Wine Club to the Rescue

February 06, 2018

Wine Club to the RescueSelecting the right gift for that special someone in our lives can often be a troublesome task. But what you may not know is that many of Missouri’s 130+ wineries offer excellent solutions to your perfect present problem – a wine club membership.

A wine club membership is a great way to continue the experience long after you leave wine country. Many of the memberships come with unique opportunities including discounts at wineries, special tastings opportunities, invitations to exclusive events, early access to limited edition wines and a regular supply of award-winning wine shipped right to your door.

Take a look at some of the wine club options below and select one for the wine lover in your life.

  • Amigoni Urban Winery offers access to new and limited production wines, recipes, discounts and member-only opportunities to interact with the winemaker as part of the wine club.
  • Arcadian Moon Winery & Brewery wine club members can select their individual subscription level, get discounts on wines and event tickets, partake in special tasting opportunities and get access to pre-released wines.
  • Augusta Winery offers many perks including discounts on wine and merchandise and exclusive event invites. Bonus feature: Many of the membership offers are accepted at their sister location Montelle Winery as well, including their scenic sunset dinners.
  • Chaumette Vineyard and Winery includes discounts at the Grapevine Grill and gift shop, access to the pool and fitness center, plus two bottles of award-winning wines shipped right to your doorstep six times a year. What a great deal!
  • Edg-Clif Farms and Vineyard’s Hand Picked Wine Club is a great opportunity to gain exclusive access to four signature events at the winery that coincide with the release of specialty wines. Members also get a unique set of wine glasses just for joining.
  • Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery includes special experiences each month beyond wine and discounts on purchases. Members receive items to enhance their wine experience like scented bath salts and lavender seeds to start their own butterfly garden at home.
  • Mount Pleasant Estates gives members discounts and three shipping options for quarterly shipments of limited release wines, which include winemaker notes and recipe pairings. Vintner’s Circle is a members-only event you wouldn’t want to miss.  
  • Noboleis Vineyards membership club ensures your invitation to exclusive events, pre-released vintages and a valuable discount at the winery. Tell your friends, this is the place to be!
  • Riverwood Winery launched a new wine club that offers discounts on purchases, access to member-only events and early notification of limited release wines.
  • Shawnee Bluff Winery offers a VIP Society like no other. This customizable offer boasts packages based on your tastes in wine, special events and discounts that are valid at both the winery and vineyard location. Added bonus: After 6 months in the club a personally crafted barrel stave with your name is added to the wall of fame at the vineyard location.
  • St. James Winery gives its members three tiers to choose from, providing a truly customizable experience. In addition to all the award-winning wine, members receive special pricing on gifts, apparel and gourmet food purchases both in the tasting room and online.
  • Stone Hill Winery believes members should “have it your way” by allowing them to customize their order before it ships. Members also get recipes quarterly and a free gift with the first shipment.
  • Vox Vineyards allows fans to become a TerraVox Explorer which includes two annual shipments of hand selected wines that may not be available to the general public. Explorers will enjoy a different travel experience with each allotment, as no two sets will be the same.
  • West Winery members can sign up at the winery, via email or even on Facebook in order to gain access to the annual members-only dinner and the annual premium wine tasting.
  • Wild Sun members enjoy exclusive access to a signature wine of the finest barrel aged dry red made by the winery and a members-only invitation to the release event.
  • 7C’s Winery offers a frequent shoppers club that is free to join and boasts discounts on wine purchases as well as the opportunity to win additional prizes.

While the benefits may vary, there is something for everyone in Missouri wine country! Cheers to the gift that keeps on giving. 

How To: DIY Cork Toss Game

February 01, 2018

How To: DIY Cork Toss Game Looking for a fun new game to play with family and friends? This DIY cork toss game is easy to make and a blast to play. Think darts, but with wine corks instead. Easy, fun, and safe… why not try making this today!

