Taste like a Pro

July 23, 2021

Wine tasting in the Show-Me State is an enjoyable experience for people new to the tasting room and industry experts alike. Glenn Bardgett, a Missouri Wine expert, offers these tips to get the most out of your tasting experience.

When you're in the tasting room:

  • Ask the staff questions about the wines and winery.
  • Pay attention to the information they're giving you.
  • Take notes about the wines.
  • Try a wine even if you're not sure you will like it.
  • Remember, the tasting room is for tasting wines, not drinking wines.

Tasting Room

Remember, just because you may not enjoy a particular wine doesn't mean it is bad. Likewise, just because a wine is award-winning or expert-recommended doesn't mean you will enjoy a sip. It simply means the wine is of high quality. But, knowing the Missouri Governor's Cup gold and silver medal wines are top-quality makes them a great place to start in the tasting room.

Wine is much like art and music — everyone has their own tastes, and that is OK because it's meant to be enjoyed. In Missouri, wine enthusiasts have many local wineries to enjoy tastings and learn about the region's unique grape varieties and wines.

"For anyone wanting to learn, experience and live the lifestyle of wine and food enjoyment, remember the amazing luxury of living in wine country and being only an hour or two from world-class wines made by dedicated and committed local families simply trying to please you and make you happy," says Bardgett.

His Five S's of the Tasting Room can help you do just that!

 

The Five S's of the Tasting Room

See – Wine should have a clear, brilliant color, whether it's red or white. It shouldn't be hazy or cloudy, and there should be no floating particles. White wines range from clear to golden and red wines begin purple and age to red. Brown-colored red wines and very golden white wines often indicate that the bottle has oxidized; just like a banana or apple, it starts to brown when the wine gets too much air. 
Swirl - Wine sitting in a glass has very little aroma. Tasters swirl the wine in the glass to get air into the wine and increase the nose/aromas. Always smell your wine before you sip. 
Smell – A sniff before you sip gives you a hint of the wine's flavors. Wines' aromas should mostly be fruit. White wines often smell like big white fruits, such as apples, pears and grapefruit. While red wines smell like little red fruits, such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries and currants. Wines should always smell good and please your senses. 
Sip – When you sip wine, make sure the wine coats your entire tongue so you can experience all the flavors on the different parts of your taste buds. When tasting, you're simply ensuring that your first judgment about the wine was correct. And, you want to take in all parts of the wine's character and flavor. You may notice wines have different "weights." Alcohol has a lot to do with the weight of the wine. Weight adds to intensity and length/finish. Think of wine's weight like milk; you have skim milk, whole milk and cream. 
Savor the finish – The last part of tasting wine is simply savoring the finish and reflecting on your experience. Take notes about the wine you tried and communicate to your tasting room staff what you found enjoyable about that sip so they can help you find a Missouri wine you love!

 

If you plan to taste several wines or will be visiting multiple wineries in a single day you may elect to spit after tasting. This is considered standard tasting room protocol when sampling many wines. Be sure to share your wine country adventures on social media using #MoWine!

2021 Missouri Wine Competition Results - Meet This Year's Winners

July 20, 2021

We are excited to announce the results of the 2021 Missouri Wine Competition! For more than three decades, this renowned competition has recognized the highest quality wines the Show-Me-State has to offer. More than 225 wines representing all regions of Missouri wine country were entered into this esteemed evaluation.

A panel of eight expert judges spent two days blind tasting and evaluating the wines entered. Those that received a gold medal distinction went head-to-head for the honor of a Best of Class award in their respective category. The top wines then competed for the ultimate recognition, the coveted Governor’s Cup award. The Governor’s Cup is presented to the best wine in the state.

Join us in congratulating this year’s Best of Class winners:

Best f Class

Dry Red Wine:  Stone Hill Winery – 2019 Chambourcin

Semi-Dry Red Wine: Stone Hill Winery – 2019 Ozark Hellbender

Dry Rosé Wine: Stone Hill Winery - Dry Rosé

Fruit Wine: Adam Puchta Winery – Jazz Berry

Sparkling Wine: Stone Hill Winery – Demi Sec

Dry White Wine: Noboleis Vineyards – 2019 Dry Vignoles

Semi-Dry White Wine: Stone Hill Winery – 2020 Traminette

Sweet White Wine: Les Bourgeois Vineyards – Moscato

Late Harvest/Ice Wine: Augusta Winery – 2020 Icewine

Dessert/Fortified Wine: Augusta Winery – Fine Old Tawny

Distilled: Montelle Winery – Napoleon Finest Missouri Brandy

The winner of the 2021 Governor’s Cup is Stone Hill Winery’s 2019 Chambourcin, a dry red wine that thoroughly impressed the judging panel. The C.V. Riley Award for best Norton went to Stone Hill Winery for their 2019 Norton. The C.V. Riley award is a special recognition that honors the official state grape and bears the name of the first state entomologist, who is credited with helping save the French wine industry.

