine tasting celebrates America

The story of America is woven through the vines of its native muscadine grapes. Wild grapes that still grow along North Carolina shores wowed early explorers. Wine made from the scuppernong variety of muscadines was America’s very first wine and a favorite of founding father Thomas Jefferson. So what better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a sweet muscadine wine tasting party?

Our special 4th of July tasting kit includes 10 wines, Scuppernong Blush among them. Berry Bliss Sweetzer wine slushie mix is in there too. It's an icy, strawberry delight you can quickly whizz up in your blender. The kit also contains Duplin Gourmet Muscadine Pineapple Habanero Salsa and a recipe card so that you can make the famous cheese dip served in Duplin tasting rooms. We popped in a bag of homemade Duplin Gourmet crackers, too.

Use the kit's 4th of July Wine Tasting score card to take notes and rate the wines. If you're hosting a group, fellow tasters may download score cards right onto their mobile devices or you may print out extra copies via the link below.  

If you've already purchased the kit, get your tasting started now with the video above. Follow along as top Duplin bartender, Frank, guides you through each wine. Scroll down this blog post to find more tasting notes.

How to taste wine like a Duplin pro

See. Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Savor. Use this 5-step system for each wine on the 4th of July Tasting Sheet included in your kit. Here's how. 

See: First, hold a wine up to a light and look at the color. It will allude to the variety of grape used and what the wine will taste like. Is it Scuppernong? Nobel? Carlos? Another? Color also indicates flavor. A bright, saturated hue often means more intense flavor. See if you can guess the grape and flavor before you sip.

Swirl: Consider the wine's body next. Swirl the wine in your glass to determine if it is light or heavy. You're looking for the viscous streaks running down the side of the glass after you swirl. They're called "legs." Sweeter wines will leave streaks cling or move slowly. That means a heavier body.

Sniff: After you swirl, really dip your nose into the glass and inhale the aroma, what wine pros call the "bouquet" or "nose." Pausing to experience the bouquet heightens your senses and anticipation of the first sip. Think about what you are smelling. Is it fruity? What kind of fruit? Berries? Ripe banana? Musky honeydew melon? Pure grape? Are you getting floral notes like honeysuckle or gardenia? See if you pick up unexpected smells like pine or fall leaves. Describe the bouquet and discuss it.  

Sip: Take a sip slightly larger than normal and hold the wine in your mouth for 3-5 seconds. Let the wine coat the tongue and the inside of your mouth. Wine releases more flavors as it warms on your taste buds. Before swallowing, purse your lips and breathe in gently, allowing the air to travel across the wine in your mouth to get the full flavor profile.

Do the flavors you're experiencing match the wine's nose? When and where are you tasting those flavors? Are you getting, say, banana bread on the first sip and then astringency or acidity at the end, which is called "the finish." Where do flavors hit you? On the tongue? On the side of your mouth.

Think back to the wine's body. Compare the texture of different wines, how they feel in your mouth. Light as water or heavier, like the texture of sweet iced tea? If you're sampling a sparkling wine, do the bubbles feel fine or medium in size. Compare your experience to the wine's description and see if it matches.

Savor: As you continue sipping, note how the sensation is slightly different from what you experienced when the wine was resting in your mouth on the first sip. This is the point when you taste and feel the wine's finish. As you continue tasting, note how the wine pairs with the Duplin Gourmet crackers and Muscadine Pineapple Habenero dip. See which wine you like best with those snacks and others you may be enjoying during your at-home or virtual tasting. Cheers!

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4th of July At Home Wine Tasting4th of July At Home Wine Tasting

4th of July Home Wine Tasting Kit

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4th of July Home Wine Tasting Score Card


Now, let's begin our wine tasting!

Summertime StrutSummertime Strut

Summertime Strut

Light and refreshing, Summertime Strut is Duplin's driest white wine.

This special blend of Carlos and Doreen Muscadine grapes combine to make a very light-bodied and fruity wine with a crisp finish.

Released in 2018, this wine has a label that features art of the Sanderling Sandpiper, a coastal bird found on the beaches of North and South Carolina during winter months.

