Craft your own wine traditions this holiday season

November 11, 2021

Traditions surrounding wine production date back to 6000BC in Mesopotamia, now Georgia. The Shulaveri-Shomu people were thought to be the earliest wine crafters, discovering that grape juice fermented when it was buried underground for the winter. This time period, also known as the Stone Age, left artifacts such as stone and bone tools that provided evidence of large-scale wine production. This region also was the origin of toastmasters (or Tamada) who provided a large number of toasts during events with high skill, humor and intelligence. A tradition still prominent while celebrating holidays or events today.

As the world, culture and humanity have evolved, wine remains a large part of “celebrating” around the world. A simple toast of glasses across cultures grew to acknowledge a presence of a person, to drive away demons or keep from poisoning one’s self. Clinking glasses together allows wine (or other spirit) enthusiasts to feel community and connection in the present.

There are loads of notable celebrations specific to countries worldwide. Spain has a wine and coke cocktail created during early native Basque Festivals to hide the sour notes in wine. Today, called Calimocho, is an accessible mixed drink passed down for generations. Germany’s Feuerzangenbowle (flaming wine) is a tradition where a rum soaked sugar loaf is lit above the wine, adding sweetness to the spiced or mulled wine. Portugal celebrates Magusto during November where people play practical jokes, sing around bonfires and enjoy Muscatel wine.

Today, the United States is the top wine consuming country, consuming nearly 900 million gallons in 2020. Yet, for almost 60 of our 245 years as a nation, prohibition stifled wine production and growing American wine culture. The lingering grapes only remained on vines for religious consumption throughout this time.

Missouri played a large role in wine production prior to prohibition, with more than 100 wineries across the state, winning international awards at several World’s Fairs. Stone Hill Winery, located in Hermann, Missouri, was the largest wine producer in the country and second in the world at this time. One of the biggest traditions in Missouri wine country is Oktoberfest, also held in Hermann. This German river town is still home to many popular wineries, but also carries on the wine culture and traditions of the German settlers who carried it with them from the Rhineland.

In addition to Oktoberfest, many Missouri wineries are well-visited for many traditions such as birthdays, live music, arts festivals and more. As the holidays approach, many families sit down to share a bottle or two of Missouri wine from one of the 129 wineries across the state. Some share the same favorites every year, some branch out and try new varietals. Missouri wine is the center to celebrations, passing down traditions and spreading warmth and cheer every season, especially during the holidays.

DM us on Facebook and Instagram to share your Missouri wine holiday traditions with us! Cheers to the celebrations ahead!

“Through the Glass” photo contest finalists

November 09, 2021

Missouri Wine’s inaugural photo contest is now closed for entries. A special judging panel narrowed down submitted photos to the top 6 – now it is time to vote! The photo contest finalists are listed below in no particular order. Vote for your favorites on our Instagram and Facebook pages @MissouriWines and earn points for your favorite photos. Points earned by voting are tallied as follows:

Facebook voting procedure: Top 6 photos will be shared in one album. Share = 3 points, comment = 2 points, like = 1 point.

Instagram voting procedure: Top 6 photos will be shared to feed individually. Like = 1 point Comment = 2 points


Voting is open from November 15-19 - stay tuned to vote!

Chardonel at Sunset by Cheryl Baker 

Pictured is a glass of Les Bourgeois Chardonel, taken on an oak barrel overlooking a beautiful sunset on the Missouri river in Rocheport.

Cheers to 32 years! by Ann Marie Bartak

Celebrating our oldest daughter's birthday in Augusta - favorite tradition since she turned 21.

Crisp Table Rock White by Jeff Madden

We met up with friends to celebrate our birthdays in Branson. After I set up our charcuterie board and filled the glasses, I had to take a photo. The lighting was perfect. You can even see a small amount of dew on the cold grapes. The six of us enjoyed wine and the view. I'm just a guy with an iPhone who likes to drink Missouri wines. 

Falling into MO Wine Country by Scott Rombach

While anytime is great to visit a Missouri winery, the fall is amazing! With the cooler weather, fall colors and fire pits, its perfect to sit back, relax and enjoy a sunset in Hermann.

Safety Nets by Julie Brown Patton

Natural/organix wines grown differently through sustainable farming of this winery in Eureka.

Sunset over Chambourcin by Grace Belew

The sunset peeks through the Chambourcin vines at Beckmeyer Farms in Hartsburg.

Remember to vote on Facebook and Instagram by following @missouriwines! 

Dynamic Duo of Doughnuts & Wine

November 04, 2021

A special occasion isn’t necessary to enjoy your favorite doughnuts with wine on the side. With national doughnut day on November 5, this sounds like an exceptional reason to grab a half-dozen (or more) at the store. Check out this guide for your favorite doughnuts and try them with a glass of Missouri wine. Don’t forget the pro-tip of ‘sip, bite, sip’ when pairing. Share your favorite dynamic doughnut and wine duo with us on social media with the hashtag #mowine

Chambourcin: A seasoned champion

November 02, 2021

Each November, Chambourcin takes center stage as a seasoned champion. We celebrate this French-American varietal for its flavor, fruitiness and flexibility to create different delicious wines. Not only does Chambourcin make an excellent red wine (especially with pairings), it also is a great blending grape for red blends and Rosés.

