If I say “fruit wine,” you say… “probably not,” right? Well, let’s just say you haven’t had the right kind of fruit wine yet. John Wiedenheft III is changing the libation’s less-than-stellar reputation, one glass of Tapped Apple Cidery & Winery’s apple wine at a time.
“I’m not a sweet wine drinker,” says Wiedenheft, who’s Chief Tasting Officer and opened Westerly's Tapped Apple in the summer with his son John IV and Adam Mercer. Wiedenheft’s son Matt also helps in the tasting room. “I’ve had so many blind tastings with friends – and strangers – where they were asking, ‘Is this a Pinot Grigio? Is this a Sauvignon Blanc?’ They didn’t even know it was made from apples.”
The winery is currently pouring six apple wines ranging from Sweet Temptation and a semi-dry Pomme D’Amour to a red wine called Respect The Elder made from apples and elderberries, which give it a deep red color. There’s also a hopped wine – Hoposite Attraction – and a smoked wine called Light My Fire – “my personal favorite,” Wiedenheft says, comparing its flavors to Scotch. The winery hosts monthly dance evenings, too; the next one is February 11.