Our last day in Iowa was spent in the town of LeClaire, right on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi. What brought us there was the husband’s wish to check out Antique Archaeology from History Channel’s “American Pickers.” We found so much more.
We did indeed head to Antique Archaeology, joining the many visitors at opening on Sunday morning. The LeClaire shop had some items ‘picked’ from the show, especially in the older, stuffier building. Many of the items though, especially in the newer building were souvenir type items, such as canvas totes, tees, and wooden ornaments featuring the Antique Archaeology logo.
The real gem of our visit, beside the stunning view of the river, was the Wide River Winery. Founded in 1997 in Clinton, it was named for the widest part of the Mississippi. The LeClaire tasting room is the second of their three locations, the third being in nearby Davenport. A mere $8 purchases a souvenir wine glass and 5 samples of fantastic wine with names inspired by the founders’ law occupations. I tried my five (and then some), and I would recommend them all:
Search, Seizure, Sangria- a white sangria of moderate sweetness.
White Collar Crime- a super smooth, buttery Chardonnay
Caught Red-Handed- a dry red made from petite pearl grapes. I’d be caught red-handed drinking this “best of the Midwest” winner.
Felony Red- a fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon and the makers’ flagship wine
Guilty Pleasure- this red features decadent chocolate and raspberry flavors. It can go with dessert, or be the dessert.
These and more can be purchased online, or if you’re lucky enough to be in the Midwest, at select retailers. I would have loaded up my checked bag, but I was out of room and out of weight. I had to settle for the souvenir glass.
We visited a few of the shops along the main drag, and took a short walk near the river. Soon enough though, it was time to drive back to the Quad City Airport and return the rental car. It had been a fun experience. I never thought that I would be able to say that I went wine-tasting in Iowa or that we would take Instagram photos in a scenic soybean field. Or that soybean fields could be so scenic. There was plenty more to see along the Mississippi and in the state of Iowa. I guess we’ll have to save those visits for the next time we drive America’s Scenic Byways. Happy trails!