Serve Up a Touchdown of a Super Bowl Spread with Missouri Wines

January 25, 2021







Football fans, rejoice! The highlight of the season is approaching – the Super Bowl game. What better way to cheer on the Chiefs than by indulging in delicious Missouri food and sipping award-winning Missouri wine! No matter how you celebrate, make sure you have perfectly-paired Missouri wine to accompany your Super Bowl spread. We’ve got a list of popular Super Bowl snacks and sides to inspire your food and wine pairings in preparation for this big event.

Buffalo Chicken Dip – The richness and spiciness of classic buffalo chicken dip is offset by the sweetness of Vignoles. When it comes to food and wine pairings, sweet cuts heat!

Chicken Wings – Serving up some hot or buffalo wings for guests to enjoy? Sparkling, Vignoles and Traminette will all pair perfectly with spicy, acidic wings.





Chips and Guacamole – Rich and creamy guacamole is balanced by the crispness of Vidal Blanc.

Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies – Who doesn’t love these tiny treats that meld just the right amounts of smoky and sugary? Bacon wrapped bundles of goodness pair with the sweetness of Concord.

Nachos – Crunchy tortilla chips and warm cheese topped with your favorite fixings of salsa or jalapenos… our stomachs are already growling! A glass of satisfying sweet rosé balances out the spicy elements of your nacho creation (remember how sweet cuts heat? A perfect example here).

Burgers or Sliders – What’s gameday without juicy burgers or sliders gracing your table? Let your toppings guide your wine pairing decision rather than the protein itself. An example would be pairing bacon cheeseburgers with medium-bodied Chambourcin, or mushroom and Swiss-topped burgers with Chardonel. We’ve got more burger and wine pairing examples to help you!

Pizza – The pairing possibilities are nearly endless with this gameday favorite. Similar to burgers and sliders, your toppings will determine which Missouri wine to select. For example, the vegetables on supreme pizza complement earthy, medium-bodied Chambourcin, while pepperoni pizza works well with a bold Norton. Find more pizza and wine pairings in our handy infographic!

Cookies – We can’t forget dessert! Classic chocolate chip cookies are the perfect match for timeless Norton, while peanut butter cookies paired with Concord lend themselves to a scrumptious peanut butter and jelly flavor. (We’ve got plenty of other cookie and wine pairings to share here)

As you’re planning your Super Bowl spreads, keep these tips in mind:

While chilling wine is more of a personal preference, having your award-winning Missouri varietals chilled may enhance your tasting experience. Our easy to follow infographic on chilling wine is your guide to ensuring that your vino is the perfect suggested temperature for gameday.

As you’re preparing to celebrate this year’s Super Bowl game, make sure to include Missouri wine. Our blog has a multitude of recipes and entertaining tips to inspire you, and our pairing guide is your ultimate resource for selecting the perfect varietals to complement your menu. Cheers to a great Super Bowl matchup, a Chiefs victory and even greater Missouri wine!

Pruning in the Vineyard

January 21, 2021

Pruning grapevines is an essential step in the winemaking process.

Each snip of the shears has an impact on the upcoming harvest. If you trim too much you run the risk of having a grapevine that won’t develop enough shoots and foliage to ripen the grapes. Trimming too little leads to an overgrown tangle of vines that are difficult to manage and may result in a small yield.

Watch this short video to learn more about the pruning process.




Curious what happens in the vineyards next? See the entire lifecycle of the vineyard here





Go-To Guide for Glassware

January 19, 2021

With a variety of shapes and sizes, choosing a wine glass can get complicated. But not to fear! We’re here to help you pick the perfect glass to savor any kind of award-winning Missouri wine.

The easiest way to simplify the selection process is to stick to the basics – white wine glass or red wine glass.

Bowl is taller and narrower

Open rim

Smaller glass maintains cooler temperature

More acidity expressed

Aromas preserved





Broad bowl

Rim is tapered

Moderates high tannins

Delivers more aromas

Makes spicy flavors rounded and smooth


Rosés are best enjoyed with a wide bowl that allows an easy swirl to exhale their fruity and floral notes. Its narrower rim helps to guide those delightful aromas to the nose.

Believe it or not, there is a science behind this. A medical group from Japan documented the concentration of vapors in various wine glasses during a study in 2015 using a special camera to record the images. They recorded how different glassware shapes affected the density of vapors at the opening of the glass.

Whether or not you decide to purchase specialty glasses really comes down to what type of wine you tend to consume the most often.


If your go-to vino is a Port, iced wine or late harvest, a small glass with a narrow mouth that reduces evaporation is a must-have.

A flute is great for sparkling wines, just be careful as they are very fragile. 


Stemmed or stemless? While stemless glasses have gained a lot of popularity, they may not always be the best option. Holding a glass by the bowl, rather than a stem or base, causes the wine’s temperature to rise from the heat of the hand. This isn’t a huge deal for reds but can be damaging to whites, as the increased temperature can affect the notes of the wine.

While there is a “right” glass for every wine, there is not a “wrong” one. It’s all about the enjoyment, what fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Download our easy to use Glassware Guide here.



