Uncork and Pour! Celebrate Wine Month in Metro D

By: Toni Cunningham | April 7, 2014
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Everyone knows that April showers bring May flowers. What you might not know is that April is also Michigan Wine Month! We love our wine around here, which is why wine barsWine Down Wednesday specials and paint & wine classes are just a few popular wine-based topics in the area.

There are several ways to celebrate this joyous month dedicated to vino in Metro Detroit. (As if you need an excuse to pour yourself a glass). Let’s take a look…

Celebrate with the Michigan Wine Showcase 

Tonight, The Rattlesnake Club, 300 River Place Dr., Detroit, will host a Michigan Wine Showcase from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Master sommeliers and representatives from over two dozen wineries will be on hand while wine samples and small plates are provided to guests.

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Michigan winemakers will be on hand from Chateau Grand Traverse, Leelanau Cellars, Mackinaw Trail Winery and more. Tickets cost $38 in advance, $45 at the door.

On Tuesday evening, The Rattlesnake Club will host a Brys Estate Wine Dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. The northern Michigan winery and its winemakers will make a guest stint at The Rattlesnake for the evening, and the dinner includes a wine pairing with each course. The dinner costs $70/person, and includes the following:

  • First course: Chef’s choice tiny tastes with 2013 Pinot Blanc
  • Second course: Cuban Style Red Snapper with 2013 Naked Chardonnay
  • Third course: Juniper Berry and White Pepper-Rubbed Roasted Pork Loin with 2012 Pinot Noir
  • Fourth course: Thyme-Rubbed Grilled Beef Cheeks with 2011 Signature Red
  • Fifth course: Thai Coconut Cake with 2013 Riesling/Gris

Brys Estate is one of Traverse City’s most renowned wineries, so this is a can’t miss event!

Join a Michigan wine club

A number of Michigan wineries offer wine of the month clubs, where you can have a bottle (or two) shipped right to your door several times throughout the year. Black Star FarmsChateau ChantalSt. Julian Wine Co., and several others offer some sort of wine subscription club. You can find a full list of participating Michigan wineries here.

Michigan Wines, the official website of the Michigan wine industry, has its own Vintage Michigan Club, which includes all sorts of goodies, just not any actual wine. For a mere $15, you’ll become a member for life. Said membership includes discounts at wineries, participating hotels and B&Bs, a complimentary corkscrew or bottle stopper, and more.

Learn more about Michigan wine

Michigan Wine Country magazine is published annually and this year’s edition was just released. The publication contains everything you need to know when it comes to Michigan wine—including wineries, maps, festivals and more. You can even read it online!

If reading isn’t exactly your style and you’re more hands on when it comes to learning, there is a perfect class just waiting for you at the Detroit Wine School, 71 Garfield Rd., Detroit. The school offers an educational class titled Michigan vs. the World, in which participants learn all about Michigan-made wines. For $60, you’ll get to blind taste-test both red and white Pure Michigan wines. This is one instance in which I will gladly go back to school.

Drink Michigan wine without paying for a drop of it

In honor of Michigan Wine Month, Michigan by the Bottle (a website dedicated to Michigan wine) is holding a Michigan Wine Month Giveaway, where a different bottle is given away to a winner (or two) each day of the month.

To enter, simply “like” Michigan by the Bottle on Facebook and follow the rules for each day’s question. By simply answering the question and “liking” the sponsor of the day on Facebook, you’ll be entered to win a free bottle of vino. You’ve got plenty opportunities to win, so head on over now!

Bring Your Own (Michigan) Wine to select restaurants

As you may or may not have heard, a BYOW law was passed last month, allowing patrons to bring their own bottle of wine into select restaurants and bars in the state. While not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, several Metro Detroit eateries have!

Angelina Italian Bistro, 1565 Broadway St., Detroit, The Bird & the Bread, 210 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, Vinology, 110 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, and Forest Grill, 735 Forest Ave., Birmingham, are all restaurants that welcome the new BYOW law. Keep in mind that several of these restaurants have a few stipulations—such as a bottle limit, a corkage fee or a brand requirement. Also, remember that this law wasn’t particularly put into effect in order to allow you to bring a bottle of two-buck chuck out to a fancy Italian restaurant.

Visit a Metro Detroit winery

While much of Michigan’s wine country is found outside of the Metro Detroit area, there are several wineries in our very backyard! Well, not literally, but you won’t have to travel all the way to Traverse City or the northern part of the state in order to sample some Michigan-made wine. Take a day trip to The Northville Winery, 630 Old Baseline Rd., Northville, where you can partake in a wine tasting year round on Fridays and Saturdays.

A few other great local wineries worth a visit include Village Winery, 134 W. St. Clair, Romeo, Pentamere Winery, 131 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh, and Spotted Dog Winery, 1100 Woodland Dr. E, Saline.

Before you know it, farmers markets will be open for the summer season and you’ll have the opportunity to sample wine at those, too! Michigan wine is a very important part of the mitten’s economy, as well as its food and drink industry, and is certainly something worth celebrating. Drink up!