Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 16-Lil' Red Truck by Illinois River Winery for under $15

This winery is in Utica, Illinois just down the road from the August Hill Winery. We went to Utica with a day off in early December to wine taste at the three wineries in that area. Utica is about 2 hrs from Des Plaines, all expressway, but a bit of a drive. The woman at the Illinois River Winery was super friendly and gave discounts on the cute shirts they sold that I had to get two of since the price was right. For the wine drinkers of Illinois, I would emphatically reccomend a trip to Utica to visit the wineries and take in lunch, Utica is very close to Starved Rock and if you want to make a weekend of it there is a waterpark hotel in Starved Rock.
This is a concord wine, very similar to the Mt Pleasant Harvest Red. I find this wine more tart than the Mt Pleasant and it is slightly higher in alcohol at 11.8%. It has a strong grape aroma and taste that reminds you of of Welch's grape juice. If you like one concord, my thoughts is that you should try them all, because they range in sweetness and finish. The Illinois concords that I have run across tend to be sweeter wines, and have very grapey flavor. I love the smell of this wine and find it to be one of the most fragrant grapes in making wine. In terms of pairing this wine, I am going to say that this wine may seem overpowering for main courses, however I don't think you could find a better match for a cheese plate or chocolate sampler.


  1. Yes, another thumbs up, but it is a bit more tart with a bit more aftertaste than the Mt. Pleasant. Thats not to say that it isn't super sweet with the grape jelly nose. My sweetwines better half always makes sure that I get a taste of the wines she's blogging even if I'm at work when she pops the cork, (she caps it and saves me some). We have a few of those little stoppers that you can pick up for a buck or two in the wineshop. Regarding our trip to Utica, you would never guess that there are so many quality wines to taste in a little town like that. The first little stop just off Route 80 is Cattails which actually gets wine their wine from several different wineries/sources. August Hill is in the center of town, then a little farther toward Starved Rock is Illinois River Winery. A quick trip to Utica can be a lot of fun and a wine lovers delight.

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