Domaine Berrien Cellars

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Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be in the south of France?  Domaine Berrien Cellars makes you feel like you are there.  We stopped by the vineyard on April 2, 2018, on this day it was pretty cold still and the vines weren't in bloom but we did have a great time.

Vineyards preparing to bloom in less than a month.

We had been traveling for a while and decided to let our dogs out to frolic in the vineyard.  Once they did their business it was time for me to gather some great content for the blog.

Marvin In the vineyard

Domaine Berrien Cellars is located at 398 E. Lemon Creek Rd, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 with the vineyard on site and a big patio for gatherings when it gets warmer.  Pretty much right across the street from Lemon Creek Winery.  We walked up the ramp into the tasting room that had a big bar with some cool gifts and things.  They even sold their old oak barrels.  Next time we may purchase one and put it somewhere cool!

They have tons of delicious wine, mostly french style wines, since they wanted to mimic the Chateaus in France.  We tasted many different wines from dry to sweet.  They had a sweet Traminette that won an award, a Marsanné that tasted like a sparkling wine without the bubbles and one of the first wines produced at the vineyard called "Wolf's Prairie Red," this wine is said to stain concrete.  If you look closely you can see where people have spilled this wine on the patio.


Why don't we take a look at the other wines they have:

Dry White Wine:

2016 Viognier:  A fruit salad in your glass!  Aromas of apricot and cantaloupe.  Refreshing flavors of ripe, juicy peach, & melon with a spicy finish of star fruit and apple.  $15.00/bottle

2015 Marsanne:  This 2015 Marsanne was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, giving it wild elderflower aromas.  It has engaging flavors of Bartlett pear and honeydew melon with a lingering finish of crisp minerality.  This is the white wine that red wine drinkers will love!:  $15.00/bottle 

2016 Dry Traminette:  Traminette is a hybrid grape and a relative of the German grape Gewurztraminer.  This dry, fruity wine has wonderful aromas of honeysuckle, and flavors of apricot with a zippy lime finish.  Golden yellow color.  Great with turkey dinner or chicken curry.  $12.00/bottle

2016 Oaked Marsanne:  Aging in oak barrels lends aromas of toasty marshmallow & vanilla with a rich, creamy full body.  Butterscotch & caramel notes accentuate flavors of juicy pear, creme brulee, and Granny Smith apple with a soft, smooth finish.  $18.00/bottle

Sweet White Wine:

2016 Vignoles - 2.65% RS:  Tropical aromas of mango and papaya with flavors of sweet juicy pineapple will make you think of summer all year-long!  This wine pairs perfectly with Asian fare or grilled meats.  $12.00/bottle

2016 Sweet Traminette - 4.75% RS:  This sweet German-style wine with orange blossom aromas and flavors of juicy nectarine and honey.  Beautiful golden color and a robust finish.  Always a popular choice when friends get together!  $12.00/bottle

2016 Sweet Seyval Blanc - 8% RS:  Their sweetest wine.  Aromas of mandarin orange & apricot lead to luscious flavors of honey & juicy, ripe, apricot with a smooth, full finish.  Open a bottle on the patio it won't last long!  $12.00/bottle

Dry Red Wine:

2015 Pinot Noir:  A dark, Burgundy-style wine with aromas of subtle toasty oak, dark cherry flavors, and vanilla & cola on the finish. Rich garnet color.  $18.00/bottle

2016 Cabernet Franc:  Bright ruby color.  Graceful notes of violets on the nose with bright flavors of strawberry & sweet oak.  Medium bodied.  Soft tannins with a touch of cinnamon spice on the finish.  This wine pairs nicely with all kinds of beef.  $20.00/bottle

2016 Lemberger:  A medium-bodied wine with an intoxicating, spicy, aroma and flavors of red currant & plum.  Round, velvety and smooth on the finish, ready to drink now!  Pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin or lamb dishes.  $18.00/bottle

2015 Wolf's Prairie Red:  A dark red blend of hybrid grapes De Chaunac & Chelois with subtle smoky aromas, and full flavors of dark berry & plum with a bold finish.  $12.00/bottle

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon:  Powerful black fruit from the King of Grapes!  Floral aromas lead to expressive dark fruit flavors with a smooth, balanced finish.  This complex, full-bodied wine opens beautifully in the glass.  $20.00/bottle

Sweet Red Wine:

2016 Red Satin - 2.5% RS:  A soft, semi-sweet red blend.  Fruity/floral aromas and flavors of strawberry jam, vanilla, & cherry.  Accents of mild oak tannins and a smooth, soft finish.  $16.00/bottle

2016 Grandma's Red - 5% RS:  Made from the same full flavored, deep red grapes as Wolf's Prairie Red, but in a sweeter style.  A fruity bouquet complements flavors of mixed berry jam and a full, sweet finish.  Perfect for pizza, pasta and sangria!  $12.00/bottle

(Thanks to the Domaine Berrien Cellars website for wine descriptions and pricing).


If you are wondering where you can get their wine you can find it at select wine shops around your town in Michigan.  These wines will be more prevalent on the west side of the state, but if your shop doesn't carry your wine simply ask and they will be glad to order it for you.  If you want to order direct from the vineyard, then go to their website and send them an email with your selections.  What could be better than wine at your doorstep?


I can't wait to taste how delicious the bottles we bought are.  Let me know if you've tried a wine from Domaine Berrien Cellars and if you liked it.  I'll be back Friday with an awesome wine pick of the week.  Until then sit back with a nice glass and toast spring time!


Wine Trip - Southwest Michigan - April 2, 2018

Hello again! and sorry about the delay, this previous week was super busy.  My wife and I took a trip to replenish our wine stash.  The wine racks were looking empty, so we decided to take a day trip to some of our favorite vineyards and wineries in southwest Michigan.  I planned it out ahead of time with some awesome birthday surprises for my wife along the way.  This is one good thing about living in the center of the state we are 2 hours from each coast and never too far from a great adventure.


Our journey Started at getting coffee at Starbucks in Okemos, then down I-96 to I-69 to I-94.  Once on I-94 we stopped at Sweetwater's Donut Mill for some of Michigan's best donuts.  Driving conditions were perfect, not a lot of traffic, blue skies and sunshine, alittle chilly, 34 in the morning, but not uncomfortably cold.

Our first stop was Karma Vista Vineyards & Winery just outside of Paw Paw in Coloma right off of I-94.  This is by far one of our favorite vineyards because the tasting room is in the center of the vineyard.  There are acres upon acres of grapevines and fruit trees in a 360 degree vantage point from the tasting room.  Their wine is outstanding too!  They have won various awards and with increasingly warmer and more dry summers the crops have been thriving.  However, this  year may see an impact because the spring has been so cold, the late start hasn't allowed ample growth and blooming that would normally be out now, but we'll see what the rest of the year brings.


