9 Perfect Pairings: Midwest Wine Experiences
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Fennville, Michigan: Fenn Valley Winery
The Wine Maker's Harvest Dinner hasn't even started before visitor Jim Winkelman of Bloomfield, Michigan, anticipates what's to come. "Michigan has very food-friendly wine," Jim says. "They have a higher acidity level and less alcohol, so wine pairing is much easier than with California wines."
Spoken in true Great Lakes State style. Still, after more than a decade attending these five-course dinners, Jim has learned a bit about what makes a good match. A spicy Edelzwicker brings out the subtle hint of roasted poblano in the soup. A tannic Cabernet Franc tones down duck's gaminess. The dry Riesling gets mixed reviews. Does it complement the sweet cider sauce or fight it?
It's the kind of conversation winemaker Doug Welsch likes to hear. "The world of wine is terrifying to the neophyte," Doug says. "With tens of thousands of wines to choose from at every price point imaginable, wine drinkers are afraid they will pick the wrong wine and look like an idiot to their friends."
These Harvest Winemaker's Dinners ($70 per person, in November, call for dates) curb that intimidation for novices -- and help aficionados make the most of a table full of flavors. (800) 432-6265; fennvalley.com -- Amy S. Eckert