Saturday, October 31, 2009

Manatawny puts Meritage on sale for November

It's called Manatawny Creek Winery for a simple reason: the winery sits alongside the Manatawny Creek in central Pennsylvania, sporting a mailing address of Amityville. Manatawny is a native American term that the winery's Web site means: "Where we meet to drink." Well, I'll take their word for it.

Our one visit with another couple lasted a couple of hours, what with the snacks to nosh and the many wines that owner and winemaker Joeanne Levengood produces. I found my share of dry reds and whites to savor; and if you don't like those the line runs from sparkling to fruit to sweet to several end-of-the-evening beverages that will rock you quietly to sleep.

Levengood's newsletters are always a mix of tasting room sales and vineyard education, definitely worth sharing. They'll have their 2006 Meritage reduced by 30 percent for November, with an additional case discount. Perhaps a sign of what's going on today, this is the first time that the Meritage has ever been on sale. Meritage is a dry, oak-aged, red blend of the Bordeaux varieties that includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

Manatawny's annual wine and soup day is scheduled for next Saturday, the 7th. A beef and vegetable soup (and vegetable soup alone for the veg-heads) will be on the menu and paired with Chambourcin.

Levengood noted in her e-letter that rain has curtailed plans to use volunteers to pick, similar to a number of other wineries throughout the region. "This Saturday looks like a washout again," she wrote, "so it looks like the remaining grapes will get picked on weekdays. Sorry to everyone who wanted to help us pick on the weekends this year! It was so odd how it rained (or rain was predicted) on almost all of the weekends this fall."

And then there's my favorite part, the question of the month. Can wine bottles be reused.

Levengood: "We get lots of people wondering if they should bring back their empty wine bottles for us to reuse. We cannot do that because wine bottles need to be sterile when bottling. The bottles arrive to us from the manufacturing plant in a sterile condition, because very high temperatures are used to make glass wine bottles. The amount of time and energy required to sterilize a used wine bottle is prohibitive for us. So what should you do with your empty wine bottles? Give them to your home winemaking buddies. Or if you’re creative, check out the web for all kinds of ideas including wind chimes, candles, pourers and even cutting in half to make drinking glasses. And if you’re not creative or drink a lot of wine like we do, put your empty wine bottles in the recycle bin to get reused elsewhere."

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