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.