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!


Spicy-Red Wine Pasta

October 14, 2021

Pasta with wine is a beautiful thing…but try using wine in your pasta! Use your favorite medium-bodied, dry red Missouri wine in this dish. It is an easy, flavorful dinner to work in rotation.

Servings: Feeds 4-6

Total time: 25 minutes



Kosher salt

1 lb pasta of your choice

1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil 

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 large shallot thinly sliced

1/2 c fresh mushrooms sliced

1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper 

1 tbsp tomato paste 

1 bottle Chambourcin

1 tbsp butter 

4 oz coarsely crumbled feta cheese 



1.Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes, stirring pasta occasionally. Drain and save the pasta water.

2.In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, shallots, mushrooms, crushed red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, around 1 to 2 minutes.

3.Add tomato paste and Chambourcin wine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently for 3 minutes.

4.Add the pasta to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost all of the wine is absorbed and the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes (if the pasta mixture is too dry, add pasta cooking water as needed).

5.Stir in butter and 1 teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat, and toss until the wine sauce thickens enough to coat the pasta, about 1 minute.

6.Add feta cheese and serve.


Let us know how you like this recipe! Tag your delicious pictures on social with #mowine.

Wine Finishing Salt

October 12, 2021

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for your favorite foodie or would like a fun, flavorful way to use your favorite Missouri wine, this recipe is for you. Wine-flavored finishing salts are a simple yet delicious addition to many meals. With just two ingredients, you can wow even the most delicate palates with salts that share the rich color, bouquet and notes of your favorite Missouri wine.

Sprinkle it on your favorite protein as a finishing salt, add it to your go-to marinade recipe or even use it to add flavor to your favorite breads, starches and veggies.

Ingredients needed:

  • Favorite Missouri wine, red wines make beautiful salts
  • Coarse salt, such coarse sea salt, kosher or flake salt

Total time: 3.5 hours

Supplies needed:

  • Measuring cup
  • Sauce pan
  • Tray, one which can be lined or disposable for easy clean up
  • Jar or other airtight storage container for the finished product
  • Spice grinder or blender to break up any clumps and get preferred texture (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine 1-part coarse salt to 3-parts wine in a saucepan. We’ve found using 1/3 cup salt to 1 cup wine gives us the perfect amount to fill giftable 4 oz. jelly jars.
  3. Bring the salt/wine solution to a simmer while stirring to dissolve the salt. Simmer for at least 30 minutes to reduce the liquid until it can easily coat the back of a spoon and is almost syrup-like in consistency.
  4. Pour the reduced liquid into a tray and place in the preheated oven.
  5. Stir every 15 minutes to break up any clumps until the salt is completely dry. This should take from two to three hours.
  6. (Optional) Process your dry salt in a spice grinder or blender to break up any clumps or create a finer texture, if desired.
  7. Store the salt in an airtight container.
  8. Sprinkle flavored salt as a finished salt for your favorite protein or add it to your favorite recipe for a hint of your chosen wine’s bouquet.
  9. Experiment with different varieties of Missouri wine to find your favorite.

When enjoying a dish finished with your homemade salts, sample a glass of the same wine to bring out all the flavors. Give this a try for yourself and package some jars for unique gifts while you’re at it. Share the finished product with us by using #mowine on Facebook and Instagram.

DIY Cork Ball Decor

October 05, 2021

It’s time to put that pile of corks you have saved to good use and up-cycle them into unique home décor. If you have been tossing those corks, start saving them!


3 foam or paper balls (varying sizes of your choosing)

75 Corks (collect more corks for larger sizes)

Acrylic paint (we used antique gold to blend with color of corks)

Paint brush

Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks

Watch our step-by-step demonstration here:


1.Paint foam balls (if needed) and allow dry-time. In the meantime, pour yourself a glass of encouragement to enjoy with your DIY.

2.Use hot glue on the end of each cork and place on ball. Mix the variety of corks and even place the stained end out to be visible.

Pro-tip: allow the hot glue to cool a second before placing the cork. Hold cork in place for 10 seconds to cure cork to surface.

3.Work your way all around the ball covering as much of its surface as possible.

4.Allow the glue to dry and then place on display.

5.Repeat these steps on multiple sizes, if desired.

6.Enjoy your recycled cork decor for years to come!

Snap a picture of the finished product and tag us on social media with #mowine.


