Critic's note: This occasional entry is about stuff that I eat or drink that you should eat or drink, too. It may be about items that are locally made, or they may not be, but you'll be able to find them in town. And you should.
I was not aware that boozy Snapple was going to be my latest obsession, until I went to the Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead Company recently. Perusing this Dekum neighborhood's tap list of local beer, and house-brewed meads and fizzy wine, I landed on the fresh strawberry fizzy wine ($4.75/12 ounces).
As the first bit of pink drink passed my lips, I instantly flashed back to 1994, when kiwi strawberry Snapple was the only beverage I'd imbibe—only now, I was getting a slight buzz off the 6.8 percent alcohol content.
It's one of several inventive twists at Hi-Wheel, where owners ferment fruits and citrus not normally turned boozy for a result that's like the best wine cooler you've ever had. Other options include lavender lemon, lime habanero, and Death Wish Bunny—a carrot and chai concoction that's strangely compelling. Hit the cooler in back and grab a to-go bottle or four.
Pro Tip: Hi-Wheel's food is supplied by Tamale Boy next door. Skip the lines by settling in with an excellent fizzy drink and then order your Oaxacan-style mole negro tamale in peace.
Tues-Fri 5-10 pm, Sat noon-10 pm, Sun 4-9 pm. All closing times are listed as "ish." Full bar, which is good; you'll want it.