Category Archives: pairings

A Perfect Valentine's Weekend, Crafted in Indiana: Wine & Chocolate

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The worlds of Indiana Wine and Indiana Chocolate are coming together this February along the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail! Wine enthusiasts traveling the trail and visiting the nine IUWT wineries will find their inner Chocolate Lovers as they enjoy complimentary chocolate pairings along with their wine tastings. The best part is, Chocolate Lover's Weekend this year has expanded to two delicious weekends! February 9-10 and February 16-17 will make up the 2019 Chocolate Lover's Weekends. Each winery will highlight a local chocolatier and treat guests to Indiana's finest wines and chocolates. All you have to do is travel the trail to enjoy! Bring your Valentine!

Here's just a taste of what you can enjoy along the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail over Chocolate Lover's Weekends:

Spirit-infused Truffles from Chocolate for the Spirit. This Shelbyville chocolatier, Julie Bolejack, truly found her passion in creating unique, award-winning chocolates. Since 2009, this determined chocolatier has been sourcing top-notch ingredients and challenging what you thought you knew about chocolate. Shop their wide selection online and check out the "Forever Bar," made from the World's Rarest Chocolate. Visit French Lick Winery during Chocolate Lover's Weekends to taste one-of-a-kind truffles, infused with spirits from Spirits of French Lick!

Custom Chocolate Turtles from Schimpff's Confectionery. One of the oldest family-owned candy businesses in the United States is in Jeffersonville, Indiana. A family who has been making candy since the 1850's sure knows their way around chocolates! The Schimpff family opened their current downtown Jeffersonville shop in 1891 which is home to sweets and something for everyone. The store highlights the family's long history and makes everyone a kid again. For Chocolate Lover's Weekends, Schimpff's will be preparing turtle-shaped chocolate turtles in three flavors: white, dark, and milk chocolate. You can taste these turtles alongside your hand-crafted wines at Turtle Run Winery! While you're visiting the southern part of the trail, you can taste more Schimpff's goodies in the tasting loft at Huber's Winery. Ask the staff at Huber's for some suggestions for maximizing your wine & chocolate pairing experience.

Wine, truffle, wine truffle from Bloomington Chocolate Company. Bloomington, Indiana chocolatier and chef Linda Armes has been "truffling" since 2011, exploring how to bring new flavor to the classic treat. She has succeeded in making balsamic truffles, coffee truffles, and even an Indiana Upland AVA Wine Truffle Collection! Formerly known as "Peacetree Wine Truffles," this Southern Indiana staple is bringing their gorgeous, gourmet chocolates to both Oliver Winery and Brown County Winery to share with Chocolate Lovers!

A perfect way to spend Valentine's Weekend with your sweetie. Indulge in the wines of the Indiana Uplands along with a special treat: complimentary chocolate pairings along the way! Chocolate Lover's Weekends are February 9-10 AND 16-17 along the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail. All nine of the IUWT wineries will have chocolate pairings during Chocolate Lover's Weekends.

Bring along your IUWT passport! 2018 15th Anniversary Passports can be completed and redeemed through Chocolate Lover's Weekends only. You can also pick up a new 2019 passport while you travel and find out more about our exciting year of events. We can't wait to see you!

To see a full list of artisan chocolatiers, please visit our website here.

To follow along with our events on Facebook, click here!

How To: Pair Wine & Chocolate & Why They Make Such A Great Couple

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Chocolate and wine are a classic coupling- one you can always depend on and look forward to enjoying. Both complex and exceptional on their own, wine and chocolate are entirely lovely together. Thank goodness someone had the idea to make this match! Have you ever wondered, though, what makes them such a great couple? Here are some tips for pairing wine and chocolate and a few reasons why they work so well together:

