The holidays are a time when we reconnect with family and friends. They are a time when we slow down to relax and enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures. Food and wine are often at the center of our gatherings and area timeless part of the holidays. It seems that every family has their own food traditions but often times, when it comes to wine, we Americans are unsure about which wines to select.
Our first rule of wine selection for any time is: Drink what you like! Don’t let someone else tell you the wine you like is too sweet, too dry, not the right variety or from the right place. Choose what you like and share it with others.
Second, keep it simple. If you prefer white wines than that’s what you should purchase. The same is true for red wine, blush wine or sparkling wine. If you are overwhelmed by the choices at the local store, ask to speak with someone who is familiar with the wine selection. Every store has someone on staff who is happy to help you find that perfect wine.
Finally, spend what you are comfortable spending. Period.
At White Pine we have several wines that are tried and true holiday favorites:
Reserve Riesling is a classic that goes with everything on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. It satisfies the wine connoisseur because of its classic style; it’s satisfying to both sweet and dry wine enthusiasts because it is only slightly sweet. As a “stop – fermentation” style, it is low in alcohol and its fruity flavor and balanced acidity are the perfect pairing with holiday foods.
Dune Shadow Red is our fruit – driven, every day red that satisfies a broad range of palates. It’s medium – bodied and silky smooth so it won’t overpower the Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing.
Mulled Wine: Made using Red Expression and our own special recipe mulling spice, this is a holiday favorite. Have a batch warming when your guests arrive and the aroma will put them in the holiday mood. Sharing a glass warms from the inside and the flavors remind us why this wine is always in style.
Ice Wine for Dessert. After dinner enjoy a small glass of Ice Wine with dessert (or if you don’t have room for pie you can substitute Ice Wine for dessert!). Ice Wine is not an everyday wine because it is so extraordinarily sweet and rich. But on a special day like this, a little indulgence is just what you need to complete your holiday meal.
From your Friends at White Pine Winery
The holidays are here and it's time to get out and enjoy the wonder of winter here in Michigan. Join us for these great, holiday events:
November 21: Luminary Festival in Downtown St. Joe. Share this special, one of a kind, old fashioned holiday evening with friends and family in St. Joe. The streets are alight with luminaries and all of the shops open late to ring in the holidays with you. Join us for our special recipe Mulled Wine and your favorite White Pine selections.
November 20-22: International Wine, Beer and Food Festival at DeVos Place, Grand Rapids. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings showcase a wide range of wine, beer and food featuring local favorites like White Pine!
December 6th: Live Mannequins in downtown St. Joseph. Start the evening with the lighting of the Christmas Tree at 6:00pm on the Bluff. Then come downtown to see the shops with their Live Mannequins! This year's theme is "TV Shows" so each display must represent a TV show. Mannequins will be on display from 7 to 8:30.
December 7th: The Reindog Parade! Starting at 1:00pm watch the proud local pooches as they strut their stuff in the annual Reindog Parade!
22 October 2014
By: Dr. Dave Miller
The 2014 harvest is winding down as all but the latest grape varieties (e.g. Cabernet sauvignon) have been harvested. Mid – October usually marks the end of harvest but the late spring and cool, wet summer pushed harvest later than normal this year. Varieties like Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot grigio, Merlot and Cabernet franc had a greatly reduced crop this year after suffering bud and trunk damage from last winter’s bitter cold. The small crop enabled quicker ripening but no matter how small the crop there is a minimum time required for the fruit to mature.
Many of the varieties grown in southwest Michigan are well adapted to our climate and produce good quality wines in even in difficult years like 2014. It’s amazing to sample vineyards and see fruit maturation progressing even after several days of rain. Some varieties with tight clusters like Riesling and Pinot grigio are prone to bunch rots in rainy seasons so extra vigilance is required to monitor the fruit. If it appears that bunch rots are starting the wine maker must decide to either harvest the fruit or risk increased rot by letting the fruit continue to hang and ripen. The cool weather this fall, while delaying the rate of ripening, also delays the development of bunch rots and allows for extra ripening time in the vineyard. With dliligence in the vineyard and in the cellar, the cool conditions lead to beautifully balanced acidity and great depth of flavor in the wines. Early indications are that the wines will be worth the effort!
Good amounts of hybrid grapes came in this year so there will be plenty of our Dune Shadow Red, White and Red Expression and Ice Wine. There was very little Riesling and Pinot grigio this year but good harvests in 2012 and 2013 produced a lot of wine that is in the warehouse and ready to sell over the next year. The fruit that was harvested smells great in the fermenters and will produce classic wines. The red vinifera crop was virtually non-existent this year so we will likely run short of Merlot, Cabernet franc, Syrah and Serendipity once the 2013’s are gone in late 2015 / early 2016. That being the case we encourage our customers to lay in extra of those wines to be sure you have some around until the 2015’s are ready.
We have recently released 2013 Pinot grigio and Traminette and will soon release the 2013 Dry Riesling. Stop by the tasting room and check them out. They are soooo good!
Welcome to White Pine Winery!
White Pine Winery showcases Southwest Michigan’s finest wines and warm hospitality in our lakeshore destination in the charming town of St. Joseph. We produce a range of delicious red and white wines and specialize in aromatic whites like Riesling and Pinot Gris and fruit driven reds like Syrah and Merlot. These varieties grow particularly well here given the lake effect which brings warm days and cool evenings to the vines during the important spring and fall growing seasons. Owner and winemaker, Dr. David Miller, is a noted winemaker and viticulturist with over 30 years of experience. Named after our state tree, White Pine characterizes Michigan’s natural beauty. We invite you to visit our tasting room at 317 State Street.
Fall is in the air and you can see it all around you. The leaves are turning, summer's crowds are gone, apples, pumpkins and squash appear to be taking over the local farm stands and... grape harvest is underway! Take a slow drive throught the countryside and you can smell the grapes beckoning you. Stop by a winery and you may get the chance to see freshly harvested fruit enter the winemaking process. You can smell the fermentations underway in any winery now and it is a busy time. Visit us in wine country and stay a few days to take in the sights, smells and tastes. Area chefs are preparing local produce for you to savor before heading out for a glass of wine while watching the sunset over the Big Lake. It is really breathtaking and it gives on the sense that Life is not only good, it's great! See you soon!
Wine Tasting at White Pine Winery:
Wine tasting is $5 to taste 6 wines. There is no charge for the tasting with the purchase of 1 or more bottles of wine. Groups of 10 or more should call ahead to reserve a time for tasting.