The Caribbean may be the undisputed home of rum, but it is not generally known for its wines. Most of the wines currently made in the region have only been in production for a few years and this article will present a few of these.
The lack of significant development in the area of wines in the Caribbean has been due to the climate of the region which makes it difficult for grapes to thrive, and as such Caribbean vineyards are very rare. However, there has been a few strides forward in this area over the past few years in the Caribbean. Cuba currently has the Caribbean’s oldest wine making operation but the first major Caribbean wine project Ocoa Bay, was launched by the Dominican Republic in 2008. Since then, other nations have followed suit by beginning their own local wine operations. A few regionally produced wines are:
Shalana’s Naturalwines – Barbados
Shalana’s Naturalwines, as the name implies, produces natural wines made from a variety of fruits and vegetables. They currently offer 25 different flavours of wine at very reasonable prices.
Barcelo Caballo Blanco Sweet Red Wine – Dominican Republic
Caballo Blanco is a sweet red wine from the Dominican Republic and is the most expensive wine made from Muscat in the Caribbean. It has steadily increased in popularity over the past few years.
Jamoon Pandama Wine – Guyana
Jamoon, a fruit originally native to India and South East Asia, can also be found in certain parts of the Caribbean and South America. As it is a favourite of Guyanese, it is no surprise that the local winery in Guyana manufactures a wine made from this fruit. Jamoon is a red wine and as such can be paired with different types of food, including burgers, pasta and wild meat. In addition to Jamoon, Pandama wines manufactures a variety of other fruit wines (see below) in addition to a variety of herbal wines.
Red Label Wine – Jamaica
Red Label wine is Jamaica’s biggest selling wine. Although it is a red wine, it has a hint of a cinnamon flavour. It can be served on the rocks, straight or chilled. Many persons also choose to add red label wine to Christmas cakes made across the island during the holiday season.
Other Caribbean produced wines include:
Love Affair Sorrel Wine – Trinidad and Tobago
True Passion Passion Fruit Wine – Trinidad and Tobago
Sorrel Wine (Pandama Wines) – Guyana
Mango Wine (Pandama Wines) – Guyana
Soursop Wine (Pandama Wines) – Guyana
Therefore, while you are in the Caribbean, make an inquiry with locals in these various countries about sourcing these and other local wines. While the Caribbean may be more known for its rum, you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of wines produced in the region.
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