27
Dec

Howell's MainStreet Winery

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Howell's MainStreet Winery is a great place to stop in, enjoy a glass of wine, grab a delicious pizza and watch the hustle and bustle of Grand River Ave out of their window or on their outdoor seating area when the weather permits.

 

Located at 201 West Grand River Ave, Howell, MI 48843 right across from the historic Howell Opera House.  They offer almost every type of wine you could ask for from full-bodied reds to light-bodied reds, all of the whites from dry to sweet, fruit wines to delight along with a white, rose and red ice wine!  They aim to please everyone's taste, they even have beer for the non wine drinker in your life.

 

You can taste 4 free samples and each additional sample is $1.  If you just want a glass you can get that too.  If you really like that wine you can buy at bottle or case.  If you buy a bottle you can have a glass out of the bottle and the wonderful staff can re-cork the bottle for you to take home for later.  It's a good way to save money and wine!  If you want your own batch of wine, a batch is 28 bottles, the staff can set you up to make your own batch by starting the fermentation process waiting while the wine forms, bottling your creation and you can create custom labels for yourself or a special event like a wedding, anniversary or an office gala.  I am hoping to do this soon, it is on my bucket list for 2018.  Let's get into the different wines they make!

 

Wines Offered

As stated earlier Howell's MainStreet Winery has a wide variety of wines to please anyone's pallet.

White Wines:

City of Light - Piesporter                                 $12.99 bottle / $190 batch
A soft, easy drinking wine with delicate aromas of apple, pear, honey & elderflower.  Serve with salads or a light lunch.

Beethoven's Finest - Gewurztraminer      $14.99 bottle / $240 batch
A very distinctive wine with exotic, spicy almost perfumed characteristics.  Serve with spicy foods.

201 MainStreet - Chardonnay              $13.99 bottle / $225 batch
Big, ripe tropical fruit flavors with a rich, buttery - vanilla finish. Serve with salmon, grilled chicken or pasta in a cheese sauce.

Bella - Pinot Grigio                                $13.99 bottle/$225 batch
A crisp white with notes of citrus, almond & spice. Serve with pesto and salmon.

Spe Salvi - Sauvignon Blanc                        $14.99 bottle / $230 batch
Complex with aromas of herbs, pink grapefruit, fresh-cut grass, lime and passion fruit.  Serve with seafood, chicken or pork.

House White - Blend                                          $14.99 bottle / $230 batch
A rich, butttery bouquet with flavors of tropical fruit, vanilla and oak.  Serve with seafood with a butter sauce or pasta in a rich cream sauce.

Other whites are released seasonally like the Bianco which is a light Italian summery blend best with the hot days and warm humid evenings.

They also offer rieslings from dry, semi-dry and late harvest that are not shown on their website.

Red Wines:

MainStreet Rosay - White Merlot             $10.99 bottle / $185 batch
Fresh strawberries burst from this off-dry wine.  Serve with cheeseburgers, spicy food or picnic lunches.

Jazzy Red - Blend                                        $12.99 bottle / $215 batch
An easy drinking red, with plenty of character and charm.  Serve with barbequed red meats or pasta.

Village Cellar Red - Pinot Noir                     $18.99 bottle / $275 batch
Elegant and complex with aromas of cherries, smokey oak and spice.  Serve with vegetarian dishes.

Luna Rossa Italian Blend                         $13.99 bottle/ $235 batch
Big, bold and bountiful with loads of rich black fruits and oak, plenty of tannin and structure.  Serve with red meats or a hearty stew, also great with assorted meats and strong cheeses with bread & olive oil.

Opera House Select - Cabernet                       $16.99 bottle / $260 batch
Hearty and complex with flavors of black currants, cherry, oak, pepper and spice.  Serve with a grilled steak, lamb or grilled portobello mushrooms.

Amarone - Blend                                                     $18.99 bottle / $275 batch
A house favorite!  Deep ruby red with a spicy-earthy bittersweet finish, that lengthens on indefinitely from the huge volume of tannins.  Serve with a hearty roast or pasta with a rich meat sauce, also great with dark chocolate.

Currently for fall and winter they have a Thanksgiving Red which is almost like a beaujolais nouveau with a sweet lingering flavor to it.  Of course this wine is perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday meal.  In addition to Thanksgiving Red, they also have a White Pinot Noir, as you may know pinot noir is a red grape so how can they make it white?  The grapes are taken out before the wine turns a gold color.  if you let it sit too long the wine will turn pink and become a rose.  Let that sit even longer and you have the classic red pinot noir.  The White Pinot Noir is much lighter and is a must for any stir-fry or spicy dish.  I particularly like it with snapper or Lake Superior Whitefish.

Sweet Fruit Wines:

First Sin - Apple Riesling                                         $12.99 bottle / $175 batch
A fresh and exciting with accented with notes of fresh apples.  Great with cheddar cheese.

That's Amore - Black Raspberry Merlot           $12.99 bottle / $175 batch
Merlot's fruit forward style accented by luscious black raspberries.

Very Blueberry - Blueberry Pinot Noir            $12.99 bottle / $175 batch
Juicy fruity flavors of blueberry dance on your palate.

