Life’s a Peach: Have Some Wine

“Früchtestillleben mit Insekten” -Amalie Kärcher

Yesterday, I wanted to hide in my blankets and not interact with the world. I got out of bed anyway and took care of my responsibilities. Once evening fell, my roommate left for the night, and I was left to figure out what to do with my evening. As day after day of relative solitude accumulates, I try to find creative ways to pass the time, but on this night, even though I rarely drink, I decided to simply open a bottle of peach wine and read rather than do anything more complicated.

Every autumn I visit Snowline Orchard in Yucaipa, California and purchase several bottles of wine. Snowline is open year round, but it sometimes snows in the winter. I like the snow but don’t have snow chains, so autumn is the best time for me to go. The clean air and trees create the perfect setting for a day trip. Not only is the wine locally produced; each type has a beautiful taste. I rarely drink, so when I do, I like to drink something I can really enjoy. I also like that I am supporting a small, local business.

My favorites from the orchard are their various fruit wines. They have Red Tractor (a raspberry wine), Black Bear (a blackberry wine), Orchard Essence (an apple wine), and Farmer’s Daughter (a peach wine). The Red Tractor is delicious on its own but is really good in place of water in your favorite brownie recipe. Farmer’s Daughter is what I drank last night. It has a white wine base and silky peach taste that is nothing less than exquisite. It pairs well with fish and chicken as you might imagine. I had mine with salmon in a brown butter citrus sauce and green beans. I also like to pair the peach wine with Thai food.

In a way, these fruit wines remind me of Boone’s Farm except they are actual grape and fruit wines rather than malt liquor, and they are sweet but without the excessively sugary feel. They also taste much better than the Boone’s Farm of your youth. You will have to decork these fruit wines though. If you are nostalgic for a time when Boone’s Farm was something you drank, but you don’t want the headache, I recommend these fruit wines. They do have a lower alcohol percentage than regular wine at about 8%, but for some of you, that might actually be a good thing.

The orchard also has all of the wine classics, with higher alcohol percentages, that you would expect, like Merlot and Chardonnay, as well as more unexpected varieties, such as Old Vine Zinfandel. If I ever have guests over, I like to open a bottle of one of the traditional wines to welcome them and give them a taste of something magical. If you are looking for something fancier, you can also snag some of their apple brandy or Alicante Bouschet, a desert port. They also have hard cider, my favorite, but those sell out fast.

Most people aren’t happy with the state of the world, but I would argue that being able to find good even if it is just something small has more positive potential than ruminating on difficulties. I am a believer in the idea that we can transform bad to good, but we must start with ourselves and the choices we make.

Life’s a peach

A Helpful Note Added on 1/11/21: “If you do end up buying wine, some people worry that the elevation can cause issues with the cork. My sister has had a cork or two of the fruit wines move ever so slightly upward out of the bottles due to the elevation though I haven’t had a problem. If you are worried, one thing you can do is keep your wines upright for a few days in order for them to adjust. Then store them on their sides as usual.”

Picture updated 3.24.22

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