Spice Up the Holiday Season with Sangria

December 16, 2020

Looking for a new and different way to enjoy Missouri wines at home this holiday season? Try mixing up a pitcher of delicious sangria to share!

Sangria is a mixed beverage originating from Spain and Portugal, although the exact history of how sangria came to be is a bit of a mystery. This summertime sipper’s name actually comes from the Spanish word for “blood” (sangre) and pays homage to the rich red wine that serves as the base. Want to change things up? While red wine is traditionally used in Spanish sangria, other Missouri wines make an excellent base, including Vidal Blanc featured in our Missouri Winter White Sangria recipe.

The beauty of sangria, besides its vibrant color, lies in its ability to be customized based upon your taste preferences. Do you like a sweeter or more tart taste? Are you a fan of tropical flavors, or do you prefer more spicy notes? The possibilities are endless with sangria! Once you know the basic building blocks, you can mix, match and create sangria for nearly every occasion and palate.

Creating your masterpiece is easy – all it takes is 4 easy components to build your perfect sangria (check out our handy infographic for building your best sangria).

  1. Wine: Red, white, rosé – choose based on your taste preferences.
  2. Sweetener: Common sweeteners include honey, sugar, simple syrup, fruit juice or sweet wine.
  3. Fruit: Fresh or frozen fruit is commonly found in sangria recipes. Experiment and add spices or fresh herbs!
  4. Liqueur: Brandy is used in traditional Spanish sangria, but any liqueur that pairs with your ingredients will work.

Need some inspiration for a fun and festive sangria to serve? Check out the recipe below!

Merry Mead Sangria Recipe

This colorful concoction is sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering. Rich, spicy Norton and mellow, slightly sweet mead mix with fresh fruits and baking spices in this festive and flavorful sangria. We left the traditional fourth component of a sangria (liqueur) out of this recipe, but feel free to add your favorite liqueur that pairs with the following ingredients.

Prep Time: 15 minutes (not including chilling time)

Yield: 6-8 servings


2 – Oranges (one for sangria and one for garnish)

½ – Honeycrisp Apple

½ – Granny Smith Apple

1 cup – Cranberries (add more/less depending on desired taste)

3 – Cinnamon Sticks (add more/less depending on desired taste)

2 tsp. – Cloves (whole)

1 cup – Orange Juice

½ bottle – Missouri Mead

1 bottle – Missouri Norton



Slice one orange into thin slices. Chop apples and slice cranberries in half. Place all fruit in a large serving pitcher or bowl. Add cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Pour orange juice over fruit, followed by mead and Norton. Stir, chill and enjoy in glasses topped with an orange slice garnish!

Quick tip – want to easily remove your cloves and cinnamon sticks before enjoying a glass? Place them in a cheesecloth pouch or use a mesh strainer to retrieve them before serving.

Behind the Label: Balducci Vineyards' 4310

December 08, 2020

Nestled on a hillside in historic Augusta, Balducci Vineyards has been producing wine since 2001. While the Balducci family has been making and selling award-winning wine for nearly 20 years, the family’s history in the food and beverage industry goes back several generations. This deep-rooted connection to family and heritage is an integral part of not only the winery’s success, but of their recognizable branding and inspiration for the lineup of wines Balducci offers.

Balducci Vineyards tasting room

The Balducci family migrated from Italy to the United States in 1906. Louis Balducci spent time working in California vineyards and started the Balducci Wine Company in 1946. In 1975, Rick Balducci, son to Louis, and two business partners opened Balducci’s Restaurant in St. Louis. Rick and his wife, Carol, purchased the winery property from a family member in 1987 with a vision to build a successful winery program. The Balduccis have continued to make the wine business a family affair. Carol and Rick handle many aspects of events and day-to-day operations at the winery and Nic, their son, is the chief winemaker.

Balducci Vineyards ties in a strong connection between family and history. The winery gives subtle nods to their heritage and history in many aspects of their business, including the packaging of their award-winning wines. A hallmark of the Balducci wine label is the silhouette of a barn, which pays tribute to the original barn on the winery property that has been standing since the 1800s.

