Local, national and international wineries offered samples of their wares to large crowds of wine aficionados during Oswego’s annual Wine on the Fox festival this past Saturday and Sunday.
Temporarily moved from its traditional location in Hudson Crossing Park along the banks of the Fox River to the grounds outside the Village Hall, Wine on the Fox featured musical entertainment, plenty of space to set up chairs and tables, and even entertainment for those not yet old enough to drink.
In a departure from the usual restaurant visit, I decided to make my way over to Wine on the Fox and sample a few vintages. I’d like to point out, before I begin, that Mystery Diner endorses drinking responsibly – I balanced out my samples with water and food, as one should do when consuming alcohol.
Oliver Winery and Vineyards, www.oliverwinery.com
Peach Pie: The seasonal Peach Pie wine from Indiana’s Oliver Winery was a great spring and summer wine. Light and crisp with a hint of bubbles, the wine absolutely tasted of peaches without being overwhelming or unpleasant. The peach aromatics were a nice touch as I made my way through the crowds.
Cherry Moscato: I’m not typically a big fan of cherry; I’ve found that too often it can end up tasting like cough syrup. But the Cherry Moscato from Oliver was delicate and lightly flavored, almost like a cherry blossom flavor. It wasn’t overly carbonated for a moscato, but wasn’t too light either. This was something I would absolutely order at a restaurant or try again if given the opportunity.
Bread and Butter Rosé: Light, crisp and slightly sweet, the Rosé from Bread and Butter Wines, located in California, was a great example of a Rosé. With slight notes of strawberry and fruits, it was a good wine for those who are into the Rosé fad, or those who prefer a light glass of wine.
Bronco Wines (Distributor), www.broncowine.com
Forest Glen Winery Pinot Grigio: Crisp and light, the Pinot Grigio from the California winery is a wonderful example of a summertime wine for anybody to enjoy.
Illinois River Winery,
Pog Mo Thoin: While I was originally put off by the light blue/green color of the wine (If I’m being honest, I thought it was mouthwash), this ended up being a wonderfully refreshing and crisp Irish Riesling. Bottled and sold by the Utica-based winery, Pog Mo Thoin – I won’t tell you what the Gaelic to English translation is (but it does refer to one’s backside) – was a drink I was surprised to admit that I would try again if given the chance.
Fox Valley Winery,
Sweet Evolution: You’ll notice that none of the wines so far that I’ve sampled have been red wines. That’s because I’m not a big fan of red wines; I’ve always found the flavors too strong for my taste. However, I did enjoy the Sweet Evolution from the Oswego host winery. It wasn’t as overwhelming as other reds I’ve tried before, but it wasn’t light enough to where it wasn’t a red. The winery employee who poured for me described it as, “red with training wheels,” and I concurred. I’m not on the red wine train yet, but this was a great starter for me.
Jalapeño: This was a wild card that I honestly didn’t expect to like as much as I did. Offered by the Galena-based winery, the Jalapeño white wine was a light drink with a spicy kick from serrano and jalapeño peppers. Upon first sample, the jalapeño aroma is present, but not overwhelming. Part of the fun of Wine on the Fox is expanding one’s palate by trying other wines and this definitely hit the mark.
August Hill Winery,
Cherry Lime Infusion: As I said before, I’m not a big fan of cherry – but I am a big fan of moscato, and this was a high point of the day for me. Made in Utica, an infusion of lime into cherry wine created a very fun summertime wine that tasted exactly like an alcoholic slushie in the best way. I’m always a fan of fun, bubbly moscatos, and this was a top drink for me, one that I would absolutely purchase again.
Mardi Gras: This was the top wine of the day for me. Made by carbonating their Sweet Catawba blush wine, the Mardi Gras truly was a party in my mouth; just like the pourers told me. A sweet and flavorfully fruity wine with a little bit of tartness, the Mardi Gras stayed bubbly for a long time, something I enjoyed. I’m one of those people who takes a while to finish a glass of wine, so I was pleased when I finished my wine and it was still bubbly and crisp. A final note: This was the only wine I had a full glass of.
Wine on the Fox always is a fun experience, a chance to gather with friends and family, enjoy a glass of wine, and listen to some good music. I expanded my palate greatly this year, and I can’t wait to do the same in the future.