I was there at Green's Sports Bar in San Francisco along with a lot of testosterone-laden guys, all of us cheering Butler on. I grew up playing basketball -- I'm a Hoosier and proud of it. So when someone asked me "what do you pair with March Madness?", the answer was easy. Indiana Wines. And don't forget those made by Jim Butler.
In Indiana, most of the wineries would be what we now-Californians consider "boutique". They're not big, with the exception of Oliver Winery. Not long ago, I tasted a Marechal Foch Nouveau 2008, which is an estate bottled wine from Oliver's own Creekbend Vineyard and it was yummy. But Oliver also made another contribution to the Indiana wine scene -- that is, Jim Butler. Speaking of Butlers.
Jim spent 25 years as the winemaker at Oliver before establishing his own vineyard, Butler Winery & Vineyards. Along with his father John, he's the author of the book "Indiana Wineries……" And he is a credit to the industry in the Midwest.
Jim and his family produce many good wines. One of my favorites is their 2008 Chambourcin Rose, whch received a double gold and won Rose Wine of the Year at the 2009 Indy International Wine Competition! It was also awarded the Indiana-grown French American Wine of the Year at the competition.
But if you were watching Butler in that harrowing game, what would have been better than a bottle of their Indiana White, a superb value of a versatile table wine, comprised of Indiana Uplands Vignoles fruit, Cardonel, and Traminette.
We Hoosiers -- Butler at heart all of us, if not in name -- are pretty proud of that hard-working Bulldog team. Lift a glass to the little guys! They are all about the passion, whether it is on the basketball court or in the winery.