If you are looking for a great bottle of wine with local connections, it would be tough to do better than wines from the Mira Winery. Not only are all of their wines delicious, they also have a unique story behind them and full disclosure, we used to live next door to the president of the winery when we lived in Washington, DC.
As far as the local connections go, Jim “Bear” Dyke is the president of Mira Winery in Napa, California although he and his wife, Dawn, live in Charleston. They lived in the townhome next door to us in the Glover Park neighborhood in DC. They also moved to Charleston right around the same time we did which was a fun coincidence.
Although the wine is produced in Napa, Jim and his team performed a unique aging technique by submerging cases of their wine in the Charleston Harbor last year. They are the first US winery to undertake this ocean aging process called “Aquaoir” and the results were quite astounding. For more info on their wine and the aging process, check out http://www.miranapa.com and http://www.aquaoir.com. I’m certainly no oenophile, but I have enjoyed a glass or two in my life and I love the wines from Mira. Granted I’m a bit biased because Jim and Dawn Dyke are so lovely but it’s also neat to have a local connection to some great wine. South Carolina may have great peaches but the grapes around here are not really conducive to making wine. And the ocean aging in the harbor gives it a Charleston link which also provides a good back story to the wine.
For an explanation of the “Aquaoir” process, here’s a video of Jim and the winemaker on “Fox and Friends”: http://miranapa.com/cheers-to-mira-mira-featured-on-fox-friends/
And congrats to Jim and his team! Their 2010 Pinot Noir recently received 94 points and the 2009 Syrah 92 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. You can find Mira wines at many local restaurants so drink it up and if they don’t carry their wine, please ask for it. Drink local, kind of . . .