Wine connoisseurs assert that novice tasters should never pair red wine with fish, white wine with red meat, or excessive wine with jury duty. Lap up today's Groupon in moderate proportions: for $17.50, you get one admission to Wine 101: Terminology, Technique, and Taste at Satek Winery on North Van Guilder Road and $15 worth of dinner at Timbuktoo's on East State Road in Fremont (a $35 total value). Choose from the following dates for classes:
- Friday, March 11
- Friday, March 25
- Friday, April 8
- Friday, April 29
- Friday, May 6
Satek Winery welcomes amateur wine enthusiasts to train their palates with taste-toning sips of syrahs, chardonnays, rieslings, and a variety of other vintage bottled brews. The winery's savvy staff lead this one-hour introductory course, Wine 101: Terminology, Technique, and Taste, beginning at 6 p.m., and school students in the secrets and skills used to quaff this liquid vine victual. As they sample 8–10 wines, students learn how to pair wines with meals and the etiquette involved with wine drinking, including giving wine oxygen, wafting wine before sipping, and never confusing cabernet grapes with their sister varietal, cabernancy. Potability pupils also receive a 10% discount on any bottles of wine purchased the night of the class.
After class, sippers head straight to Timbuktoo's, a repurposed log cabin filled with inventive American fare just three minutes from the winery. An array of appetizers abound including seasoned yam fries ($7.99) and deep-fried portabella strips ($7.99), and new oenophiles can test their skills and pick the perfect glass to compliment an entree of wild-caught salmon ($17.99), Timbuktoo's boneless rib eye ($19.99), or their server's haircut. Participants can ask Satek representatives to make their reservations at Timbuktoo's for 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 or 8 p.m.
After respective careers as a research scientist and an educator, Larry and Pam Satek were ready to settle into retirement. They anticipated relaxing on the plot of land purchased by Pam's great-grandfather in 1915—a verdant space that had matured from an apple orchard into an overgrown tangle, and which the Sateks turned into a commercial vineyard where other Indiana wineries bought their grapes. Now that they had escaped the daily grind, the Sateks' plan was to begin crafting their own wine. They did so with well-recognized aplomb, and soon, their "retirement business" was winning awards at the INDY International Wine Competition. In the past three years, almost 80% of their wines have medaled—the 2012 contest alone landed them 23 awards, including two Concordance Golds, which signify a unanimous decision by the judges. Their success is hardly surprising, though, if one looks at the descriptions of their wines. They deem their Old Vine red zinfandel "a searing of lightning and poetry," and liken the sweet Mango Mania to "sunshine in your glass."
The Sateks remain continually tapped into the community in an effort to share these wines, many of which are made from exclusively locally grown fruit. Their Twitter feed and Facebook page keep fans posted regarding new releases and suddenly sold-out varieties, and those hoping for a closer look can take a tour of the vineyard and bottling facilities. Additionally, special events such as dinners and pairing classes teach visitors how to expertly marry sips to bites without disappointing both of their families.