At Karma Vista we sampled some new wine on the tasting menu.  A "Cotes de Loma" that is a similar blend to a "Cotes De Rhone" from France.  We also got to try different vintages of the Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Merlot.  The vintage years we got to try were 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.  I am a big fan of the vintage 2013 but I was impressed with the 2015 vintage.  One of my wife's favorite wine, the "Starry Starry White" was such a big hit we bought a case for our wedding party.  I've written a post about "Starry Starry White" and you can read more about that here.

One of the benefits of tasting during the off-season is that you usually have more time to talk with the winemakers.  Most of the time you will be talking with the owners of the winery.  We were fortunate enough to get to talk wine with the owners because I was curious about the different years and which ones produced more quality grapes than others.  We ended up buying some wine to drink right away and a few bottles to lay down for a while to see what aging would do for the quality of those wines.


Looking at the clock, we spent way too much time at the first place, but we still had all day ahead of us.  About 30 minutes down the road in a small town called Baroda, we stopped at Baroda Founder's Wine Cellar.  This is a very fun place with some of our favorites like "Cuvee Rosé" and "Oh Hell Yeah" red.  Their pretzels are a really good compliment to the wine tasting.  The same person was serving us who did back in September.  We left there with some new wine to try an award-winning wine as well.

My Wife, Bogey and I in front of the cut off Baroda Founder's Wine Cellar sign.  

Upon arrival we encountered a man named "Gouch" who claims to be the cousin of the owner.  He was very nice and took my wife and I's picture in front of the sign.  After tasting some wine he proceeded to offer us a spicy bourbon pickle.  At this point things seemed to get weird, however It actually turned out to be ok!  Anyway, with us not really knowing what to think of this guy, who probably is not actually related to the owner at all,we headed over to Lemon Creek Winery about 2 miles outside of Baroda.  Now we were in the middle of nowhere surrounded by vineyards and farmland.

Lemon Creek Winery is located down in a valley with a farmer's market on site, which is pretty cool too.  When you enter the ranch style building there is a big tasting bar.  We wanted to see what new wines they were releasing and if we could snatch up any of the remaining limited release bottles.  We found a "Malbec" which is unusual for Michigan.  The flavor of this Malbec was completely different from any Malbec I've tried before, but due to its limited availability we purchased a bottle, along with the "Peach Spumante" that is smooth, light and not too sweet.  We bought a few more bottles to get the 15% discount.  This winery is in a beautiful locale and right across the street and up the hill is Domaine Berrien Cellars, our next stop.

Domaine Berrien Cellars has lots of acreage full of vineyards.  We captured our dog playing in the vineyard.  They have a big patio for when the weather is nice.  At this point of the day the clouds were rolling in and the wind was picking up.  It was about 42 at this time.  Approaching the tasting table we noticed they were selling the entire wine barrel, empty of course so you can use it for whatever you come up with.  This was our first time to this winery and they had some unique whites and reds.  We got to learn about the history of this winery and learned how they tried to mimic Chateaus in France.  We bought a "Marsanné" which is almost like a "Blanc De Blanc" without the bubbles, very tasty.  We also bought a deep red wine that stains concrete called "Wolf's Prairie Red."  You'll see a post about this winery soon.

Our trip was going to lead us to the Warren Dunes State Park on the shore of Lake Michigan, but unfortunately we were running out of time and were getting pretty hungry.  We will be going to Warren Dunes State Park for the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival on June 16.  You'll learn more about that after we go and you can follow the link to read more in case you want to attend.

Marvin In the vineyard

We had to make it to St. Joseph in time for my wife's birthday surprise at Schu's Bar & Grill for our lunch/dinner.  It was a carrot cake with "Happy Birthday" written on it.  The food was amazing and they even gave my guide dog some raw turkey to gobble down.  He was really happy after that and the same went for my wife after such a fun and tasty surprise.  Now that our bellies were full it was time to taste wine at White Pine Winery.


White Pine Winery is one of my favorite stops in St. Joseph, not only due to the service you receive but also because their owner is a master winemaker who worked for St. Julian Winery before he decided to open White Pine Winery.  He got his PhD in Viticulture with concentration in cold climate grape growth.  He uses a combination of science and knowledge of the horticulture behind growing amazing grapes to produce award-winning wine.  We tried some new wine and a "2011 Merlot" that was so smooth, I had to buy a bottle.  Their "Serendipity" wine was amazing but I wanted to get my hands on the "Merlot."  We also loved the "Lady Slipper Blush" was so smooth too, made from the Chambourcin grape.  After having a very in-depth conversation with the owner's wife we bought some bottles and headed next door to Lazy Ballerina Winery.


Vineyards preparing to bloom in less than a month.

It was about 5:30PM when we entered Lazy Ballerina Winerywe knew that we would not be able to make it to Lawton Ridge Winery all the way in Kalamazoo by 6PM.  Lazy Ballerina Winery is a unique place where all of their wine's names are ballet or dance related.  One of my favorite wines from this winery is the "Barrel Rouge" a red wine aged in old bourbon barrels.  They can benefit from aging in the bottle, if you can wait that long.  We also tried a new wine that wasn't released yet, which they let us purchase.  Delicious!  It was about 6:15PM when we left St. Joseph.  This was a very long day full of fun and excitement.


With the taste of multiple different wines on my tongue, 3 boxes of wine in the car and tons of new material to write about, we decided to head home to properly store our new wine.  I do love these day trips but I think 6 wineries is a good maximum to visit in one day.  I'll have posts about the wineries and vineyards we visited in the weeks to come.  In the meantime, enjoy the pictures and posts.  Wine trips are fun and especially great for replenishing your wine stash.  Remember I would love to hear your wine adventures too.


Stay thirsty for more wine posts!  Cheers.


Mark's Top Wine Pick of the Week March 30, 2018 - Easter Wine Selection

Welcome back and happy Good Friday!  You may be having a big family get together this weekend either for Easter or Passover, whichever occasion you observe there is probably food involved, and lots of it!  I want you to be a hero this weekend.  Coming in for the win with some amazing Michigan Wine for the festivities.  I've hand selected 4 different wines for you to choose from depending on your taste and what dishes you may be having for dinner.


Traditionally during Easter people have ham, sausage, lamb, beef or some type of seafood, along with a type of sweet bread, roll or cake.  Other side dishes consist of eggs, vegetables, cheeses and potato pancakes.  It is a time to give thanks and usher in spring time, with a springy meal.  With a spring meal calls for a spring wine.  Something light and crisp to complement all of the deliciousness of your brunch, lunch, linner or dinner, whatever you chose to call it.


