Wine at Lexington’s Farmer’s Market by Nash Werner

Wine at Lexington’s Farmer’s Market by Nash Werner

Running on Empty
(Wine at Lexington’s Farmers’ Market) by Nash Werner

The drill is simple: my wife gets to sample various vinegars, partake in the sticky tasting of local honeys, and then spend hours staring at a variety of flowers for sale. I, on the other hand, am praying for the pounding in my head to stop and that Mother Nature would think outside the box for once and just let it rain bourbon all morning.

I shouldn’t be here. It’s far too early for smiles and fresh produce.

I know exactly what to expect since I was at the Farmers’ Market last summer, and even the summer before that. I enjoy the Farmers’ Market, but I’m constantly looking for some soft cabbage to take a nap on.

All of a sudden a familiar smell hits me. It’s that friendly, boozy smell that permeates Italian restaurants and it’s coming from somewhere between the “home-baked blueberry pie” booth and the “sun-dried tomatoes in a jar” stand. With a few quick glances I’ve found the source; someone has dropped what appears to be a sample cup that once housed an aromatic red wine.

I dash towards what could only be the other side of the market, in search of the only thing that might cure me of this rotten mood I’m in: Free wine samples! Nearing the end of the strip it came into view, the wine booth! As if my prayers had been answered, sitting on the table was indeed an army of sample cups—each of them filled to the brim with red or white wine.

Ignoring the whispers of onlookers pondering my state of well being, I grab and guzzle while uttering a quiet thank you to Bacchus, the God of Wine for rescuing me from what was to be a mundane Saturday morning. In all seriousness, sampling wine requires a good wetting of the palette before one could even begin endorsing the subtle flavors. On this particular morning I figured on three to four cups of warm-up boozing before I moved on to the actual wine tasting.

The booth belonged to Chrisman Mill Vineyard & Winery, and to my knowledge, it’s the first time wine has been freely offered, let alone sold at a farmers market in Lexington.

Before the pleasant salesmen could utter another flagship factoid about the complications of their growing operation, I was reaching for my wallet to eagerly buy a bottle of their Chambourcin-a dry red that I knew would go doubtlessly well with steak, barbecue, and best of all, other free samples from the farmers market!

In spite of my initial doubts, I ended up having a great day at the farmers marketAll thanks to sampling and purchasing a local wine.

Perhaps I was enchanted by the sheer brilliance of selling local wine at the Farmers’ Market or maybe it was the excitement of being utterly surprised at what I saw. My routine surprise is usually reserved for the shock of just how long my wife can shop for flowers before coming up for air.

It just goes to show you that sometimes the farmers market can evolve right before your eyes-for you never know what will turn up. Just advise the staff at the new wine booth that it takes at least a dozen samples before the flavorful tannins can completely assimilate your palette. It worked for me.

Wine is emerging as an actual
industry in Kentucky, including:

Barker’s BlackBerry
Hill Winery
16629 Mt. Zion-Verona Rd

Crittenden, Ky 41030


Bravard Vineyards
& Winery

1500 Overton Road

Hopkinsville, KY 42240


Broad Run Vineyads

10601 Broad Run Road

Louiville, Ky 40299


Century House
Winery & Vineyards

P.O. Box 629

Lewisburg, KY 42256


Chrisman Mill VineyardNicholasville, KY

Equus Run Vineyards

1280 Moores Mill Road

Midway, KY 40347


Highland Winery

P.O. Box 52

Hwy 805

Seco, KY 41849

606/ 855.7968

Lover’s Leap
Vineyard & Winery

129 Lover’s Leap

Lawrenceburg, KY


Springhill Vineyards

3205 Springfield Road

Bloomfield, KY 40008