Ah, Indiana. There's so much about this state that we don't know, even though we've both lived here most of our lives.
And here's a tip: Don't underestimate the power of a good regional or state wine.
Ever heard of Oliver Winery in Bloomington, Ind.? How about Winzerwald Winery? If you haven't, and you'd like to support some in-state businesses, then give these two a try.
We've talked about Oliver's Gewürztraminer before, that peculiar spicy and slightly sweet white wine that we chose to pair with homemade curried chicken. But Winzerwald, a winery in Bristow, Ind., does a Gewürztraminer that's also worth trying. It's not overly sweet — think peaches or nectarines — and it's light enough to keep you lighthearted, too. We tasted this at the Evansville Zoo Brew a short time ago, and the booth's location at the very start of the path meant Zoo-Brewers had a refreshing wine from the get-go. It's about $16 on the Winzerwald website.
Another tasty Winzerwald production is the Gluhwein, which, oddly enough, actually was served heated on that very humid and warm day under the setting sun. But, what a wonderful substance to swirl in our tiny cups! This traditional German mulled wine tasted of cloves and cinnamon, and even Greg — who is famously anti-cinnamon — liked it. It'd be a perfect wine to serve to family on a cozy, snowy December night. About $15 on the Winzerwald website.
But if hot drinks are too hard to swallow in the flushed heat of this Evansville summer, then consider a Rose, which is an entirely new realm for us. We're just getting into this genre, which personally is hard for me to get my mind around — a wine that's somewhere between a red and a white? And one that can be, but isn't always, a bit fizzy? We will continue to investigate, but in the meantime, the 2009 Oliver Winery Creekbend Vineyard Chambourcin Rose is a home run from the start. This mixture of strawberry and rhubarb flavors isn't sweet enough to be a dessert wine, but it's definitely refreshing, even in this midnight heat. Factor in its smooth textures and the soothing qualities that this 12 percent alcohol bottle brings to the table, and you've got an Indiana creation that's worth your time and your money. Winetree's got this. It's about $19 on Oliver's website.
Then there's the 2010 Creekbend Vineyard Catawba. While Greg declared this too sweet, I thought it wasn't bad as far as sweeter wines go. This Winetree purchase was clean and smooth, tasting of peaches and strawberries. It's definitely a dessert wine. 11 percent alcohol. $16 on Oliver's website.