    1. Look for common ground. Whether that’s in texture, flavor, or ingredients, it’s a good place to start. Rich, creamy chocolates will pair nicely with deep, luxurious wines. The smooth, full-bodied texture of French Lick Winery’s Chambourcin would be divine alongside a velvety, dark chocolate truffle. A raspberry dark chocolate ganache is delightful with Best Winery & Vineyards’ Red Raspberry wine.
    1. Sip, bite, sip. For the best experience, we recommend this method. Take a sip of your wine and enjoy it. Then, take a bite of the chocolate and before it’s all gone, take another sip of your wine. Notice how the lingering flavors of the chocolate change the taste of the wine! Try it. You can thank us later.
    1. Opposites attract. It’s true! While finding similarities in your wine and chocolate are a good place to begin (see tip #1), don’t be afraid to take risks. Sometimes the nutty, salty, chocolate turtle just needs a sip of a smoky, buttery Chardonnay. Or, if you’re more of a sweet wine fan, you might love the fruity, refreshing nature of Vignoles alongside your chocolate turtle. You can test out both of these ideas at Turtle Run Winery, of course!
    1. Think inside the glass! Wine and chocolate pairing can go much further than just having a piece of chocolate with your wine. Have you ever heard a wine described as “chocolatey?” Sometimes, wines are actually infused with chocolate. More frequently, however, a winemaker has found the perfect blend of grapes, oak, and time to create a sophisticated wine which might be so rich and bold that it reminds you of chocolate. Take Huber Winery’s Ruby Port, for example- while this would be an exceptional wine to pair with a refined chocolate, it makes a sweet-tooth satisfying dessert all on its own.
    1. Quality matters. While it’s perfectly fine to snack on your favorite old-school candy bar while you drink your favorite wine and watch The Voice, that’s not what we’re talking about here. If you’re looking for a wine and chocolate pairing to “wow” your taste buds and your friends, seek out high-quality products from sources you know and trust. Surely, your town has local chocolatiers or bakeries making fresh treats daily! Take Schimff’s Confectionery in Jeffersonville, IN, for example: this family-owned candy business has been making delicious goodies since 1891! You can find Schimpff’s items at both Huber’s and Turtle Run winery during Chocolate Lover’s Weekend this year.
  1. If you like it, it’s a good pairing. This is the last tip and likely the most important of all. We are sharing some good ideas and knowledge behind pairing wine and chocolate, but the truth is: there are no rules. If you taste a wine and chocolate pairing that you adore, it’s a good pairing! Trust your preferences and treat yourself to something you love.

Join us for the wine and chocolate pairing event of the year- Chocolate Lover’s Weekend! Visit all nine wineries along the Indiana Uplands Wine trail for complimentary chocolates with each wine tasting. Explore Indiana’s Wine Country with your Valentine, February 9-10 and 16-17, 2019. More information on our website or follow along on Facebook for details! See you there!

Wine & Your Christmas Dinner


As you prepare to celebrate with friends or sit down with family this holiday season, it’s good to know what kind of wine to serve on the right occasion with the right meal, right? Us at Indiana Uplands Wine Trail are here to share some of our favorite wines along with food pairing suggestions. Each of our wineries' selections include a variety of wines that pair well with anything from green bean casserole to mashed potatoes, to a nice cheese plate, and more.

Spiced Apple
– Forget the pie.  Bring out the pretzels and enjoy a glass of Best Vineyards Spiced Apple wine.  It’s apple pie in a bottle; a perfect way to finish off that holiday meal.

Nouveau – Produced in the traditional French Nouveau style but with a unique Hoosier twist.  Bright fruity flavors pair with the holiday dinner.  Or serve it warmed with mulling spices on a brisk fall walk.



2015 estate-grown Chambourcin Rose for your holiday table. It is a semi-dry rose with a wonderful aroma and flavor of strawberries, kiwi, and cherries.  We suggest pairing it with pork or poultry.  Retail price is $15.95.

Our suggested white wine to cap your Holiday feast is our 2015 estate-grown Late Harvest Vignoles.  Aromas of ripe pears with a sweet tropical finish. Double Gold medal winner.



