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Wednesday, June 2,2010

Cool fun in the summertime

Raise a glass to wine festivals all over the state

by Michael Brenton

The warm weather is here, bringing with it many great annual wine and food festivals, celebrations and other events.


In Jackson, enjoy the Ella Sharp Wine and Art Festival on June 12 at the Ella Sharp Museum. There will be art fair booths and wine tasting booths, live music, and great food and wine for sale.


On the same day, at the Leland Wine and Food Festival, you could enjoy visiting the Leland Harbor and historic Fishtown, while sampling some of the finest new release wines from both Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula wineries and tasting specialties from the area’s finest restaurants and food purveyors. It doesn’t get more picturesque and atmospheric than this. I will be there “evaluating” wines for a future column.


Women will relish Divas Uncorked on June 18, at the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, beginning at 6 p.m. Each of the seven wineries on the trail offers a wine selection paired with an appetizer prepared by an Old Mission Peninsula restaurant chef, plus giveaways from local businesses and artists.


Visit the Toast the Coast Wine Festival on June 19, at Weko Beach in Bridgman to sample the excellent wines produced along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Southwest Michigan.


Anybody for watching a spectacular sunset over Lake Michigan while sipping fine Michigan wines?


The 5th Annual Waterfront Wine Festival in picturesque Harbor Springs will be June 26. It features Michigan, national and international wines, samplings by local restaurants and specialty food stores, live music and a California wine country getaway raffle.


Locally, on June 26, celebrate the summer solstice with Old Town’s Festival of the Sun.


This is a traditional local favorite event. Enjoy fine wine, craft-brewed beer, the Lansing area’s best cuisine, and bands on two stages.


That same weekend, June 26-27, the inaugural Great Lakes Wine Fest will be held at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The event features more than 100 Michigan wines and microbrews, plus food vendors, seminars and entertainment throughout the weekend.


Head to the sunrise side of the state on July 31 for Tawas Uncork’d and Untap’d Wine and Food Festival. It includes Michigan wineries and micro-breweries, local restaurants, jazz sax, and fold guitar.


One of Michigan’s premier wine events, the Gold Medal Wine Reception, will be at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 5. Be among the first to try winning wines from the 2010 Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition. Best of Class wines will be paired with foods prepared by the Kellogg Center’s chefs.


The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula and area restaurants join together for the fourth annual Old Mission Peninsula Wine & Food Celebration, Aug. 6, at Bowers Harbor Park on Old Mission Peninsula.


The Leelanau Peninsula Food & Wine Festival is Aug. 14 in beautiful Northport. This annual festival features Leelanau County wines, local cuisine and blues music.


The second annual Traverse City Wine and Art Festival takes place Aug. 21 at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.


At the Wine and Food Festival at Meadow Brook Aug. 28-29, more than 100 Michigan, national and international wines will be showcased. You’ll also enjoy wine and food seminars, live entertainment, and special exhibits and displays throughout the weekend.


Complete details and additional events can be found at Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council’s website, www.michiganwines.com, which also deserves credit for some event descriptions above.


In Vino Veritas.


(Michael Brenton is president of the Greater Lansing Vintners Club. His column appears monthly.)

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