Monday, December 21, 2009

Add a Little Michigan Sparkle to Your Holiday Season

Sparkling wines seem to have more appeal during certain times of the year – like the winter season. Celebrate the holidays or toast in the New Year with one of these Michigan favorites.

BEL LAGO ( situated in Cedar on the Leelanau Peninsula and is the maker of two method champenoise sparkling wines.

* Brillanté: A semi-dry bubbly made primarily from cayuga grapes. This was the top sparkler at the 2008 Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition, garnering a Double Gold. It also received a Concordance Gold at the 2008 Indy International Wine Competition, one of the largest international wine competitions in the country. Offering loads of fresh fruit and citrus flavors which explode in a delightful mouthful of fun. Made in an Italian Asti-style.

* Brut Sparkling Wine: Tiny bubbles to tickle your tongue. Beautiful pear, apple, and toasty nut bread aromas, with a creamy mousse. Chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meniuer, pinot gris, and pinot blanc make up this dry sparking wine.

BLACK STAR FARMS ( is one of Michigan’s most respected wineries, with locations on Leelanau Peninsula, Old Mission Peninsula and The Village at Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City. This collection of sparkling wines is available exclusively in their tasting rooms.

* Brut: This 2004 sparkler is a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from northwest Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula. Made in a brut style, it is excellent as an aperitif but versatile enough to be paired with a multitude of foods. Sparkling wine is the wine of choice for all of life's celebrations. This sparkling wine is delicate, fresh, and elegant with floral aromas and crisp fruitiness. The "fresh bread" nose is typical of wine produced in the methode champenoise.

* Be Dazzled: A dry sparkling wine made from pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot blanc, from the Old Mission Peninsula. It's an affordable choice for any celebration, or just because. A fun sparkler with fresh, crisp fruit flavors and an off dry finish, Be Dazzled was the only gold medal sparkler at the Michigan Wine & Spirits competition in 2009.

CHATEAU CHANTAL ( is perched high above its vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula, just a short drive up M-37 from Traverse City. These three sparkling wines are available at the and at more than 250 retail outlets and 50 restaurants throughout the state of Michigan. If your favorite store does not have the specific wine you wish, ask for it, they can order it from our distributor for you. They can also be shipped anywhere in Michigan and 10 other states.

* Tonight: A dry Riesling-Chardonnay blend "Blanc de Blanc" (a white wine made with white grapes) bubbly that is delightfully easy drinking to make tonight, or any night, special! This is a fun blend that works well as an aperitif with nibbles or served during the first course of a seafood meal. A great dry character also marries well with creamy cheeses for dessert. GOLD, 09 Taster's Guild International Wine Competition

* Celebrate: Semi dry pink bubbly, made from Chardonnay and a splash of red wine. Don't wait for a special occasion- make one! Bubbles pair well with the Holidays but are great year round too! Celebrate has a fresh and crisp feel and a peachy color that is beautiful. Not too dry and not too sweet, Celebrate is an all around crowd pleaser. It pairs with a number of salty and fried appetizers or creates happiness at your toasts. Serve chilled. SILVER, 08 Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition

* Sparkling Cherry: A Traverse City delight! “Dr. Montmorency” recommends 2 servings of cherries per day, take yours in a flute glass! Pairs amusingly with strawberries, popcorn, spicy foods, salty appetizers, or fried foods. GOLD, 08 Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition

FENN VALLEY ( is the northernmost winery in the Lake Michigan Wine Trail, serving up two sparkling wines from its Fennville tasting room in western Allegan County.

* Sparkling Riesling: A semi-dry sparkler made from ripe Riesling grapes. This wine has a ripe apple fruit character with a hint of orange-muscat in the finish. The wine finishes clean with no yeast or "toast" character. The big fruit character and crisp acidity make this a refreshing compliment to festive gatherings and holiday foods.

* Premier Cuvee: The wine explodes in your mouth as the tiny bubbles release the fruit character of this totally dry sparkling wine. Premier Cuvee is a blend of hand picked Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and was hand crafted using the traditional "methode champenoise" process, one bottle at a time. The lively fruit and clean, dry finish makes this a great food-friendly wine.

GOOD HARBOR ( is a third generation vineyard and winery located on M-22 in Lake Leelanau. Boasting 65 acres planted to vine, including one of the largest pinot grigio plantings in Michigan, this winery’s products are found throughout the state at various retail outlets and restaurants.

* Moonstruck Brut: Made from 100% estate-grown pinot noir, these grapes are whole-cluster pressed, cool fermented without malolactic fermentation. Using the Charmat method, this sparkling wine is held 18 months en tirage and finished off in a brut style. This wine features fresh, delicate fruit aromas with a smooth, graceful finish.

KROLCZYK CELLARS ( sells its wines out of its Freesoil tasting room, as well as at select retail outlets in Michigan.

* Frothalicious: Offers unique flavors that will make you froth at the mouth. This bubbly will surprise you with its sweet taste, but dry finish. This sparkling will be featured at the Ludington New Year's celebration called "Light Up the Lake." There will be a lighted ball drop and toast at midnight using Frothalicious.

L. MAWBY ( Michigan’s exclusive Sparkling Wine producer – invites you to spend the holidays with one of their award-winning wines. L Mawby produces fine sparkling wines, both methode champenoise (under the L Mawby brand) and cuve close (under the M Lawrence brand). All wines are available at the winery’s Suttons Bay tasting room, on their website for direct shipping, and in wine shops and restaurants throughout the state. Also offering personalized label options.

