Editor’s Note: As an old newspaper guy, with ink in the veins, I still like seeing my column in print. I was reminded of that today when I received a copy of The Chronicle from my friend Publisher Brenda Kleihege.

The Chronicle is a unique publication serving Portage, Valparaiso, Chesterton, and Hobart, Indiana. It is a nicely designed features publication in an area with some strong newspapers. I like this idea and think we’re going to see more of this type paper in coming years.

Meanwhile back in the electronic world, here is my latest print column:

With the two-year anniversary of Grape Sense approaching, it dawned on me many readers missed some earlier columns that covered some basics.

I was reminded of that after the column debuted in Columbia City two weeks ago. I got an email from a reader asking: “Should wine be refrigerated after opening? And, how long will wine keep if sealed properly?”

The second question, in particular, is a frequent one. I have a couple of items for today’s column so thought I’d start with the Columbia City questions.

You will find conflicting opinions about both questions but through my years of enjoying wine I’ve decided to refrigerate white wines, which I think will keep 2-3 days and sometimes a little longer. I do not refrigerate red wines after opening though. I use the rubber seal and air pump device for leftover wine. I honestly don’t believe red wines are drinkable much past 24 hours. I have had a few good up to two days after opening but that’s an unusual exception.

I hope that helps.

2010 Indy International Wine Competition.

I was a guest judge at the Indy Wine Competition again this year and really enjoyed the experience. Just imagine tasting, spitting and trying to evaluate 50-plus wines in an hour-and-a-half!

Readers interested in Indiana wine can go to the Indiana Wine and Grape Council website for a full list of winners.

Several folks in Indiana really scored big. French Lick Winery was honored for its 2008 Traminette as the competition’s White Wine of the Year. Oliver Winery, Bloomington, won the Winemaker of the Year Trophy, which honors the winery winning the most gold medals.

Indiana wines compete with more than 2,700 wines from around the world. But there is also an Indiana grown wines division. Other Indiana winners included Huber for its 2009 Vignoles and 2008 Knobstone Blaufrankisch. Easley Winery was honored for its Pink Catawba.

Visiting Oak Hill Winery

Whenever I’m driving the Hoosier byways and have a little extra time I try to find a nearby Hoosier winery to visit. Recently I stopped in at Oak Hill Winery at Converse. Converse is about 15 minutes east of U.S. 31, on Ind. 18, north of Kokomo.

Rick Moulton has a small operation of about 1,000 cases a year. He makes mostly dry wines from grapes usually associated with Indiana’s traditional sweet wines. His style is very different than most. Not only does he make a dry Concord red wine, among others, but he makes them in a very light style.

Howard’s Picks:

Summer is winding down so instead of a specific wine recommendation how about some generic suggestions. Next time in the wine shop pick up a bottle of dry Rose’ and give it a try. Rose’ is great by itself and great with most foods. Pink Wine isn’t for wimps anymore!

The other summer suggestion would be non-tradition whites. More than a year ago I wrote about Albarino, which comes primarily from Spain and Portugal.
You can find good Rose’ and good Albarino at most Indiana wine shops. These wines also are great values ranging anywhere from $10-$15 for really good ones. You can buy great ones around $20.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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