The Wine Scene: FALL - by Jill A. Ditmire
posted: Oct. 08, 2020
The calendar says fall but my taste buds still want summer. So I went searching my dusty dog hair laden wine cellar aka unfinished basement in search of something crisp and refreshing that could be served cold, not chilled, so I still get full bodied flavor.
An Italian white blend to the rescue. Vitiano Blanco is a blend of vermentino and verdicchio, two widely planted Italian white wine grapes that can stand alone but when combined bring out the best in both. The acids and sugars marry to create a wine that entices in a very natural, "summer" like way with differing but compatible aromas and flavors of herbs, green olives and orange and lime zest. Crisp dry and delish with grilled fish and seafood, or chilled oysters, sushi or just about any vegan dish. Oh and it also pairs well with turkey in case you're planning ahead for Thanksgiving.
The California wild fires continue to devastate the lives and property of so many people. Vineyards there also taking a hit. My wine growing friends have had to hurry harvest to try to save grapes. Others fear barreled juice will pick up smoke taint and not be worth finishing fermentation. Wine grapes aren't like corn or soybeans. You get ONE shot a year. No replanting. And when the vines go, it takes years for new ones to dig down far enough in the soil to bring up the needed qualities to grow tasty grapes.
Meanwhile in Indiana, harvest is progressing nicely. I had a terrific "email chat" with Meredith Easley about harvest for their grapes which they grow in Indiana and on the west coast. Here's what she has to say about Vintage 2020.
"We are just getting started with our grape harvest that will run through the end of October. So far we have pressed 22 tons of Cayuga White and are expecting 45-50 tons of Traminette this week. We are having a good harvest and the grapes are in excellent condition, with a nice sugar/acid balance. The only issue is that yields are down this year because of a late spring freeze. Yields on some varieties, such as Cayuga White, are down as much as 50% compared to last year."
Vintage Indiana moved its annual festival from the summer to the fall a few months ago. A press release last week let us know its now NOT happening in 2020. If you bought a ticket you can get a refund. Instead they're doing what most organizations are doing - going virtual. Here is the info:
In place of the on-site festival, a virtual event - The Sip of Vintage Indiana
- will be held on Saturday, October 17. Wine enthusiasts are invited to visit one of the 31 wineries that had been scheduled to be on-site at the festival; snap a photo, check in or take a picture with a Vintage Indiana souvenir, and post the photo to Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #vintageindiana and #indianawine. All entrants will receive a Vintage Indiana prize pack, while 10 grand prize winners will be selected at random to receive swag bags filled with Vintage Indiana-branded items and t-shirts plus 2021 VIP festival experiences.
Jill A. Ditmire is an Omnimedia wine specialist, AWS certified wine judge, freelance broadcast journalist and 20+ year home owner in the Warfleigh neighborhood of Broad Ripple. Send your questions and comments to Jill at email@example.com
Also on INSTAGRAM @jaditmire