Sip on some spring wines from around Northern Michigan. In the May 2015 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, food and wine editor Tim Tebeau suggests sampling several springy varieties, from subtle to bold.

Buds are poised for breaking, and morels push through the leaf litter: it’s time to start drinking our way into spring. The onset of warm days, foliage and fresh local foods suggests we step away from winter’s rich red wines in favor of lighter, brighter elixirs. Fresh trout and walleye garnished with ramps, morels and fiddlehead ferns beg for the bright acid and blossom aromas of grapes like grüner veltliner, pinot blanc and pinot gris. It’s also time to seriously think pink as early greens, grilled salmon and fresh goat cheese make their way onto the table. Lamb, spring’s official protein, calls for the briary fruit and spice of cabernet franc or blaufränkisch. Lucky for us, all of these delicious tipples are readily available at newly reopened tasting rooms and well-stocked wine shops around the North. So shed your sweater, fire up the grill and pour a glass.


Bonobo Pinot Blanc 2013

Pinot gris’s curvier sister, pinot blanc shows juicy yellow fruits, blossoms and sweet citrus tones in this lush effort from Old Mission’s newly launched Bonobo Winery.

Verterra Chaos Sparkler 2014

Verterra serves up tasty chaos by the fluteful with this ebullient bubbly blend of pinot blanc, pinot gris and vignoles. Ripe melon and banana preface a bright green apple finish with mouthwatering acidity and persistent bubbles.

Chateau Grand Traverse Etcetera Rosé 2013

CGT’s fruity pink foursome of cab franc, merlot, gamay and pinot noir is a pretty pale pink with subtle spice, red cherry character and a hint of sweetness.

Shady Lane Cellars Franc ‘n’ Franc 2012

Shady Lane’s wine wizard Adam Satchwell marries the raspberry and tobacco essence of cab franc with the peppered blueberry muscle of blaufränkisch, and we end up with a brawny love child of delicious proportion. Grill some lamb and open two bottles.

Black Star Farms 
Arcturos Grüner Veltliner 2013

This tastefully herby Austrian transplant flashes ripe apple aromas and white pepper underpinnings that make it a perfect companion to fresh fish and spring salads.


More Northern Michigan Wine

Northern Michigan Wine 101

Sweet Wines of Northern Michigan

Painting with a Twist in Traverse City