Michigan Wine and Holiday Food Pairings


What are you cooking up this holiday season? Surprise your guests with wines that reflect Michigan’s unparalleled, Great Lakes character.

You’ll find a respectable selection of Michigan wines at your local wine store or specialty grocer. However, the ideal way to get your hands on wines that are perfect for your palate is to visit tasting rooms. That’s because many wineries in Michigan are small, boutique operations that do not produce enough wine for distribution in stores.

The tasting room experience is unrivaled because you can try a variety of wines before you buy. Metro Detroiters will find several not too far down the road in the Jackson-Tecumseh-Blissfield region, including Pentamere Winery in Tecumseh; Cherry Creek Cellars in Brooklyn; Lone Oak Vineyards Estate in Grass Lake (check out their dinner concert series); J Trees Cellars in Blissfield; Sleeping Bear Winery in Albion; and, in Jackson, Chateau Aeronautique Winery and Sandhill Crane Vineyards.

Heather Price of Sandhill Crane shares her recommended food and wine pairings for the holidays:

  • Turkey: Traminette, Sassy Rosé (a dry Cabernet Franc Rosé), or Riesling
  • Roast beef: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chancellor, Abrazo (a soft, off-dry red blend)
  • Ham: Sassy Rosé
  • Pork: Heirloom Apple
  • Pumpkin pie & pecan pie: Dolcé (fortified apple dessert wine), Late Harvest Riesling or Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
  • Cheeses or after-dinner: Port in a Storm (a port made from estate Frontenac and Chambourcin grapes)
  • Chocolate dessert: Raspberry

Meantime, Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay provides these holiday favorites:

  • Appetizers, salads and turkey: Hard Apple Cider
  • Hors d’oeuvres to the main dish: Arcturos Pinot Noir
  • Flavor-rich foods, including white meats: Arcturos Riesling
  • Fall-inspired baked goods: Sirius Pear Dessert Wine
  • For toasting: Be Dazzled (sparkling wine)

We guarantee these wines will spark conversation with your friends and family. What a great opportunity to support the growing industry (73 wineries in Michigan and counting!) and share the news that more and more Michigan wines are garnering national and international awards.

Michigan wines paired with roasted-spiced-braised-brined-whipped holiday dishes? Our mouths are already watering!


Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis are authors of the award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries and The History of Michigan Wines. Learn more and get autographed books at www.michiganvine.com.

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