Thursday, May 31, 2012
In the past few years, I have become a connoisseur of wine. My love for the grape-infused alcoholic beverage blossomed when we lived in northern Virginia. For those who don’t know, Virginia has a plethora of wineries, tucked away in the rolling hills and further west, in the nooks and crannies of the Shenandoah mountains. The soil and conditions there are quite conducive to growing a wide variety of grapes that yield a wide array of flavors and types of wines.
When we moved to Iowa, I thought about how much fun I had traveling to those Virginia wineries and sipping samples, and how I would miss those experiences. Imagine my surprise when I learned that our home state of Iowa, king of corn and queen of soybeans, has developed an impressive wine industry in the past few years. Where cows once grazed the gently rolling pastures, winery buildings have popped up and orderly rows of grapevines now grace the countryside.
A visit to the Iowa Wine Growers website tells me that even though our state’s wine industry is growing, the amount of wine consumed by Iowans is not. Per capita, Iowans ingest an average of 5 bottles less wine per year than the rest of the country. If the population of Iowa decided to drink more wine, it would provide a significant impact on the state’s wine industry and economy.
Wine is not only about the beverage, it’s also about the experience. Many wineries decorate their office with rustic décor and accents of grapes and vines. Sometimes an entire theme is played out and visitors love to immerse themselves and enjoy the atmosphere. The Cottage Barnwood Bar goes a long way towards providing a welcoming and rustic setting for winery visitors. The purchase price of $3,529 provides plenty of space behind the bar for the servers to store bottles of wine and accessories, as well as a built-in cutting board and space for a small refrigerator to hold cheese samples to go with the wine. The front of the reclaimed wood bar offers a handy rail on which visitors can rest their feet and is reminiscent of barn doors, giving the feeling they can open any minute and invite a whole group in for a barn party. By providing such a welcoming and cozy ambience, perhaps Iowa wineries can coax more natives to try a sip and then fall in love with Iowa wine. Wine not?