Catawba Fever

11 07 2010

Last week, Big Daddy and I decided to head to a winery downtown on Saturday for some tastings and snacks. When we woke up, B said, if we’re going to go to a winery, why not go to the best, aka Oliver Winery? It’s just over an hour south of us in Bloomington, aka where Big Daddy went to college at IU. He has been there tons of times, but we were only there together once for our friend’s pug’s birthday “paw-ty:”

Apollo checking out some of his presents! Oliver Winery allows dogs on premises but just not inside their tasting room.

Anyway, we had a great time there last time but couldn’t taste since we had the pugs with us. So we stalked some spots at the tasting bar and after about two minutes got a spot!

We pretty much know what wines we like by now, so we knew we’d like everything we tasted. It’s more a matter of how amazing that type of wine is from Oliver! Here’s what we tasted (we went dry to sweet, of course):

  • Pinot Grigio 2009 – this got a check plus. It had a cool crispness, and wasn’t so dry that you couldn’t enjoy the fruity flavor.
  • Sauvignon Blanc 2008 – I liked the pinot more because of it’s pear-y fruitiness was more pronounced. It was a little dryer and B really liked it- thought it would go great wish a fish dish.
  • Shiraz 2008 – Big Daddy gave it like seven check pluses. Shiraz is his favorite and the Oliver version is made to go great with summer grill foods, with a slight spiciness. I enjoyed it’s drinkabilty and spicy notes, but I’m not a huge fan of reds, so this was his baby. We purchased this wine to take home, $11.00.
  • Beanblossom Blush 2009 – Check plus again! This is Oliver’s white zinfandel. It has a light citrus-y and berry flavor and is very smooth. It would go well with many, many dishes and is a perfect summer wine. We purchased this wine to take home as well, $9.50.
  • Beanblossom Hard Cider – I hadn’t had hard cider before. I thought it would be gross but it was great! It tasted like an apple wine… very similar to apple juice but less sweet and with that crisp, refreshing finish.
  • Creekbend Catawba 2009 – Creekbend is one of Oliver’s brands, and are made with Oliver’s own grapes instead of ones from other growers. I found that most of the Creekbends were more expensive, but also were VERY well-flavored. This catawba was our joint favorite. It had a strawberry and peach flavor – our tasting expert also said it had rhubarb notes but we have never had rhubarb so we can’t be sure! It was so drinkable and a beautiful pink color… perfect blend of fruity, dry, and sweet. We purchased this to drink outside after tasting, $12.00.

We didn’t taste any more but we have been known to enjoy the soft white, soft rose, and soft red frequently. We purchase them at our local Kroger, Marsh, or Meijer supermarket. Many of the Oliver wines can only be found at the winery, and the Creekbend brand is exclusively sold out of the winery. Some of the more common ones can be purchased at stores in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Virginia, and many can be shipped. Visit this part of their website to find out about where you can purchase or how you can get them shipped.

Here we are trying the Catawba! An unexpected new favorite!

Like I said, we ended up buying a bottle.

We polished that off quickly!

B likey!

Eek… unhand that bottle KJ!

I also noticed something AWESOME at Oliver… they had LIMONATA!! My favorite drink while I lived in Sicily was SanPellegrino Limonata. We’d mix it with Wodka (I’m not kidding… they sold Wyborowa Wodka in Sicily) and have a great pre-game before going out.

Above picture is from Sicily. It may be different packaging, but it’s the same drink! This is what I got yesterday:

Refreshing and Delicious! Apparently you can find it at Italian specialty stores. It’s like a lemonade soda. AMAZING.

We head over to campus after our winery visit to see B’s brother J. We took him out to dinner where we had some LOVELY stromboli and I discovered that I’m obsessed with roasted garlic. My stromboli had goat cheese, bacon, red onion, and basil. We were all stuffed and happy when the meal was finished! J is leaving next month for a year-long study abroad in Spain, so we are trying to see him as much as possible this summer.

After dinner, B and I drove around campus. I love the fraternity and sorority houses at IU. Where I went to school, they were tiny (11 people) university-provided houses. At IU, they’re mansions. It’s insane! My sorority isn’t at IU anymore but we drove by some cool ones…

This is B’s fraternity’s house (Beta Theta Pi) before they got kicked off campus his freshman year.

It was right next to the Geology building, and they used to “poop dollar” students who walked by. AKA put poop on a dollar and lay it poo-side down on the sidewalk. Fraternity boys… so hot right now. Don’t even ask about poop cupping. This house was sold to the University when they got kicked off.

Beta came back to campus B’s senior year. This is their new house:

Still going…

This is approximately 75 times the size of our current house. Nice.

I also saw the house for my sister Rosh’s sorority! She doesn’t go to IU (I tried!) but her house is also a huge one like this.

After a nostalgic drive-around, we hit the road back home. And I saw something completely inappropriate and hilarious:

I could not believe this. A HOT PINK, OLD ENGLISH, back-window sticker that says “M.I.L.F.” I checked her out. She was, in fact, not.

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7 responses

11 07 2010
Cindy G.

We missed you at meetup yesterday, but it looks like you had a great time at Oliver! Mike and I have been talking about making a trip to Oliver without the pugs too 🙂 It is just so pretty down there.

Can’t believe anyone would have the nerve to put MILF on their car!!!

11 07 2010
Kelly

HAHAHA! I love that the person who IS NOT a MILF puts the sticker on their van while the actual MILF’s cars are unmarked. 😉

And a girl that grew up on my street and is friends with my little sister lives at the DZ house and its goooorg!!! It is (or at least was when I was in college) one of the most prestigious and hardest soror’s to get into. ❤

11 07 2010
Em

So fun!! I love wine…I just love it. After a visit to a winery I’m not sure I’d be able to do all of those activities (dinner, campus visit…ambitious!). Ps, I ADORE your hair color. Love the super-blond 🙂

11 07 2010
LauraLou

Funnn weekend!! The sorority/fraternity houses on my college campus were HUGE (and gorgeous!) like that! Too bad I dropped after like 3 weeks. Oh well, they’re still fun to look at!

11 07 2010
Maria

As an IU alum, I love Oliver Winery. We had their soft red at our wedding, and it was gone before the cocktail hour was over. Soooo good.

12 07 2010
Hannah

Cidre/Cider is one of my all time favorite alcoholic drinks. Its all we drank when I studied in Normandie and it was a crowd favorite in Tanzania. I am often really surprised that cider is so popular in other parts of the world but people don’t know about it here. Either way, its delic.

Our campus has HUGE sorority/frat houses like those too. I couldn’t imagine living in a house with THAT MANY GIRLS. I just shudder.

I’m so glad that you had such a wonderful weekend!!

12 07 2010
Laura, your freakin' bestie!

And on a minivan?! Bahhahahahha!

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