“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition from the Missouri Wine Competition for our hard work,” Stone Hill’s winemaker, Shaun Turnbull said. “Our vineyard and cellar crew did a remarkable job, along with Mother Nature’s good graces…” Turnbull continued, “The whole Stone Hill team came together to produce exceptional wines yet again.”

In addition to Best of Class, C.V. Riley and Governor’s Cup distinctions, 83% of all the wines entered into the competition took home a medal. Judges awarded 40 gold medals, 90 silver medals and 57 bronze medals.

A label competition accompanied traditional judging in honor of Missouri’s Bicentennial celebration. This portion of the competition was designed to recognize wineries who have stand-out labels considering information provided, design and overall bottle appearance. Ten label winners were awarded in the following categories: Traditional, Contemporary, Bicentennial, Series, Alternative Packaging, as well as a People’s Choice label award.

Congratulations to the label competition award winners:

 

Bicentennial Label: Les Bourgeois Vineyards – Rocheport Reserve Aged 20 Years

Traditional Label: Stone Hill Winery – 2015 Port

KC Wineworks

Contemporary Label: KC Wineworks – 2017 Chambourcin

KC Wineworks

Alternative Packaging: KC Wineworks – Show-Me Sangria

Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyards

Best Wine Series: Edg-Clif Farms and Vineyard – 2019 Sunset, 2020 Chambourcin Rosé, 2020 Soleil, 2020 Vidal Blanc, 2020 Vignoles

Cardinal Red

People’s Choice Award: Small Batch Winery – Cardinal Red

Find the complete list of the 2021 award-winning wines here.

Volunteers

This competition was made possible by a hardworking group of volunteers called “The Flight Crew.” Their help ensured that the competition ran smoothly and efficiently, and we cannot thank them enough for their teamwork.

 

Be sure to sample these wines next time you visit Missouri wine country.

Cool Off with Missouri Wines and Ice Cream

July 18, 2021

What better way to enjoy a sweltering Missouri wine country day than by combining two summer favorites? You’ll be delighted to know that your favorite ice cream treats can get even more delectable with the incorporation of award-winning Missouri wine.

Want to make your own ice cream to celebrate the occasion? Check out our easy, three-ingredient recipe card for wine ice cream and chocolate sauce:

Classic ice cream floats and milkshakes enhanced with your favorite Missouri wines are also tantalizing treat to make in celebration of National Ice Cream Day. Both are incredibly simple and scrumptious to make, and the flavor combinations are nearly limitless!

We’ve got easy-to-follow recipe cards for both wine ice cream floats and wine milkshakes below:

 

If you’re in need of flavor combination inspiration for the wine ice cream floats or milkshakes, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what we recommend:

Chocolate ice cream + Chambourcin + Strawberries
Mango sorbet + Vignoles + Pineapple
Vanilla ice cream + Concord + Raspberries (or black grapes)
Vanilla ice cream + Vidal Blanc + Melon
Dark Chocolate ice cream + Norton + Cherries
Vanilla ice cream + Sweet Sparkling + Raspberries

Concoct a frozen treat and raise a toast to summer and Missouri wine! Make sure to share your creation and celebration with us on social media using #MOWines.

Get Ready for the 2021 Missouri Wine Competition and Cast YOUR Vote!

July 12, 2021

Wine enthusiasts, we are ecstatic to announce that the 2021 Missouri Wine Competition is almost here!

Hundreds of wines from across the Show-Me State will be swirled, sniffed and sampled by a panel of expert judges over the course of two days. Wines will be evaluated and go head-to-head for medals and Best of Class distinctions. The top wine in the competition will receive the coveted Governor’s Cup award, and the best Norton in Missouri will be bestowed the C.V. Riley award.

The 2021 Missouri Wine Competition coincides with the Missouri Bicentennial, and to celebrate, we are hosting a special 2021 Missouri Wine Label Competition. Wineries have entered their best label designs to be evaluated by industry experts in the following categories:

  • Best Bicentennial Label
  • Best Traditional Label
  • Best Contemporary Label
  • Best Alternative Packaging
  • Best Wine Series

As a sixth and special category, we want Missouri wine fans to choose the People’s Choice label winner. All labels can be viewed and voted upon in a short, interactive online survey. Now is your chance to recognize your favorite wine label and provide input on which winery leaves the competition with this coveted award.