Balducci Vineyards Norton Limited wine bottle label

The significance and story behind the Balducci label is as unique as the wine inside. Each wine’s name references various aspects of the Balducci family’s heritage and interests. Natalia, a Vidal Blanc and Vignoles blend, was named after Rick and Carol’s daughter, Natalie. Sonata and Aria (currently sold out) reflect Rick’s interest in music as both names are terms used in musical composition. The latest wine to be added to the Balducci Vineyards lineup is 43o10o, which has its own unique story and connection to the family.

Balducci Vineyards' 4310 wine label

Nic and his wife gave birth to a son nearly two years ago and named him Lucca. This name was of particular significance because the Balducci family came to the United States from the northern Italian city of Lucca. Lucca’s GPS coordinates are 43 degrees north latitude and 10 degrees west longitude, the exact combination that grace the label. Other elements of the 43o10o packaging also pay homage to the family’s heritage. A golden wax seal adorns the label and is reminiscent of traditional Italian wine labels. The stamp showcases the same outline of the historic barn as the other wines in the Balducci Vineyards lineup. The thick paper and metallic gold lettering were carefully selected to incorporate elements of traditional wine labels as well. These features are combined elegantly to create a label doesn’t overpower the beautiful wine inside and piques the interest of the curious customer. Balducci Vineyards’ 43o10o is a rich, fortified white wine made from 100% Vignoles grapes and aged new French oak barrels for 30 months. While 43o10o is a dessert wine that pairs well with dark chocolate and dried fruits, it can be enjoyed at any occasion.

Balducci Vineyards' 4310 wine label close-up

Stop by Balducci Vineyards during your next visit to Augusta and toast to family and heritage with 43o10o. To learn more about Balducci Vineyards and to find their contact information, check out their listing on our website.

Give the Perfect Wine-Related Gift on Any Budget

December 02, 2020

Are you having a hard time finding the right gift for the wine lover on your list that seems to have everything? In addition to Missouri wine of course, here are some one-of-kind gift ideas for that special someone in your life. Don’t forget, many Missouri wineries have gift shops that house items like these and much more!

1. Wine Rocks keep your wine chilled.


2. Take your wine’s temperature with the Alltemp Select Infrared Wine ThermometerWine Thermometer.jpg


3. Jewelry definitely says “I love you” and with this wine necklace, it’ll also say, “I know you.”

4. Wine glass pens or wine glass charms help you personalize your wine glass.

5. Devoted wine loving ladies may enjoy this Wine Accessories Gift Box Set for women by LePrene.

6. Let your wine breath with the Vintorio Wine Aerating Pourer.

7. The True Wall-Mounted Wine Rack is a unique way to store wine against the wall.

8. Keep those toes warm with these Wine Crew Socks

9. This pine display box is a cute way to cover and gift wine.

10. Mix functionality and fabulous décor with this marble wine cooler.

11. Protect open wine bottles and glasses while spending time outdoors with this wine holder kit

12. Picnic anywhere with this personalized picnic table that doubles as a wine holder.

13. Never forget your wine tasting favorites with this wine journal complete with tabbed sections for all types of wines.

14. Keep your wine at the perfect temperature for 24 hours with this Winesulator set.

15. A touch control wine cellar? What will they think of next?

16. We all make messes from time to time, this emergency wine stain remover will be much appreciated.

17. Give the gift of relaxation with this bath caddy featuring a special wine glass holder.

18. Keep things cool with the Corkcicle Air. It chills and aerates!

19. If novelty gifts are your thing, check out this jumbo wine glass

20. In the St. Louis area? Grab tickets to a Feast Magazine Virtual Vine wine tasting event sponsored by Missouri Wines. You’ll receive four bottles of wine delivered right to your door and during the event you will get to meet the winemakers.

We hope this list left you with one less (or more) person to shop for. All of us at Missouri Wines wish you a wonderful wine-filled holiday season!