My first wine pick for Easter is from Bower's Harbor Vineyards on the Mission Peninsula, aka the ring finger of Michigan.  Their "2017 Pinot Grigio"  will compliment any dish.  The aromas in this wine reveal citrus and tropical fruits with subtle white flower nuances.  A fresh and lively mouth feel gives way to a finish of grapefruit, pineapple and wet stone.  Ask your local wine shop if they have this "Pinot Grigio,"  It'll be a hit and will help to offset the sweetness from your Easter candy.

2017 Pinot Grigio

Our next wine will be a dry white as well, "Bianco" from the Howell's MainStreet Winery.  A "Bianco" is a dry Italian wine that is pairs very well with any Easter dish, especially seafood, lamb, most cheeses, salads and will also, help offset the sweet baked goods.  This "Bianco" really brings it together and your guests will love the refreshing flavors of this wine.  The only place to grab this wine is at the winery in downtown Howell.


Now I understand that some people don't like dry wine, so here is a semi-dry wine with "Spring" in the name.  "Spring Splendor" from Leelanau Cellars on the Leelanau Peninsula, aka the pinky finger of Michigan.  This wine will get your Easter festivities off and running the right way!  You may need more than one bottle of this delicious white.  Forget Easter candy, this is your treat instead!  "Spring Splendor" is a delightful semi-dry table wine is full of lush fruit flavors and is a perfect accompaniment to a meal, brunch or can simply be enjoyed on its own.  You should be able to find this wine in your local grocery store or wine shop.  If you can't get it there, then you can simply order this wine off of their website.

Our last Easter wine is a light, "new" red.  Light reds go very well with ham, sausage, seafood, cheeses and chocolate bunnies and Cadbury Cream Eggs.  "Nouveau" from St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw is the perfect red for your Easter meal.  This celebrated young wine boasts fresh cherry, cranberry and raspberry fruit flavors and soft tannins.  The palate is beautifully expressive and elegant with subtle spice under the smooth, pure fruit finish.  This red is young hence the name "Nouveau."  You can ask your local wine shop if they have this wine, if not, they can order it for you or you can order it off the winery's website.  Your guests will enjoy this easy drinking red.


There you have it!  My 4 wine picks for Easter.  If you want more recommendations check out my previous posts.  Also, leave a comment, I would love to see what wines you'll be having with family and friends on Easter.
Have a Hoppy Easter!

Leelanau Cellars


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Finally here!  Famously known for their "Winter White" wine in the blue bottle.  Leelanau Cellars is located on the extreme northwest tip, or pinky finger of Michigan, right on the shore of Lake Michigan.  The winery's address is 7161 N West Bay Shore Dr, Northport, MI 49670.  It is a Leelanau Peninsula must.  I plan on visiting the winery this summer and I'll have an update to this post once I go.


Leelanau Cellars is quite famous, with their wines winning awards every year.  You can also find their wine in pretty much every grocery store, wine shop, party store and gas station in the state.  Their wine comes at very attractive prices, many times anywhere from $6 to $13 depending on what style you get.  With the abundance of wine distributed you may have heard of Leelanau Cellars.  


What other wines do they have besides "Winter White?"  Let's check it out!

Apricot:  A smooth and sweet wine full of apricot flavor that is ideally served chilled.

Autumn Harvest:  Light to medium-bodied blended table wine, full of ripe berry flavors including raspberries and tart cherries. It is an easy-to-drink everyday red with a slight earth finish that lingers on the palate.  This wine is great for gatherings that include guests who prefer a dry red wine.
Pairings: Tomato based pasta sauces, pork chops, pizza, lasagna, grilled vegetables, and chili.

Back Noir Rosé:  Aromas of candied plums, strawberries, and wildflowers will tantalize your nose while flavors of fresh tart cherries, raspberries, and cranberries will enliven your palate.  This rosé has a distinctly acidic quality.  The wine’s low alcohol content makes it a great wine for summer enjoyment.
Pairings: When served chilled, this wine will be a perfect complement with artisan cheeses, seafood, spicy Asian foods, and salads.

Blueberry:  100% blueberry wine is ruby red and sweet, reminiscent of the fruit picked fresh from the patch with a subtle lingering hint of spices and nuts.
Pairings: Pairs well with Brie cheese & cherry chicken salad, as well as desserts like cheesecake, lemon bars, and fresh fruit.

Cabernet Franc:  The nose of this Cabernet Franc is full of violets with a slight herbaceous quality and has slight tannins and a medium body.  Dark fruit flavors including fresh black currants, plums and sweet cherries are abundant and palate pleasing.
Pairings: Grilled red meats, pot roasts, beef stroganoff, and roasted tomato sauces.

Chardonnay:  Barrel-aged estate grown Chardonnay grapes make up this well balanced Chardonnay which is medium in body and weight and full of caramel and vanilla nuances that will linger on your palate.  The defined oak nuances and crisp acidity are reminiscent of traditional French Burgundy or cool climate Chardonnay.
Pairings: Creamy Alfredo sauces, cheesy polenta, grilled chicken, salmon, crab cakes, pork, duck and veal.

Cherry:  Made from Northern Michigan Montmorecy tart cherries, this 100% pure cherry wine has a tangy character and has been recognized for providing beneficial antioxidants.  Enjoy this wine served ice cold or mixed with seltzer and a lemon wedge to make a refreshing summer spritzer.
Pairings: Recommended using this wine in sauces over poultry or pork.

Cranberry:  This wine is full of intense cranberry flavor and delicious served cold, or you can also use it in your homemade sangria, spritzers and cocktails.

Dry Riesling:  Light in body and crisp on the palate, this award winning wine is loaded with flavors and aromas of fresh lemon, crisp green apples and pears.  Subtle underlying minerality and a crisp lively acidity lends this Riesling to a multitude of foods.
Pairings: Seared sea scallops, grilled shrimp, mild fish dishes, salads and light appetizers.

Great Lakes Red:  Award winning 100% Concord grape wine is perfect for picnics, tailgating and entertaining.  It is semi-sweet and quite refreshing when served chilled… like your favorite grape juice with an extra special kick.
Pairings: Cheese and sausage trays, BBQ and picnic fare or simply on its own.

Late Harvest Riesling:  A sweeter version of Riesling harvested after the grapes freeze on the vine.  Pairs best with desserts.

Late Harvest Vidal:  A sweeter version of Vidal harvested after the grapes freeze on the vine.  Pairs best with desserts.

Meritage:  This Meritage is a blend of estate-grown Cabernet Sauvigon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes.  Full-bodied with refined tannins from aging in French oak barrels the texture and feel is silky, smooth and elegant.  Aromas of red violets and dark purple flowers are distinct to the nose and robust dark fruit flavors are abundant on the finish.
Pairings: Grilled steaks or any red meat, pork roasts, sharp cheeses, mushrooms, and grilled vegetables.

