Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Drinks: Five Trails Sassy Apple Wine

Yeah, I know—“Sassy Apple.” It sounds like one of those contrived car colors from that groovy era around 1970: Lemon Twist, Sub-lime and Vitamin C. My first car was a Dodge Challenger painted Plum Crazy, a supposedly hip shade of purple.

But this apple wine from Five Trails in Paxton carries more credibility. With a nose almost akin to mulled apple with a faint leafy aura and impression of bruised fruit, it extends a promise of summertime and patios. The taste is pure, unsweetened apple—smooth and refreshing, with a noticeable flavor of skin. The finish is quick, with a haze like mashed Granny Smiths that emerges later.

Fruit-based wines have a long history in the U.S. Native grapes yielded rough flavors, for one, and existed only in certain regions. Pioneers and farmers were forced to be creative, fermenting elderberry, dandelion and other locally abundant plants into something palatable (one hopes) and alcoholic.

At just nine percent alcohol, it’s a beautiful warm weather wine. And at $15 a bottle, you can laze away most of an afternoon then continue into the evening.

Even better, Sassy Apple pairs well with picnic foods. It cools barbecue and brightens pepper in the crust of Southern fried chicken, for example. Consider serving it alongside pizza, as well.