Missouri Wine Country – Wintertime’s Hidden Gem

December 01, 2020

The leaves of autumn have fallen, temperatures have dropped and the holidays are quickly approaching. Winter has arrived in the Show-Me State. While any time of year is perfect for visiting Missouri wineries, this season is particularly ideal for wine lovers to explore all that the state has to offer. This winter, discover the hidden gem that is Missouri wine country.

Serene Sips

Missouri wineries are the perfect place to take in wintertime’s peaceful beauty. Perched on blufftops, nestled on hillsides or tucked away in the trees, visitors can gaze upon snow-speckled vines and icy rivers trickling from cozy spots near tasting room fireplaces or outdoor seating with portable heaters.

Want to learn more about Missouri’s grape varietals or the state’s rich wine history? Winter’s slightly slower pace allows for more casual conversation with winery staff and the potential to expand your Missouri wine knowledge. When planning your next visit, call ahead and see what learning experiences are currently being offered at the winery.

Looking to get away for more than a day? Missouri wine country is the perfect place to recharge and rejuvenate. Some wineries offer lodging options where guests can wine, dine and relax – find them using our interactive map. Besides award-winning wine, visitors can find stellar food, shopping and attractions across the state to fill up your itinerary.

Seasonal Releases and Pairings to Delight

Although grapes have been harvested and vines are bare, wineries are still bustling with activity as winemakers prepare the next vintages of your favorite award-winning varietals. During this time of year, wineries across the state offer seasonal wine releases and festively-themed sips to celebrate the holidays. Now is the perfect opportunity to stock up on your favorites or try a new seasonal beverage during your visit.

Are you a foodie at heart? Warm and savory dishes make their way onto on our tables and onto the menus of restaurants in wine country during the winter season. While you’re visiting wineries, make sure to save time (and room) for a meal paired perfectly with Missouri wine. After your visit, our wine and food pairing resources can guide you in selecting and serving holiday foods with your new favorite bottles of vino.

Holiday Shopping and Events

What would winter be without holiday shopping? Missouri wineries are your one-stop shop for nearly everyone on your list, even those loved ones who are hard to shop for. Apparel, drinkware, gift certificates from tasting rooms and, of course, Missouri wines make excellent gifts. Be on the lookout for specials and exclusive deals offered by your favorite winery and shop small businesses this season.

Besides sipping and shopping winery retail spaces, wintertime in wine country often means special seasonal events. Take a look at our online calendar and check out your favorite winery’s website or social media platforms to stay up-to-date on events. In addition to individual wineries, Missouri’s 11 unique wine trails offer opportunities for wine lovers to enjoy exclusive pairings, live music and holiday celebrations.

Get Ready to Explore!

Ready to plan your winter wine excursion? From our detailed trip planners that outline must-see spots in several wine areas, to our wine trail list and all-new winery guide, Missouri Wines has all the resources you need to create the perfect wine itinerary.

While you’re exploring Missouri’s 125+ wineries, make sure you’re getting rewarded for it. The Missouri Winery Visitors Program (MVP) offers exciting and exclusive opportunities just for visiting wineries. It’s as easy as visiting one of the 100+ participating wineries and grabbing an MVP ticket before departing, entering the ticket’s code online and watching your points rack up. Besides the physical rewards, MVP offers rewarding friendships and unforgettable memories in scenic Missouri wine country. Ready to get started? Sign up today!


#ShopLocal at Missouri Winery Gift Shops

November 25, 2020

It’s the time of year when we scramble to find gifts for our friends and family members. Sometimes it is hard to think outside the box and find the perfect gift year after year. 

Missouri wineries are here to help! What better way to spread holiday cheer than shopping local? Now more than ever, they need your support.

Many wineries have unique gift options for that wine lover in your life. Of course, you can find a great selection of Missouri wines, but retail items may also include:

The best tip we have to give when it comes to Christmas shopping? When in doubt, a bottle of wine always does the trick… especially when it’s Missouri wine!  

