Morris Vineyards' and Tennessee Mountain Winery's Mountain Mist is made from the catawba grape. It has a perfume-y almost soapy nose as well as a bright mineral and almost a potpourri scent to it. The taste is likewise full of spice, acidity with a touch of sweetness at the end.
This wine lacks the vaguely unpleasant mustiness, the wed dog taste you often find in wines made with native American grapes. There is a little bit of this foxiness in the finish but it isn't as noticeable as in many other such wines. There is a lot of spiciness here--like allspice or nutmeg. Mountain mist isn't overly fruity. In fact, fruit wasn't really what I thought of--even though there is honey and melon here.
Being honest, I held of drinking this because of a nauseous fear I had. Some of the wines I had picked up in Georgia and Tennessee were painful to drink. Sure there were some pleasant surprises but the unpleasant surprises overshadowed
these. This wine is NOT one of the bad ones.
What is this like? What would I compare it to? It has significant acidity and has a lot of spice and perfume as I've noted. It isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea but it is well made. For people who drink a lot of wine and are used to European varietals? This is going to seem odd. People who drink less wine and who are not accustomed to European varietals (chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, chenin blanc etc) may find this wine less peculiar.
Catawba's origins are murky and it is probably a cross between a European vitis vinifera grape and an American vitis labrusco grape. This grape was used in making famous sparkling wines from Ohio from the mid to late 1800s. These wines were world famous and even the subject of a Longfellow poem.
This wine is not inspiring me to write poetry. It really didn't make me want to have more than a couple of glasses. But it has its place. I can even imagine other people being partial to it. I still possess my vitis vinifera palate though and I expect it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
This is still worth a try.