VuDu - Pomegranate Red Zin                                  $12.99 bottle/ $175 batch
Sweet & earthy aromas of fresh, ripe pomegranate.

Summer seasonal fruit wine staple is the Melon Fest wine, made with melons it tastes like summer in a bottle.  Every August Howell hosts the Melon Festival, which draws people from all around to historic downtown Howell to enjoy melon everything, shopping, and even a carnival.  It is definitely a must do in the summer.  In August I'll feature the Melon Fest wine as my top pick of the week!

Since it is winter they have a cranberry wine, which is absolutely delicious and perfect for dessert.

Dessert Wine:

Sweet Decadence                                          $21.99 bottle
Rich and warm with flavors of fig and plum makes this a bold, distinctive dessert wine.  Serve with blue cheese and walnuts or cheesecake.

Frost Bite                                                       $21.99 bottle
An impressive dessert wine with notes of peach, honey and marmalade.  Served chilled with fresh fruit or creme brulee.

Red Frost                                                       $21.99 bottle
Intensely flavorful, sweet and rich, entices with irresistible aromas and flavors of ripe currants, notes of spice, honey, strawberry, tart rhubarb and cranberry.  Excellent paired with dark chocolate.

Thanks to Howell's MainStreet Winery's wine list page for descriptions of wines.  A description can get your mouth watering but you really have to go in and try out their fine selection of wine.

 

Visit The Winery

You can reach the winery by taking exit 137 on Interstate 96, drive north on D-19/Michigan Ave then turn left onto W. Grand River Ave, go one block and it's on the southwest corner of W. Grand River Ave and Walnut.  Come drop in and enjoy some wine and a handmade, brick oven pizza.  You may see me there, just look for the red hair or my golden retriever Bogey.

 

13
Dec

Why A Blog About Michigan Wine?

If you read my "About" section you'll learn that I was introduced to Michigan wine on a college glacial geology expedition along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  After this expedition I went on a pursuit of the best wine in Michigan.  I graduated college and moved home to Ann Arbor where I discovered many different wines at my local Plum Market.  Each week I would sample various wines from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Canada, South Africa, South America, California, Oregon, Washington and of course Michigan.  Wines from Michigan are comparable to other regions around the world.

Learning about all kinds of wine is one of my passions.  My older brother met a French woman in New York and they got married in a chateau outside of Paris where my appreciation for big bold red wine and rose took root.  Spending one week with a full indulgence in the French culture I learned that wine is extremely important and a must at any dinner party.  I quickly adopted this mentality as my own.  Giving various wines as gifts and aging wine for my guests to enjoy.

My true appreciation for Michigan wine came in the summer of 2016 when my now wife and I were looking at vineyards for our wedding venue.  We took a week and traveled to the southwest side of the state and worked our way up to the Leelanau Peninsula, Suttons Bay, Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City and back down through the heart of Michigan.  Our trip had us talking with estate owners, the wine and event staff, sharing our love of wine and the state of Michigan and also getting into personal stories about our dogs, bad storms, hot summers and cold snowy winters.  By the end of our trip we had hundreds of business cards and hard decisions to make.  We couldn't pick just one venue because each vineyard was so unique we wanted certain aspects of each all in one.  We compromised on having all Michigan wine and beer at our wedding and saved on cost by hosting it in Howell at the Howell Opera House.  Not a vineyard but right next-door to the Main Street Winery.

Michigan's climate supports grape growth for wine production.  Fertile soil, the warm to hot summers increase the quality of wines.  The hotter, dryer and sunnier summers produce quality red wine grapes and dryer white wine grapes.  An early frost, freeze or hailstorms can damage a crop.  There are different harvesting times for each grape.  If you want a sweeter wine you wait later to create a late harvest, which usually means sweeter wine.  If you want an iced wine you will wait until the grapes freeze on the vine and then pick to produce a delicious dessert wine, very sweet almost syrupy in consistency and flavor.

In Michigan your town may have a winery.  In Howell they have the Main Street Winery and if you drive along I-94, I-96, I-69, US-23, I-75, US-127 or US-131 you will see signs for various vineyards and wineries within a few miles.  The wine industry in Michigan is massive, in addition to tourism Michigan has a booming economy because there is a wine for everyone.  The variety in grapes grown in Michigan is huge.  Michigan has a relatively short grape growing season compared to other regions but many times that is what really makes our wines so unique.  You may not find an iced wine in Sonoma.  People travel from all around the world to sample Michigan wine.  Wine brings people together and there are great stories shared when sitting down to sample at a tasting room.  There's something relaxing about enjoying a nice glass of rose on a porch overlooking the vineyard, lake, or in a wine garden.

In this blog you'll learn about vineyards, wineries, cider mills and fruit farms that grow grapes for wine production.  Each week I'll feature a new vineyard along with my top wine pick of the week.  Occasionally I'll suggest food pairings for my wine pick.  My goal is to give you facts, exclusive interviews, personal encounters, wine list, descriptions and get you to visit in person and/or sample some of their wine.

Join the Michigan Wine Guy for a tour of Michigan wine.

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