I have no idea how I got to be on the same wine vibe as Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, but apparently I am. Last week on their Winesday segment they discussed the pumpkin wine from Maple River Winery in North Dakota. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.
Unfortunately, they weren’t particularly enthusiastic about the wine. In all fairness, pumpkin wine is an acquired taste. The problem is that it smells squashy. Why? It is made from squash. On the other hand, I see what the winery was going for… pumpkin is very autumnal. Though they also have several apple wines which would have been very Thanksgiving-y too. C’est la vie.
This week, Hoda and Kathy Lee talked about Sex. For the segment, they drank a wine I am familiar with… M.Lawrence’s SEX. The wine is actually produced by L. Mawby in Leelanau Peninsula. This wine the 10am Today Show gals were more enthusiastic about. And who could blame them. It is a sparkling rose made from locally grown fruit. The taste is full of cherries at the front and dry at the end. I might have wished for more connection between the front and the back but can’t complain overall.
So, my 10 am Divas! What shall it be next time? What wine in my fridge will you be discussing next?
Ooops. I see. You have Beaujolais Nouveau. The wine I bought today… But I selected better!
I’ve been a bad, bad girl.
I’ve been careless with a wine blog
~ Gretchen with much assistance from Fiona Apple
Yes, I played blog hookie today. Ok, technically not since I am catching up tonight… still. You get the point.
I went kayaking today, having just taken possession of my new kayak late last week.
Today I used it and got something that doubted was possible.
An October sunburn.
I am celebrating with Michigan bubbly from L. Mawby which I picked up a bit a go at a little shop called Provenance. (hoping that Fizz doesn’t mind if I come up and visit sometime!)
Yes, I have a lot of material from places that I have already been, but I have a little ADD. I sometimes, just need to move on to a new topic and this is one that I am pleased to get to… as it is about local wine. It is my home state of Illinois’ neighbor to the east, Michigan.
Why Michigan? Well, a lot of their wines are within 100 miles of my house making them very locapour…
Michigan has been producing wine from local wine grapes since the late 1600s. Yes, 1600s.
Currently the 2,000 acres of wine grapes planted in Michigan are a mixture of American (vitis labrusca), Eurasian (vitis vinifera) and hybrid varietals. Michigan is home to over 100 wineries and four viticulture areas: Fennville, Lake Michigan Shore, Leelanau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula. Michigan is famous for its fruit wines, ice wines and also for their sparkling wines that have made the wine lists of some of the best restaurants (Charlie Trotter, The Girl and the Goat to name a few).
So let’s begin our exploration of Michigan wine! As always, if you have a favorite, please let me know (and Marguerite too).
Ever go into restaurant and look over the menu and see the Chef proudly proclaim that they are sourcing their proteins and veg from local farms? I see it alot here in Chicago.
Then I take a look at the winelist and there is nothing, I mean NOTHING local on it. When I have asked, I asked I get answers that relate to the economics of distribution (which is complex and a pain to figure out) or I get comments about the quality of the local wines as discussed in the comments of this Huffington Post piece.
So, when I see a wine list that has anything local on it, I want to cheer them on.
Kevin, I and the girls stopped for brunch recently at such a place. Browntrout.
The restaurant bills itself as serving sustainable, locally farmed, and organic products whenever possible. For most restaurants this has meant a trip to the Chicago Green Market. Browntrout grows its own herbs in their rooftop garden as well as establishing relationships with local farmers. Local and artisanal beers are also on the list as is locally roasted coffee and house made gingerale and Gale Gand’s Root Beer. But it is the wine list that interested me most.
Most of the options were labels that I have previously seen and know to be sustainably produced. Ironically, many wine makers use sustainable practices but shy away from using in their advertising so that the focus is on the quality of their wine, not the method of production. I was pleased to see a couple of options on the list from local vineyards, specifically, the Pinot Grigio and Blaufrankisch from the Circa Vineyards in Leelanau Michigan. I was doubly delighted by the Blaufrankisch as it is a varietal that is largely only see in Germany and Austria. Unfortunately, I was eating brunch, so I skipped red wine and enjoyed the Pinot Grigio instead. It was a nice crisp wine with a lot of flavor. Kevin and I are certainly looking forward to trying the red at another point as the food at Browntrout was wonderful. Even the ever world-weary, Celia couldn’t find anything bad to say. That is high praise indeed.
So get out there and support your Locapour restaurants. They aren’t just talking the local, green talk; they are walking the walk too!
4111 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618