This article was originally featured in the December 2014 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
Whether a rich Rioja red to pair with your roast beast or racy off-dry riesling to complement a cheese tray, December is an oeno-intensive month. Lucky for us the North is filthy with enlightened independent wine merchants to help you drink in or outside of your comfort zone, inform food pairings and showcase local vino alongside value and variety from across the greater world of wine. Read on this month as we find liquid love in the case stacks and bins of the North’s fine bottle shops.
Esperance’s massive temperature-controlled cellar is stocked with rare Burgundies, grower Champagnes and delicious work-a-day wines meticulously selected by sommelier and proprietor Pram Acharya.
Tasty bargains from Potter Valley, California to Puglia, Italy, spill out of wooden crates lining the gleaming meat counter, while in the adjacent room Burritt’s swank and expansive cellar is stocked floor to ceiling with bubbly, barolo and craft beer.
Case stacks of Cannonau and Corbières are right at home beside olive barrels, aging salumi and fresh-cut pasta at this Old World TC landmark.
Offering a large spread of local wines, the Blue Goat also gives access to the entire wine world with thousands of bottlings from hemispheres north and south, east and west.
TC’s youngest shop, run by savvy longtime winos Ric Cerrini and Mark Dressler, is an oeno-emporium of food-friendly values and titillating esoterica from Austria, Portugal, Spain and beyond.
Wine industry veteran Rob Crandell and his wife, Mary, stock a variety of vino values culled from their wine country travels. Sample exciting new wines at the weekly Friday night tastings.
High, hammered ceilings and exposed brick play a charming backdrop to hundreds of boutique offerings from Northern California to Southern France in this classy Boyne City cellar. Check out owner Ed Brehm’s Wine of the Week.
California collector wines, small batch pinot noirs and a smattering of classified growth Bordeaux make this wine nook a must-see for anyone rolling through Petoskey.
Specializing in high-profile vino sold at super competitive prices, Toski Sands moves boxes in and out by the truckload. Cabernet fans rejoice!