Grapes to Glass

January 31, 2023

The process that occurs after grapes are harvested and before wine is enjoyed in your glass is quite extensive. From ripening grapes to bottling and labeling finished wines, here is a simplified visual to illustrate the many steps that take place throughout the winemaking process. We appreciate the hard work winemakers put in to bring fabulous Missouri wines to the table.

Grapes to glass process



Roasted vegetables with Norton reduction

January 31, 2023

Cook with color and add a burst of flavor to your favorite mix of fresh vegetables with this wine reduction sauce made with Missouri Norton. Change up this combination of vegetables to suit your palate.

For the roasted vegetables:

We used the following ingredients, but feel free to switch things up and use your favorite fresh veggies.

  • ½ large red onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 3 small zucchinis
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 3 – 5 potatoes
  • 2 shallots
  • 6 – 10 plum tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Norton Wine Reduction:

  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 c Norton
  • 1 c vegetable stock or broth


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prep vegetables to desired size based on your preferred taste and texture. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with avocado oil, add salt, pepper and rosemary.
  3. Spread vegetables evenly over 2 large baking sheets and avoid crowding.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing vegetables and rotating pans once. Remove rosemary once complete. Transfer vegetables to desired dish and set aside.
  5. Begin wine reduction while vegetables are roasting. Over medium heat, melt butter in a small saucepan and add shallots.
  6. Sauté shallots for several minutes until aromatic. Add Norton and vegetable stock.
  7. Bring pan to a boil and reduce by half. Simmer until desired consistency is achieved.
  8. Carefully pour reduction over vegetables. Add seasoning to taste and enjoy!

Add some color and Norton to the dinner table with this recipe. Start cooking with Missouri wine and share with us on social media @missouriwine.

A pair of all pairs – Popcorn & Wine

January 31, 2023

It’s no secret that popcorn and wine make a dynamic duo. Elevate your pairing experience when you enjoy these Missouri Grown popcorns with the following Missouri wines.

Choose from this list of popcorn flavors that includes everything from classic butter kettle to spicy buffalo ranch all selected from local Missouri businesses: Osage River Popcorn (Osage Beach and Hannibal), GOPO Gourmet Popcorn (Fulton) and Ready Popped (Jefferson City).

Movie Theater Butter + Chardonel

Imagine the smooth and buttery taste of classic movie theater popcorn when it meets the smooth and buttery notes of Missouri Chardonel.

White Cheddar + Catawba

This sharp and salty cheddar flavored popcorn delectably meets the fruity notes of Catawba wine.

Butter Kettle + Sparkling

Try a traditional butter kettle popcorn with a sparkling dry to off-dry wine and be ‘wowed’ with the enhanced experience of both.

Signature Cheddar + Concord

Cheddar and Concord pair up nicely, yet again. The smooth and sweet jamminess of Concord wine is sure to delight your taste buds when it meets the boldness of this signature cheddar popcorn.

Loaded Baked Potato + Chambourcin or Seyval Blanc

If you like the smokey bacon flavors that are offered by a loaded baked potato, then try this popcorn with Chambourcin. Become amazed by a totally different sensation when you pair this same popcorn with a Seyval Blanc and pick up strong notes of the green onion and chives.

Bacon Cheddar + Chardonel

The rich flavors of bacon and cheddar together are mingled perfectly with a sip of rich Chardonel.

Caramel + Traminette

The floral notes of Traminette are a match made to please with a traditional caramel popcorn.

Cookies n’ Cream + Port Style

The popcorn alone is delicious, but give it a try with a rich and smooth red Port style wine for a heightened appreciation of the two together.

Chocolate Caramel + Chambourcin

Caramel coated popcorn drizzled with milk chocolate and accompanied by a glass of Chambourcin is a pair hard to beat. Give it a try with other dry reds and see how it changes the strength of the chocolate versus the caramel.

Peanut Butter + Blackberry

Salty meets sweet with this savory popcorn and blackberry wine.

Caramel Apple + Vidal Blanc

A taste of this caramel apple popcorn followed by a sip of Vidal Blanc will have you questioning how a wine can transform a food to this extent. The crisp Vidal Blanc melds the flavors together.

Buffalo Ranch + Chardonel

Bring on the heat of this spicy buffalo ranch popcorn and follow it with a taste of smooth Chardonel.

Garlic Parmesan + Traminette

Pick up on the herbaceous notes from this popcorn when you enjoy it with a side of Traminette.

Cajun + Seyval Blanc

Smooth the heat from the spices of chili and paprika with a light Seyval Blanc.


Elevate your wine pairing experience when you try these combinations. Let us know which pair stands out above the rest by tagging us on social media @missouriwine or #MissouriWine.

Traminette Ginger Spritz

January 31, 2023

Traminette is a hybrid of a beloved German varietal called Gewurztraminer. It’s known for its floral aromas and is often made in a semi-dry style here in Missouri. It’s delicious on its own or paired with bold foods such as curry and gorgonzola cheese. However, the unique characteristics of Traminette also make it ideal for creating delicious cocktails with complex flavor and fantastic aromatics. This refreshing Traminette Ginger Spritz is a perfect example. Try it today!