Click here to take the survey and cast YOUR vote for the People’s Choice winner during the 2021 Missouri Wine Label Competition. Hurry, this survey closes July 18th!

Be on the lookout for the wine and label competition results in an upcoming blog!

Cheers to Dairy Month

June 29, 2021

This month, Missouri Wines celebrates one of life’s greatest dairy delights: cheese. June is National Dairy Month, and while there are a variety of nutritious and delicious dairy foods, few result in a blissful culinary marriage like cheese and wine.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, there are more than 2,000 varieties of cheese. Additionally, more than one-third of the milk produced each year in the U.S. is used to manufacture cheese. With all those cheesy choices and the vast variety of Missouri wines, you’re sure to find a favorite match.

While there are no hard-and-fast rules when pairing food and wine, there are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind when tasting these two delicious items. Part of the fun is trying your own combinations to see what complements your palate best. Below are various cheese styles and the wines that pair best.

 

We hope you try some of these delicious cheese and wine pairings and if you find one of your own, share it with us!

ElderBlossom View

ElderBlossom View is a working elderberry farm that has an ever-changing environment. In addition to producing bottled juice and wine, ElderBlossom View also offers beverages and cocktails that feature our elderberry products. We have snacks available and you are welcome to bring your own food to enjoy, however, outside alcohol is not permitted. Our friendly farm dogs Tulip and Aster love making friends, but we cannot allow visiting pets during public hours. Please feel free to contact ElderBlossom View for additional information.

Contact

Red, White and Blueberry

June 25, 2021

Take a sip of your favorite Missouri wine to celebrate summer nights and the Fourth of July. Of course, you likely have your favorite red and white wines to pair with picnics, grilled entrées and all things summer, but have you tried a Missouri blueberry wine?

Blueberry wine offers a sweet and refreshing sip for wine aficionados in the Show-Me State. Like all Missouri fruit wines or wines made from fruit other than grapes, blueberry wine can be enjoyed in many different ways. We recommend trying these three to start.

Sip — Simply pour yourself a taste of blueberry wine. Unlike Missouri's grape wines, which contain notes of other fruits and flavors, fruit wines are known to taste like the fresh fruits from which they're made. This means a sip of blueberry wine tastes sweetly reminiscent of a handful of ripe, fresh blueberries.

Cook — Blueberry wine is a fun, summer addition to savory entrees and sweet desserts alike. Simmer it with spices to create a blueberry wine reduction sauce to top off a dish or add it to a marinade. A good marinade ratio is 2-parts wine to 1-part fat, such as olive oil, with a dash of your favorite herbs or seasonings and a pinch of salt.

Mix — Blueberry wine doesn't need to be simply sipped by itself to be enjoyed. Mix it with your favorite summer cocktails. Bring a little bit of berry to your favorite sangria. Make your spritzer blue in the best way, or craft a wine cocktail around its sweet, summer flavor. One of our favorites is this simple winetail — Blueberry Lemonade.

 

To mix up a batch of Blueberry Lemonade, you will need: 

  • Missouri blueberry wine
  • Your favorite lemonade
  • Frozen blueberries to chill your drink (optional)
  • Lemons for garnish (optional)

Simply mix 1-part Missouri Blueberry wine with 1-part lemonade to create the perfect sweet and sour sip for hot summer days. Add some frozen blueberries to keep your drink chilled without watering down your glass and garnish with some lemon slices. Enjoy!

 

Share you incorporation of blueberry wine into winetails and recipes by taking photos and using #MoWine!

Explore Vidal Blanc - Video

25 Missouri Wineries That Are Perfect for Picnics

June 23, 2021

Bright summer days and fresh air are an excellent combination for taking in the outdoors in Missouri wine country. Why not enjoy fantastic wine and scrumptious food together by having a picnic at a Missouri winery? We’ve got a list of 25 wineries that welcome picnicking patrons to their property.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of wineries that allow picnic baskets or outside food, as all information is based on survey responses.

 

7C’s Winery offers up ample picnic space and fully-equipped grills for visitors to enjoy along with their selection of wine and mead. After enjoying your picnic, play a round of disc golf on the winery’s on-site course.

Baltimore Bend Vineyard encourages visitors to take in the area’s Civil War history as they picnic on the property. For wine enthusiasts who need to substantiate their snacks, the winery offers food for purchase.

Find a shady spot at Blumenhof Vineyards & Winery’s patio to enjoy your picnic with friends and catch live music on the weekends. As the weather cools this fall, bring a picnic and cozy up in the winery’s heated and enclosed deck.

