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Myanmar Has Vineyards?

By July 19, 2017May 21st, 20182 Comments

As we biked around Inle Lake, we chose the direction of our route so that on our way back to the hostel, we would pass Red Mountain Winery – a vineyard and winery, right in Myanmar. I had no clue Myanmar had any vineyards.

But they do! This felt like the perfect opportunity to start drinking again and test whether or not it’s causing headaches. (Spoiler: I was fine the next day. The trip might be about to get more interesting.)

Getting to the vineyard, our wolves were absolutely howling – and being a good vineyard, Red Mountain is perched on the side of a hill with sweeping views of the lake below. That’s another way of saying there was a very steep hill to ride/climb before getting to wine!

As we approached, I think we all had an “Oh, crap” moment when we saw that hill – luckily, they had bike parking at the bottom (apparently we weren’t the only ones who felt that way). So we parked the bikes and walked up the hill.

As we walked, I felt every kilometer of biking. But I knew wine was at the top! And not just any wine – wine made in Myanmar! My first wine in a bit more than a month! Wine!!

We found a table on the patio and started to order our wine. The ordering process was somewhat unique in and of itself, because it wasn’t labeled quite like a normal menu in the US. For instance, I decided to try the “Late Harvest.” It did not specify a late harvest of what. (But did specify it was a white wine.)

The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were, if I remember right, the only two that made it apparent which varietal you were consuming. Well, wine tasting is always an adventure!

This was an adventure that makes me quite sure Myanmar is not the world’s best wine region. Or really even up close to the top. I have lots more wine regions to explore, but…

I couldn’t quite get the top notes of my Late Harvest – it was somewhere between dirt and an unknown oak, perhaps? Typically I would have expected something fruity or floral, but no can do. The dirt notes were fairly overwhelming.

I then decided to try the rosé (while vineyards have emerged in Myanmar, frosé has not). It was much more “rouge” than “rosé,” but did have some sweeter notes in it. By sweeter, it was a bit on the syrup-y side.

I tried the Chardonnay Meleny got and the Cabernet Sauvignon Chris got, and while the Cabernet Sauvignon was the best of the lot, I’m not going to be pining away for Myanmar wines when I return to the US.

But even though the wine wasn’t the best, the experience was wonderful. It was so relaxing to sit outside (where it wasn’t crazy hot!), with a glass of wine, looking out over the vineyard and lake. And then remembering I was in Myanmar. I don’t think I’ll ever forget my Myanmar vineyard experience.


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