Wine Wednesday: Local Dry Wines

Because I’ve had a huge outcry (or just a few nice people tell me) for posts about what I drink, I’m starting a weekly (I hope) Wine Wednesday feature. In full disclosure, I work for Indiana’s fabulous wineries!  So quite a few posts will likely focus on Indiana wines.  However, I don’t just drink Indiana wine.  So I’ll share my other favorite vino’s too!

The problem starts with which wine to chose.  This is how my office looks right now.  It’s a mess. I have dozens of wine bottles that need put away in my storage but I haven’t had the time to get them stored.  

Then there is this exceptionally large wine barrel that is taking up a bit of floor space.  It is empty.  My Department Head/boss just came in to ask me if it had wine in it!! It’s part of my State Fair exhibit and needs a little TLC.

So now for the wine.  Oliver Winery is Indiana’s largest and oldest winery.  Opened in 1972, the Bloomington-based winery sets the standard for how wine should be made. Bill Oliver and his crew turn out nationally award-winning wines year after year.  

This 2010 Chambourcin is a dry red wine that could fool even the snootiest Cabernet or Zinfandel drinker.  This wine is outstanding! Chambourcin is a red grape that we grow a lot in Indiana.  The vines can withstand the harsh cold winters we have and the fruit quality is fantastic.

From Oliver’s website.

Chambourcin ripens beautifully in the hot Indiana sun, resulting in plump, bright purple clusters. While the growing season of 2010 was full of heartbreak due to the late frost that claimed most of our Catawba, Traminette, Marechal Foch and Valvin Muscat; it proved to be a banner year for Chambourcin. This variety produces buds later in the season and is also located at the high point of the vineyard, helping it to avoid the peril of late frost. What rounded out to be a beautiful, warm and dry season led to a bountiful harvest on September 28th yielding about 14.8 tons of superb fruit! 

Winemaking begins with 36 hours of skin contact to extract the optimal color, flavor and tannic structure. After fermentation in stainless steel tanks, this wine aged in barrels, of which 25% were new French oak. With soft berry flavors and mature tannins, this is arguably our best Chambourcin ever! 

I agree!  This wine would go perfectly with a big Hunk of Meat or a thick bolognese pasta sauce.  But don’t think too much about food pairings.  I’m not above pouring a glass and just drinking it because it’s good!  I don’t want you to get hung up on pairing the “perfect” food with the “perfect” wine.  

 This wine, at $22 a bottle, can be purchased at the winery in Bloomington or their new Wine Tasting  room in downtown Bloomington. 

If you have tried this wine, let me know! Or maybe you have another favorite Oliver Winery wine?  



  1. What a fun feature! 🙂 I’m excited to see more!

  2. Andi Fletcher says

    Oliver Winery is one of my favorite things about living in Indiana. My family lives about 3 miles South of the vineyard (Creekbend,) and I am a huge fan of everything that they produce. Thank you for the wonderful feature – I envy your profession!

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