Merlot:  This Estate grown merlot has spent over a year in American Oak.  This full-bodied wine with refined tannins is full of cassis and black currant aromas.  The palate is intense with ripe tart cherry and red berry flavors to be enjoyed with robust foods.
Pairings: Grilled meats, Italian sausage, pork roasts, and wild game.

Pear:  They use local pears to make this 100% pear fruit wine, sure to remind you of autumn in Northern Michigan whether you have visited or not.
Pairings: Perfect on its own, chilled if you prefer or reduced to a sauce over ice cream and cobbler.

Pinot Noir:  This delicate, light-bodied wine has an abundance of red berry aromas and flavors which include red currant, tart cherry, and red raspberry.  The subtle spiciness that is present on the palate is reminiscent of the delicacy of white pepper.  The somewhat acidic nature of this wine makes it a perfect accompaniment to a meal.  This wine will help cleanse your palate while maintaining the bright fruit flavors and slight floral aromas that are sure to linger well beyond your last sip.
Pairings: Grilled salmon, swordfish, duck, chicken, pork, pheasant and quail as well as grilled mushrooms, roasted squash and creamy risotto.

Raspberry:  Their highly-in-demand 100% raspberry wine will fill your palate with mouthwatering intensity and is sure to enliven your senses.  Serve chilled on its own or as a refreshing spritzer mixed with seltzer over ice.
Pairings: Dark chocolate, cheesecake or fresh fruit.

Red Sangria:  This is a semi-sweet wine that is blended with natural citrus flavors and secret spices.  This refreshing drink is a great choice when entertaining and should be served chilled over ice with an assortment of chopped fresh fruit.
Pairings: Perfect compliment to slightly spicy foods such as Mexican, Spanish and South American cuisine.

Renaissance:  If you enjoy semi-dry wines with your meals, this wine is a perfect accompaniment to fish or chicken.  It is a medium-bodied blend of our finest wines in the cellar. It is full of tropical fruit flavors, yet dry on the finish.

Reserve Chardonnay:  This 100% estate grown Chardonnay is made from grapes that have been barrel aged for over a year.  This wine has an extremely smooth texture and a luscious full mouth feel.  Flavors of vanilla, crème brulee and butterscotch are abundant.
Pairings: Salmon, lobster, crème based sauces, and bisques.

Tall Ship Riesling:  This semi-sweet Riesling is layered with ripe fruit flavors including fresh peaches, apricots, baked apples and pears.  It is perfect when enjoyed on its own but it nicely accompanies most entrees and desserts.
Pairings: Sharp cheeses, smoked fish, and assorted fresh fruit.

Semi-Dry Riesling:  This is very versatile and can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere.  Stainless steel fermentation allows the delicate characteristics of the Riesling grape to exist unadulterated. It is off-dry with plenty of ripe citrus aromas and flavors and is crisp to the palate and a great choice to drink with slightly spicy dishes.
Pairings: Pairs well with foods that are difficult to compliment including aromatic Indian curries and spicy Asian cuisine.

Sleeping Bear Red:  This wine is a Burgundy-style blend of five different grapes.  This wine contains Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Baco Noir, and Pinot Noir.  This wine is light-to-medium bodied with definite tart cherry and red currant flavors throughout.  The addition of Cabernet gives this wine a bit of backbone and structure.
Pairings: Tomato sauces, pork roasts, rotisserie chicken, quail, and duck.

Spiced:  A blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other natural spices, this wine is a crowd pleaser.  Perfect for entertaining, this wine will explode with intense flavor when served warm but can also be served chilled as an ingredient in sangria.

Spring Splendor:  Their delightful semi-dry table wine is full of lush fruit flavors and is a perfect accompaniment to a meal, an afternoon picnic or can simply be enjoyed on its own.  (This wine will make you think of spring time regardless of your current season).
Pairings: A great wine to pair with brunch foods including crepes, and bagels and lox or light chicken and fish entrees.

Summer Sunset:  Their semi-dry blush wine will fill your palate with flavors of fresh strawberry, honeydew melon and ripe cantaloupe.  Perfect for a picnic or simply enjoying the Leelanau sunset from any vantage.  (The best end to any summer evening).
Pairings: Assorted fruits and cheeses.

Sweet Red:  This all-occasion table wine is an easy choice to serve when entertaining.  Great for summer BBQ’s, picnics and any large festivities our semi-dry red is easy to drink and quite refreshing when served chilled.
Pairings: BBQ chicken, pulled pork, chili, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs.

Tall Ship Chardonnay:  Their Classic Chardonnay has a medium body, is ever-so-slightly off dry, and quite crisp.  Plenty of citrus flavors and tropical aromas including fresh pineapple, ripe mango and star fruit are present.
Pairings: Pairs well with a wide variety of foods including chicken, seafood, grilled vegetables, whitefish, walleye, salmon, and pork.

Tall Ship Moscato:  This is a sweet and crisp wine with notes of peach, apricot and citrus.
Pairings: Assorted fruits and fish.

Tall Ship Pinot Grigio:  A bright, light to medium bodied wine that is full of sharp flavors of white grapefruit, fresh lemon and green apple and has a distinct nose full of lemongrass and cilantro.  This Pinot Grigio is perfect as an aperitif before a meal or as an accompaniment to many meals.
Pairings: Crisp summer salads, chilled shrimp cocktail or fresh calamari, and chicken or vegetarian dishes.

Tall Ship Red:  A favorite of visitors to the winery.  This merlot and syrah blend is medium bodies, smooth and loaded with red and black berry flavors.

White Sangria:  A blend of premium white grapes mixed with natural fruit juices, this summertime favorite has luscious, slightly spiced undertones and a medley of delicate tropical flavors as well as fresh ripe peaches, ripe honeydew melon and edible flowers.
Pairings: Recommend serving this sangria chilled over ice with assorted chopped seasonal fruit and fresh, sliced citrus rounds.

White Port:  Fortified white, goes well with most desserts.

Witches Brew:  It is our secret wine blend enhanced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other natural spices that makes this a crowd pleaser and favorite of Leelanau Cellars’ fans.  Perfect for entertaining, this wine will explode with intense flavor when served warm but can also be served chilled as an ingredient in sangria.  Witches Brew is perfect for campfires, tailgating, or any gathering (large or small) on a chilly evening.

Winter Green Apple Chill:  Green Apple flavors blend impeccably with their classic Winter White wine creating the mildest of the three new fruit chills.  So deliciously smooth that it just may become your new favorite wine.