The bright and fruity characteristics of Autumn White Wine are a wonderful pairing for your Christmas dinner.  Add some of your homemade cranberry sauce on the side and it is a treat for the taste buds!



Heaven's View Vidal - Extended time on the vine in the warm autumn sun of our vineyard lends aromas of pineapple, mango and honey with a crips green apple flavor. Wonderful paired alongside the classic roasted turkey and all the fixings.

Cabernet Franc - Estate bottled dry red wine with berry and toasted oak flavors. Perfect complimenting the beef pot roast sure to grace your family’s table.

Looking for a new treat for your dessert table?  Try Laura's Crema Dolce Pumpkin Bread!


Crema Dolce Pumpkin Bread
Yields:  3 - 8x4 loaves

2 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
One 29-ounce can Libby’s pumpkin (not pie filling)
4 large eggs
1 cup walnut oil (can substitute other light oil if there is a nut allergy)
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crema Dolce

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Grease three 8in x 4in loaf pans.  In a large bowl, combine the sugars, pumpkin, eggs, and nut oil.  Beat with a large whisk or an electric mixer until smooth.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt, whisking lightly to remove any lumps.  Gently combine the wet and dry mixtures and beat until smooth.  Stir in the cream sherry.  Vigorously beat until thoroughly blended, about 1 to 2 minutes.  The batter will be thick.

Scoop batter into prepared pans, filling each no more than 3/4 full.  Bake immediately in the center of the preheated oven 65 to 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into each center comes out clean.  The top surfaces will be crusty and have a long center crack.  Let stand 5 minutes in the pans before turning the loaves out onto a rack to cool completely.

FOR BEST FLAVOR:  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let set at room temperature overnight or up to 4 days before serving.




Traminette – This semi-dry white is full of characteristic honeysuckle notes and a delicate fruitiness that pairs perfectly with your Christmas feast, from green bean casserole to turkey to cranberry sauce.

Barrel Aged Pinot Gris – A limited release wine, this one spends a short time aging in oak, which lends a softness to the usual high acid you get from this grape.  The oak smooths out the edges but the wine manages to maintain its crispness, making it an ideal selection for rich foods commonly served during the holidays, or as a pairing with a cheese course.





Creekbend Noir 2015 – A dry red that never undergoes barrel aging, allowing all the abundant fruit character of black cherries, blackberries, and currant notes to shine. With a light body and soft, lingering finish it is the perfect accompaniment to pork roast or vegetable dishes looking for a jammy pairing.

Creekbend Tawny 2013 – 50% Chambourcin and 50% Vidal Blanc grapes.  Both varietals are fermented and arrested by neutral grape spirits, blended and then aged to develop the wonderful tawny characteristics of the venerable Portuguese styles.  Fig, dates, caramel and butterscotch fill the warm mouth feel and make for the perfect dessert pairing with pumpkin or pecan pie.  Or skip the desserts altogether, and wrap up in a blanket and sip next to a roaring fire for the perfect after-dinner nightcap.



Persimmon Heritage is a perfect finish to your holiday meals, enjoy this vanilla and cinnamon infused dessert wine that screams holiday season. The men have options too with our Persimmon Bold, a semi-dry persimmon wine aged in a bourbon barrel for 6 months. space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space

01"With the Christmas Holiday fast approaching, we are asked often, "What wine would you recommend for Christmas turkey?"  My response, "Whatever wine you like.  If you like a sweeter wine, perhaps go with our estate grown and bottled, "Open My Mind 2016" made from our Diamond grapes.  A little drier, perhaps our estate-grown and bottled Vignoles 2016.  Both wines are lighter in alcohol so if you ever get that metallic taste in your mouth from drinking wine with food, both the sweetness and the lower alcohol should tamp that down.  Or for the more bold folks, perhaps some estate-grown and bottled Chambourcin NV, made from blending 2011 and 2013 barrel aged Chambourcin.  But most importantly, whatever wine you enjoy, enjoy it most with the family and friends you share this holiday with this year."



