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Wednesday, August 3,2011

The state of Michigan wines

Leland Festival provides a tasty picture of our area wine makers’ latest creations

by Michael Brenton
Mark Carlson of Suttons Bay’s Silver Leaf Vineyard poured his 2009 reserve Chardonnay, aged 18 months in French oak. Fans of full malolactic, barrel-aged Chardonnay will enjoy the buttery, vanillatinged flavors, broad palate and creamy mouth feel.
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Wednesday, July 6,2011

Cheers to beers

Thompsonville’s annual Beer and Brat Festival provides a chance to sample some of Michigan’s most notable brews

by Michael Brenton
Craft beers. Micro brews. Whatever you choose to call them, appreciation for craft-brewed beers and ales and other specialty beverages, such as hard cider and mead, is expanding in Michigan.
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Wednesday, June 1,2011

Not just any port in a storm

A recent tasting revealed the many types and tastes of the popular wine

by Michael Brenton
Although a variety of wine styles are produced in the Douro, when most people think of port, they think of a sweet red wine, fortified with neutral grape spirits to increase the alcohol content and stop fermentation while plenty of sugar remains in the wine.
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Wednesday, May 4,2011

Peninsula pleasures

Leelanau’s vinters rebound gloriously after weathering a tough season in 2009

by Michael Brenton
The annual spring media event sponsored April 16 by the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association provided ample support for the buzz about the 2010 wine vintage in northwest Michigan.
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Wednesday, April 6,2011

The hills are alive — with wines worth singing about

They may not be well known in the States, but these Austrian delights are delicious discoveries

by Michael Brenton
The recent wine-tasting fundraiser at the Kellogg Center, benefiting the Michigan State University Museum, provided a cornucopia of the wines of the world ' or the world of wine. But where to start when confronted with more than 200 versions of tasty juice?.
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Wednesday, March 16,2011

MSU Museum holds annual wine tasting benefit

by Michael Brenton
Tables featuring wines from the Toro, Rias Baixes and Priorato regions of Spain will encourage learning about these high quality but lesser known (in this country) wines.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Finding fabulous fizz

’Grower Champagnes’ can be pricey, but they’re worth seeking out

by Michael Brenton
Despite common parlance, remember that “Champagne,” by definition, must be produced from grapes grown and made into wine in the Champagne region of France. Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain or tasty sparkling wines from L. Mawby and other Michigan producers are not Champagne.
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Wednesday, January 5,2011

Finding that prime time for wine

A tasting of various Mount Veeder wines reveals the intricacies of aging

by Michael Brenton
Perhaps the questions most frequently asked of winemakers and proprietors at wine tastings are “How long will it age?” and “What’s the cellar life of this wine?” Of course, these questions are impossible to answer accurately because of the myriad...
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Wednesday, December 1,2010

Stay ’toast’-y this season

Making spirits light is easy — if you shop wisely for the holiday table

by Michael Brenton
The simple answer probably is to drink whatever you enjoy, but the typical holiday meal probably isn’t the best occasion to open a big, burly, tannic Cabernet, or a flabby, low acid white.
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Wednesday, November 3,2010

Romancing the Rhone

One formidable French valley yields a variety of tantalizing wines

by Michael Brenton
The under-appreciation factor, which for years made these wines screaming bargains, is disappearing, but this region of France remains a great source of highquality wines without the higher price tag of many Bordeaux or Burgundy region wines of comparable quality.
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