When Irish eyes are smiling, there may be some Yadkin Valley wine behind them, at least that might be the case for Aidan Kelly.
After a visit from Elkin resident Crystal Sizemore, Kelly decided to travel from Ireland to investigate the local flavors for himself.
Sizemore and a friend took local wines with them to Ireland to visit her boyfriend and to meet Kelly’s family for the first time.
“I wanted to share something from my town with them,” said Sizemore. “Of course there is a rumor that the Irish like to drink. The Yadkin Valley is known for its array of wineries, and I thought what better gift to bring to the parents than a bottle of wine.”
Sizemore chose to take gifts from Slightly Askew.
“I had been there before and knew that their sweet wines were one of a kind. I settled on Crooked Toe Blues for his parents and Numb Nutz for his brother. I had thought about taking Slut Dog Sin, but thought the name might not give the first impression that I was looking for,” said Sizemore, jokingly.
Sizemore need not have worried about the fun names given to the wines at Slightly Askew where Kelly appreciated other flavors as well as the humor.
“My favorite one was Nasty Bastard, because I loved the taste of it and because I loved of the name of it, too,” said Kelly. “I loved it so much that I brought back some home to my parents, and they loved it, too.”
It was more than just the wine at Slightly Askew that Kelly enjoyed.
“I really loved the atmosphere in the place. You really felt like you were in the south tasting wines there. I normally don’t drink wine, but I was absolutely hooked on the wine they were serving there,” said Kelly, “plus I thought the prices were really good value. You would pay double for what I got back in Ireland.”
That may be because Ireland is known for whiskey and beer, not wine.
“I was looking forward to going to the wineries as we don’t have anything like that back in Ireland and you seem to have so many of them around Elkin,” said Kelly.
Sizemore started their tour of local wineries with brick-oven pizzas and ended it with Dobbins Creek.
“The third winery we went to was Midnight Magdalena, which was different to the rest of the wineries we went to because we tasted wine and chocolate while we were there,” said Kelly.
“I thought eating the chocolate really gave the wine something which was nice. Plus the owner gave us some interesting details about the wine they served there.”
For Kelly, the appeal of the Yadkin Valley was much more than just the wine.
“I absolutely loved my visit to Elkin. People were so nice and the food was delicious. The South really does live up to its reputation which is the people are friendly and serve some great food.”
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.