08Winzerwald Gewürztraminer | This Semi-dry Gewürztraminer is a perfect turkey or roasted goose pairing.  It's fruit forward flavors and a touch of residual sugar and more complex floral notes can stand tall among all the competing holiday dinner foods including sweet potatoes & marshmallows, tangy cranberries, herbed gravies and savory dressing; whereas a super dry wine might pale amongst all that fruit, sugar and salt.  The acidity will also help cleanse the palate after the onslaught of flavors, too.  Dry enough for dry wine drinkers to enjoy, and paired with a meal is also enjoyed by sweet wine lovers, too.


Winzerwald Cranberry | Winzerwald has been producing Cranberry wine since 2004.   Cranberry juice was a breakfast favorite of Donna Adams, one of the owners who grew up in Wisconsin where cranberry bogs dot the northern landscape.  The Cranberry wine is a perfect sweet match to the sweet and fruity components on the Christmas table, and of course, a perfect companion to the cranberries themselves.  Its tartness holds up to the fattier dark meats and savory side dishes, too.  Winzerwald's Cranberry wine has a perfectly sweet and tart balance, that while a sweet wine, the tartness of the Cranberry itself makes the wine loved by dry wine lovers as well.  Its beautiful, cranberry color looks stunning in filled glasses around your family's table, too!  Winzerwald's Cranberry and red & white spiced wines can be purchased in a regular bottle or a tree-shaped holiday bottle.

Cocktails: IUWT Fall Edition


What pairs perfectly with your couch and some heavy knits? A warming cocktail featuring our favorite fall ingredients and select IUWT wines, of course. This weekend, stock the bar cart and treat yourself to one of these cozy drinks.

Autumn Sangria
from Winzerwald Winery

A great transition cocktail from the fruity sangrias of summer to the warm winter Glühwein.

Autumn Sangria mixes the cinnamon and spice of the Glühwein with the delicious apple cider and fresh fruit flavors all served chilled for a special Fall treat.

  • 2 bottles Winzerwald Winery Glühwein
  • 2 cups sparkling cider (or pure apple cider)
  • 1 small pear
  • 1 small green apple
  • 1 small red apple
  • 1 small orange

Pour bottles of Glühwein into a pitcher. Add the cider and stir to mix. Thoroughly rinse and dry all the fruit. Cut thin slices of each fruit and add to the pitcher.

Cover top of pitcher with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. This can be prepared a day or two in advance, which will infuse more fruit flavor into the wine and spice into the fruit. Add a few pieces of the soaked fruit to each serving glass. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

14454529_10207241302090455_1697900838_n-1Peach Cobbler
from Butler Winery

  • 1 Part Butler Peach Wine
  • 1 Part E & J Peach Brandy
  • 1 Part White Crème de Cacao
  • 1 Part Heavy Cream
  • Dash of Nutmeg

Serve shaken in martini glass. Garnish with nutmeg.




Ruby '72
from Oliver Winery

Vibrant colors and fall flavors spice up this refreshing and zesty cocktail

  • 5 oz Oliver Maximum Port
  • 3.5 oz Orangina
  • 5 oz lemon juice
  • 5 oz club soda
  • Pinch of zest
  • 2 tsp mulling spice

Stir and pour over ice. Garnish with an orange slice.

from Oliver Winery

Fruity and fun for the perfect tailgate delight

Pour over ice, stir, and garnish with fresh or frozen blackberries.

lemonberry-blushLemonberry Blush
from Owen Valley Winery

  • 3 oz Valley Blush
  • 2 oz Blueberry
  • 1 oz Pink Lemonade
  • 1/2 oz Brown Sugar Syrup (2 cups Brown Sugar 1.5 Water & bring to boil)

Garnish with 5-6 Blueberries. Ice Hand Cracked to Fill Glass