Wine Wednesday: Kokomo Wines 2012 Merlot

Sing with me…

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego,
baby why don’t we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo,
we’ll get there fast
and then we’ll take it slow
That’s where we wanna go,
way down in Kokomo.

I’m not sure the Beach Boys actually knew there was a town named Kokomo, in the middle of Indiana, when they wrote this song.  But the song makes me smile, as Kokomo is somewhat in the vicinity of where I live.  And Kokomo is known for a few things.  An old stuffed huge cow, the home of the first automobile, a workforce that is largely factory employed, many farm fields and the birthplace of a really great wine maker.

Erik Miller is one of the owners of Kokomo Wines, located in Healdsburg, California.  Erik grew up in Kokomo, Indiana and graduated from Purdue University.  He took his Midwestern values and headed west, for wine country.  The Farmer and I had the pleasure of visiting the winery a few years ago and it was a super great time.  You walk in to a very laid back atmosphere, surrounded by wine barrels and a wooden tasting bar.  Erik gave The Farmer and I a great “back room” barrel tasting.  Side disclosure, I know Erik and he is one of the greatest guys that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing in the wine industry.  I’m not sure everyone gets a barrel tasting like we did, but I guarantee everyone gets fantastic service at the bar.

It was at Kokomo Wines that my husband went from drinking super sweet wines to loving big, bold Zinfandel.  He still loves some great Indiana cherry wine, but he now has a taste for dry wines too!

Erik doesn’t make a bad wine.  I’ve enjoyed many of his offerings, one of my favorites being their Rose’.  Anything you buy is great!

This week, I opened the cork on his 2012 Merlot.  Wow!!  To say it’s good seems like an understatement.  The wine was awarded a silver medal in the recent Indy International Wine Competition.  One sip and you’ll think it deserves a gold medal!  You’ll taste and smell lots of berry, tobacco, currant and earthy notes.  While earthy may sound bad, it’s actually a good thing for a Merlot!  While I drank this wine one its own, sitting at night after the kids had gone to bed, while updating this blog, I am sure you could pair it with a great steak.  I wouldn’t be afraid to pair it with a bowl of comforting beef and noodles!

This wine isn’t available for sale yet, or at least I dont’ think it is.  In searching Kokomo Wines website, I don’t see if listed.  However, when it is, buy a bottle or two or twelve.  Drink a few now and save a few for down the road.

Kokomo Wines is distributed in various parts of the country.  I can find them in a few wine shops in Indiana.  But you may want to call and see if it is available in your area.  Or if they can ship to you.  Best bet, take a trip to California and pay Erik a visit!  You’ll love the experience.


Wine Wednesday: Holman Ranch Rose’

I love Rose’ wine.  I’ve written many wine blogs on my reviews of Rose’.  Everything from sparkling, sweet, Indiana’s own Chambourcin Rose’ to some fine French styles.  I drink Rose’ year-round and am not afraid to open a bottle just because.  It will always be my favorite style of wine!

California’s Holman Ranch recently sent me a bottle of their 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir.  This wine is the perfect shade of pink and is delightfully crisp upon first sip.  Even when I popped the cork on the bottle, I was blown away by the floral nose that wafted from the bottle.  This wine smelled great!  I noted watermelon, wildflowers, and strawberry in both the nose and the glass.  I loved this wine and would encourage you to find a bottle!

But with that being said, I just visited their website,, and it says the wine is SOLD OUT??  Wow.  I just got my sample a month or so ago.  I hate to write a review of a wine that isn’t available anymore.  However, this is the second wine I’ve had from Holman Ranch, the first being a Sauvignon Blanc that I purchased, and I enjoy their wine.  So while you may not find the Rose’ anymore, I would encourage you to consider their other wines as well.  I only wish I had another bottle of the Rose’ stored away for a cold day this winter.

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From Holman Ranch’s press release:

Holman Ranch 2013 Blushing Bride truly does embrace the spirit of warm weather wine, all while staying true to the tenets of this classic bistro tradition. A bright nose with a subtle hint of wildflowers jumps out of the glass and its lengthy palate and juicy overtones finish off this all estate selection. Did we mention Absolutely Stunning? Personality, style, beauty and values. Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

  • No. of Acres: 4.73
  • Year Planted: 2007
  • No. of Cases: 104
  • Price: $20

Located at the north-eastern tip of the Carmel Valley Appellation, the family-owned Holman Ranch resides approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast. Immersed in history and romance, the ranch has not only proven to be an excellent growing location for our vineyards but also for the Tuscan varietal olive trees which have flourished under the temperate climate.

  • Our estate-grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 21 acres of undulating terrain.
  • The wines produced are unfined and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to bottle.
  • The climate and terroir of the appellation has played a critical part in the success of our wines. The warmth of our inland valley coupled with the cooling marine layer has established itself as an ideal microclimate for the production of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Our Burgundy Clones have thrived from the perfect blend of ideal climate, southern exposure and thin rocky soils.

Holman Ranch provided me this bottle of wine.  The opinions are solely my own and were written completely sober!


Family Farming

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It’s October.  Around here, that means The Farmer is knee-deep in harvest and I’m running 2 girls to basketball, school activities and all of their other activities, dragging the Little Man along for the ride and continuing to work my own full-time job while doing a 3 hour commute a day.  To put it simply, […]

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My Indiana State Fair


On this final day of the Indiana State Fair, I’m filled with memories of previous fairs and fun.  This is my 21st fair in a row where I have worked in some capacity.  I started out as an intern in 1994 with the Indiana Soybean Growers.  I spent two summers as an intern for soybean […]

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Saying Goodbye…


This has been a week that has had me in tears.  A week I hope I don’t ever have to relive.  A week where I said goodbye to my first childhood best friend.  I laughed as I remembered some of our funnier stunts.  And wept when I realized that I won’t be laughing with her […]

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What’s your favorite thing to eat at the Indiana State Fair?


I believe I have attended the Indiana State Fair for at least 3/4ths of my life.  For 10 years, it was as a 4Her, anxious to see how my projects did against other champion projects from around the state. For the past 20 years, I have been involved in the State Fair, either as an […]

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See me…I’m Vlogging!!


I really don’t know if “vlogging” is a word accepted by Webster’s Dictionary. If it isn’t, I’m adding it to my vocabulary. Because I’m video blogging! Yes, I’m learning to accept I have hair and hips for radio. But my voice has always been my strong point. My first career was behind a microphone as […]

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A Failed Calculus Exam but a Kiss from a Boy

Rusty and I

It is the Friday of finals week at Purdue. The campus is filled with caffeine-driven, sleep-deprived, panicked and anxious students. It is a week I don’t miss, although I do have found memories of one finals week. Purdue finals week 1993 holds a special place in my memory. And it wasn’t for the stellar grades […]

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Does a Number Mean I’m Over the Hill?

I remember vividly the day my Mom turned 40. My sister and I decorated her house with all things black. My sister told her that she was halfway to dead. My Mom spent most of the day upset!! We laugh about her reaction now. And all of a sudden I understand why she dreaded that […]

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Despite the Headaches, We still Farm

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Who wants to work a job where you are under constant criticism, certain group of people want to see you fail and will go to many lengths to wreak havoc on your job, weather will take months of hard work and it in an instant and you aren’t guaranteed an income after all the hard […]

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