L. Mawby wines are classic…

* Cremant Classic: A brut made entirely with estate-grown vignoles grapes that are hand-picked and carefully whole-cluster pressed to create an aromatic, yeasty, nutty-note wine. The juice is fermented in oak, then blended with reserve wines and fermented a second time in this bottle and aged en tirage before degorgement. This medium bodied wine has piercing fruit flavors and well-balanced acidity.

* Talismon: An estate-grown brut with a blend of vignoles, pinot noir, pinot gris and chardonnay grapes, fermented in a solera system, then fermented a second time in the bottle for a strikingly aromatic, full-bodied sparkling wine.

* 2002 Mile: An estate-grown brut made from a single’ year’s harvest, chiefly pinot noir, with some pinot meunier and pinot gris grapes. Softly effervescent mousse…lovely, creamy-rich fruit, gently supported by ripe acidity.

* Blanc de Blancs: This Methode Champenoise brut, is made with primarily chardonnay grapes which offer spiced apple aromas, zesty and crisp, that finishes in a complex, mature manner. Truly stylish!

* Blanc de Noirs: A classy, moderately full-bodied, brut made entirely of pinot noir grapes.

* Conservancy: An extra dry sparkling wine with candied fruit aromas, moderately full-bodied, with a classy, lingering fruit finish. This cuvee benefits The Leelanau Conservancy’s Farmland Preservation Fund.

* Consort: Made chiefly of hand-picked chardonnay grapes, this sec sparkling wine features ripe fruit scents, mouth-filling fruit and toast flavors that are soft and yummy.

* Jadore: A demi-sec that is strikingly aromatic, with aromas of toast. This moderately full-bodied and deeply flavored sparkling wine is a blend of hand-picked vignoles, pinot noir, pinot gris and chardonnay grapes.

M Lawrence wines are fun, fruity and stylish…

* Us: This pale yellow-gold brut is a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, offering a complex fruit aroma and a crisp style.

* Sex: A brut rose…pinkish salmon in hue with red fruit aromas, yeasty accents and a fruity soft style. A provocative blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.

* Fizz: A demi-sec blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes that are hand-picked and carefully whole-cluster pressed to create a bubbly with ripe fruit aromas, soft-sweet flavors and a lingering fine finish.

* Wet: A sec wine, with hand-picked Pinot Gris grapes.

SHADY LANE ( sells its award-winning wines from a former chicken- coop-turned-tasting-room in Suttons Bay in rural Leelanau County.

* Sparkling Riesling: An absolute favorite – an unabashedly fun wine. Beautiful fresh peach and green apple aromas, a hint of sweetness up front and a crisp, dry finish. Try this with a splash of Looza Peach Nectar for a quick and delicious Bellini.

ST. JULIAN ( is Michigan’s largest, oldest and longest-operating winery, boasts four sparkling wines which are available at their five tasting rooms and select retail outlets around the state.

* Michigan White Champagne: St. Julian’s original and most popular sparkling wines, an extra dry wine which is actually semi-dry in champagne terminology.

* Passionate Peach Spumante: Tropical passion fruit and p each juices are blended into this signature champagne to create an alluring bubbly, full of exotic aromas and packed with flavor.

* Michigan Raspberry Spumante: Fresh raspberry aroma with a delicious, dominate character.

* Michigan Cherry Spumante: Loaded with mouth-watering flavors and aromas of fresh Michigan cherries.

TABOR HILL ( is located on the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail in Buchanan, home to an award-winning winery and restaurant.

* Grand Mark: Every exquisite bottle of Grand Mark is hand made and created with only the finest handpicked pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. Enjoy what is the hallmark of Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant. Voted Michigan Best Sparkling Wine 2007!

* Blanc de Blanc: A sparkling wine for everyone! With just a touch of sweetness our winemakers model this flavor profile after an Italian Prosecco. Great to pair with stuffed mushrooms, creamy sauces, seafood, fried fare, spicy Asian entrees and even potato chips or buttered popcorn.

* Spumante: A true Italian style Spumante’. This wine is a tribute to fourth Generation Italian wine making great Angelo Spinazze’ A special blend of our sweetest grapes makes this sparkling very crisp, very clean, and very sweet. A wine to be enjoyed with your favorite dessert or with a big bowl of fresh Michigan Fruit.

TWO LADS ( is one of Michigan’s newer wineries, located in a 10,500 square foot facility on 58 acres on the Old mission Peninsula. Currently, 13 acres are established vineyards, with an additional 9 acres planted in May 2009.

* 2008 Sparkling Pinot Grigio: Release in the fall of 2009 and a fantastic success with all who’ve tried it. It is a fruit forward American sparkler with wonderful mousse texture and bright fruit. It is brut in style and we get comments about it’s Prosecco-like qualities often. Available at the winery only.

WARNER VINEYARDS ( is Michigan’s second oldest winery, dating back to 1938. This family-owned boutique winery and tasting room is located inside the historic Waterwork’s Station in Paw Paw.

* Sparkling Demi-Sec: A popular new cuvée that abounds in subtle blends of fruity flavors. Elegant bubbles sparkle with a touch of sweetness.

For more about Michigan wines, visit

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