Exploring wineries is kind of a hobby of mine. It may not be a “traditional” hobby, but it’s one of the things that I like to do, therefore I am calling it a hobby. My husband and I check out everything from the vineyards, the architecture of the tasting room and of course, the wine. We talk about what we like about the place or what we would change if it were ours. A few Saturdays back we ventured out to Smithville, Missouri to check out Ladoga Ridge Winery. This little gem is just north of Kansas City but feels worlds away from city life.
When we first drove up, I was pleasantley surprised by the tasting room. I was not expecting this small winery in the country to be so well designed. I loved everything about this place from the decorative arched wood door to the landscaping. The inside of the tasting room was quaint but very tastfully arranged. The staff was friendly and knowledgable about their wines, which is something you would expect, but you’d be surprised how some aren’t.
The majority of Ladoga Ridge wines are semi-sweet to sweet, right up our alley! If you are not familiar with Midwest wines, then you should know that the Midwest makes great sweet wines.
Ladoga Ridge does offer a handful of semi-dry whites and reds, but the sweet wine is where they shine. Sweet wines go great with dessert, and since I am pretty partial to dessert, perhaps that’s why I prefer it over the drier wines.
B Cause – 100% Catawba grape which has a nice pink color to it and is a great picnic wine.
Toad-A-Lope Red – blended reds to make a semi-sweet finish. It’s best served chilled. No, I’m not crazy, I did say chilled. Sweet reds are better this way. It might take a bottle or 4 to realize this, but you’ll come around. You can thank me later. This wine would be the perfect substitute for water in your brownie recipes. It helps enhance the chocolate flavor. Since you opened up the bottle to make the brownies, you might as well finish it.
Peach – This is hands down the best peach wine I have ever had. Not too sweet or overpowering. I think next time I will have to marinate some fresh peaches in this and serve them with some pound cake.
Strawberry Rhubarb – Like the pie, but better because it’s alcohol.
Blackberry – On the day that we visited, they had their Blackberry wine in the crockpot with mulling spices. If you have never had warm wine with mulling spices (which is a mix of spices like cinnamon and cloves and others I can’t identify but it’s so good) then you are missing out. There is nothing better to warm you up on a cold winter night.
Chococherry Kiss – Dark cherry wine with chocolate flavor mixed in. Do I need to say anything else? It can be served room temperature or chilled. This is most definitely a dessert wine.
We will definitely be returning to Ladoga Ridge. We adored everything about this place. I can’t wait to see the vineyards when they are green and lush. With a nice outdoor seating area, plan to bring a picnic and some friends and stay a while.
Even the bathroom has grapes in the sink!
Are you a wine drinker? I’d love to hear your food and wine pairing tips!