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Ted drawing/pouring Brandy for me

NEW ALBANY, In. – “Best” is always a label best used infrequently but few in the know would argue Huber Wines and Turtle Run are among some of the best and most interesting wines in Indiana.

Tonight is the Uncork the Uplands food and wine event at Huber Orchard and Winery and I’ll be hitting it up in just a short bit. But I took the opportunity to come down early and spend some time with Ted Huber and Jim Pfeiffer of Turtle Run for a Palate Press story about Indiana wines.

I found Ted in a talkative mood and eager to share the processes he uses to make some of Indiana’s best wines/. We talked about the evolving consumer demand and palate for lighter wines, lower alcohol, and a bit less sweet. That’s right – Indiana consumer trends in tasting rooms are showing a developing palate for wines not as sweet as the typical concords and niagra wines of the past.

Pfeiffer shares that passion for less sweet wines as a winemaker and as a health concern. Pfeiffer is more mad genius than Huber’s calculating step by step wine making but both turn out bottles of wine that would stand up to many others not just across Indiana but the nation.

Huber also has an over-the-top passion for brandy. Before today I believe I had tasted Brandy one time while in Germany. Today I barrell sampled brandy in oak for two months, two years, five years and the final product with more than 10 years aging. I admit, that old stuff is pretty tasty!

Pfeiffer picking out wines I should taste

Pfeiffer is an enthusiastic guy that go on and on about the chemical properties of wine – glucose vs fructose – and then more. But he makes a compelling case about reducing sugar in wines which not only are more palate pleasing but healthier.

Jim makes interesting blends and is part Picasso and half mad scientist with some crazy blends that come out tasting like magic.

Both winemakers produce the best Chambourcin I’ve had ever. When done correctly, Chambourcin has Pinot Noir like qualities with nice body, a light mouth feel, and pleasing fruit. When done poorly, as it often is in the Hoosier state, it comes out smelling like an old musty shoe.

It’s off now to Uncork with Upland Wine Trail wineries, Hoosier food producers, Bloomington Chef Daniel Orr, a mixologist, and more.

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