Northern Michigan Wine: This summer Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, near Traverse City, perfects the art of pairing wine and food at their Summer Wine Series, featuring Northern Michigan vineyards Black Star Farms and Bowers Harbor. The three scheduled wine dinners, at Aerie Restaurant and Lounge, successfully match taste and texture with views of the Grand Traverse Bay, championship golf courses, and surrounding countryside for the perfect gustatory evening.  

June 16 Black Star Farms Wine Dinner

The first dinner in the series features Lee Lutes, head winemaker at Black Star Farms (BSF), who will discuss the winemaking process as well as each of the wine dinner pairings, Saturday, June 16 at 7 p.m.

Guests will start off with an appetizer of seared Sea Scallops with spinach risotto cake and saffron aioli, paired with BSF 2011 Arcturos Pinot Gris.

Palates will be cleansed with an intermezzo of refreshing Papaya Sorbet with basil kiwi sauce.

Move on to Seared Tuna salad featuring seared sesame encrusted ahi tuna with wasabi aioli and ponzu ginger vinaigrette on a bed of micro lettuce, presented in a wonton cup and paired with BSF 2010 Semi-Dry Arcturos Riesling to complement the flavors of the dish.

The entrée is a choice of marinated semi-boneless Quail with brioche-apple raisin stuffing paired with BSF 2010 Arcturos Pinot Noir, or Rack of Lamb with roasted garlic herb reduction, Yukon gold gratin potatoes with gorgonzola and gingered baby bok choy, paired with BSF 2008 Leorie Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc.

Indulge with a decadent dessert of Chocolate and Cherries, featuring a chocolate pyramid with cherry syrup, paired with beautifully fragrant, port-style BSF Sirius Cherry Dessert Wine for the perfect finish to this gourmet meal.

June 30 Michigan vs. Spain Wine Dinner

The next dinner in the series, held Saturday, June 30 at 7 p.m. with the focus on Michigan vs. Spanish wines, features Spencer Stegenga, winemaker and proprietor of Bowers Harbor Vineyards (BHV), discussing the winemaking process as well as each of the wine dinner pairings.

This four-course gourmet experience begins with a Taste of Spain appetizer featuring cured meats, olives, Marcona almonds, Manchego cheese, drunken goat cheese and pan payees paired with BHV 2010 Pinot Grigio and BHV 2011 Bowers Harbor Red vs. Bodegas Nora “Albarino” Rias Baixas and Bodegas Obalo, Rioja.

An intermezzo of Orange Sorbet and thyme raspberry sauce is followed by flavorful Ham and Fig salad with micro greens, Serrano ham, fig, spiced pistachios, Maytag blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, paired with BHV 2010 Pinot Noir Dijon Clone vs. Aletta “Garnacha”, Campo De Borja.

An entrée of Spanish Paella Valenciana tempts the palate with lobster tail, langoustine, mussel, clam, fresh fish, rich lobster broth, pork belly and saffron rice paired with BHV 2011 Rose Pinot Noir vs. Bodegas Luzon Monastrel “Verde”, Jumilla.

Dinner culminates with a rich and delicious Tres Leches Cake accompanied by BHV Brix Sparkling Wine vs. Susana Balbo “Late Harvest” Torrontes, Mendoza.

July 28 Bowers Harbor Vineyards Wine Dinner

The final dinner in the series, to be held Saturday, July 28 at 7 p.m. again will be hosted by Spencer Stegenga of Bowers Harbor Vineyards (BHV). 

It begins with Citrus Gazpacho accompanied by olive oil and sweet corn custard paired with BHV 2011 Unwooded Chardonnay, followed by a palate cleansing Mango Sorbet with raspberry sauce.

Foie Gras is served for the salad course, featuring micro cilantro, celery, and foie gras with apple and cinnamon paired with BHV 2010 Riesling – Langley Vineyard. For the entrée guests have a choice of Short Ribs with Asian raspberries barbecue short rib, stewed heirloom tomatoes and risotto or a Veal Chop featuring oven roasted French veal chop, spring asparagus strudel with prosciutto di Parma and cilantro and tomato confit, both paired with BHV 2010 J.T. Meritage.

The evening ends on a sweet note featuring a chocolate torte with hazelnuts, orange custard and caramel, paired with beautifully fragrant, BHV Dessert Cherritage, Port-Style Wine.

Pricing for each event is $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  For reservations call: 800.236.1577 or 231.534.6000.

About Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Located on 900 acres near Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is one of the Midwest’s finest, full-service, year-round resorts featuring nearly 600 rooms, suites and condominiums, 86,500 square feet of flexible meeting and outdoor venue space, 54 holes of championship golf including courses designed by legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, an all year-round Golf Academy, a full-service spa, and upscale dining and shopping. Call 800.236.1577 or visit

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