Winter White:  Their ever-popular table wine also known as “the wine in the blue bottle” is very similar to a Piesporter in style and is light-bodied and semi-sweet.  Empty blue bottles of winter white have been used in many craft and design projects or simply converted to a lovely flower vase.
Pairings: Serve with appetizers, including cheese and crackers or pair it with chicken or fish for a meal.

Winter White Cherry Chill:  Cherry flavor infused with the Winter White wine.

Winter White Mixed Berry:  Wild Berry flavors are blended seamlessly with their classic Winter White wine to create a brand new, refreshing, light and semi-sweet white wine that is best served chilled and enjoyed anytime.

Winter White Peach Chill:  Luscious Red Peach flavors brim from your glass after being seamlessly blended with their classic Winter White wine to create a brand new, refreshingly light, semi-sweet white wine that is best served chilled and enjoyed anytime.  (My wife's favorite!  Also, perfect on those hot summer days).

*Wine descriptions are brought to you by the Leelanau Cellars website.  Anything in parentheses are my own remarks on the wine.



The options are endless at their winery.  You can order their wine if you can't find the particular wine you want in your local store.  If you want the tasting room experience they are open all year round, you can head up north where the tastings are free.  You'll leave with a couple of bottles or a case, I can guarantee that.


Let me know what your favorite wine from Leelanau Cellars is?  Cheers!




Mark's Top Wine Pick of the Week March 9, 2018 - Scandal

This week calls for a "Scandal," sometimes we need to shake it up a bit from the usual.  It's time to try "Scandal."  Yes, this delicious semi-sweet red from St. Julian Winery is super tasty, yet completely different from most semi-sweet reds.  The awesome news about this wine is that you can find it almost anywhere in Michigan.  Check out your local wine shop!  A really exciting wine that will not disappoint.


This wine is very good, especially with heavy, acidic dishes, pastas, cheese, desserts and perfect on its own.  Last night I had it with a goat cheese and mushroom ravioli, which paired extremely well with the wine.  I am all about experimenting with pairing wine with food, you'll read more about that in my future posts.


The great thing about "Scandal" and other wines from St. Julian Winery is that you can find it in almost any wine shop and grocery store in the state.  The winery is one of the first in the state and among one of the largest distributers.  For only $8.99 from Jonna's Market here in Howell, this wine is totally worth it.


This wine will leave you wanting more, especially with the bursting berry flavor of this amazing red.  Serve slightly chilled for the best tasting experience.  Sometimes we need a "Scandal" in our lives.


You can read my post about St. Julian Winery here.  Keep an eye out for more exciting posts.  Until next week!


Mark's Top Wine Pick of the Week March 2, 2018 - Rouge Doux From Hickory Creek Winery

Have you ever wanted to try a french style red made from Michigan grapes?  This is your wine!  "Rouge Doux" is a delicious red that is dry on the nose but ends with fruity after tones.  A great compromise for that perfect night out, steak or even pork dinners.  Last night I had it with mezzaluna and a red sauce.  Perfect combo!  This red is fantastic for aging.  I let this one sit for 6 months, which brought out tons of flavor while smoothing out the wine.


"Rouge Doux" is produced by Hickory Creek Winery in southwest Michigan.  Started in 2006 they wanted to replicate some of the world's most famous wine producing regions.  Located at 750 Browntown Rd, Buchanan, MI 49107.  In the southwest of the state where sandy soils and the abundance of hills formed from glaciers lead to prime grape growth.


The only way to get this wine is to go to the tasting room and purchase a glass or bottle.  They make small batches, so when they run out, they run out.  This is a perfect special occasion wine and will even go well with Easter dinner.


If you get a chance and find yourself in extreme southwest Michigan, it is totally worth a trip to Hickory Creek Winery.  Plus, if you purchase 2 or more bottles your wine tasting is free.  Truly a win win!


Until next week.  Be on the lookout for Easter wine picks!


Fenton Winery & Brewery

Image result for fenton winery and brewery logo

Fenton Winery & Brewery has a pretty interesting history.  Founded by Matt and Ginny Sherrow they started out in a strip mall in 2007 amidst a recession the owners were determined to make it through.  After a few years of success, acquiring the storefronts on either side and gaining popularity, they knew the winery & brewery could be expanded if they had more space.  In 2012 they found a nice 5 acre property, previously a wood shop, just North of town on Long Lake Rd.  The property needed a lot of renovation, fast forward to 2014 they were totally transitioned.  Now at 1370 N. Long Lake Rd., Fenton, MI 48430 they have a store that sells brewing supplies, glasses, growlers, bottles of beer and wine and other cool items.  There is a separate wedding/event room and the brewhouse is onsite.  The taproom where you can indulge in samples, glasses or bottles of their craft wines and beer, the delicious pizzas, appetizers, cheesy ale soup (my favorite!), meat and cheese tray and artisan grilled cheese sandwiches.  On nice days you can take your food and drink outside into the beer and wine garden.  You won't be bored, they also have games like corn hole, board games and much more to help you relax.  If you find yourself on US-23 in-between Hartland and Flint this is your stop.


As I have written in the past about my secondary love of beer Fenton Winery & Brewery has something that everyone will love.  Even if you aren't into wine and beer they can serve up your favorite cocktail instead.  You'll be shocked at their selection of wine.  Why don't we explore the amazing wine they have.


White Wine:

Orange Label White - Sauvignon Blanc

Classic, semi-dry wine that has an herbaceous nose & subtle hints of lavender.  Excellent with seafood & well-seasoned poultry dishes.

Fenton White - Chardonnay

Fresh, well-balanced with tropical citrus aromas and flavors.  Undimmed by oak, the fruit quality of the grape comes through and the rich, round mouth feel lingers to a long, crisp finish.

Celebrate - Viognier  

Full-bodied & highly aromatic, this fruit-forward wine boasts great floral notes.  Layers of flavor linger on the palate.  Pairs well with spicy foods.  (One of my favorite whites).  See flight picture.

Gazebo White - Riesling

Light, semi-sweet wine that features a delicate, fruity aroma and a fresh, crisp finish.  A versatile wine that pairs well with an array of dishes.

Moonlight - Moscato

Light-bodied, sweet white wine that has a refreshing taste.


Blended Wine:
Breeze - Pomegranate Riesling

Semi-sweet Riesling blended with tart pomegranates.

Solo - Blackberry Merlot

This is by far their best seller!  A velvety soft, medium-bodied Merlot mixed with rich, sweet blackberries.  Wonderful with dark chocolate!

Crisp - Green Apple Riesling

A great, refreshing wine that reminds you of biting into a crisp green apple.  A delicious juicy finish follows the apple tartness.

