How to take a tasting tour of every new Duplin wine of 2021

Duplin Winery introduces exciting new labels every year, but our master winemakers and wine label designers outdid themselves in 2021. They crafted a wide range, from our first ever Cotton Candy wine to the historic Mothervine Reserve scuppernong white that took us back to the roots of American winemaking.

The year brought new Moonlight Bliss, a white wine neither too sweet nor too dry and wrapped in one of the most beautiful labels we've ever made. The famous Hatteras Light rises under a full moon while dolphins play in the waters below. For the Christmas season, there's just-released Holly Rosé, crisp and sweet with a darling doe donned in roses on the label. 

We don't raise pinkies around here much but the 2021 collection is worthy of a wine festival. So we packaged every single one of those new wines plus our Christmas wines into a tasting kit we're calling "Pinky Raising Holiday Party."

The tasting kit serves 8 wines, including fall's essential Pum'kin red with a hint of cozy spice. We added in fixings for our Jingle Spice spiced wine and Jolly Juice Sweetzer wine slushie mixes. Because this kit is so special, we popped in elegant Savannah Grace Traditional Cheese straws, a jar of Duplin Gourmet Christmas Wine Jelly and recipes for party meatballs and Brie cheese tarts that call for the jelly.

You'll also find a wine tasting score card you and your guests can use to keep notes (print extra copies or direct guets to download onto their phones via the link below) and rate the wines. A formal tasting is not required. This kit has everything you need to throw a no-fuss holiday wine party. 

If you've already purchased the kit, get your tasting started anytime 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 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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Pinky Raisin' Wine Tasting KitPinky Raisin' Wine Tasting Kit

Pinky Raisin' Wine Tasting

Pinky Raisin' Wine Score SheetPinky Raisin' Wine Score Sheet

Pinky Raisin' Wine Tasting Score Card

Now, let's begin your wine tasting!

Moonlight BlissMoonlight Bliss

Moonlight Bliss

Those moonlit nights on the beach, waves whispering ashore, your toes in the soft, cool sand. Pure bliss. That's what inspired our newest white wine, perfect with grilled shrimp, streamed crab or a family-favorite dish of pasta alfredo. We like to have a glass with nothing but the full moon. Relax and let go with each sip of this fruity, not-too-sweet, not-too-dry muscadine wine.

Mothervine ReserveMothervine Reserve

Mothervine Reserve

Mothervine Reserve is sweet but balanced with acidity and the fruity essence of America’s native grapes.

Our winemakers set aside an exceptional Duplin Estate harvest and the best scuppernong grapes grown on cuttings taken from North Carolina’s 400-year-old mother vine in Manteo.

Naughty & NiceNaughty & Nice

Naughty & Nice

The Christmas wine Naughty & Nice is a white made with a special blend of Scuppernong and Niagara grapes. This white has less alcohol kick than many of Duplin's other wines. Each sip goes down smooth and mellow.

We like to joke that this wine is so good that it can make naughty people nice; nice people naughty; or it can make you both at the same time!

Holly RoséHolly Rosé

Holly Rosé

Sweet with a fruity kick at the start, Holly Rosé finishes icicle smooth. Served it in frosted wine glasses cold from the freezer. This wine pairs with all sorts of holiday party foods. Holly Rosé is so versatile, it even works with Thanksgiving dinner.

Christmas WineChristmas Wine

Christmas Wine

One of Duplin's most beloved Christmas wines blends North Carolina muscadines that bring the taste of a true Southern Christmas. Sweet with hints of berry to start followed by a touch of spice, this red easily moves from cocktail hour to holiday dinner table. Try it with Christmas cookies, especially gingerbread, molasses cookies, chocolate chip and gooey butter cakes.

Hatteras Red ReserveHatteras Red Reserve

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.

Cotton CandyCotton Candy

Cotton Candy

This is a fun, sweet blush wine, but our master winemakers did not take it lightly. They spent two years testing muscadine grape blends and tasting batches of wine to create Cotton Candy. They balanced just enough sweetness with that elusive cotton candy flavor to make Duplin Cotton Candy taste like wine while evoking the joy of tipping your tongue on fluffy cotton candy.



Chilled Pum'kin is the perfect sipper right now to get you ready for cool September and October days. Come tailgate season, add Pum'kin to steaming mulled wine. It's just as tasty in iced coffee or our creamy "Pumk'in-spiked latte." When you're gathered with friends and family around the fire pit, there's nothing better than Pum'kin and s'mores.

Jingle SpiceJingle Spice

Jingle Spice

Cinnamon, nutmeg, a burst of apple and just a hint of citrus blends oh so smoothly with a little Duplin Christmas Wine and a little Duplin Muscadine Cider.

This spiced wine could not be easier to make. Stir it together in a large pot on the stove or keep it warm all day in your slow cooker.

Jolly JuiceJolly Juice

Jolly Juice

Duplin wine slushies are called "Sweetzers," and you can easily make them at home. This mix's flavor is a delicious fusion of grapes and berries. Whizz Jolly Juice mix in a blender with Holly Rosé and plenty of ice. The flavors co-mingle and create the most scrumptious frozen concoction. Sweetzers are great refreshers for ending any wine tasting.

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