The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

January 10, 2012

Have a 'wine' time with this punch

WASHINGTON — I recently had the opportunity to sample two wines and a champagne from a California winery that shall remain nameless since I don’t want to hurt the owners’ feelings; I was not impressed. I’ll admit I drank it, but it certainly didn’t hold a candle to some of the wines produced in our Midwest wineries. To my palate, the white wine was “astringent,” a wine term meaning it was rough with a puckery taste sensation. The red wine was more agreeable to my unrefined palate. I would describe it as “big” — full bodied and flavorful with a high degree of alcohol, color and acidity. After tasting the wines, I didn’t even try the champagne by itself; I used it in a holiday punch my daughter aptly named “Kick in the Face Punch.” More and more wineries have popped up in Indiana in recent years, and many have award-winning wines. Windy Knoll Winery, just off U.S. 50 in Knox County, has a silver-medal winner in its Windy Knoll Red, described as a smooth, sweet wine with a rich berry flavor and clean aftertaste. One of my daughter’s favorite wines is their Royal Raspberry. Most Windy Knoll wines fall into the $10-$20 range. Although I’m not really a big wine drinker, one of my favorites is Oliver Winery’s Camelot Mead, a smooth, soft honey wine classified as semi-sweet. My mom likes the Oliver Soft Red, a rich, fruity, semi-sweet wine with a smooth finish. Their Soft Red, Soft White and Soft Rosé are inexpensive and found in many grocery stores. (Their entire semi-sweet list ranges from $7.50 to $14.50!) I tend to like rosés, and Oliver vintners make theirs with a Catawba grape — my favorite, so I really need to try their Soft Rosé sometime. Oliver Winery is on SR 37 just north of Bloomington, so it’s an easy trip.  Catawba grapes were among the first to be planted in the Midwest, and at St. James Winery in St. James, Mo., they make a Pink Catawba wine that’s my absolute favorite. They describe it as having a “delightful balance of sweetness and tartness.” It’s great to sip and enjoy with cheeses. Priced well under $10 a bottle, it still won 10 awards in 2011! Closer to home, in the other direction on U.S. 50, Carousel Winery in Bedford boasts 12 gold medals, five double-golds, 20 silver awards, nine bronze medals, one best of class, and one best of show. I can’t say I’ve tried any of their wines, but after noting all the awards on their website, I think I’ll have to make a trip over there — their cherry wine sounds fabulous. Their prices range from $11 to almost $18. French Lick Winery was a quaint little shop when my daughter and I stopped there in 2004, but is now located in the former Kimball Piano Factory in West Baden with a sprawling gift shop and tasting room.  According to their website, prices run roughly $10 to $20 a bottle, and they list five gold award winners, six silvers and a bronze. Though they haven’t won awards (yet), I really want to try their Rhubarb and Rhuby Razz wines. French Lick also has a rockin’ Catawba Wine for $9.81 a bottle.  I’m not sure “rockin’” is an official wine term, so I’ll share a few official ones from www.indianawines.org!  “Smooth” is one I mentioned previously. It means the wine has a silky texture that doesn’t leave a gritty sensation.  “Aftertaste,” which I also used, refers to the length of time you can smell and feel the wine in the mouth after it’s swallowed. It’s generally described as short, lingering or long. “Body” describes how wine feels in the mouth. It may be light-bodied, or thin; heavy-bodied, or thick. “Bouquet” encompasses the smells found in a wine. Also referred to as the “nose.” Not to be confused with “aroma,” which is the perfume of fresh fruit that diminishes with fermentation and is replaced by the bouquet as it ages. There’s much more terminology and many more wineries to discuss, which I think I’ll do in future columns. 4In the meantime, feel free to try my newly-named punch recipe at your next special occasion!

Text Only
Columns
  • The past is prologue When I left Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, I watched a lot Barr-Reeve leave depressed and disappointed. The Vikings had lost a heartbreaking Class A final and I think a lot of people were wondering how and why. I'm not sure if either question n

    April 1, 2014

  • A Viking team to remember All roads lead to where you stand. And today, the Barr-Reeve basketball team will find themselves at center court of the Class A State Finals. Whether they win or lose is now irrelevant, as their legacy has already been written. This team will be rem

    March 29, 2014

  • Those hard working worms When the word "worm" comes up in conversations, there is often a wide range of ideas as to what people think about worms. Someone may think of a worm as a creepy, crawly thing that wiggles around in the earth, that young boys used to tease young gir

    March 25, 2014

  • Long live the Big East It first started when I was a student at Indiana University in Bloomington and I didn't quite understand. Most of my friends and people I would meet while watching college basketball wondering how on earth I couldn't be a crazed Hoosier fan, despite

    March 22, 2014

  • Twigs give Leatherwood its name One of our lesser known Indiana shrubs also has a rather unusual name. This is the leatherwood. A usually short shrub, it only grows to a height of around six feet, leatherwood receives its name from the soft leather-like twigs that extend out from t

    March 18, 2014

  • 'Old-school' sharing found in different ways The concept of sharing has taken on a new meaning since I was supposed to have learned it many years ago. What we all know, or supposed to be taught, was to let others take part in your good fortunes. When we all learned about sharing, it was over ou

    March 15, 2014

  • How far was Hooterville from Walton's Mountain? I have always said that television is the one item that binds my generation together (the generation that still watches televison, talks on phone and asks people for directions instead of using one device for all three). And with that in mind, it ma

    March 8, 2014

  • Time to seed the state tournament

    The Indiana boys basketball state tournament got underway Tuesday night as the most exciting month in high school began. As the old saying goes, "In 49 other states, it's just basketball, but this is Indiana." With that in mind, the IHSAA needs to to take a long look at seeding the state tournament.

    March 7, 2014

  • The pen is mightier than the sibling GD (Grand Dad) came to town for a visit recently and before he left I heard him ask Ava if she would to write something for his newspaper back home. She said she would but I could tell by the look on her face that she didn't really want to. She was p

    March 6, 2014

  • Longing for the freshness of spring We won't forget the new words "Polar Vortex," for quite some time. Most of January and February we lived in near-hibernation. When we weren't shoveling our walks, de-icing our windshields or fixing our pipes, we were grocery shopping and preparing fo

    March 1, 2014