It’s Memorial Day Weekend and we’re adventuring today in Muskogee, OK, inspiration for Merle Haggard’s great American classic, Okie from Muskogee.
I’m proud to be an Okie from Muskogee
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of all.
I’m not from Muskogee. In fact, I’m a life-long city gal from Tulsa. I have a firm credo that I don’t want to live anywhere I can see cows daily – I want them to be a novelty. My husband doesn’t share my antipathy for cows, but he’s in general agreement with me that city living suits us best. We love to visit the country, however, and today we’re going to have a ball and maybe even a thrill, involving wine instead of white lightnin’.
We’re on our way to Pecan Creek Winery to meet a group of friends and enjoy a special cellar presentation by Vintner Bob Wickizer. Muskogee is less than an hour from our home, and traffic is light today. The weather is perfect, and the sky is big and filled with sculptural white clouds. Imagine driving along with the image that’s the header for this blog stretched out in front of you, and Tchaikovsky’s Little Russian Symphony playing on NPR (KWTU) – it’s an awesome start to what’s certain to be a fun day. I even have the novelty of seeing some cows. They’re very picturesque and I enjoy seeing them – occasionally.
At the winery, we sample several of the wines before our program begins. I particularly enjoy the Creekside, which is a Vignoles.
It smells lovely; the nose is pears and persimmons. It tastes lovely, too; if you like Riesling, you’ll probably like this wine. My husband enjoys the Purple Martin; he loves Cabs, and this one is excellent. After sampling, Bob invites our group into the cellar, and we get to explore the effect of different tannins and oaks on wine. I find it incredible how much the flavor of a base wine can differ, just by aging it in American Oak, European Oak, or Whiskey Barrels. Bob is a chemist, as well as a Vintner, and he’s full of information.
After the presentation, our group has a potluck, and the weather continues to be perfect so we eat outside at the tables surrounding the Winery’s tasting room. It doesn’t get much better than eating tasty food outside and enjoying great conversation. We even get to “watch a hawk making lazy circles in the sky.” (Thank you, Rodgers and Hammerstein). Potlucks also give me excuse to have one of my favorite small adventures – trying new recipes. I made a Strawberry Tabbouleh, and a Broccoli, Pasta & Tahini Salad, from a food blog I’ve been sampling lately: Love and Lemons.
The tasting room at Pecan Creek Winery is open Thursday-Sunday. You can purchase flights of wine in the cozy tasting room and learn more about their wine-making process. They grow their own grapes, and any they need to source, they get within 100 miles of the vineyard. It’s truly a local product. While the program we experienced is not one they do regularly, they do have special events. It’s the perfect place to have an adventure and try something new.