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

November 25, 2020

Picking Thanksgiving Wine Pairings The menu for Thanksgiving dinner looks a little different from house to house, but the basics tend to remain… turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. So, if everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner tastes a little different, how do you know which wines to pair? We have some tips that may help.

Seasonal Superstars: Chambourcin and Chardonel

These two varietals are incredibly food-friendly and are a good match for most fall favorites. They go great with mushrooms, garlic, butter and other staple flavors of Thanksgiving dishes. Side note: if your family serves ham instead of turkey, pair it with a delicious glass of Chambourcin. 

Delicious Details: Norton and Vignoles

Norton, the official state grape, makes big and bold red wines which can sometimes overpower mild flavors. However, Norton is also known for having the baking-spice flavors that are so prevalent in recipes for Thanksgiving, that it can make a really nice complement to your feast. While Chardonel is a great go-to dry white wine, all the flavors of fruit, sugar and salt (think candied yams) might be better matched with a sweeter, fruit forward wine such as Vignoles.

Don’t Underestimate a Great Rosé

Rosé wines can be sweet, dry, and everything in between which means you can find the perfect one to please the palates in attendance at your festive feast.

Sweet Treats Want Sweet Wines

A Late Harvest dessert wine or sweet white wine are a great addition to your menu as they pair so well with Thanksgiving favorites such as pumpkin and pecan pie. Treat yourself and fellow feasters to a truly delicious pairing to round out your meal.

This Thanksgiving invite Missouri wines to the table with some or all of these delicious pairings.

Take a Journey to St. James

November 18, 2020

While St. James, Missouri, may seem like a small town, there is plenty to see and do, especially if you enjoy the great outdoors. From hiking and biking to camping and grilling, the local parks are a must-see. 

Take a look at our printable trip planner and be sure to stop by the five Missouri wineries in town.  

Exclusive Seasonal Wines and Spectacular Savings to Make Your Holidays Sparkle

November 17, 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – seasonal wine release! Many fan favorites have jumped back on the shelves and some are joined by new arrivals. Grab a bottle, or case, of these delicious seasonal wines before they run out.

Baltimore Bend Vineyard

Baltimore Bend Vineyard will be releasing Kris Kringle in November. This is a semi-sweet light red wine is made from Vignoles and Norton, with added cinnamon. Yum!

Edg-Clif Vineyard, Winery & Brewery

Hollyberry Red Chambourcin was created specifically for use in Edg-Clif’s mulled wine recipe. Each bottle comes with a gift tag which includes mulled wine recipe. This wine is a dark, rich, semi-sweet red with a fruity nose and luscious blackberry flavor. The mulled wine recipe calls for warming the wine in a crock pot with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, fresh orange slices, honey and brandy. The warm aromas from the crock pot will fill your house with holiday magic.

Les Bourgeois Winery & Vineyards

Winter White has arrived! This seasonal, sweet white blend presents aromas of vanilla blossom and candied pear on the nose transitioning into layers of fruit notes of jammy peach, kiwi, melon and grapefruit zest.

Martin Brothers Winery

Just in time for the holidays, Martin Brothers Winery will be releasing a dry Orange Blossom Mead wine made from 100% orange blossom honey. Stay tuned as it will be coming in December.

Meramec Vineyards Winery

Meramec Vineyards Winery is excited to announce a new wine - Romance Red. A sweet and seductive Concord wine, Romance Red is a perfect way to celebrate love this holiday season!


They have also re-branded their sweet red wine blend and sweet white wine. Route 66 Red will give your out-of-town guests a taste of Missouri while Celebration Cove is a celebratory wine perfect for ringing in the new year!


Montelle Winery

Get ready for a delicious cranberry wine. Montelle’s Cranberry is semi-sweet with aromas of freshly picked cranberries and old-fashioned homemade cranberry sauce. The taste is crisp and full of fresh ripe fruit. Pair it with turkey, cranberry sauce, or serve with desserts. Want to make a Winetail? Serve this as a spritzer with crushed ice, or as a twist on the hot-toddy using equal parts Cranberry wine and apple juice with fresh cut apples and cranberries.

