ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Forget about Chardonnay and Merlot — you can get those anywhere. If you're travelling to Newfoundland and want to bring back a unique taste of the province, think wine made from strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb and partridgeberries.
Chances are, the name on the label will be as distinctive as what's inside.
Bottles from Auk Island Winery in Twillingate, sold by the Newfoundland & Labrador Liquor Corp., are among holiday season shopping suggestions offered to visitors by Destination St. John's.
For example, there's Jellybean Row Strawberry-Partridgeberry Wine, with "a hint of sweetness that tames but does not diminish the tartness" of the Newfoundland partridgeberries, an item not to be outdone by Auk Island's Moose Joose Blueberry-Partridgeberry Wine, or its medium-sweet Funky Puffin Blueberry-Rhubarb Wine.
There's also Krooked Cod Blueberry-Raspberry Wine, a sweet-tart elixir made from "the fruits of the local hills and wilds, grown in the cool, salty ocean breeze," the winery says. "Best served chilled or on ice."
The provincial liquor corporation's most popular product among tourists, according to a Destination St. John's blog, is Screech Rum — described as being slightly sweet with woody notes, caramel and cocoa, and "a must-have for holiday Screech-Ins." A close second is Yellowbelly beer, brewed on Water Street in St. John's.