Oliver Winery & Vineyards

This is a case of the billboard working. Unfortunately, I never made it back to where I was lost in Indianapolis when I saw the billboard – but it proclaimed that Oliver was the official wine of the Indianapolis Colts (see the Colts Collection here). Not being a Colts fan it didn’t quite register at first. Then it hit me… it had to be an Indiana wine. Sure enough – they are located in Bloomington, Indiana. Not the direction I was ultimately headed, so I had to settle for a browse down the aisles at Meijer.

I didn’t get any of the whites to try as I was only going to be in Indiana for two days and flying meant the ability to carry things home was limited. But I did get two options to try….

Oliver Sweet Red Lime

You read that right – Sweet Red Lime. I thought I was just grabbing Sweet Red Wine. Figured after a long flight and catching up with the family I could use a nice relaxing sip in the hotel.

Well, it was relaxing and it was nice – and not what I expected.

The back of the bottle says:

Juicy grape meets fresh-squeezed lime in this fun-to-drink treat. A sweet red with a bright citrus finish. Best serve chilled.

Firstly, it has a very strong lime scent and tons of sugar scent. I mean you can really smell it – it being the lime. There is almost no tannin and its very sweet, but has an acidic finish.

I gave it high marks because the scent reminded me of summer’s at my grandmother’s house and making grape sherbet. You know the kind where it’s concentrated grape juice, concentrated lime juice, a bunch of sugar and maybe a little milk that goes into the aluminum canister that goes in the plastic bucket and you clamp the lid on – pour ice and rock salt all around it and let it churn. Now my grandmother’s had a habit of coming undone, so someone had to sit on it in the sink to make sure it stayed together. So I know the smell of grape sherbet.

Which makes sense because the website says:

We took our classic, best-selling Sweet Red wine and added a touch of summer. Fresh, pure lime extract adds a fun finish to the bright, classic Concord flavor of Sweet Red. A refreshingly real wine. No flavorings or colorings, no high fructose corn syrup. Oliver Sweet Red Lime tastes better because it’s crafted with intention and only the very best fruit. Put your feet up and try Oliver Sweet Red Lime chilled or on ice. Add fresh fruit to make your own sangria. Vacation in a glass!

It is way too drinkable. It’s a porch pounder but is surprisingly good. Not something I’d want all the time – but on a hot July day – I can see how this is refreshing, much like my grandmother’s grape sherbet.

Oliver Sweet Red

So, dinner on Friday night was a picnic affair and I didn’t think the dry red blend I’d gotten the night before was going to be good with the cheese, salami, crackers and fruit we picked up – so we decided to grab a bottle of just the sweet red. Plus we figured we’d tried the lime, why not see what it was like without it.

The website says:

Classic Concord grape aroma, deliciously smooth, fruity taste, and ruby-red color. Our commitment to sourcing the best fruit has made Oliver Winery’s Sweet Red an Indiana and Midwest favorite. A refreshingly real wine. No flavorings or colorings, no high fructose corn syrup. Oliver Sweet Red tastes better because it’s crafted with intention and only the very best fruit. This soft red wine is fresh, crisp, and just-sweet-enough. It’s also a consumer-rated best buy! Serve with burgers and BBQ. Great with pepperoni pizza. Yummy with chocolate.

I’ll be honest, sweet reds aren’t our favorite, nor are they my in-laws favorite. But we found this one quite drinkable – and not just because you can’t take an open bottle on a plane. But, I can attest that this went well with a hard salami and cheddar cheese. Even better with the berries and watermelon.

I’m sure you’re wondering why it’s just a picnic in the hotel and not a grand affair – well, the family did “supper” as a group a couple hours earlier and while filling, we just needed a little something.

Another memory evoking wine – of summer evenings when you’re hot and sticky and just want something sweet – like a raspberry or grape popsicle.

Read more on why Oliver thinks their Sweet Reds are so popular here.

Final Thoughts

I do love the labels on the wines. They are very eye catching and almost frame worthy. The sweets have grapes, the dry reds and traditional whites have birds, while the Moscato’s have the fruit that’s blended. On the website they have several other labels (Creekbend).

While not on the top of my list for wines I’d buy again, and I definitely wouldn’t cellar them, I wouldn’t turn it down if I was at a party, and since the wines are actually available in about 40 states, there’s a good chance that could happen. Their website motto seems to be very fitting in that aspect – “Wine is for Everyone.”

Look for a review of the dry red in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.