Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Sept 27, 2009. Years ago, when this tiger was new to the Winery scene, on a trip through Illinois following a family gathering, we discovered Cameo. Following a weekend of close family frivolity and a long stressful drive, Cameo offered a welcome respite, a cool glass of refreshing wine, and a view to die for in a rocker on the porch.

We had to go back, so on our recent winequest to Il., this was the destination winery. This beautiful little winery, in a circa 1900's pin oak barn surrounded by vines is sure to please with its personal customer service making it obvious that your enjoyment of the fruits of their labors is their number one goal. Cameo offers a good selection of Dry, Semi Sweet and Sweet wines, and recently has added a very nice dessert port style wine that is sure to please.

Their Dry Wines include a Seyval Blanc - with citrus flavors and distinctive aromas; a Chardonel from Cameo grown grapes that is very pleasand and fruity and delicious chilled; a red blend - Rivers Edge - that is rich with a medium body; and a Norton made from Illinois grapes, rich and full bodies and full of character.

Cameo has a wonderful selection of Semi-Sweet Wines too. This being one of my favorite categories and also of course that of my staff, we had to try all that was offered. We were not disappointed - except to find the Vidal Blanc was sold out on the day we last visited. Casa Loma is a nice red made from Chambourcin grapes grown at Cameo but among the reds National Road Red was our Semi Sweet fav this time. National Road Red with its grapey finish would be perfect to have tucked into a picnic basket for those afternoons lazing in the sun on a blanket with someone you enjoy. Also a crowd pleaser and our favorite among the Semi-Sweet white offerings is Kissingbridge, with a tropical nose and a citrus finish. We loved this one last time we visited and found that we had not changed our mind, both visits we purchased a glass of this wine and sat for a spell on the porch in a rocker contemplating our good fortunes. However, all that being said, if you are in the mood for a nice Cherry wine, try this one, a tart wine with a nutmeg spice flavor.

Everyone knows Nietzsche loves Sweet Wine. Cameo sweets are some of my favorites! Here you will find they have a great Country Concord that reminds you of grandma's garden grapes; Niagra - a crowd pleasing white sure to be a favorite at your next gathering bursting with traditional grape flavor and a pleasing sweetness on the tongue; Embarras Blush - a fruity wine that will place you in mind of a white zin; Powder Hill White made from Vignoles with a peachy apricot flavor; and last but not least Highwater Red - the Port Style dessert wine we mentioned earlier. This wine would go well with any chocolate or chocolate dessert, it is sweet sweet and fortified to a whopping 21% alcohol with a smooth sherry like finish. If you like Port Style dessert wines, this is the one to try - in spite of the 375ml bottle size, we had to bring a couple of these home!

For those of you that are eager to try this tiger trail out for yourself, visit their website at, get directions, set aside an afternoon and sit a spell, you will not be disappointed, we promise.

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