1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

½ oz agave syrup

3 oz Traminette wine

3 oz Sparkling wine

 (Optional) 2 dashes of aromatic bitters


  1. Put sliced ginger and agave in a cocktail glass and muddle until ginger pieces are broken down and fragrant
  2. Add Traminette and stir or dry shake (i.e. without ice as to not dilute the flavor too much)
  3. Optional) Add two dashes of aromatic bitters
  4. Strain into a cocktail glass with ice
  5. Top with sparkling wine
  6. (Optional) Garnish with fresh or candied ginger

Tangy from the fresh ginger, sweet from the agave, and complex from the Traminette and bitters… this cocktail is balanced and delicious. Cheers!

Live from the Vineyard: Missouri Chambourcin

January 31, 2023

We followed a Missouri Chambourcin grapevine for a full year. So much of the winemaking process begins in the vineyard. Watch the beauty of vine number 16 as it progresses throughout the season.

  1. Budburst
  2. Flower cluster initiation
  3. Flowering
  4. Fruit set
  5. Berry development
  6. Harvest
  7. Dormancy

Wine Travel Tools

January 31, 2023


We have the perfect cure for this winter’s cabin fever — start planning a Missouri Wine road trip. Visit one of the more than 120 Missouri wineries or vineyards throughout the Show Me State. With such a wide variety or wineries, you can find the perfect destination, and Missouri Wines can help. Use any of our travel tools to help plan your next wine country getaway with a few clicks. Then you’ll be ready to hit the road as soon as the weather breaks.

Here are some of our favorite travel planning tools to help map out places to stop for a sip along your next road trip.

Trip Planners The best place to start when planning a trip through Missouri wine country is MO Wines’ own 10, easy-to-follow trip planners. These region-centric planning companions suggest not only wineries to visit, but also places to eat, things to do, places to stay and popular events to mark on your calendar.

Interactive Winery Map – Whether you want to go wine tasting next door or across the state, MO Wines’ interactive winery map makes finding your next stop a breeze. Whether you’re searching for a specific winery or vineyard or just want to browse stops nearby, this map will help you plan your perfect getaway.

Wine Trails – People have been long-following trails throughout history, but unlike the more treacherous trails of the past — anyone play Oregon trail? — Missouri’s wine trails are a great way to explore a region. The Show Me State’s 10 unique wine trails help make planning a wine weekend getaway a breeze. Each trail not only lets participants explore the unique characteristics of that area, but it also serves as a great place to start when mapping out your next adventure. – This travel tool is an offsite suggestion, but the Missouri Division of Tourism does a great job of providing fun travel itineraries for each region of the state, regardless of your interests. Whether you’re looking for extra things to do along your way or the perfect food pairing for a Missouri wine, has some great suggestions.

Places to Stay – There’s a plethora of places to stay in Missouri wine country, and MO Wines gathered up several guides to help you find lodging. Regardless of if you’re looking for a gilded B&B or if “glamping” is more your speed, here are some great options for your next stay in wine country.

If you’re still looking for more inspiration for your next Missouri wine road trip, check out these eight great ideas!

A Tale of Two Nortons

January 31, 2023

Missouri wines had an extraordinary year in 2022. The honors extend beyond the normal winning wines. Rewards Uncorked, a new rewards program, was successfully launched. Missouri’s strong wine and grape roots were featured in a new tasteMAKERS documentary. Missouri wines were featured at the American Wine Society National Conference, to preview the Show Me State as the 2023 host state. In addition to these accolades, a couple of Norton wines garnered attention in a unique way. 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

This is the legendary quote that begins Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Most had to read this well-known book during a high school English course. Even if not, all have probably heard how the script opens. Dickens’ novel centers in on the challenging times surrounding the French Revolution and late 1700s on goings in France.   

While the world of Missouri wines is a great place to be, many challenges are navigated daily by grape growers and winemakers alike. C.V. Riley was one of the first notable Missourians to solve a wine-related crisis. Here we see France again, but a century later than where the novel is set. Phylloxera, a louse and pest that feeds on the roots of grapes, inhabited the country’s vineyards, leading to death of thousands of vines. Riley, the first state entomologist, discovered that by grafting Norton’s rootstock onto their vines, it created the needed resistance. Effects of Riley’s work are still seen today. We honor the best of this wine varietal each year in his namesake by presenting the C.V. Riley Award for Best Norton. This year, it was presented it to two extraordinary wines.

“It was the best of times, it was the best of wines…”

This text can be quickly changed for reflecting on this ‘novel’ year in Missouri wine. Even the title can read to suit the situation: A Tale of Two Nortons.

Governor Mike Parson, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, and Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn presented the annual Governor’s Cup in December along with the two C.V. Riley winners. This award is traditionally bestowed upon the best Norton at the Missouri Wine Competition. Two wineries were presented with the award for their 2020 Nortons – Stone Hill Winery in Hermann and Les Bourgeois Vineyards on The Blufftop in Rocheport. 

