Moscow Mule with Wine

March 03, 2020

How do you improve on the classic Moscow Mule cocktail? By adding Missouri wine, of course. This easy-to-make cocktail dates back to the 1940s and is credited with establishing vodka’s popularity in the United States. The next time you are interested in trying a twist on an old classic, break out the copper mugs and add a delicious dry Missouri wine. We feature a Chardonel in this 3-minute recipe.



• 4 oz Ginger Beer
• 3 oz Chardonel
• 1 oz Vodka
• Ice
• Juice from a freshly cut lime
• Slices of lime (optional)
• Mint leaves (optional)

Fill a copper mug or glass with ice. Pour in the vodka, wine and ginger beer. Squeeze in juice from a freshly cut lime. Lightly stir. If desired, garnish with a slice of lime and add mint leaves to your cocktail.


Wintertime Wine Blending

February 25, 2020

Winemaking is a year-round process. While vineyards are being pruned in preparation for the upcoming season, your favorite wines are being perfected inside Missouri’s wineries. Scott Pirtle, owner of Pirtle Winery, and Andrew Meggitt, VP of Production at St. James Winery, give an inside glimpse at what keeps their crews busy during the wintertime months.


Pirtle Winery St. James Winery

Port Wine and Chocolate Bites

February 25, 2020

Many enjoy Port as a dessert wine, why not use it IN your dessert? Here’s a great recipe that combines delicious Missouri Port-style wine and chocolate. The best part? It only takes 20 minutes. 


1/4 cup honey
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
2 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies (approximately 55 cookies)
2 cups ground walnuts
1/3 cup Missouri Port-style 
About 1/2 cup coarse sugar crystals (optional)


Heat honey and chocolate chips in medium-sized saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted.

Remove from heat.

Stir in crushed cookies, walnuts and Port. 

Shape into 1-inch balls.

Roll in sugar crystals (optional).

Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Let stand several days to blend flavors.



*Flavor improves with age up to 4 weeks.

Noboleis Vineyards: A Dream 30 Years in the Making

February 20, 2020

Sometimes it takes a while for a dream to become reality. For Bob Nolan, owner of Noboleis Vineyards, it took more than 30 years.

The story begins in the 1970s when Bob and his family spent a year in California. The region and its wines left a lasting impression. Years later, a visit to his son in Oregon renewed Bob’s interest in grape growing and wine production. “We fell in love with the Willamette Valley south of Portland,” recalls Bob, who, along with his wife Lou Ann, soon began searching for suitable land to start a vineyard. While the majority of their visits took them to the western area of the United States, they eventually found themselves back in their home state. In 2005, they found the perfect location in Augusta, the first federally recognized American Viticultural Area.

Noboleis Vineyards, formed from a combination of three family names, encompasses more than 80 acres of land amid the rolling hills of Augusta. From its early days as a vineyard to a full-scale winery, the property has undergone a few notable transformations, including the expansion of the warehouse and cellar. The extra space provided an additional area for finished wine as well as an event venue in the Augusta community. Guests in search of a stunning backdrop for their special gathering can reserve the Vineyard or Winemaker Lofts, or select the intimate Barrel Cellar which features a view of the winery’s barrels and wine library. From bridal showers to corporate meetings, the winery is the perfect location for groups of all sizes. Throughout the years, the winery has become increasingly popular as a vineyard wedding location. The winery’s secondary building includes a special area designed for brides-to-be and their attendees.  

The winery has become the go-to place for live music performances, beautiful views and delicious wines. Winemakers, Brandon Dixon and Gabriel Miller, produce a variety of wines, including dry, sweet, sparkling and red and white port-style wines. Last year, Dixon and Miller released two wines in their new Small Batch Series. Dixon describes these dessert wines, a Bourbon Barrel and Rye Whiskey and Maple Syrup, as “port-style wine that’s been kicked up a notch.” The winery will also release a one-of-a-kind wine to coincide with its 10-year-anniversary in October 2020.

For the Nolans, it’s hard to fathom that ten years have passed since they first opened their doors and welcomed visitors to Noboleis Vineyards. Their family has and continues to be an important factor in keeping Bob’s original dream alive. With daughters, Chris Newbold and Angie Geis by their side, Bob and Lou Ann look forward to another decade of making lasting memories, lifelong friendships and exceptional wines.   


Drink Wine Day 2020

February 18, 2020

Drink Wine Day - February 18, 2020

In celebration of Drink Wine Day, why not host an impromptu wine tasting?

At-home wine tastings don’t have to be over the top. Choose a theme, gather the wine and select some yummy food items from the kitchen.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

How much wine?
For a tasting, pour 4-5 ounces into each glass. You can get 5-6 glasses of wine from a regular 750mL bottle.