This earthy and sometimes spicy wine is loved by many. Pronounced sham-bor-san, you can order this delicious medium-bodied wine with pork loin or a pasta with red sauce. Take as a gift to a barbecue, as it goes well with ribs and burgers. Even serve it at a bonfire, as it is a perfect red for a Missouri fall day. As palates shift to reds for the colder temperatures, Chambourcin is a great dry red to have around your home this season.

This smooth wine packs a flavorful punch, even with its soft tannins. All sorts of berries are brought out when paired with desserts like chocolate cake, cobbler and dark chocolate.

In this year’s Missouri Wine Competition, Stone Hill’s 2019 Chambourcin took home the Best Dry Red, Best Chambourcin and was triple crowned with the 2021 Governor’s Cup Award. The Missouri varietal also took home this honor in 2019 and 2018. This long-time favorite continues to be recognized for its versatility, quality, as well as the spiced and seasoned flavor desired by all – from wine connoisseurs to friends who enjoy a simple glass of any dry red.

Missouri Wines is calling all wine lovers to join the Chambourcin celebration this November. Tag us with your favorite Missouri Chambourcin with #mowine


The Corkscrew in Review

October 28, 2021

Whether you’re gifting a new wine bottle opener or purchasing one for yourself, choosing the right one can be a tough decision. Let’s breakdown eight popular uncorking tools and when to use them.

Twist & Pull

There are many variations of what we like to call the Twist & Pull Corkscrew. This style is a pocket/purse-friendly bottle opener that is perfect to pack when you’re on-the-go. It simply screws into the cork and when you pull, you’ll hear that satisfying “mawp” as the cork pops out.

Waiter’s Friend

This one is another pocket/purse-friendly version that provides a bit more leverage. Many may provide a foil-cutting blade as well. This contraption unfolds and uses hinged leverage to pop the cork. Its design is perfect when there’s more than just a bottle or two to open.

The Winged Corkscrew

This familiar style is often found in the appliance drawer in most kitchens. The bottom of the opener sits on the mouth of the bottle and the worm twists into the cork, the wings are geared up and are ready to pull down. This style is a crowd-pleaser as it is entertaining to watch the gears work together to pop the cork.

Electric Opener

There are many electric versions of the corkscrew that do the heavy-lifting for you. Many styles feature the simplicity of push a button to work its magic and uncork the bottle that await.s

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Lever Corkscrew

This style is more ergonomically friendly than other manual options as it takes less grip and strength from the user. There are different styles, but many have the same parts. The handles are used to grip around the mouth of the bottle and the lever handle is pushed down causing the worm to screw into the cork. When the lever is pulled back the cork comes out and voila, it’s ready to enjoy

Ah-So Cork Puller

This device is less common, but works great on corks that are older or corks that are weaker and have a tendency of cracking. This two-prong device slides inside the bottle between the glass and the cork. Once inserted, the handle is used the twist and pull the cork out. It is also known as the Butler’s Friend.

Air Pump

Many bottle opener options require some force from the user, while the air pump requires minimal force to use. This style quickly opens a bottle with a few pumps of the device as it uses air pressure to pop the cork.

Coravin Wine System

This device is used to access wine through a corked bottle without ever uncorking the bottle. This system preserves the wine for weeks and even months to come. A needle is inserted through the cork, allowing the wine to pour through the device. Once the serving of wine is poured, the device can be removed and the uncorked bottle can be stored just as it was before for the next time you want a taste.

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Do you have a favorite style of wine opener? Share with us on social media by tagging #mowine

Corks and screw caps each have a place with Missouri winemakers

October 26, 2021

Many wineries have faced the cork vs. screw cap debate in Missouri. Parker Puchta, of Adam Puchta Winery, has plenty of proof that screw caps hold up strong in the fight. After a few years of wine quality concerns with cork inconsistencies and cork taint, Adam Puchta Winery made the switch to utilizing screw caps for most of their wines.

Not only was it an easy and fast way to ensure wine quality and consistency, but it was also a huge cost savings. The average cost they were paying per cork was about 30-45 cents, while screw caps cost them 8-12 cents apiece. Some corks, mostly natural varieties, can cost up to $1.50 per cork. With the cost of cork, also comes the expense of shrink capsules to seal the wine bottle, coming in around 9 cents each. Corking and putting the shrink capsule were outsourced services, meaning two additional shipping costs as well. Parker says switching to screw caps saved Adam Puchta Winery more than a half a million dollars in production costs.

