Wine From the Sunshine State

Yeah, we fancy with out paper towel napkins

Photo by Gretchen Neuman for

When in Florida, you expect to see a lot of citrus. And man do you ever. But surprisingly enough you don’t really see many grapes. Particularly near Orlando. All you see there are mouse ears and you know who they belong to….

Nevertheless, I, your intrepid locapour am always on the lookout for the local wine. And even in the heart of Disney managed to located Florida wine. Florida Wine? Yes.

The wine from Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards is made from grapes but not of the vinifera variety. These are muscadines, the native grapes of the south, vitis rotundifolia. They are bigger than vinifera grapes and found in smaller, loose clusters. Muscadines are bronze, purple and black and have been used to produce wine and jelly since Europeans have been in the American southeast, even in the heat and humidity of Florida.

This wine was brought home from Florida last year and put away in the wine fridge. Last night, Kevin brought it out as a accompaniment of barbecue ribs. Now, Kevin loves to grill. All year long. And he makes a mean sauce. By mean, I mean spicy. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw a bottle of tabasco being used to make the sauce.

But it turns out this wine perfect match. This wine, was a sweet muscadine, which in all fairness is the type you are more likely to find. The flavor was like a bright cherry pop. Except a wine, of course. Cool and sweet in contrast to hot and spicy.

So maybe you don’t like sweet wine. And maybe you don’t think wine should be made in Florida. But last night sweet, Florida muscadine wine was exactly what I needed.

If you are in Florida, visiting the folks or the grands and are Disney’d out, you can find wine in Central Florida just 45 minutes northwest of Orlando.

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
19239 U.S. 27 North
Clermont, Florida 34715

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

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