It is also kind of a new concept to the state of Indiana. Seems that until Professor William Oliver got legislation passed in 1971 making small wineries legal in that state, the only wine making to be found was in the basements and garages of die hard wine hobbyists. Professor Oliver wanted to take his wine hobby to the next level....and he sure did. Today Oliver Winery is one of the largest wineries in the Eastern US and definitely the most prominent in Indiana. Perfectly logical to include them in the Wines Across America theme then, wasn't it?
The Oliver wine featured at this tasting was the Oliver Moscato (12%, NV, Bloomington, IN) I had to admit, I was a little suspicious, since I am not normally a sweet wine drinker. And I had heard so much about Moscatos recently (one friend loves them...another um, not so much) that my antennae were up. First sniff was of oranges and citrus-y things (as if you were walking through and orange grove, not just sniffing an orange alone). In the mouth it was fizzy and peachy. And yet, it had a lot more depth than I originally thought it would (so did another gal at my table). There was a teeny bit of tang to it as well (the wine's label says it's got apricot, and I think that just about hits it right) that gave it that depth. Served very cold..it was quite yummy. It didn't hurt that it was paired with a dazzling array of desserts: cream puffs and brownies and cheesecake bites and cream horns!! It was actually rather refreshing after sampling Chardonnays and Cabernet and Syrahs to sip the Moscato.
I actually found another great pairing for this wine a week later, when my sister in law (Queen of the Gewurztraminers and Rieslings) and I polished off a bottle at Thanksgiving dinner. (My husband seemed shocked that 2 women could drink an entire bottle of wine in one day. OK, he's not a wine drinker, but he still has a LOT to learn about Winey Moms, doesn't he?) It worked perfectly with the turkey and the stuffing and sweet potatoes and cranberries.
So while I probably would never have picked this wine up off a shelf and brought it home (despite the really cool polka dots all over it), I have to say I'm glad I got to taste it. Knowing me, it might not show up in my house until next summer's patio picnics....but for anyone who likes a semi-sweet white, I would invite it over right now. Not bad for a state where wineries were illegal until about 40 years ago, huh?
Oh and a quick note for all of you in Northeast Ohio - the tasting was held at Creekside Restaurant and Bar in Brecksville, Ohio. They really know their wines there! Great list, great advice!!
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