Cheerwine

imageThis stuff is local legend in the Carolina states and beyond. In fact the can literally says, “Drink Cheerwine Soft Drink Legend Crafted Since 1917.”

I never saw it in stores while growing up in the Midwest. And I have never seen it in NYC. But I recall hearing about it from some Carolina friends and think I saw it on exhibit at the Museum of Beverage Containers and Advertising. I was fortunate to be offered a can when visiting a friend recently. The name, “Cheerwine” leaves one curious. Is it canned wine? Is it alcoholic? Does it mimic wine?

Cheerwine doesn’t seem to offer any characteristics of wine, other than its red color. It is not alcoholic. It’s sort of a lighter, crisper version of black cherry soda. With a bright red hue, it has the bubble and effervescence of Sprite, but it tastes like…red?

I was quietly dismayed to find my wife taking sips of my Cheerwine. (More on my soda scamming spouse here; and my spousal sharing nature here). It was the last can of Cheerwine, and I endeavor to survey each sip on my palate – for journalistic purposes. A true Cheerwine tasting. But I was able to drink enough to know that I really liked it.

I hope Cheerwine distributors start heading north. Cheerwine is a nice soda to offer a guest. Its is off-the-beaten path enough to be a conversation piece, but not so weird to be off-putting.