Two panels of judges blindly tasted more than 235 wines, sorted in flights by varietal. Flights of Norton were sampled and evaluated down to these top two winning wines. This tale of two Nortons is unique, as it is almost unheard of to have two winners. Each vintage is unique in their own right and were awarded for that reason. Glenn PIC judging

Glenn Bardgett is member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board Marketing Committee, long time wine enthusiast, internationally and nationally-known wine competition judge and Wine Director at the legendary Annie Gunn’s Restaurant and Market near St. Louis. He has been judging, sharing and enjoying Missouri wines for more than three decades.

Once judges establish a level of quality for the wines being judged, they collectively make a final decision on what medal to award the wine and what level it is given, Bardgett explains.


Bardgett says this speaks to the quality of wines produced and submitted to the Missouri Wine Competition this year.

“I am not at all surprised that we had a tie, but I am amazed that we don't have a tie more often when the quality of our wines in Missouri is so high,” Bardgett shares.

It is easy to find a numeric solution in math and solve an equation in science. Although winemaking involves both practices, awarding wines is a more subjective task.

“Put eight people in a room and ask their opinions of art, food, music, literature, theater or anything that challenges the senses and the mind,” Bardgett says. “It is rare that world class subjects have specific results of taste.”

Missouri’s continental climate is classified for its hot summers and cold winters. Norton, and other vitis labrusca grapes, can survive the unexpected weather patterns. It is classified as the state grape for its success in the state, as it is the most widely produced grape, and for saving France’s grape crop from meeting an end. A statue of C.V. Riley was dedicated in his honor and still stands in Montpellier, France. 

“Norton is an outstanding grape when made at the highest level. It has an amazing dark fruit aroma, lovely acid, body and sugar balance, and can have a finish that goes on and on…” Bardgett says. “Of course, balance is a major factor in any wine's quality, Norton has great acidity and that can be one of the challenges to finding a balance.”


Bardgett helps customers with all levels of wine experience find the right wine for them. The best way to find the right one for you? He says, try it.

“Everyone wants the best, the winner, the top scoring and most difficult to find wines.  With these two CV Riley winners, the question is not selecting one or the other,” he says. “They should try both and hopefully begin to understand the difficulty of judging and the great reward of finding two wines such as these that cannot be chosen one over the other.”

What a great time in Missouri wine history to have quality so outstanding that it breaks tradition. Bardgett says it best: “We are very fortunate to have such quality that this much discussion is created.”

“It was the best of times, it was the best of wines…”

Try both of the winning C.V. Riley winners and let us know your pick! Tag us on social media with @missouriwine and #missouriwine with your experiences in wine country.

Wine Lover’s Calendar – 2023

January 31, 2023

Celebrate Missouri wines year-round with these holidays. Mark your calendars and enjoy the best of Missouri wine country for every occasion.


Tag us in your wine country adventures this year on social media @missouriwine and #MissouriWine.

Mint Margarita Winetail

December 29, 2022

Serve up a simple sparkling winetail at your upcoming holiday celebration. Mint flavors match the chilly weather but this unique margarita recipe is sure to warm you up.

Time: 5 mins

Serves: 2


1 box of spearmint candy canes

2 limes

1 package of mint leaves

1 bottle of Blanco tequila

1 bottle of dry sparkling wine (we used Stone Hill Winery’s Blanc de Blancs)



  1. Take spearmint candy canes, crush finely and add to bowl.
  2. Half and juice one lime. Take two lowball glasses and rim in lime juice, followed by crushed candy cane.
  3. Add mint leaves to cocktail mixing glass, followed by 4 oz of Blanco tequila. Muddle mint leaves in glass.
  4. Add mixture to shaker over 5-6 cubes of ice. Shake vigorously and strain evenly in each glass over ice.
  5. Top glass with dry sparkling wine and remaining lime juice. Garnish with an additional lime slice if desired.
  6. Add whole candy cane to each glass and enjoy!

Mix this easy margarita winetail up at home during the holidays. The bold mint flavor is refreshing and enjoyable for any celebration! Let us see your creations by tagging #missouriwine and @missouriwine on social media.

Mint Chocolate Brookies

December 27, 2022

Baking with wine is easy! Just exchange the parts of water required in the recipe with wine. This pro-tip is sure to elevate both your recipes and your Missouri wine experience!

Prep time: 5 minutes (25 with time to chill dough)

Serves: 10-12


1 box brownie mix

2 eggs

1/2c canola oil

1 bottle fruit or sweet red wine (we used Windy Wine Company’s Good News Red)

1/2 bag of mint chocolate baking chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine brownie mix, eggs, canola oil, and 2 tbsp of wine together by hand or mixer until smooth in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Add mint chocolate baking chips into bowl and stir into mixture.
  4. Chill dough in the refrigerator to allow it to set for 30 minutes.
  5. Use a cookie scoop and place each cookie 1-2 inches apart on a nonstick baking sheet.
  6. Bake cookies for 4-6 minutes. Repeat steps with remaining dough.
  7. Let cookies cool & serve with a glass of Windy Wine Company’s Good News Red.

These brookies are sure to satisfy your friends and family this holiday season! They’ll be surprised how good they taste and how easy they were to make. Share your wine baking recipes for this holiday season with us by tagging #missouriwine and @missouriwine on social media.


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