Wild - Wildberry Shiraz

A light, refreshing, fruity blend of wild berries and a robust Shiraz.

Grin - Raspberry White Zinfandel

Blush wine offering succulent, mouth-watering flavors of sweet, ripe raspberries blended gracefully with the refreshing character of a White Zinfandel.


Red Wine:
Fenton Red - Merlot

Medium-bodied red wine boasting a fruity flavor & velvety soft finish.  A perfect sipping red.

Summit Red - Pinot Noir

Known for its fruit & berry notes, this medium-bodied red is rich & surprisingly smooth.  Pairs well with sweeter, lightly seasoned dishes. (This was my top wine pick of the week for Feb 23, 2018.  The second wine going left to right in my wine flight picture).

Orange Label Red - Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth and rich with qualities of warm berries up front.  This is a medium bodied wine that has light tannins in the finish.

Mountain View - Malbec

Medium-bodied red wine with lasting notes of jammy, plum flavors and a dry, warm finish. (Very delicious wine with all those characteristics you love from a Malbec.  Third wine going left to right on my flight picture).

Barrel Aged Red Wine
1545 North - Barolo

An Italian favorite made from the Nebbiolo grape.  This barrel aged version is aromatic & delicious with light tannin undertones. (I love this wine!  This is the second time I've seen this at a Michigan winery.  This is the wine on the right of my wine flight picture).

Crimson Vine - Shiraz

Medium-bodied, spicy on the palate & robust.  Notes of warm berries & black pepper.

Dessert Wines and Specialty Wine:
First Frost Ice Wine - Riesling Ice Wine

Sweet aromas & flavors of pear, honey and sugar drops combine for a real treat.

Winter Warmth - Cherry Chocolate Dessert Wine

Sweet and rich with flavors reminiscent of a chocolate covered cherry, this wine is a perfect after dinner sipper.

Opulence Ruby - Fortified Port

Double medal winning port recipe that takes almost 2 years to create as it is aged and fortified with French Barrel Aged Brandy.  It has incredible flavor balance with notes of banana and elderberries throughout.

Cocoa - Chocolate Merlot

Medium bodied Merlot blended with rich dark cocoa.  This is not a sweet wine, it has decadent flavors throughout that create a subtle sweetness and sophisticated experience. (This wine is dessert in a glass no doubt).

(Descriptions brought to you by the Fenton Winery & Brewery's website).  Personal accounts are made in parentheses after each description.


Left to right:
Celebrate, Summit Red, Mountain View, 1545 North.


Not on the list is the "Mango Wine," which is one I'll have to go back for.  My wife and I really loved it. The mango taste wasn't over powering but made for a unique tasting experience.  I hope it sticks around for awhile.


The winery & brewery is a great place to get together with family and friends.  My wife and I went this past Thursday, Feb 22, 2018 to meet up with her sister and husband, who live in Fenton and discovered it.  We sampled both wine and beer.  You can mix up your flights to have wine and beer on them.  The flight is the way to go and with 4 pours for $7 you can't go wrong!  We ordered pizza and a cheesy ale soup made from their amber ale, absolutely delicious!  On top of that, the staff is super friendly and attentive making sure our glasses didn't run dry.  We can't wait to go back.


I've never heard of the Fenton Winery & Brewery before last week, so I was excited to try it out.  I suggest that you check it out too!


Mark's Top Wine Pick of the Week Feb 23, 2018 - Summit Red Pinot Noir










As you can tell by now Pinot Noir is one of my favorite wines.  The "Summit Red" Pinot Noir is a well balanced delicious wine bursting with flavor.  More about that wine in a minute.  My love of Pinot Noir started when I was searching for a red wine that wasn't too heavy.  A wine packed with flavor but doesn't leave you feeling weighed down after.  You can drink an entire bottle and not feel terrible.  Plus, Michigan knows how to grow this delicate, weather-sensitive grapes.  Keep an eye out for 2016 and 2017 Michigan Pinot Noir.  These wines will be comparable to California, Oregon and Washington.  Now, let's check out the "Summit Red" Pinot Noir from Fenton Winery & Brewery.


"Summit Red" Pinot Noir is known for its fruit & berry notes, this medium-bodied red is rich & surprisingly smooth.  Pairs well with sweeter, lightly seasoned dishes and fantastic by itself.  Perfect with "The Stout" pizza at the winery.


Unfortunately, you can not find this in stores other than the winery's shop.  At the winery they offer flights of 4 for $7.  Very reasonable, a glass is about $5.  All of their wines are amazing.  If you are not a fan of wine you can try their craft beer, also amazing!


Let's learn alittle about the Fenton Winery & Brewery.  They have wine and beer, along with a huge seating area in the taproom, outdoor wine and beer garden, a store, brewhouse and a separate wedding venue on the property.  Located south of downtown Fenton at 1370 N. Long Lake Rd., Fenton, MI 48430 on a beautiful plot of land.  If anyone is looking for a gorgeous wedding venue this is your spot.  Their food is wonderful, you should try the "Cheesy Ale Soup," I've had many variations of this soup at places and this is one of my favorite.  Pizza, artisan grilled cheese sandwiches, appetizers and meet and cheese platers.


Be on the lookout Wednesday for the total review of the winery & brewery.  I look forward to serving you all with an amazing post.


Chateau Grand Traverse

Image result for chateau grand traverse

Chateau Grand Traverse is an amazing winery in Northwest Michigan located on the Mission Peninsula overlooking West Suttons Bay.  Known for their Riesling and home of the annual Cherry Festival "Cherry Wine."  Each summer around the 4th of July the Cherry Festival is a staple in Traverse City and draws people from all over the world.  When they release the Cherry Festival "Cherry Wine" look out for "Mark's Top Wine Pick of the Week."


The winery is located at 12239 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686.  In addition to the winery they have an inn with themed rooms.  My wife and I took a look at the inn while looking at places to stay for our wedding venue trip.  Unfortunately, the inn was completely booked for the days we would be in the area.  We hope to stay there on our next trip to Traverse City.  


Let's get into the wonderful world-class wine from Chateau Grand Traverse.  Their selection is bound to please every type of wine drinker.

Red & Rosé Wine:

2013 Pinot Noir Reserve:  This dry red wine has a spirited sort of elegance. It comes alive with delicate cherry and strawberry nuances, mingled with subtle chocolate flavors.  Aged for 26 months in small oak barrels, this wine offers refined oak complexity, light tannins, and a lasting finish.  The complex character of this wine pairs well with savory dishes, red meats, grilled salmon, or wild game.

2013 Silhouette Reserve:  An off-dry style, premium red wine blend of Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Dornfelder.  It is fruity and rich in body with subtle mellowing from aging for 22 months in new and seasoned French and American oak barrels.  Serve with red meats, pasta, or any grilled fare.

