Category Archives: DIY

Indiana Uplands Wine Trail's Guide to At-Home Wine Tasting

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Whether you prefer to visit our wineries in person to stock up, or instead have bottles shipped directly to your door, home wine tasting is a fun (and safe) way to explore the wide variety along the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started. So grab your corkscrew, and settle in. There are no rules. Explore and have fun with it!


What You Need To Get Started:


  • Wine tasting can be done solo, but since you are opening up several bottles at once, its nice to have at least one other to share the fun with. On your own? Consider investing in a wine preservation system that reseals your bottles and extends the life of the wine.

WINE (of course!)

  • We suggest 3-5 different bottles of wine per tasting for a nice variety and a chance to really compare. You can center your tasting around any number of themes or styles, and stepping outside your comfort zone will help you learn more about your own likes and dislikes.


  • Preferably one glass per person, per wine so you can taste all wines side by side to notice the differences and similarities. A classic, tulip-shaped glass is best here, with enough room to swirl the wine and place your nose in the opening to smell the aromas. No need to go out and invest in tiny tasting glasses.


  • Water for rinsing your glass and your mouth. Especially important if you are short on the glassware, but also nice to rinse your mouth out and keep your palate fresh. A spit bucket is not necessary, but depending on the amount of wines and people, you might not want to finish each taste. At least the first time around!


  • Your tastebuds will get a workout, think of crackers as a way to give your mouth a break between wines- bread will work too. Beyond that, look for small bites that will go well with wine, but not be so intense in flavors as to overwhelm. Think creamy cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, etc...and keep the spicy summer sausage for your next dinner party instead.


  • For writing down your thoughts as you taste, so you can compare later. Come up with a fun rating system.

Tasting Tips:

Taste groups of wines by a theme or category. Options include:

  • Type of grape - grab a few bottles of wine made with the same kind of grapes -for example, Chambourcin, Catawba or Traminette.  You will really begin to notice varietal characteristics (the unique features of a grape) when you taste the same grape made by different wineries or grown in different vineyards.
  • Wine Style - for example, Roses, Reds, Whites, blends, or even fruit wines. This allows you to really see winemaking in action. Use of barrels for age and flavor, different fermentation techniques, and more!
  • Vintage comparison - comparing the same wine (ideally from the same winery) over multiple harvest years, also known as a "vertical flight". This allows you to really see the difference a growing season can make.

Remember to always taste wines from DRY TO SWEET. As sugar gets on your tongue, it will influence the wines you taste afterwards, especially if you try to go back and taste drier wines.

Plan on pouring around 1 to 3 oz of each wine per person, depending on how many wines you have. Remember that an average glass of wine in a restaurant is 5 to 6 oz, so make sure you know how much you want to consume in total (see "spit bucket" from earlier). 

When you are ready to taste, consider the 5 S's of Wine Tasting:

  • See - notice the color of the wine, and how light or dark it looks. Can indicate the type of grape or winemaking techniques.
  • Swirl - spin the wine inside the glass to coat the sides and release aromas
  • Smell - really get your nose in there! What do you notice about the aromas? Fruits, earth characteristics like wood, soil, or stone. Lots of possibilities!
  • Sip - take that first taste and see how it feels on the palate. Heavy or light? Dry or sweet? Flavors that match the aromas?
  • Savor - swallow the wine and look for lingering characteristics. Heat from alcohol, or tannins from dry reds for instance.

Expert suggestions:

  • Once you get the hang of it, you can try things such as:
    • keeping a tasting journal to take notes for future comparison
    • blind tasting and guessing varietals without seeing the label
    • pairing food or cheeses with each of the wines

Favorite Indiana Uplands Wine Tasting Ideas:

  • Traminette - our state's signature varietal
  • Chambourcin - grown by many of our wineries, and used to produce a wide variety of styles. Dry reds, roses, and dessert wines to name a few.
  • Catawba - native, North American varietal that is a favorite of sweet wine drinkers and ripens really well in the Indiana Uplands
  • Blackberry wines - a favorite fruit wine for a non-traditional choice
  • Dessert wines - bring out the dark chocolate and sweet snacks, a fun mix of styles across our wineries. Late harvest, ice wines, ports, and more....

