Entertaining Food + Drink

4 Michigan Wines to Try this Summer

May 25, 2020

Celebrate National Wine Day (May 25) with four standout Michigan wines recommended by wine expert Jaclyn Misch

By Jaclyn Misch

Featured photo via @jaclynmisch

I think we would all agree that the past few months have been filled with adjustments. For many of us, being at home has provided the opportunity to slow down and re-explore some of life’s simple pleasures — like pouring a delicious glass of wine as motivation to do the laundry. In honor of National Wine Day, I’ve selected four of my favorite standout Michigan wines for you to try this summer, as a reminder that sunny days absolutely do lie ahead. Cheers!

Black Star Farms 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling  ($21.50)

Black Star Farms 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling 

Frankly, this dry Riesling is a BIG DEAL for Michigan wine. It won Best Riesling in the World at the 2018 Canberra International Riesling Challenge in Australia, beating out more than 500 Rieslings from several countries. That’s an extraordinary accomplishment considering Michigan is a fairly new wine region (globally speaking). This wine is full of personality and flavor (fresh citrus, peach, apricot, jasmine and wet stone), and it’s the perfect bottle to accompany a wide variety of dishes, especially Asian cuisine, mildly spiced Thai or sushi.

Black Star is offering  20% off all in-store purchases of wine and merchandise, plus free shipping on all online orders of six or more bottles.

Shady Lane Cellars 2017 Gruner Veltliner ($20)

Shady Lane Cellars 2017 Gruner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is a dry white wine that grows almost only in Austria, so I’m excited to see it showing so well with Shady Lane in Michigan. Think of this grape varietal as the exotic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. It’s got flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit, nectarine, ginger and green bean — plus this grape has a hallmark high acidity that makes it great for pairing with any creamy dish or cheese. This wine is for those of you that love a crisp and refreshing wine on a hot summer day! Ps. Their 2017 Pinot Noir rosé and 2017 Franc N’ Franc are also amazing.

Shady Lane is offering 1-cent shipping on all wine orders, with no minimum purchase required! Valid until June 15 using the code #Openlocalwine

Chateau Chantal Chardonnay ($30)

Chateau Chantal Chardonnay

This is a stand-out Michigan Chardonnay because it highlights what Michigan fruit is capable of; complexity and deliciousness! Chardonnay is typically known as the “winemakers grape” because it’s a fairly neutral grape. The quality of the fruit is evident in this wine as its varietal character is harmoniously integrated with the oak barrels it was fermented and aged in. It’s got a beautiful streak of acidity that is only evident in Chardonnays of true quality. On the nose I get beautiful ripe tropical fruits like pineapple and melon, followed by almond, clove and freshly toasted French baguette. This is a Chardonnay I’ll be sipping on all summer!

Mari Vineyards Profectus Red Blend (price TBD)

60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot

Mari Vineyards Profectus Red Blend

This is one of the most balanced red wines I’ve ever had from Michigan — meaning the acidity, alcohol and tannin are all equal. It’s got aromas of red and black cherries, rhubarb, dried herbs, tomato leaf and oregano. On the palate, ripe berry fruits are followed by a structure that makes this wine fantastic with or without food. In order to extend the Michigan growing season, Mari Vineyards sets up temporary greenhouses over the grapes in order to create warmer temperatures during the day (called the Nellaserra technique). They estimate that their grapes have roughly four weeks of extra time to develop and ripen. This bottle of Profectus is available mid-summer, so definitely keep it on your radar!

If you want to try out another one of Mari Vineyards’ reds, try their 2016 Proserpina red blend (75% Merlot, 25% Teroldego) for sale on their website now.

Jaclyn MischVia @jaclynmisch

Wine writer and educator Jaclyn Misch makes learning about wine fun and approachable both in-person and virtually! Her Metro-Detroit wine tasting event company, Tasting Grapes™ is designed for winos of ALL levels. She works with wine producers around the world and shares bottle recommendations and wine history on her YouTube Channel, Instagram @jaclynmisch and blog, jaclynmisch.com.

She received her Master’s in Wine Management from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, is currently pursuing her Diploma from the Global Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and is on the research team for Karen MacNeil’s, The Wine Bible. You may recognize her name from her time as a contestant on CBS’s reality TV show Survivor, or as Miss Michigan USA 2013.

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1 Comment

  • Sarah Lynn
    May 25, 2020 at 9:11 PM

    Great recommendations! All great Michigan wineries. It appears the Mari Vineyards red blend is spelled “Praefectus” on the bottle but then spelled “Profectus” in the review a couple of times. Just a heads up!

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