2013 Merlot Reserve:  Think berries, black pepper, chocolate, espresso, firm acidity and big tannins. Aged for 26 months in small oak barrels, this full-bodied, dry red wine comes together with captivating flavors and abundant fruit.

2013 Cabernet Franc Reserve:  This beautifully structured red wine exhibits fragrant aromas of berry, black pepper, dark chocolate, and hints of coffee.  The palate comes to life with firm tannins, earthy minerals, and strong oak references from 26-months aging in small oak barrels.  The complex character of this wine pairs well with savory dishes, red meats, hearty pasta, or strong cheese.

2013 Gamay Noir Reserve:  A lighter-bodied, aromatic, fruity red wine with distinct tart cherry, red plum and black pepper flavors abound.  With 36 months of barrel aging, it is lighter than traditional red wines making a versatile wine for cheese and breads, grilled salmon, roasted duckling or wild mushroom pizza.  (2013 was a good year for wine).

2014 Etcetera Red:  This handcrafted red blend reveals mouth quenching acidity, robust berry flavors, and subtle oaky earthiness.  pair with a juicy burger, grilled salmon, spicy Paella, or your favorite charcuterie.

2016 Etcetera Rosé:  This handcrafted rosé reveals mouth quenching acidity, robust berry flavors, and subtle oaky earthiness.  Made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, this balanced wine is made for summertime sipping on the patio.  Pair with a juicy burger, grilled salmon, spicy Paella, or your favorite charcuterie.  (Summertime calls for an amazing pink and this blend will make you coming back for more.  It is probably a good idea to get 2 or more bottles of this rosé).

2016 Pinot Noir Rosé:  It may seem “pretty in pink,” but this is a seriously polished wine made from gently pressed Pinot Noir grapes.  With just a touch of sweetness, this medium-bodied Vin Gris exudes bright tart cherry aroma, crisp melon, and light vanilla with a lasting finish.  Perfectly matched for those hard to pair foods, this wine will most certainly command a room. (You'll be seeing more and more of these rosés as the summers become hotter and more dry).

2016 Pinot Noir:  This wine comes alive with flavors of cherry, raspberry and chocolate with medium body, firm tannins and a fruity finish.  The delicate complexity of this wine matches
well with grilled salmon, roast duckling, wild game, or even dark chocolate after dinner.

2016 Gamay Noir:  Has adapted well to the climate of Northern Michigan producing a lighter-bodied, aromatic, fruity red wine with distinct tart cherry, red plum and black pepper flavors.  With four months of barrel aging, it is lighter than traditional red wines making a versatile wine for cheese and breads, grilled salmon, roasted duckling or wild mushroom pizza. (Probably one of my favorite grape varietals).

Woods Sweet Red:  CWoodsheers to the road not yet traveled, trees that could tell our history, and the promise of an unforgettable view around the bend.  This sweet red wine pairs perfectly with your favorite trail mix, hunter sausage with sharp cheddar cheese, and a trail map to plan for tomorrow. (CGT)

Select Sweet Traverse Red:  This sweet-style red wine is made from a selected blend of 100% vinifera red wine grapes. It displays a sweet fruity flavor with rich red wine undertones.  Serve slightly chilled.


White Wine:

2016 Pinot Grigio:  Bright acidity and beautiful mineral qualities with wonderful fruit. Its floral-citrus flavors and herbaceous style will make this a very food-friendly wine, perfect for summertime.  The natural acidity in this crisp Pinot Grigio will accentuate simple and delicate flavors in food, especially fish entrées.  Pair with savory dishes such as seared scallops, pesto chicken, or stir fry.

2013 Gewürztraminer:  Robust and spicy with a pronounced aromatic style.  Exhibiting floral, ginger, citrus and earthy nuances.  This wine pairs wonderfully with assertive cuisine such as Thai or Indian dishes.

2016 Etcetera White:  Notes of honeycomb, ripe green apple, and citrus fill the palate with striking minerality and a hint of spice on the finish.  Enjoy this exquisitely structured white wine with most savory dishes such as margarita pizza, decadent mac and cheese, and grilled sausage and peppers.

2016 Ship of Fools:  "A ship’s journey will cease if its myriad of characters fail to meld as a crew."  In a similar fashion, they created this unconventional blend that reveals an altogether new phizog.  It exhibits bright fruit flavor, pleasing mineral qualities with nuances of aromatic green tea.  With a dry, lingering finish and soft acidity, it is the perfect skipper to sail into uncharted waters. (CGT)

2016 Grü Vin:  Equal parts “crispy-wow” with “zesty-ooh,” this captivating cool climate creation can saunter into any room and grab attention.  Their small block vineyard provides intense late-season ripening, creating a laid-back wine with a clean finish.  This show-stopping wine offers marvelous citrus qualities, juicy minerality, and hints of white pepper.  Sit back, enjoy a chilled glass and be your far-out self. (CGT) (Can you dig it?)

Select Pinot Grigio:  A slightly sweeter wine offering ripe fruit flavors, citrus-herb qualities, and crisp acidity.  This versatile wine pairs beautifully with spicy dishes.

Waters Sweet White:  CheerWaterss to full sails, fish tales, wet paddles and rafting up with friends on the lake.  This sweet white wine pairs nicely with planked salmon, fresh cherries, watermelon, and those freshwater memories that can only be made in Michigan. (CGT)

Picnic Semi-dry White:  Cheers to toes in the sand at sunset, gentle breezes scented by campfire, and spontaneous outdooor dining.  This semi-dry white wine pairs perfectly with a gingham table cloth, wicker basket, warming bonfire, and s’mores after sunset with your favorite people. (CGT)



2016 Late Harvest Riesling:  Abounds with dazzling fruit and crisp citrus flavors balanced with a naturally sweet finish.  They created this exquisite after-dinner wine to match well with cheese and fruit as well as roast pork, glazed ham, poultry, or most barbecued fare.

2014 Semi-dry Riesling:  This versatile wine displays flavors of ripe pear and honey crisp, accented by scents of Meyer lemon and acacia honey complimented by very refreshing acidity.  Most entrées will surely be complemented by this versatile wine.  Flavors of citrus and fresh fruit abound, balanced with crisp acidity and a lasting finish.  From the basic stir fry, barbecue, or even Indian chutney, the fruit undertones will enhance a broad range of the most unique meals.  Serve slightly chilled.

