I’ve said it before, I just don’t like cold weather. I detest snow, cold misty days and the sun going down right after I get home from work. I do not like being cold, that’s the bare bones of it all. The naked trees, lack of flowers, and inability to have outdoor activities whenever I want to are in my top ten reasons I hate winter as well.
I think I may be in the minority here, though. It seems everywhere I turn ladies are gleefully snatching up new winter boots, hoodies and sweats. Maybe a lot of us like to insulate ourselves in baggy clothes and that is why they welcome cold weather.
Regardless, I just prefer the warm sunny days of August over just about any time of the year. Having said all of this one thing I really do, notice I said one thing, like about Fall is the festivals. Celebrating harvests, celebrating the abundance of Autumn and celebrating family fun. I love sitting outdoors and listening to live music while munching on good food with family and friends.
It seems like I can fill every weekend until Christmas time with some kind of festival. This weekend I am headed down to Bloomington to the Harvest Wine Festival held at their State Road 37 location. Oliver Winery is the oldest and largest winery in Indiana. Today they will be rocking with live music, gourmet food trucks, free wine tasting, production tours and artisinal products for sale.
Oliver Winery is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. My husband and I were lucky enough to visit their Creekbend Vineyard, where their grapes are grown, last week for a harvest dinner that boasted local foods prepared on site by Chef Daniel Orr, hot air balloon rides and a vineyard tour with Bill Oliver. Their countryside location was breathtaking at sunset as we floated high about their fields in the Oliver Winery balloon.
Today’s event will have performances by musical artists representing from jazz , bluegrass, and rock. The winery will stay open an hour later for the celebration, 10 am to 7 pm, and tickets are $5. Kids are welcome at no charge. You are strongly encouraged to bring blankets and chairs so you can enjoy the music, great wine, food and atmosphere comfortably. No outside food or drink is allowed.
Oliver winery has been growing grapes and making wine in Bloomington, Indiana since 1972. It is the most recent winner of the Indiana Governor’s Cup recognizing Oliver Winery as the best winery in the state. I was a judge at the Indy International Wine Festival held earlier this year at Purdue University. It was incredible to see all of the wine submissions from around the world and be in the same room with some of the foremost experts in wine from around the world.
In honor of Oliver Winery’s 40th anniversary this week I am sharing a tasty meal I made this week using one of my favorite Oliver Wines: Pinot Grigio.
- 8 oz of dried Soba noodles, found at any grocery OR whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 Tb of oil
- 8 oz boneless chicken breast
- salt/pepper to taste
- minced garlic
- 1 C blanched green beans or peas
- 3 TB white wine, I used Oliver Pinot Grigio
- 1 TB chopped basil
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2 TB grated Parmesan
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles to package directions.
- Do not overcook.
- Drain and toss in oil to coat.
- Cut chicken to small pieces.
- Season with salt and pepper and add to a hot skillet.
- Cook chicken, adding the garlic, until cooked through.
- Add peas or green beans and wine, simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add basil, noodles, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
- Allow to saute for a minute before tossing to combine.
- Saute for another minute.
- Toss to coat and serve immediately.