Wine Tastings, Classes & Dinners: April is Michigan Wine Month

By: Amber Ogden | April 1, 2015
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April is a wonderful month because it provides the first glimpses of spring, but it’s fantastic for another reason as well: April is Michigan Wine Month!

While the craft beer industry in the Mitten is booming, Michigan-made wine is not far behind. Those who love wine really love Michigan wine! Whether you’re a certified sommelier or a novice when it comes to wine, we can all appreciate a good glass of Riesling or Pinot Noir. Since April is Michigan Wine Month, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to celebrate. Here are just a few:

Michigan By the Bottle Tasting Room, 45645 Hayes Rd., Shelby Twp., will feature a Somm vs. Somm Wine Dinner on Monday, April 13. The event will find co-owners Shannon and Cortney Casey facing off against one another to see who really is the best of the best! They will both select a wine pairing for each course of a six-course meal prepared by chef Chris Franz of The Rattlesnake Club, and it’s up to you to decide whose pairings are supreme.

The meal costs $50 and includes all six courses, wine pairings and a $5 credit toward a wine purchase for the evening. Plates include a first course of Fresh Melon, Buffalo Mozzarella and Prosciutto Skewer, second course of Shaved Carrot and Fava Bean Salad, third course of Seared Diver Sea Scallop and fourth course of Herb-Roasted Pulled Chicken on Grilled Flatbread. The final two courses consist of Truffle-Infused Char-Grilled Flank Steak, followed by Dark Chocolate-Cinnamon Pudding for dessert.

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Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet author Chris Kassel on Sunday, April 19, either. He will be at the MBTB Royal Oak location (29932 Woodward Ave.) to discuss his new book, “Heart and Soil: Northern Michigan Wine Country.”

Andiamo’s new series, Passport to Wine, allows hungry Italian food and wine fans to experience a taste of different regions of the world without traveling. For the month of April, explore “Passport to Wine: Spain” at five of Andiamo’s Metro Detroit locations.

The small plates and wine dinner costs $59.95 and is all-inclusive. Enjoy Octopus Salad, Seafood Paella, Smoked Ham Croquette and Beef Empanadas, along with a Spanish wine pairing with each course.

Head to Spain without using your passport on the following dates:

  • Thursday, April 9 at Andiamo in Clarkston
  • Thursday, April 16 at Andiamo in Livonia
  • Thursday, April 23 at Andiamo in Grosse Pointe
  • Tuesday, April 28 at Andiamo in Royal Oak
  • Thursday, April 30 at Andiamo in Sterling Heights

The Rattlesnake Club, 300 River Pl. Dr., Detroit, will host a Michigan Wines Showcase on Monday, April 20. Chef Chris Franz will again show off his skills and create appetizers, while over 25 Michigan wineries will be present and providing samples.

Master sommeliers Claudia Tyagi and Madeline Triffon will also be on hand during the event. Participating Michigan wineries include Aurora Cellars, Black Star Farms, Chateau Chantal, Leelanau Cellars, White Pine Winery and more. The showcase begins at 6 p.m. Tickets for the event cost $38 and can be purchased online.

Motor City Wine, 1949 Michigan Ave., Detroit, is a great local wine bar that hosts monthly wine tastings. On Saturday, April 25, enjoy a strolling wine tasting where you can sample up to 18 wines, selected by the knowledgeable folks at Motor City Wine.

All wines will be available for purchase, and tastings are paired with cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti for sampling. The tasting begins at 6 p.m. and tickets cost $25.

Victoria’s Reserve, 4504 Collins Rd., Rochester, is a great resource for learning about all things wine. What better month to sharpen your vino knowledge than Michigan Wine Month? The recently opened wine school offers one class a month on Monday evenings.

If you’re interested in seasonal wines, sign up for New Wines for Spring, offered on Monday, April 27. This wine appreciation class is led by Michael Cregar, certified sommelier. In it, you’ll learn all about bright and vivacious wines that pair perfectly with warm, breezy weather. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. and registration costs $28.

Paint and Pour always provides a great excuse for a girls’ night or date night, but especially during Michigan Wine Month! Why, you ask? Well, because you can sip wine, while you paint a picture of wine! Whoa, things just got a little “Inception”-y.

Two wine-related paintings are on the calendar at various Paint and Pour locations throughout the month: “For the Love of Wine” on April 2, 6 and 21, and “Red, Red Wine” on April 11 and 19.

Grab your group of girlfriends and get to the Romeo studio, 67370 Van Dyke Rd., on Thursday, April 2 for this one. Or, drag your honey on a fun and unique date to Granite City Food & Brewery, 699 W. Big Beaver Rd., on Sunday, April 19 and try to recreate this canvas.

Classes generally cost $35, and you can bring your own wine! Unless, like the April 19 event above, the class is located at an establishment, in which case you’ll have to order your vino from the bartender.

DeAngelis Cantina del Vino, 7879 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, is a local winery that produces 100 percent natural wines free of preservatives. If you’d like to celebrate Michigan Wine Month in style, I highly suggest attending a tasting here. You’ll learn a lot about wine, get to tour the grounds and receive an extensive wine tasting with food pairings.

Tasting tours are held on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Reservations are required, and you can make one by calling 248-854-5420 or e-mailing to schedule your preferred date and time. Tours last about two and a half hours, so plan accordingly!

And just for you, dear readers, here is a Groupon to enjoy a tour at DeAngelis Cantina del Vino. (Actually, it’s available to the general public, but now you know that I truly care).

After attending any of the above wine tastings, classes and dinners occurring during Michigan wine month, you’ll be a wine whiz in no time. Cheers!