(Photo courtesy of Adam Puchta Winery: Parker pictured on right) 

Screw caps and corks both provide a great result in keeping wine fresh. Cork is a more traditional option and is often used for wines being stored and aged for long periods of time. Parker says they still use corks for their Norton, Sherry and Port wines. Screw caps can keep wines fresh for just as long according to recent industry studies, it just comes down to preference. Parker alludes to the romance of opening a bottle of wine and how many enjoy the uncorking experience. Screw cap options provide accessibility for those without a wine opener, as well as those serving wine in larger quantities.

With most of their wine selection being consumed within six months to a year, it made sense for Parker and his team to switch to mostly screw caps. When their winery is busy, especially in times such as Oktoberfest and Maifest, it is a huge benefit to have wines with screw caps for the ease and speed of pouring wine for large crowds of visitors.

Adam Puchta Winery also decreased their amount of bottling days by half – going from once a week to several times a year. Before, they could only bottle one type of wine on a bottling day, now they can bottle several wines in one session. There are several challenges such as having storage space, glassware, labels and volume, but Parker says that has paid off in the long run as they adapted to these challenges.

Parker and his team work with Brent Baker of Old Woodlam Custom Bottling in Owensville, who serves more than 100 wineries across the state. Rumor has it that he has bottled more than three million bottles this year.

Aside from the production cost difference, it is much more time efficient for Parker and his team in the long run. “It is a big cost savings at the end of the year,” Parker says. Any tools to make quality wine that is affordable for the customer, as well as a better product is a win for us.

Adam Puchta Winery is located in scenic Hermann. Stop in and try a flight of their delicious wines on your next trip through! Tag your travels with #mowine

One-Skillet Smothered Pork Chops

October 21, 2021

Cooking with wine has never been easier than with this one-skillet recipe. Whether you’re cooking for two or a table-full, write these ingredients on your grocery list and give this smothered pork chop recipe a go.

2 tbsp olive oil

2 pork chops

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper


Mushroom Sauce:

1 tbsp butter

8 oz sliced mushrooms

2 tbsp minced garlic

½ cup white wine (Missouri Chardonel)

1/3 cup half-and-half

½ tsp dried rosemary

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp dried thyme



1.Heat oil over medium heat in skillet. Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.

2.Add pork chops to skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes each side. Use meat thermometer to determine that temperature is at least 145 degrees in the thickest area.

3.Remove from skillet and set aside.

4.Melt butter in the skillet and add mushrooms. Cook until browned for roughly 3 minutes.

5.Stir in garlic and add Missouri Chardonel wine. Cook until liquid is mostly evaporated for 2 minutes.

6.Add half-and-half followed by dried herbs. Cook until simmering.

7.Place pork chops in the skillet to heat.

8.Plate and top with sauce.

9.Pair with white wine and enjoy!


Tag us on social media with #mowine when you try this recipe!

This Pumpkin Pie wine is not your basic “pumpkin spice”

October 19, 2021

Years before pumpkin spice flavors saturated the market, Wenwood Farm Winery released their Pumpkin Pie wine. Co-Owners Laura Neese and Tom Kalb were asked to create a pumpkin wine for their local harvest festival. Laura wasn’t sure about the idea and noted that the winemaker wouldn’t want to bother with making a pumpkin wine. Tom took it as a challenge. Today, their Pumpkin Pie wine has a crazed following 13 years later.

“We wanted it to drink like a wine and finish like you just had a piece of pumpkin pie,” Tom says. “It is all about the flavor, smell and the creamy mouthfeel of the wine.” It truly smells and tastes like your favorite Missouri wine country season. They debut the limited release wine each September and sell out quickly, often before fall is over. “It is our fastest seller, no doubt,” Tom says.

This seasonal grape wine, is made with real pumpkins, which helps the wine get its orange color. Wenwood Farm Winery uses all-natural flavors and spices including nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. It is best enjoyed fresh after opening.

Wenwood Farm Winery, located in Gasconade County, is notable for their use of repurposing beautiful old dairy barns as their production facility, tasting room and patio setting. Flocks of wine country travelers call this area one of their favorites for the ambiance and relaxing lawn area.

Next time you are in Bland, Missouri take a short trip down Brick Church gravel road, stop at the green and white barns and enjoy a delicious wine tasting! Plan a trip now to try their famous Pumpkin Pie wine before it is gone!

Tag us in your wine country travels with the hashtag #mowine

Fountain City Winery

Located in the artsy West Bottoms District, Kansas City, Missouri, Fountain City Winery serves your new favorite in a fun industrial space. Join us for our great atmosphere and even better wine!


Beckett's Winery

Located in the charming river town of Glasgow, Beckett’s Winery is a stop you won’t want to miss. The location features a beautiful view of the Missouri River from the patio and a relaxing atmosphere. In addition to their selection of signature wines, they also offer charcuterie, craft cocktails and a boutique for shopping and gifts. Groups and scheduled events are welcome!


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