Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winey Tasting Notes: Oliver Moscato - From Indiana? Yup!

I recently attended a wine tasting that featured wines from across the United States. Let's see, there were wines from California, Washington, Oregon and Indiana. That's right, I said Indiana. Imagine my surprise to find out that there is a winery just north of Bloomington. Up until now, Indiana had simply been the state next to Ohio, the last state I hit on my journey to college during my collegiate years (NJ-Illinois....we always knew we were getting close when Indiana cornfields surrounded both sides of I-80).  But wine? Nope, this was a new Indiana concept to me.

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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  1. I must post a comment as I love Oliver wines! I'm a sweet wine drinker and I think Oliver has the best. I just tried the Muscato this year at Christmas and it is now one of my favorites. I just wanted to add that Oliver has a lovely winery in Bloomington that is open year round. We make the trek from Chicagoland (a couple of us from Evanston, lovin the purple on your blog!) every summer for a girls weekend. Great tastings, great atmosphere, and a great discount on their wine if you buy cases. But the best part is you don't have to buy a case of one wine, you make up your own cases.

  2. Well, Evanston wine lovers - did you happen to notice on my profile that I am a Wildcat myself!? The purple is no accident:) Agreed - this was one of the nicest sweet wines I have had - and this from a Winey Mom who is suspicious of sweet wines...I will def. be buying more and am hoping to visit Oliver - it's not that far from us on Ohio...Great tip for a winey day out - love the girls' weekend idea!! Cheers!!


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