By Sue Shelden   |   Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm   |   Leave a Comment »

Indiana vineyards have come up with some wonderful limited edition offerings just in time for the holidays. Buy them, give them as gifts, serve them at all your get-togethers or just enjoy a glass or two while you stay warm by the fireplace!

Mallow Run Winery (mallowrun.com,) in Bargersville, is offering a “Port Style” Blackberry Winter wine and a Winter White wine, which is a blend of Riesling and Cayuga grapes, creating an “off-dry” result. Their semi-sweet Reindeer Red is a blend of Foch Chancellor and Leon Millot grapes. This can be served chilled, at room temperature or mulled.

French Lick Winery (frenchlickwinery.com) is has Cranberry Wine, described as “sweet, bright & crisp” and, surprise, surprise, tastes like cranberries! Blend it with Champagne or any sparkling beverage to make a spritzer.

Easley Winery (easleywinery.com,) in Indianapolis’ Cole-Noble District is also offering a cranberry wine–Cranberry Jubilee. Look also, for their Indiana Champagne, which occasionally shows up on NBC’s Parks & Recreation!

Bedford’s Carousel Winery (carousel winery.com) has two seasonal wines: Winter Spice Wine which comes in a Christmas Tree bottle and Winter Jewel Wine in a red tree bottle.

Country Heritage Winery (countryheritagewinery.com,) near Fort Wayne, has their 2014 Jolly Juice–just the ticket for keeping spirits bright.

Support our Indiana Wineries and spread the love!

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By Allen Dale "Ole" Olson   |   Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 5:12 pm   |   Leave a Comment »

We had barely got through the door of the Firestone Vineyard Winery than hostess Monica Evans invited us to the “gallery” to look at photos of the titans of early 20th century American industry. Many of them, of course, included Harvey Firestone, the tire innovator, himself one of those titans. Looking at pictures of and letters from Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, along with former Presidents Reagan and Bush-the-Elder, let us know we were in a special place. As a long-time Defense Department careerist, I was pleased to see a signed photo of Lieutenant-Colonel Dwight Eisenhower among the group.

As we sipped on a barrel select Sauvignon Blanc, “Harvey loved the outdoors,” Monica told us, but it was his son Leonard who bought the ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley and his grandson Brooks who really launched the vineyards. Firestone Vineyards were a multi-generational endeavor and still are part of the movers and shakers of the financial world because of William Foley, Executive Chairman of Fidelity Financial Investments. Foley bought Firestone in 2007 to include in his stable of wineries throughout California, Washington State, and New Zealand.

As with every other winery we visited, Firestone had completed its 2014 harvest almost three weeks earlier than usual. The drought is worrisome but not yet a problem to the Firestone Vineyards. We sipped and talked our way through young Rieslings and Merlots before getting into the Syrahs. The Santa Ynez Valley is almost a clone of of the Rhone Valley, so the Rhone varietals of this Santa Barbara County winery greatly resemble those of their French counterparts.

Even so, at Firestone they try for Bordeaux blends by matching the kind of oak for use in aging with the specific varietal most suited for it. The Cabernets in the Chairman Series provide evidence of their success by the balanced tannin-acid structure and lengthy finish. I left the winery grateful that the Firestones had added wine to their interests.

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By Sue Shelden   |   Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm   |   Leave a Comment »

It’s that time of year, again–time for entertaining family and friends and giving thanks for all our blessings. Entertaining should be fun, simple and relaxing. Here are some recipes to kick-start the holidays:

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
In a punchbowl, dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar in 1 cup of pomegranate juice and stir vigorously. Add two bottles of chilled sparkling wine and 3/4 cup Riesling. Add thin slices of 2 oranges, sliced crosswise, 1 cup diced fresh pineapple, and 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds. Serve over ice.

Late-Harvest Wine and Campari Cocktails
In a large pitcher, mix 4 cups sweet, late-harvest white wine, 2 1/4 cups fresh orange juice and 1 cup Campari. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve in tall glasses with ice. Garnish with orange slices.

Oliver Winery Ice Wine Ginger Pop
Stir together 3 oz. Vidal Blanc Ice Wine with 1/2 teaspoon ginger syrup and pour over ice. Top with club soda and garnish with frozen grapes.

Mulled Red Wine
Combine two 750-milliliter bottles of fruity red wine, such as Zinfandel or Merlot with one carton Aspen Mulling Spice (available in most grocery stores) in a large saucepan. Cover saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve warm, in glasses or mugs, and garnish with an orange slice.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving, everyone!

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