Harvesting Norton with Dale Hollow Winery

October 05, 2021

Beth Dale jokingly nicknamed her family’s farm in Stover, Missouri, “Dale Hollow” many years ago. The diversified farm that she and her husband, Kenny, owned was originally purchased by Melvin Dale (Kenny’s father) in the 1950s. Their sons, Jesse and Asher, grew up in “the hollow” and moved away to start careers, Asher in chemistry and Jesse in finance.

Asher met Ana and Jesse met Katy – both couples wed, moved back to Stover and decided to start a winery on their family’s land. There was only one obvious choice for the name, Dale Hollow Winery.

Vines were planted in the Spring of 2013. In 2016, the tasting room was established and opened for a full season in 2017.

After many years of organic growth, the winery is truly coming into its own influence. Within the first few years of operation, Dale Hollow Winery garnered several awards, winning the 2019 Missouri Wine Competition’s Best of Class Sweet Red Wine with their 2018 Concord. They experienced exponential growth on the vine as well, now growing 8 varieties of grapes on nearly 15 acres of vines.

Dale Hollow Winemaker Katy Dale emphasizes how thankful and blessed they have been throughout these starting years. Their 2021 harvest was abundant, doubling the harvest of Catawba, Concord and Cayuga. Norton, Vignoles and others had great harvest numbers as well, despite all the early season frost the state of Missouri experienced. In fact, they harvested so much more they had to purchase two new steel tanks as well as an additional crusher and press.

Dale Hollow Winery hand harvests grapes with care, intent and passion. Quality over quantity is an easy theme across the board for the Dale family’s vineyard and winery. In the beginning, grapes were harvested by family. Today, more than 16 “harvest helpers” picked their 2021 Norton crop. The local support is extremely important to their success, Katy says. Community members, family friends and loyal customers harvested 500 Norton vines in less than two hours.

These volunteers spend time crushing and pressing after the harvest. They are rewarded with a wonderfully curated table of snacks from Katy, as well as a homemade sangria. There was even a masseuse on site to ease their muscles post-picking. Jesse plays a game with their team to guess the number of Brix in the Norton, coming out around 24.

“They believe in what we are creating and making for our community,” Katy says. “We want to show the integrity behind our product too.” Katy spent two months in Italy studying wine and her favorite part of her Italian wine journey was meeting the small-scale winemakers, learning trade secrets and seeing how much their community supported them there. It was something she wanted to bring back to Stover.

This support is evident in their harvests but also shown frequently in their tasting room. “It takes a village” Katy says. The truth is shown in every family member’s role in the winery. Beyond Katy, Jesse, Asher and Ana’s roles, Beth creates the artwork for each bottle and Kenny is a pro at vineyard management. There are several community members who have regular roles in maintaining the vineyard, and in helping with the winery and tasting room as well.

As of today, their demand exceeds the storage and space onsite. Katy and Jesse allude to a new production facility as their next step. No doubt, as their dreams grow, their support will too.

Stop in Stover the next time you drive through the Ozarks to see their scenic winery and try their wonderful wine selection. Also, learn about their new Wine Club rewards program!

Travel well through wine country in these trolleys and buses

October 01, 2021


Several transportation services throughout the state will ensure your next trip to Missouri wine country is safe and successful. Use one of these seven services to help you and your friends adventure in style and meet fellow wine lovers along the way.

Augusta Area Trolley: Enjoy a complimentary trolley service between Augusta Winery, Montelle Winery, Mount Pleasant Estates, Balducci Vineyards and Klondike Park. Trolleys are in rotation every 30 minutes. No reservation needed!

Barley Bus: Book one of several different tours around the KC area where you can visit wineries or even breweries and distilleries. Travel in comfort on your next winery adventure in the KC area.

Excelsior Springs Chamber Wine Trolley: The Chamber of Commerce in Excelsior Springs offers a series of Wine Trolley excursions on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from April to November.

Hermann Trolley: The historic German town of Hermann is home to several wineries. Many can be visited by hopping on the Hermann Trolley. The trolley station is conveniently located near the Amtrak station if you’re arriving to Hermann by train.

KATY Bike Rental and Shuttle: Missouri’s first wine country is one of the most scenic places in the state. KATY Bike Rental and Shuttle has several ways for you to travel around the wineries in the Augusta and Defiance areas. 

Ste. Genevieve Trolley: The French-Heritage town of Ste. Genevieve is beautiful and full of fascinating history, as well as several award-winning wineries. The Ste. Genevieve Trolley will meet you at a designated pickup location and take you to different wineries to enjoy for the day.

These trolley and bus services are a great way to explore your favorite parts of Missouri wine country. Tag us on your trolley travels with the hashtag #mowine.

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