Unearth the Deep Roots of Norton History

January 13, 2021

You may be familiar with Norton, the state grape of Missouri, but how well do you actually know this all-American varietal? Norton’s lengthy and complex history may surprise you! Unearth the deeply-held roots of Norton’s history and learn how it has become a foundational varietal that produces award-winning wines.

Long before settlers arrived and began winemaking in the United States, native grapes have grown on North American soil. Through trial and error, viticulturists and winemakers found that some of these grapes were better suited for making wine than others. One of these native grapes, Norton, was first developed in Virginia in the early 1800s by Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton. The true origin of the Norton grape is a bit unclear, as some claim that Dr. F.W. Lemosy discovered the grape growing wild on his property and gifted a cutting to Dr. Norton.

Although this grape was named after the horticulturist who developed it, a few different names have been used to identify what we know as Norton. Virginia Seedling, Norton’s Virginia Seedling and Cynthiana. In some parts of the United States, Cynthiana is considered to be a unique grape not connected to Norton – while the debate continues, research has concluded that the two are nearly identical.

Norton made its way from Virginia to the Hermann area in the 1840s when German settlers began planting and harvesting it. George Husmann, a self-taught viticulturist from the Hermann area, worked with other grape growers to develop hardier vines and improve the quality of Missouri wines, including Norton. Husmann later became a founding father of the Napa Valley wine industry in California, as his work in Missouri and with French vineyards gained him prominence in viticulture.

The first vintage of Missouri Norton was bottled in 1848 and soon took the world by storm. The 1873 World’s Fair in Vienna awarded a gold medal to a Norton produced in Hermann, where Missouri’s wine industry was bustling and thriving. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, Norton made a name for itself as a high-quality, award-winning varietal that gained notoriety across the globe.

The 1860s and 1870s saw devastating Phylloxera blight sweep across French vineyards. Cuttings of Phylloxera-resistant grape vines, including Norton, are were sent from America to France to be grafted to their vines. Husmann and state entomologist C.V. Riley were among those who donated American varietal cuttings to France. Each year at the Missouri Wine Competition, the state’s top Norton wine is awarded the coveted C.V. Riley Award, which honors Riley’s legacy and contribution to the wine industry.

Prohibition dealt a devastating blow to the wine industry in 1919. Most vineyards in the state were destroyed and the Norton grape was nearly lost forever. Three decades after the repeal of Prohibition, the Held family reopened Stone Hill Winery and brought Norton back to life after discovering pre-Prohibition vines on a nearby property. Norton has since regained its notoriety and popularity in Missouri wine culture, and has continued to win awards at national and international wine competitions.

Norton has a deeply-rooted history, much like the roots of the grapevine itself. This varietal has changed the wine industry in Missouri and across the world, and continues to make history. The next time you enjoy a glass of bold Norton wine, take a moment to remember this grape’s rich history and tempestuous journey to your glass.

Experience the unique terroir Missouri Norton during the upcoming Feast Virtual Vine wine tasting. Sip along from the comfort of your home as host Cat Neville leads an exclusive live tasting and discussion with four Missouri winemakers and their award-winning Norton wines. If you’re in the St. Louis area, snag your ticket today, or listen along for free during the event.

2021 Missouri Wine Bucket List

January 12, 2021

New year, new possibilities. Missouri wine country is the place to find once-in-a-lifetime experiences and make unforgettable memories.

Not sure where to start? We invite you to take our 2021 Bucket List challenge. Battle your friends, family or go at it solo while seeing how many of these spectacular experiences you can mark off your list.

Right click the image above to download your very own copy of the 2021 Bucket List!

Wine Lovers Calendar

January 07, 2021

A new year has begun and there are many things to look forward to in Missouri wine country. With this calendar, you’ll find several months dedicated to the promotion of our Show-Me State’s grape varietals as well as important dates in the wine industry. As you enjoy the upcoming seasons, keep these Missouri wine-centric holidays in mind and celebrate accordingly – with a glass of Missouri wine, of course! 

Right click the image below to open in a new tab for download!

Norton: Rooted in History, Aged to Perfection

December 30, 2020

This January, discover the red wine that has a longstanding history and has been aged to perfection. Norton is a bold, yet approachable, dry red wine that is a product of pride and longevity.

Although Norton was first discovered in Virginia, the roots of this varietal’s history took hold in Missouri. German settlers in Hermann began growing Norton vines in the 1840s and were soon taking the world by storm with this hardy varietal, including winning a gold medal at the 1873 World’s Fair in Vienna. Today, Norton continues to win national and international wine competition awards, and receives special recognition at the annual Missouri Wine Competition. The C.V. Riley award, named in honor of the state’s first entomologist who was credited with helping save the French wine industry, distinguishes outstanding Missouri Norton wines.

Norton, the state grape of Missouri, is the most widely grown grape in the Show-Me State. This all-American varietal accounts for 20% of grapes grown across Missouri, and there are more than 300 bearing acres of Norton being harvested to produce this foundational Missouri wine. Norton can be found at many wineries not only in its true varietal form, but also in a variety of red blends and dessert wines.

