Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vintage Indiana Tasting

On Saturday June 1st I attended a marathon tasting in Indianapolis, IN held outdoors under threatening skies and a tornado watch.  The rain appeared intermittently as scattered drops and had no effect on those who attended.  The scene reminded me a little of Jazz Fest 2013 with the mud from earlier storms, food and music.  Okay, the mud was nothing like Jazz Fest and the food and music can't really compare but it was a large, outside party...
Vintage Indiana blew Jazz fest away for wine selection though!  I left with a much heavier bag of bottles than I thought I would (you'll see specific reviews in the coming weeks).  Plenty of disappointments found their way into my glass as well, despite some pointed questions and judicious selection.  Way too many sweet wines are produced here for my palate but volunteer pourers and my own observation told me that was what a huge percentage of attendees wanted.  C'est la vie...
As is always the case with these events, some wineries show up ready for prime time and some do not. With 7,000+ tasters, I fully understand the unfortunate reality that many of the people behind the tables will have no clue about the wines they are pouring.  The occasional discovery of a winemaker or actual employee made me happy, but again, I am often the exception at these events.
The most inexcusable error made by an unfortunate number of wineries on Saturday was lack of temperature control.  Too many wines, especially whites and sparklers, were poured without a proper chill.  I am not talking about some  finicky "perfect" temperature, I'm talking about warm, 70+ degrees warm.  Not only is that wine unpleasant to taste, it is not being experienced properly and it will not lead to fact, quite the opposite is likely to occur.
Overall, though the event was fantastic and kudos to Indianapolis for being able to hold its liquor!  Despite an eight hour wine tasting (with glasses and bottles available to be purchased for on site consumption), no free food and no need to drive (due to a deal from the J W Mariott which was within shouting distance and full of wine tasters), I only saw one stumbling participant (at least on the grounds, during the event...who knows what happened later...).  In New Orleans, we generate staggering, slurring idiots in only a few hours - lots of them - and we're supposed to be able to out-party anyone.  C'est la vie...
By the way, the lone stumbler was part of a group that looked like "trouble" - all sporting glittery wine-themed customized T-shirts.  I spotted this soon-to-be drunk at check-in, the back of her shirt said "I can out drink all of these bitches." Congratulations.
Look for a quick hit parade of favorite wineries and wines in the next post and plenty of more in-depth reviews in the weeks to come as I enjoy the bottles I bought.

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