Local beer and booze are great, but what about Michigan wines? Eater Detroit contributor and wine enthusiast Hannah Lowe has the essential information about seven Michigan wineries to add to the "must try" list for summer.
L. Mawby Winery. [Photo: Facebook]
Front porch sitting? Backyard barbequing? Lakeshore lounging? However relaxation comes this summer, be sure to stock the cooler with some Michigan wines, many of which are award-winning. Not just Riesling (although it has been called the "king" of Northern Michigan wines), there are numerous varietals to try from Pinot Noir to Albariño, so get out the glasses.
Black Star Farms – One of Michigan's best known wine producers, Black Star Farms' 2011 Arcturos Riesling is a drier style with hints of minerals and citrus along with the standard apricot flavors. Riesling grapes love those cooler climates around the world and are quite versatile in style and taste. Also from Black Star Farms comes a dry, crisp rosé. And as Detroit Wine School Director, Mindy Lopus, exclaims, "There is no summer without rosé!" The 2013 Arcturos Pinot Noir rosé is light with tastes of red berries that would go nicely with dishes like salad or seafood. Both wines can be found at Kroger.
2Lads – This Traverse City winery has created an easily drinkable "everyday" sparkler in their 2012 Sparkling Pinot Grigio. Combining a light, summer-staple grape like Pinot Grigio with bubbles? Not totally conventional, but totally delicious. Notes of pear and apple pie make this a summer go-to like, well, apple pie. Find it at Whole Foods and local markets.
Brys Estate – Another Traverse City winery started by a couple originally from Detroit, try their 2013 Gewürztraminer, which has aromas of lychee, rose petals and orange blossoms. A hint of spice and a light sweetness make this a good bet with spicy food. Available at Plum Market and some wine shops in Detroit's suburbs.
St. Julian Winery – Before thinking all Michigan wineries are up north, note St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw. Made with grapes grown in Southwest Michigan, look for the Braganini Reserve 2013 Albariño. Albariño being a refreshing white wine, typically from Spain, with tastes of tropical fruit and melon, St. Julian's 2013 vintage should be released sometime soon. In the meantime, try the 2012 (notes of mango, tart lemon and grass), if it isn't sold out at Meijer.
L. Mawby – Only producing sparkling wines under the L. Mawby (Leelanau Peninsula grapes) and M. Lawrence (worldwide grapes) labels, L. Mawby's Blanc de Blanc brut is "a great sparkler" according to Mindy Lopus. She goes on to say that "Larry Mawby…is making wines that are as good, if not better, than the California sparkling wines. World class." Available at Kroger, as well as many other stores and restaurants, try "Sex" brut rosé for a tinge of sweetness, or go for the "Detroit" demi sec that's even sweeter.
Wine to Watch Out For: Bonobo Winery, apparently opening late this summer, is owned by HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse and his brother Todd. Producing Chardonnay and Riesling in Traverse City, the wines seemingly haven't migrated south just yet.-By Hannah Lowe
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