Norton is a full-bodied, dry red wine that boasts spicy oak and dark fruit flavors, complemented by aromas of dark berries and cherries. This versatile varietal is stellar to enjoy by the glass, in a winetail or in your favorite recipe. The versatility of Norton extends into its pairing possibilities, from beef to smoked cheeses, even Doritos or pistachios. Want to see more Norton and food pairings to excite your taste buds? Head over to our infographic gallery!

Hoping to save your prized bottle of Norton for a special occasion? This must-have wine has been recognized as cellar-worthy, meaning that it can be stored and aged if desired. Whether you choose to enjoy Norton shortly after purchasing, or decide to let this bold wine age, make sure this staple Missouri wine has a place on your wine rack or in your cellar.

Experience the terroir of Missouri Norton and learn from the expert winemakers who have perfected this varietal at the Feast Virtual Vine wine tasting. On January 28th, sip along as host Cat Neville leads an exclusive tasting and discussion with featured Missouri winemakers. If you’re around the St. Louis area, be sure to claim your ticket and receive four bottles of award-winning wine, along with perfectly paired snacks and swag. For wine lovers across the state, you can tune in for free and discover what makes Norton so unique.

During January, discover the foundational Missouri wine that has a rich history and endless possibilities. Discover Norton, rooted in history, aged to perfection.

Happy Holidays, Honey Winetail

December 29, 2020








Serve up something sweet this holiday season with Missouri sparkling wine. Light and effervescent sparkling wine pairs with honey and fresh berries to create a festive, bright beverage perfect for raising a toast. Feel free to adjust the sweetness of this sipper based on your taste preferences! Check out this quick video to see how to recreate this simple and delicious treat.

Happy Holidays, Honey Winetail Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 1


For Rim Garnish:

Granulated sugar

Local honey (supplied by Missouri Grown)

For Beverage:

15-20 raspberries (plus more for garnish)

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

1 ounce local honey (supplied by Missouri Grown)

1 ½ ounce vodka


Missouri sparkling wine (we used Demi-Sec sparkling)


Dip a fluted glass in local honey and granulated sugar to create a sweet, festive rim and set aside. Combine raspberries and sugar in a food processor and puree until well blended. In a cocktail shaker, combine one ounce of the berry puree with honey, vodka and ice. Shake well and strain into rimmed glass. Top off with sparkling wine and add a few raspberries to the glass for an extra garnish. Enjoy!



Wine-Themed Gift Tags are Cheers-Worthy

December 21, 2020

Whether you’re wrapping a delicious bottle of Missouri wine, a unique gift from a Missouri winery gift shop or you snagged one of these awesome wine-lovers gifts, our unique gift tags will add an extra special touch!

Blank gift tags to use for presents - downloadable

Right click and click Save As!

Ladoga Ridge Winery: Rich in History, Rich in Community Pride

December 16, 2020

Smithville, a community rich with history and beaming with community pride, is where you will find Ladoga Ridge Winery. Ladoga Ridge is a family-owned, boutique winery surrounded by beautiful vineyards, trees as far as the eye can see, pastures and so much more. It has a sense of serenity that only nature can yield. The residents of Smithville are proud of its heritage, residents and merchants are inspired by its past, and it’s a place where all are committed to the future.

Longtime Smithville residents Galen and Leinda Haddock invested thought, time and hard physical labor to grow this business and they did so from the ground up. The couple planted the grapevines themselves. With the help of their friends, and most importantly their children, the Haddocks brought their dream to life. Their mission is clear - “Offer each of our guests an inviting and fun atmosphere where they can relax and reflect while enjoying high quality, affordable, hand crafted wines, surrounded by the natural beauty of our vineyards and unsurpassed service of our staff!”


The Haddocks knew the importance of involvement and today Ladoga Ridge is a member of the Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Missouri Wine Trail, Missouri Grape Growers Association, Missouri Vintners Association and more! Leinda became a member of the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, started a city beautification day, and even received a "Key to the City."

Sadly, Leinda passed away in May of this year. Leinda was a very big part of the winery’s operations, an active member in the Northwest Missouri Wine Trail and in the community. Friends and family remember her kindness, impeccable work ethic, beautiful smile and so much more. Galen, her husband of 37 years, is continuing the push through.

Not only is Galen the winery owner, he is also the winemaker. He is currently bottling delicious blackberry wine and noted the success of Galen’s Red – now with the title of most popular wine! In addition to Galen’s Red, Ladoga Ridge offers four white wines ranging from sweet to dry, a semi-sweet rosé, four addition reds ranging from sweet to dry, fruit wines including Peach, Strawberry Rhubarb and Blackberry, and finally a sweet Chambourcin Port.


Free tastings, delicious food, unique gift shop items, indoor and outdoor seating, music and tours are just a few things you can expect to experience when visiting this winery. It will be a place you want to bring your friends and family to, and for special occasions you can rent out tent space or the breathtaking Hearth Room.

A beautiful place, relaxing, truly great tasting wine, amazing hospitality are just some of the things Ladoga Ridge customers have to say about their visits. You too can escape the stresses of the week with an evening of wine tasting. Bring your friends, family or come alone. The Ladoga Ridge staff is always glad to see you and pour you a glass of award-winning wine.



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