Too chill or not to chill?
Temperature, as with most components of enjoying wine, can be subjective. Enjoy wine how you prefer it. That being said, we recommend the following temperatures for serving wine: 

  • Sparkling wines are best served at 45 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • White wines and rosés are best served at 55 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Red wines are best served at 65 degrees Fahrenheit

Which wines and how many styles should I serve my guests?
Everyone’s taste is different. Luckily, there is a Missouri wine for every palate! It’s quite difficult to please everyone, but you can get pretty close by covering these four bases: a dry red, dry white, semi-dry white and a sweet red or blush. A couple of options for a good mix are:

  • Chambourcin, Chardonel, Vignoles, Concord
  • Norton, Vidal Blanc, Traminette, Catawba

Click here to see the 2019 Missouri Wine Competition winners.

What else might I need?
Don’t forget a corkscrew, dump bucket and water pitcher.

In what order should I serve the wine?
For the same reason you have salad and steak before cheesecake, dry wines should be tasted before sweet so that the sugar of a sweet wine does not impinge on the taste of a dry wine. Also remember, white wines before red.

Is there a right way to taste wine?
Discover the 5S method to wine tasting.

What kind of food should I prepare for the tasting?
Take a look at our food and wine pairing guide to see what combinations appeal to you and your guests.

Need more inspiration? Check out some of our other infographics.

We hope we’ve inspired you to celebrate this day with a tasting. Be sure to keep those corks so that you can always remember Drink Wine Day 2020!

We also invite you to snap a selfie with our Snapchat filter. Keep an eye out for it on Tuesday, February 18.

DIY: Wine Cork Tray

February 11, 2020

After you’ve enjoyed your favorite Missouri wine, think twice before throwing away the corks. Warm up the hot glue gun and transform your extensive collection into a lasting memory. While there are a plethora of craft ideas online, here’s one way to turn an ordinary serving tray into a centerpiece.



What you will need:
Hot glue gun
Wine corks (We used 84 intact corks, but you can cut your corks in half if you have less on hand.)
Knife (serrated works best)
A tray (We featured a 16.73 x 10.83 x 1.93 in. tray.)
Optional: thin wood pieces to fill in gaps

Step 1:

Before plugging in the glue gun lay out the corks on your tray. Consider placing the corks in a pattern, vertical and horizontal, to give your tray a more visually appealing look. (There are a variety of designs online.) Depending on the depth of your tray and the number of wine corks in your collection, slicing the corks in ½ may be an option. If you go this route, a serrated knife tends to work better than a smooth one, but please be careful! Corks are not easy to slice through and you could cut yourself.
Step 2:

Warm up the glue gun and glue down the corks. Corks may vary in size and width so no matter how you strategically place them on your tray, you may end up with gaps. Consider trimming a few of the corks or wedge thin pieces of wood into the open spaces to keep your tray more compact.


Wine-Related Valentine's Gifts

February 06, 2020

Whether you bought Missouri wine for your Valentine or Galentine by the bottle or the case, you may be thinking of adding something extra special to their gift. If they love wine (and we hope they do), it’s probably safe to say they also love wine-related products. Below is a list of gift ideas for that special wine-appreciating sweetheart in your life. 

This red wine aerator accelerates a wine’s aeration process while enhancing flavors and giving the wine a smooth finish. 

Conversation hearts? How about conversation wine stoppers?
Be the host(ess) with the most(est) this Valentine’s day with this beautiful cheese board and cutlery set conveniently located inside a slide-out drawer.

What better way to display corks from your favorite Missouri wineries than in a Missouri-shaped cork holder?

From two-bottle totes to wine bottle suitcases, has you covered.

If you have MVP points you would like to redeem, features many great wine-related gifts as well.

We hope you and your other half have a fantastic Valentine’s Day. Cheers!

Sweethearts in Missouri Wine Country: Valentine's Day Events

February 04, 2020

Bring your Valentine, Galentine, best friend or family member to one (or more) of the many Missouri wineries offering special Valentine’s Day celebrations!

Adam Puchta Winery
Looking for something special this year to treat your Valentine? Then you’re in luck! APW’s much anticipated, annual Valentine wine pairing dinner, Be “Wine” Valentine, is sure to please. Not only will you enjoy a delicious chef-prepared four-course meal made to pair perfectly with APW’s award winning wines, but you will also learn a bit about Adam Puchta’s history and why the food and wines complement each other so well.

Cave Hollow West Winery
Take part in a Valentine’s night Lush N Brush, a catered dinner, music and dancing February 14 from 6-11 p.m. Bring your other half, your best friend or come by yourself.

Defiance Ridge Vineyards
Savor food from Defiance Ridge Vineyards’ dinner menu and dive into delectable specials just for Valentine’s Day during the Wine Enchanted Evening: Valentine’s Dinner. Reservations are not required but are encouraged by calling 636-798-2288 or emailing

Edg-Clif Winery
Take part in a couple’s VIP tour and tasting with delicious chocolate and award-winning wines. The cost is $30 per couple and you can reserve your spot for Friday, February 14 or Saturday, February 15.

Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery
Enjoy a tour of the property and winery while learning about Fence Stile's wines and the winery's history. Finish with a candlelit tasting in the CELLAR57 club room and the wine caves. For $35 per person, you can keep the tasting glass and add a love lock to the Fence Stile Love Lock Wall. Reservations are required. Email or call 816-500-6465 to RSVP for the tour. For more information, click here.

Jowler Creek Vineyard and Winery
For $15 per person you will receive a flight of five wines and five different chocolate treats. This price also includes a limited-edition Valentine’s Day wine glass! Enjoy live music from 6-9 p.m. This Valentine’s Chocolate and Wine Pairing event will be held on February 7-9 and February 14-16 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

KC Wineworks
Bring your Galentine for a Sip and Glaze Pottery Pub event on February 13. Full details can be found here.

Les Bourgeois Vineyards
Already booked for Valentine’s day? No problem! Bring your sweetheart to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for a Wine Lover’s Tasting and Tour for Two or a Valentine’s Day Wine and Chocolate Pairing now until February 16 anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Check out these events here.

Primitive Olde Crow and Winery
The Clinton Arts Council will provide a night of music and fun on February 14 from 7-11 p.m. This is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. Open to all ages, but must be 21 to purchase alcohol. There will be a $5 cover charge at the door.

Seven Springs Winery
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner at Seven Springs Winery. For $49 per person you will receive a 10 oz. grilled KC strip and lobster tail, Caesar salad, grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes and turtle cheesecake. Dinner will be served from 5:30-8 p.m. with music by Randy at the Lake from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

St. James Winery
St. James Winery will host their progressive Valentine’s dinner on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15 at 6 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook event page.

Stone Hill Winery
Enjoy special Valentine menu items for lunch and dinner at Stone Hill Winery’s Vintage Restaurant. Take a sneak peek at their specials here.

Viandel Vineyard
Pop in Friday, February 14th for dinner, drinks and dessert. Viandel Vineyard will offer a special "Dinner for Two" menu at $50 per couple. Dinner will be served from 5-7 p.m.  Reservations are required and can be made by calling 417-934-0195, emailing or messaging them on Facebook.

West Winery
Come in the weekend before Valentine’s Day to get a head start on your shopping! West Winery will partner with The Candy Factory to provide three delectable chocolates that perfectly pair with their wines. Enjoy complimentary samples and find the perfect gift for your Galentine, Valentine or you!

Wild Sun Winery
Don’t miss Wild Sun Winery’s annual Valentine's Winemaker Dinner on February 15, held in their barrel room. For this enchanting evening, a guest chef teams up with Wild Sun Winery’s winemaker to create an incredible five-course meal perfectly paired with wine from 6:30-10 p.m.

*This list is not all inclusive. Responses were gathered from wineries via survey.

Behind the Label: Stone Hill Winery's Cross J Norton

January 30, 2020

There was a twinkle in Jim Held’s eyes, a light that often accompanied a tale as he reminisced on the past. Jim had a hearty laugh and many stories to share, from his early days as a pig farmer to the vital role that he and his wife Betty had in the revitalization of the Missouri wine industry. The former owner of Stone Hill Winery passed away on November 8, 2019. While his light may have dimmed, Jim’s presence can still be felt at the winery and in the beloved vineyard surrounding his home. From this vineyard comes a project and wine that was near to Jim’s heart. Here’s the story behind his award-winning Cross J Norton as told by his son, Jon Held, the current owner of Stone Hill Winery.

“About 23 years ago, my dad was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. The doctors told him he had two years to live. Being a person who never gives up, he didn’t believe them and sought out alternative medicinal cures along with the traditional medical treatment protocol.”

Jim turned to his faith for strength. 

“Because of his faith “awakening” he decided to name the vineyard surrounding his and mom’s home the Cross J Vineyard,” continued Jon. “The cross being for Christ and the J for himself, Jim. If you look closely at the label, the J is behind the cross to signify his following Christ. With his faith, my dad managed to live 23 years with the cancer the doctor said would kill him in two years. He also managed to fend off leukemia for several years during that time.”

A week after his death, Jim’s Cross J Norton won a double gold at the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, one of the many medals bestowed on his wine over the years. It was a wonderful tribute to a man who had spent his life devoted to not only his winery but the continued success of the Missouri wine industry. 

*photos courtesy of Stone Hill Winery

Norton Recipe: Beef Tips in Red Wine Sauce

January 29, 2020

January is Norton month in Missouri and what better way to celebrate the Show-Me State grape than by adding it to a delicious beef recipe?

Time: 22 minutes total   |    Yield: 2 servings


1 lb sirloin beef tips- chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 onion - diced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup Missouri Norton
1/2 cup beef broth


Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add beef tips and brown on all sides. Stir often, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add one tablespoon of butter to pan over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the brown sugar, salt and pepper and stir.

Cook 2 minutes and add the red wine and beef broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and reduce by half.


Add remaining tablespoon of butter to the reduced pan sauce and stir over low heat. Add cooked beef tips and stir to coat.

Serve over mashed potatoes, polenta or pasta of choice and enjoy! 


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