The fun and learning are endless, so ship a few different bottles of your favorite Indiana Uplands wines to your door and get started on your tasting adventure! You’ll be an expert in no time!

Summer Wine Cocktail Recipes - made with wines from the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail

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Summer Wine Cocktail Recipes - made with wines from the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail

Temperatures reaching higher and the sun staying up later can mean only one thing: it must be summertime! The grapes in our in our Indiana Uplands vineyards are flourishing. They count on these long, hot, Indiana days to soak up the sunshine and develop their delicious flavors, ripening eagerly as they await their wine destiny. We hope you're spending your long days enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor, watching the kids splash in the water, and treating yourself to the summer food and drinks you crave year-round.

Of course, part of thoroughly enjoying your summertime is enjoying summertime wines! One of the wonderful things about wine is it's versatility. While sometimes you'd enjoy a zesty, dry red Zinfandel with your freshly-grilled meats and veggies, other times it's the cold glass of Riesling that really hits the spot instead. The hundreds of wines you can find along the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail truly speak to that versatility- there's something for everyone, every occasion, and every meal. You might be surprised to find that sometimes we like to mix things up even further; with a little ice, a splash of creativity, and Indiana Uplands Wine, we can put together quite the summer wine cocktail. Try our recipes or create some of your own this summer to really impress your friends (and yourself)!


Blackberry Mojito 

Made with Blackberry wine from Butler Winery.


Little Rhineland Orange

Made with Winzerwald Winery's 2018 Indy International Gold Medal-Winning wine: Little Rhineland White.

-3 parts Little Rhineland White

-1 part orange juice

-splash of club soda

Pour over ice, garnish with a fresh orange slice.


Watermelon Wine Cooler

Made with Oliver Winery's  Bubblecraft White wine.

-4 parts Bubblecraft White

-2 parts watermelon juice

-1 squeeze lime juice

-dash of simple syrup

Make your own watermelon juice by blending cubed watermelon and straining the juice. Serve this over ice with a mint leaf garnish.


Zingin' Strawberrita 

Made with Strawberry wine from Best Vineyards Winery.

Did you know you can have many of these Indiana Uplands wines shipped straight to your door? Visit these wineries websites (linked in their names above) or give them a call for shipping information. We hope you enjoy mixing up some summer delights for your friends and family! Cheers!

DIY Seasonal Wine Glasses

Nothing makes us happier than having a home full of family and friends, gathered for no good reason other than to be together. With several holidays around the corner, we came up with a colorful, creative way to decorate your favorite wine glasses!

These designs make for an adorable centerpiece whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving, having a Halloween party, entertaining friends, or simply sitting around the table with your family. In other words, they’re good enough for company but not too formal for a casual dinner or get together. Not into centerpieces? Personalize your glasses individually according to your favorite designs or upcoming holidays!

Alright, grab your paintbrushes and lets get colorful!

You’ll Need:

img_7637    img_7638


Start by wiping your wine glasses clean to make sure they’re free of dust and debris (this helps the paint stick as well).

Begin by painting the bowl of your wine glasses so you can paint the stem once it's dry. Allow the first layer to dry 5-8 minutes. Apply base layers until completely covered. This will usually take 3 layers of paint.

Now that your base paint is dry, it's time for details! The sky is the limit on your seasonal designs, so we provided a few examples to spark your creativity!

Complete Set


Here's to a great fall & holiday season!

DIY with the IUWT!

We love to get crafty, especially with leftover wine bottles and corks. The internet is brimming with ideas for repurposing old items, and we've created a list of our favorite wine-inspired DIY projects! (Don't worry: They're practically fool-proof!)

Create a unique picture frame with an empty wine bottle


Make your own herb garden with a cut wine bottle 


Make beautiful tea light lamps with wine glasses


Construct a hot plate out of wine corks