The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Columns

April 26, 2014

Howard Hewitt: Wine fairs a great way to explore the state's industry

The only way to appreciate wine is to taste wine, different wines, and push yourself to try new things.

There’s no better way to taste more wines than the exploding popularity of wine festivals. There are many events in Indiana and surrounding states. The next large one will be when Indianapolis hosts Vintage Indiana June 7.

Vintage Indiana is the oldest of these mega-wine gatherings in its 14th year. Vintage is sponsored by the Indiana Wine and Grape Council. The noon to 6 p.m. event is held in Indianapolis’ Military Park downtown. Admission is $25 in advance and $35 at the gate. The first 10,000 people receive a souvenir glass. A VIP program costs $50 in advance and gets you an hour of less-hectic tasting at 11 a.m.

Vintage includes entertainment, craft and food vendors along with a Wine & Food pavilion featuring presentations from chefs and foodies.

Wine festivals present a wide range of wines from many of Indiana’s 80-some wineries. You can easily taste more than 100 wines. Though a little advice for big wine events is learn to spit. Some people are uncomfortable sloshing wine around in their mouth then expelling it into a dump container at each winery’s booth. The trick is to learn to move the wine around from the front of your mouth (or palate) to the back. If you’re a little uncomfortable remember this is a world-wide practice commonly seen in Europe and even Napa Valley tasting rooms. You can practice it at home.

There are other wine festivals. Vevay, along the Ohio river, hosts the Swiss Wine Festival August 21- 24. Vevay claims to be the location of Indiana’s first winery. At this time they have 12 wineries committed to pouring for the event.

Then there are other festivals and art shows which may feature a winery or two.

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