Midnight MagnoliaMidnight Magnolia

Midnight Magnolia

Midnight Magnolia is Duplin co-owner Jonathan Fussell’s personal favorite wine. 

Close your eyes as you take your first sip and experience the elegant fruity start, then the crisp finish.

One of our three Duplin Estate wines, Midnight Magnolia is made from grapes Duplin grows within four miles of the winery.

Brice's CreekBrice's Creek

Brice's Creek

Brices' Creek is named after a tiny community near New Bern, N.C., where still waters among pine forests are calming and peaceful.

Take time to notice the slight floral start. Do you sense jasmine? Yellow jessamine? Pay attention to the smooth finish and light alcohol bite. This wine’s complexity is thanks to a combination of Scuppernong and Niagara grapes. Niagara is not a muscadine grape but a native American vitis labrusca variety developed in Niagara County, N.Y. 

BurgundyBurgundy

Burgundy

Burgundy has a 1.5% sugar level, similar to the sugar content in merlot or cabernet sauvignon. Duplin Burgundy is much lighter and fruitier than those wines.

Duplin winemakers use a blend of early-harvest muscadine grapes. Grapes picked before they become too ripe are less sweet. Sip slowly. This wine packs 13% alcohol, making it a great partner to a big steak or caramelized onion and mushroom burger.

Hatteras RedHatteras Red

Hatteras Red

Sweet and fruity, with a bite at the end, this blend of late-harvest Muscadine grapes is an easy drinker for folks new to wine. We call it our "beer-converter wine" because so many beer drinkers end up loving Hatteras Red. 

This was the first wine to display the lighthouse and seagull on the label. The response from customers was so positive that it got incorporated into the rest of the line, plus added to Duplin's logo.

Scuppernong BlushScuppernong Blush

Scuppernong Blush

Scuppernong Blush is made from scuppernong grapes blended with other late-harvest muscadine grapes. The flavor is sweet with a noticable mellowness at the end.

Scuppernong Blush is best served chilled. Try it on ice. It  is the perfect wine to have with romantic walks on the beach or just sitting around the pool on warm summer nights. 

Goin' CoastalGoin' Coastal

Goin' Coastal

Goin' Coastal sends you a lifetime of beach memories with every sip. The refreshing blend includes white muscadines from North and South Carolina. Duplin winemakers add a Pink Catawba and Niagra grapes from the northern United States.  Goin' Coastal bursts with hints of citrus and fresh fruit.

Sangria RedSangria Red

Sangria Red

In 2015, Sangria Red was released and quickly became a fan favorite with its citrusy berry flavor.

Made from a blend of ripened red muscadines, citrus and strawberry, this wine is wonderful by itself or paired with fresh fruits. On a hot summer day, we like to freeze fruit chunks to drop in our glasses to keep the wine cold and add extra fruit flavor!

Sweet PoppySweet Poppy

Sweet Poppy

Sweet Poppy is fun, fizzy and blooming with a hint of peach. The first sip is full of harmonious fruity flavors followed by a satisfyingly fizzy finish. How do you think the bubbles affect the flavor of the wine? Also, ponder the story behind that beautiful red flower on the bottle. Red corn poppies have long been a symbolic tribute to our troops. Duplin put a red corn poppy on the wine’s label to honor service members, past and present.

Berry Bliss Sweetzer MixBerry Bliss Sweetzer Mix

Berry Bliss

Oh, so popular strawberry Berry Bliss wine slushie mix makes the kind of little indulgence that folks love year-round. This frozen treat pleases all ages. For grown-ups, blend it with Duplin Burgundy wine (or a merlot). For the kids, mix Berry Bliss with Duplin alcohol-free Red Muscadine. Everyone loves Berry Bliss with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a swirl of soft-serve.

Muscadine Pineapple Habanero Dip

Our Muscadine Pineapple Habanero Dip pairs perfectly with our wine tastings. Between wines, eat a few crackers with the dip to help cleanse your palate. This tasty recipe is super easy to make and even better to eat!

To make: Soften one 8-ounce block of cream cheese and mix  in ½ a jar of Duplin Muscadine Pineapple & Habanero Salsa. Use a hand mixer to blend together until the consistency is creamy. Serve with Duplin Gourmet Crackers.

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