May is Michigan Wine Month and Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is celebrating with an epic nine-course food and wine pairing dinner, the WOMP Wine Dinner, featuring the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) on Saturday, May 20.
“It is the only time of the year when all the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula are in the same room all serving their best or most popular wines,” says Kristy McClellan, Director of Operations at Bowers Harbor Vineyards. “We get long-time patrons who attend, as well as guests who have never been on Old Mission.
“Every wine vintage is slightly different and unique. It’s fun to showcase our new-release wines with both old and new fans of local wines. The wineries enjoy the great food and music, as well as the camaraderie and spirit of celebrating May’s Michigan Wine Month.”
Bowers Harbor Vineyards was recently named the Top TC Winery in a bracket-style challenge that asked online voters to choose their favorite winery from both Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas. (To view the bracket results visit toptcwinerybracket.com. ) At the WOMP Wine Dinner, guests can enjoy some of Bowers Harbor’s most popular wines.
Unlike other wine events, the WOMP Wine Dinner unites not just wines, but also the winemakers themselves, under one roof. Each winery representative brings two wines and answers questions and shares wine details as well as the story of their home vineyard. They stand side-by-side with chefs from Grand Traverse Resort and Spa who are serving the food pairing, and in some cases have created it themselves.
Resort Saucier Dennis Wagner called Peninsula Cellars and used the winemaker’s insight to guide his choices for his soup. “I want the soup to pair well with their wine and I relied on their wine knowledge. I want to give the guest a taste experience that they will not forget. I want them to finish a bite and immediately want to take another,” he explains.
Eventually, Dennis created a soup featuring fire-roasted poblano peppers, white cheddar cream, queso, mesquite grilled chicken and sweet corn to be served with Peninsula Cellars Old School Red.
The entire pairing menu unites wine from each WOMP winery with a unique dish designed to create the perfect harmony of flavors. Click here to view the full menu.
Each of the nine WOMP wineries will be in attendance, including newcomer Mari Vineyards. Participating wineries include 2 Lads Winery, Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estates, Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse, Hawthorne Vineyards, Mari Vineyards and Peninsula Cellars.
Far from a traditional plated event, each winery is set up as a stand-alone station with their pairing element and chef. Guests flow from station to station to enjoy their pairing elements with the option of sitting to dine or standing at high top tables. The station-based layout provides opportunities for guests to interact with the wineries and chefs at their own pace.
Previous WOMP Wine Dinners have had a more formal feel, but this year’s event design features a return to its Old Mission roots. Chefs will serve from farm-stand-inspired stations and the room’s décor is rooted in agrarian elegance. Local musician Blake Elliott will anchor the evening’s ambiance with a performance of her signature mix of jazz, folk, and eclectic soul.
Overnight packages are also available and start as low as $186 per person.* Visit www.grandtraverseresort.com/wompdinner or call 231.534.6000 for details.
*The above rates are per person, based on double occupancy.