St. Wenceslaus is a ruby red sweet wine full of spice and ready to enjoy right out of the bottle. Just warm and serve. For extra flair, you can add lemon slices, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and apple juice.

Sand Creek Vineyard

Sand Creek Vineyard has bottled a new vintage of their Plank Road Red. This wine was named after the Old Plank Road that was traveled from Iron Mountain to Ste. Genevieve. The remains of that road are just yards away from the winery’s property. While Plank Road Red has typically been a semi-sweet blend, it is now a sweet Norton-Chambourcin blend at the request of many patrons.

Stone Hill Winery

Seasonal Cranberry wine is back for the Holidays! Bursting with the aroma and flavor of ripe cranberries, this wine will go quick so grab some while it’s available. Stone Hill’s Cranberry wine is perfect served with your favorite foods, poured over ice, or even used in the kitchen as part of a special holiday treat. Whip up a Cranberry Sparkler by mixing equal parts Cranberry wine and Demi-Sec Sparkling wine or a Crantini using three ounces Cranberry wine, one ounce vodka and a lemon or lime twist for garnish.

Van Till Family Farm Winery

Van Till Family Farm Winery is pleased to offer two very special wines for the holiday and gift-giving season. The always popular Chai Spice Wine is on the shelf again. It has often been described as "Christmas in a bottle." It is a sweeter red wine blend that is perfectly seasoned and ready to drink all winter long. Warm it up or serve it chilled. 

Also returning is What a Pear, which is a pear dessert wine. It is in a port-style that is fermented only, non-fortified, to preserve a fruit forward character.

West Winery

Who’s ready for a late fall release of the award-winning Signature Red? This Chambourcin-Syrah blend is waiting for you at West Winery.


Whether you’re looking for a gift or treating yourself, take advantage of these special offers!



Augusta Winery

Pick up an Advent Pack – 12 bottles, 1 for every 2 days.


Kakao Truffle Pairing Pack $20.


November 27-29 – Wine Friday! Specials on cases, merchandise, winter rentals, private tastings and more.

Balducci Vineyards

20% off all wines every Sunday, starting November 22 through December 20.

Baltimore Bend Vineyard

Black Friday sale – 10% off all bottle purchases and 15% off cases.

Edg-Clif Vineyard, Winery & Brewery

12 Wines of Christmas – includes top 12 wines perfect to give as a gift. Available December 1 while supplies last.

Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Shipping special for online purchases of $50 or more (see website for more information.)


Discounted gift sets available in the apparel & gifts section of online store.


Custom holiday labels, available in-store and online - $5 each.


Weekly specials/deals throughout November. Posted on Social Media on Wednesdays.

One being 12 Days of Christmas Case of Wine 


Sunday Shopping - Gifts with purchase every Sunday in November, up to $65 worth! 


December gift card bonus special. For every $75 purchased in gift cards, you will receive a bonus $10 gift card.

Meramec Vineyards Winery

10% off online wine purchases of $99 or more throughout the remainder of the year.

Noboleis Vineyards

Shipping special with the purchases of 3 or more bottles purchased from online story now through December 1. See website for more information.

Sand Creek Vineyard

Curbside Saturdays – place your order and pickup curbside.


25% off cases – mix and match.

Stone Hill Winery

10% off 6 bottles and 15% off cases – mix and match (includes a cloth 6-bottle carrying case).



Noboleis Vineyards & Winery Celebrates 10 Years

November 10, 2020

In 2005, Bob and Lou Ann Nolan purchased 84 acres of land in Augusta and transformed it into the family-grown winery that patrons know and love today. Noboleis Vineyards is run by the Nolans, along with daughters Chris and Angie. The family gets to spend their days doing what they are passionate about – winemaking. 