Brix Urban Winery and Market serves up delightful meads and snacks to accompany your picnic selections. While you’re visiting, consider sticking around for a ghost tour or haunted pub crawl of the historic Ste. Genevieve area.

Cave Hollow West Winery is a great spot for guests who want to take in the history and geologic wonder of the nearby Mark Twain Cave and Cameron Cave, and have the ability to picnic as they enjoy delicious wines with Mark Twain-inspired labels.

Cave Vineyard boasts a natural cave where visitors can enjoy their picnic on a hot summer day. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages, and the winery offers a mouthwatering selection of fresh bread and local meats and cheeses.

Charleville Vineyard Winery & Microbrewery offers up two scenic patios that are perfect for enjoying a picnic overlooking Ste. Genevieve county. If you’re still feeling peckish, sample a variety of local meats and cheeses in the tasting room.

Feel at home in Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyard’s rocking chairs and fire pit areas as you enjoy a picnic paired with one of the winery’s award-winning wines. Take in the quaint rural scenery as you uncork and unwind.

Fence Stile Vineyard & Winery welcomes guests to sip and snack amongst scenic views of the winery’s courtyard and estate vineyards. Visitors can also order snacks and hot paninis from the kitchen.

Four Horses and a Dog Vineyard and Winery invites you to sit back and relax as winery staff bring delectable wines for you to enjoy while you nibble and nosh on your picnic procurements. Let the at-home hospitality and weekend live music ease your spirits as you unwind with food and wine.

Hemman Winery welcomes picnic baskets in their historic building, which was formerly an 1850s country store. Visitors are encouraged to explore the Brazeau village’s historic buildings during their visit.

Jowler Creek Winery welcomes guests to bring picnic baskets to their sustainable vineyard, or to try one of their ready-to-enjoy picnic sacks.

Keltoi Vineyard & Winery sets itself apart as a peaceful and serene spot for a picnic and glass (or bottle) of delicious wine. Take a walk around the winery’s mile-long trail and marvel at the Celtic-inspired features smattered throughout the property.

Situated between Hermann and New Haven, Kuenzel Valley Winery’s signature blue roofs are an ideal cover for enjoying a picnic on a warm summer afternoon. Take in the tranquility of the surrounding valley as you enjoy a glass of great wine with your picnic.

Lambs and Vines Winery allows visitors to enjoy their own picnic foods as they take in the beauty of the Ozarks area. Depending on the time of year, you might catch a glimpse of the woolly workers employed by the winery for vineyard management and wool production.

Lost Creek Vineyard is just off the Katy Trail and an excellent stopping point for a picnic break during your wine adventures. Savor scenic, pastoral views and learn about the lost creek that gave this winery its name.

Bring your picnic basket and experience a guided tasting flight of award-winning mead at Martin Brothers Winery. The rolling hills and surrounding woods are a serene space to relax during your visit.

Noboleis Vineyards gladly welcomes picnic baskets as visitors come to relax with friends under the winery’s signature tented pavilion. Forgot to pack enough food for your group? The winery offers a spread of prepared food that pairs flawlessly with their wine selection.

Odessa Country Winery, just outside of the Kansas City area, invites visitors to pack a picnic and enjoy with a bottle of wine on Joe’s Catfish Pavilion or in the Hunter’s Mancave. Challenge your gang to a free game of pool after sipping and savoring.

Old Farm Winery encourages guests to pack a picnic and spend an afternoon at the winery, where live music and the winery’s history are sure to keep you entertained.

Sand Creek Vineyard’s spacious veranda is an ideal perch for watching wildlife and enjoying breathtaking views as guests snack on picnic fare. The winery also offers light fare, chocolate and wine-a-ritas for purchase.

Serenity Valley Winery is a superb lakeside spot for guests to bring their picnic basket for a day of relaxation. Make sure to bring an extra treat to feed the winery’s pet ducks and geese that meander the property.

On a steamy summer day, Stone Hill Winery encourages visitors to cool off with a free tour of the winery’s historic underground cellars before enjoying a picnic.

Westphalia Vineyards welcomes guests with picnic baskets to enjoy their snacks with sips of sulfite-free wines. While you’re visiting the winery, make sure to inquire about local Waygu beef offerings.

Wild Sun Winery & Brewery offers a park-like property with plenty of shade trees for visitors to picnic beneath. The winery has a full menu for especially hungry guests, along with a large selection of wine and beers.

 

Take a look at our tips for packing the perfect picnic and get ready for your next adventure in Missouri wine country! While you’re out and about, make sure to share photos and use #MOWines.

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