2016 Dry Riesling:  This expressive dry white wine is crisp, fruity and fresh.  Intricate flavors of apple, pear and citrus are matched with a vibrant steely-dry finish.  Its assertive and clean style is an ideal match for most seafood, shellfish, or delicate cream sauce entrées

2016 Whole Cluster Riesling:  Crisp aromatics, bright tropical fruit and lemony citrus are accented with luscious flavors of ripe apple and pear.  Produced from top quality, hand-picked Riesling grapes, whole clusters were pressed without any de-stemming or crushing.  The resulting wine is sleek and steely with just a hint of natural sweetness for balance.  With talent on loan from the vineyard, this wine is a Riesling rock star.

2016 Block Twelve:  Block 12 is their prized little vineyard recognized for producing outstanding quality grapes.  Hand-picked with loads of flavor, they cool fermented and steady aged in stainless steel allowing this wine to show off juicy fruit-forward aromatics, pronounced citrus and a robust mouthfeel.  Made in the style they see fit, this hand-crafted, small production wine exemplifies their 43-year commitment to making extraordinary Riesling.

Select Semi-dry Riesling: This is a popular semi-dry white wine made in a refreshing style with crisp character.  Serve with cheese and fruit, grilled poultry, fresh seafood, or any barbecued fare.

Select Sweet Harvest Riesling:  This sweeter-style white wine displays flavors of apricot, melon and honey with a sweet finish.  Serve with roast pork, grilled poultry, glazed ham, pasta salad or barbecued fare.


Cherry Wine:

Cherry Wine Sangria:  This is a sweet wine made from Cherry Wine blended with natural lemon, lime, pineapple, banana and orange flavors.  Cherry Wine Sangria is a perfect pairing for holiday meals, with flavors that burst when warmed.

Spiced Cherry Wine:  This wine is a holiday tradition made from a blend of Cherry Wine with natural flavors of cinnamon, clove, orange, and lemon peel.  Enjoy as a warm-up beverage during the cooler months.

Cherry Riesling Wine:  This unique and flavorful wine was made from Semi-dry Riesling Wine and Northern Michigan Cherry Wine.  Simply put, this enchanting semi-dry wine displays crisp, fruity style with a delicate hint of cherry.  We recommend serving this versatile wine slightly chilled as an accompaniment to picnic or barbecued fare, as well as cheese and fruit.  This is a sweeter-style blush wine with crisp Riesling flavors.

Cherry Wine:  This all-natural Cherry Wine is made in a sweeter style and is produced from a variety of tart cherries grown in nearby orchards.  They cool fermented this wine in stainless steel tanks to capture the delicate fruit qualities, ripe cherry flavors, and beautiful color.  Enjoy with barbecued foods, picnic fare or cheese and fruit. Serve slightly chilled for best flavor.

Cherry Reserve Port:  This rich and robust port-style wine reveals fragrant cherry aromas and wonderful complexity.  Made from pure Northern Michigan cherries and aged for a minimum of 48 months in small oak barrels, this wine is then fortified with cherry brandy to add sweetness and complexity.  The resulting wine offers big cherry pie character with a deliciously sweet, mouth-filling finish. Enjoy after dinner with dark chocolate, aged cheeses, or your favorite dessert. Serve at room temperature.


MichMash Wine:

MichMash White:  White Blend.  This wine can only be shipped in Michigan.  MichMash wines are uniquely flavor-driven and not focused on the individual varietal, but on producing intricately beautiful blends.

MichMash Riesling:  Riesling Blend.  This wine can only be shipped in Michigan.  MichMash wines are uniquely flavor-driven and not focused on the individual varietal, but on producing intricately beautiful blends.

MichMash Red:  Red Blend.  This wine can only be shipped in Michigan.  MichMash wines are uniquely flavor-driven and not focused on the individual varietal, but on producing intricately beautiful blends.

(All wine descriptions are from the Chateau Grand Traverse website.  Anything in a parentheses will be my own accounts of the wine from when I tasted them).


If you are curious about the winemaking process and would like to see the vineyard, you can take a complementary tour when you arrive to the tasting room.  It is usually a good idea to set the tour up ahead of time and make sure to arrive 10 minutes early for your appointment.  Tours will last around 30 minutes.  If you have time, it is a real treat to see.


You can find Chateau Grand Traverse wine at your local wine shop or grocery store.  They may not carry all of the wines listed above, but be sure to ask the person in charge of ordering wine at the store if they would order it for you.  This works every time when you have a good rapport with the person in charge of ordering the wine.  If you want to order, you can go on the winery's website to order as many bottles as you desire or can afford.  Prices may vary but they are usually quite reasonable.


Until Friday, I need to restock the supply!


Fieldstone Winery & Hard Cider - A must if you are in Rochester

Image result for fieldstone winery rochester mi

Fieldstone Winery & Hard Cider is your Southeast Michigan spot to get wine and hard cider.  In the heart of downtown Rochester at 223 S Main St, Rochester, MI 48307.... Wait...what? you mean there's a winery in Southeast Michigan?  You thought it was only for the west side of the state.  Nope, it's common for towns to have a winery.


I heard about this winery while I was training at Leader Dog.  One of the instructors told me about it and I just had to try it.  Shannan came up to visit on my day off and we headed into town.  After an amazing lunch at Penn Station Subs we walked across the street into the winery and were in love with the selection!  We got to know the staff.  Professing our love of Pumpkin Cider I had to buy a growler!  Discovering fruit infused wine, many delicious traditional reds and whites along with some unique dessert delights.


Close to the campus of Oakland University it is a fantastic spot to grab a growler of cider and/or bottles of wine.  Wine is an amazing choice for Valentine's Day.  One week away peeps!  Maybe a Fieldstone Winery wine would be perfect for that special day.  They have so many different wines along with some cheese plates, chocolates and other goodies.  Want to try multiple wine?  Try a wine flight or two!


Now it's time to get hot and heavy with this diverse wine list!


If Wine isn't your thing and none of the combinations sound good let's check out the cider.


(Lists taken from Fieldstone Winery & Cider website.  NOTE: Certain wines may not be available all year round).


Yum, don't try to taste them all in one sitting you'll have a killer stomachache.  Enough wine and cider to keep you coming back to try the varietals you missed.


The best specialty wine for summer that tastes more like a cocktail than a wine is "Coconut Yuzu."  If you dig the cider and love everything pumpkin in the fall they have a Pumpkin Hard Cider that is definitely worth a trip to downtown Rochester.


If you want to make a day of it there are many different coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, and other shops in downtown.  Take a look and enjoy the scenery.  It's well worth a trip to Rochester around the holiday season all of the storefronts are lit with lights.  I know it's early but not too early to plan ahead.  You may be reading this in June or September for all I know.  Ha!


If you visit the Fieldstone Winery please let me know and tell me what wine and/or hard cider is your favorite, or you are like me and love them all!  Until Friday!


If you've been reading since the beginning or you are a new reader please share with me your favorite Michigan wine.

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