Noboleis Vineyards opened their doors to welcome customers in 2010 and in the past 10 years they have not only expanded their portfolio of wines, but buildings as well. In 2017, a second building that housed warehouse space, offices, vineyard loft, bridal suite and barrel cellar was built. With the winery’s success and consistent customer demand, the family has planted additional vineyards of Norton and Vignoles grapes.

A standard line including a dozen wines was served when the winery first opened and the list grew significantly over the years. Noboleis Vineyards has since added a Reserve Line, Small Batch Series and expanded its dessert wine series. The winery’s 2014 vintage Norton was awarded the CV Riley in 2016, recognizing it as the best Norton in the state. The Reserve Line includes an Owner’s Reserve Cuvée that has received two gold medals with a 90-point ranking at both the 2020 Sunset International Wine Competition and the 2020 Sommelier Challenge International Wine Competition.

While the winery’s evolution and awards are noteworthy, so are the fond memories made by the family over the years. Each member of the family recalls many fond memories as Noboleis is truly family-owned and family grown.

When Bob & Lou Ann first purchased the property, the land was simply open fields and trees. Tricia Newbold, granddaughter to Bob & Lou Ann, can remember venturing out one weekend with her grandfather and best friend when she was about 13 to help him measure out the footprint of the current tasting room and winery. Now 28 years old and the marketing manager for the winery, Tricia is always in awe over the winery’s transformation from an 84-acre field to the vineyards and business it is today.

Angie Geis, daughter to Bob & Lou Ann and part-owner of Noboleis, remembers bringing her two oldest children out, three and six at the time, for hillside picnics during the early planting and building phases. Fast forward to today, her son, now 21, and daughter, 18, have both worked or interned in some capacity at the winery.

The Noboleis family, like many others, had to put anniversary celebrations on hold but they are hopeful that festivities can take place next year. Until then they want to give a very big thank you to all who have supported them throughout the last 10 years – this year especially. They have loved every minute of it and are looking forward to a bright future.

Chambourcin: Perfect for Sharing

October 27, 2020


The leaves have changed colors and summer’s heat has been traded for crisp mornings and chilly evenings. Fall is a time to come together with loved ones and share – to share memories, to share laughs and to share the things you enjoy. This fall, Chambourcin is perfect for sharing.

November is Chambourcin Month in Missouri wine country. Of all grapes grown in Missouri, Chambourcin accounts for 11.5% with nearly 196 bearing acres throughout the state. This French-American hybrid is a medium-bodied wine that perfectly balances fruitiness and earthiness with soft tannins.

Chambourcin is a versatile grape perfect for producing a variety of wines. Wineries across the state produce Chambourcin wines that vary in dryness, and some winemakers have released Chambourcin rosé wines for Missouri wine fans to share and enjoy. Chambourcin is a perfect introductory red wine and is sure to please a wide range of palates. Share Chambourcin at your next gathering and delight in its crowd-pleasing abilities.

Chambourcin pairs perfectly with bonfires, barbecues and holidays. Try this red wine with pork, burgers, red sauced pasta and mushrooms. Looking to pair Chambourcin with something on the sweeter side? Strawberries, berry-based desserts and chocolate cake are sure to please. Be sure to try this approachable and delectable dry red wine while visiting Missouri wine country this month and pick up a bottle for Thanksgiving.

Want to learn more about Chambourcin? Join the Feast Virtual Vine wine tasting on November 12th and sip along as host Cat Neville leads an exclusive live tasting and discussion with winemakers. If you’re around the St. Louis area, be sure to snag 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 learn along with participants.

Now is a perfect time to visit Missouri wine country as the Show-Me State displays its finest fall foliage. Plan your next visit using the latest edition of the Missouri Winery Guide and pick up a bottle of Chambourcin to share this fall.

Get Our Newsletter

Our bimonthly newsletter contains exciting information on upcoming events in wine country, tasty recipes to recreate at home and even occasional giveaways.


Request A Winery Guide

Use our guide to plan your next adventure in wine country. It contains a listing of Missouri wineries, map and key information to expand your wine knowledge.

I would like to receive your newsletter and other promotions