Supplies

  • Board: Could be a foam core board or a piece of stiff cardboard.
  • Felt – 3 pieces, different colors (Large, medium, and small)
  • Spray adhesive or double-sided perma-tape
  • Hook and loop fastener (Such as Velcro®)
  • Adhesive letters (optional)
  • Scissors

Instructions

Watch this how to video to see just how quick and easy it is to make this DIY Cork Toss game. 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu6yucBmNZc&feature=youtu

  1. Prepare your board: Trim to desired size. We went with 22 inches by 28 inches.
  2. Prepare the felt for the background: Set your board on top of the large piece of felt and trim the size of the board plus 2-3 inches extra on each side. We purchased our felt by the yard in the fabric section of a local craft store.
  3. Secure the background felt to the board: Spray one side of the board with adhesive and set the sticky side down in the middle of your felt, pressing evenly all over the board. Using more spray adhesive on the felt border or double-sided perma-tape, fold the excess felt over the back of the board and secure.
  4. Create the bullseye: Measure your board. Trim a square of felt 4-6 inches smaller than the width of your board. Fold the square into quarters and trim two sides into a circle. This is the outer circle for your bullseye. Trim a square 4-6 inches smaller than the first and repeat the trimming process. Using the scraps from the felt background, cut out your final circle for the center of the bullseye.
  5. Attach the bullseye: Spray the largest piece of felt with adhesive and place it in the center of your felt-covered board. Smooth and press firmly to secure. Spray the next largest circle with adhesive and center it inside the larger circle, repeating the smoothing and pressing process. Do the same for the final, center circle of the bullseye.
  6. Make the cork “darts”: Using recycled corks from your favorite bottles of Missouri wine, make the Velcro “darts” by trimming pieces of the hook side of your hook and loop fastener to the circumference of the corks. Wrap the length around the cork and attach with adhesive side of the fastener or perma-tape.
  7. Customize your board: Using adhesive letters or designs created from the leftover felt scraps, add your own creative touches to make the board your own.

Now you’re ready to play. You get to decide how many points each circle is worth, and we suggest you try tossing underhanded (insider tip*). Cheers to a great game of cork toss!

 

Missouri's Dessert Wines: Discover More In Missouri Wine Country

January 30, 2018

Dry, sweet and everything in-between. You may think you’ve discovered all that Missouri wine country has to offer, but have you sipped our delicious dessert wines?

Port, or dessert wine as it’s commonly referred to in Missouri, is wine that has been fortified by brandy. Adding brandy to wine during fermentation stops the process and allows the wine to retain a lot of its natural sweetness. Fortified wine has more body and palate density than other wines. Dessert wine comes in sweet, dry and semi-dry styles and red and white varieties.

Missouri winemakers craft unique dessert wines, blending grape varietals to put their own spin on classic port-style dessert wines. The next time you travel to Missouri wine country, stop by one of the following wineries and discover their delicious dessert wine.

Adam Puchta Winery – The winery offers two ports, Signature Port and Anniversary Port. Signature Port exhibits the style of Ruby character Ports known for their rich fruity quality and emphasizes ripeness, depth and smoothness. Anniversary Port is reminiscent of vintage Ports and has been aged for six years with toasted French and American oak to create caramel and vanilla character on the nose and palate. Norton-based Anniversary Port features fig, plum and black cherry flavors combined with hints of spice and coffee.  

Arcadian Moon Winery & Brewery – Bellona is a blend of Chambourcin and Norton that includes notes of blackberry, cherry, fig, dark chocolate and hints of tobacco and pepper.

Augusta Winery – The winery features three dessert wines – Vintage Port, 5 Year Old Tawny and Augusta Icewine. Augusta Winery uses the traditional method for making Port and the Solera method to produce the 5-year -old Tawny. The winery’s Icewine is a rare dessert wine.

Balducci Vineyards –Time Signature Release Two is an intensely flavored dessert wine, a blend of 80 percent Norton and 20 percent Chambourcin.

Baltimore Bend Vineyard – The Norton-based Port of Waverly is named after the historic port at the Missouri River in Waverly, Mo. 

Cave Hollow West Winery –The Gilded Page is a white dessert wine made from Missouri-grown Vidal Blanc. The dessert wine is lightly oaked with a taste of apricot.

Cave Vineyard – Vino Grande is the winery’s first fortified wine. The dessert wine is 100 percent Norton and fortified with brandy made from the winery’s own Norton grapes.

Curling Vine Winery – Profound is made from the Norton grape and fortified with a grape brandy.

Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyard – Edg-Clif Port is crafted from barrel-aged Chambourcin.

Grindstone Valley Winery – Plum-Tastic is a dessert wine made from Geneva Red.

Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery – Nort is made with Norton grapes and features aromas of blackberries, plums and chocolate.   

Keltoi Vineyard & Winery – Celtic Goddess is made from Chambourcin.

Les Bourgeois Vineyards – Rocheport, named after the town in which the winery resides, is a sweet, silky port-style dessert wine with aromas of dark confectioneries and ripe berries which proceed the rich, rustic flavors characteristic of the Norton grape.

Montelle Winery – Cynthiana Port features Norton (aka Cynthiana) and is similar to a Portuguese Port. Framboise is a sweet raspberry dessert wine made from 100 percent raspberries.   

Mount Pleasant Estates & Winery – Vintage Port, Tawny Port, Ten Year Old Port and Barrel Select Port are crafted with Norton and other grape varietals.

Noboleis Vineyards ­– Volume IV is fortified with grape brandy, featuring aromas and flavors of dark chocolate and dried fruits.

Pirtle Winery – The winery’s Premium Port is aged in French and American Oak.

Riverwood Winery – Visitors can try three distinct dessert wines: Riverwood Chocolate Cherry Dessert Wine, Riverwood Red Eminence and Riverwood Blackberry Dessert Wine. These blends feature Chambourcin, Norton, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Seven Springs Winery – Left Side White is Vignoles-based and tastes like a green caramel apple, while Left Side Red is a Norton-based dessert wine and features a very soft pallet with a tremendous amount of depth.

Stone Hill Winery – The 2013 Stone Hill Winery Port is oak aged in both small American and French oak barrels for one year, then bottle aged to produce a rich, dark dessert wine that has stunningly powerful blackberry and cassis flavors.

Wenwood Farm Winery – Tawny is a red dessert wine that offers a rich, mellow sweetness and hints of exotic fire to warm the palate.

West Winery – Whisper is a red dessert wine that features Missouri-grown Norton grapes.

Wild Sun Winery – Eclipse is aged in French oak barrels and boasts big flavors of chocolate and berry notes.

Vox Vineyards – Munson RePort has notes of figs, baked black cherries and pomegranate molasses cradled by overtones of red apple skin, dried eucalyptus, tamarind and freshly-baked sticky buns. Wetumka RePort has intense notes of lemon verbena, pineapple syrup and clove with hints of home-made applesauce, candied grape, vanilla bean and wood.   

 

Game Plan: MO Wines + Super Bowl Snacks

January 25, 2018

Game Plan: MO Wines + Super Bowl Snacks The Super Bowl is easily one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year, especially here in Missouri. We love our football! But no game day get together is complete without delicious snacks. According to The Daily Meal, these are the ten most popular Super Bowl snacks and we have the perfect Missouri wines to pair with each… everything you need to host the perfect Super Bowl Soiree!

10. Potato Skins + Chambourcin

These flavor-packed spuds are great with an earthy and smooth Chambourcin.

9. Jalapeno Poppers + Vignoles

The heat from the jalapenos and the creaminess from the cheese are amazing with the fruitiness and acidity of Vignoles!

8. Pigs in a Blanket + Catawba

Catawba is a great match for Pigs in a Blanket, especially if you use sharp cheddar and dip in mustard or honey mustard.

7. Deviled Eggs + Chardonel

Deviled Eggs may have a reputation for being a bit old fashioned, but they are a crowd favorite and are delicious paired with a Chardonel.

6. Pulled Pork + Concord

Barbecue and Concord wine are a solid match… even more so if you like your barbecue a little on the spicy side.

5. Guacamole + Vidal Blanc

Crisp and bright Vidal Blanc is a great match to stand up to creamy, fatty (but the good fats, right?) guacamole.

4. Nachos + Rosé

What type of rosé depends on how much heat you like on your nachos. Just remember… sweet cuts heat. If you load up on the pepper and hot salsa, go with a sweeter rosé.

3. Buffalo Wings + Vignoles

This is about as classic as it gets! Vignoles pairs so well with the spiciness and acidity of Buffalo Wings.

2. Chili + Norton

If you’re cooking for a crowd, chili is a great option and its heartiness is well matched with Norton.

1. Pizza + Chambourcin

Chambourcin wine and pizza are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your big game get together.

Try one or several of these pairings for a delicious Super Bowl experience! 

Missouri Red Wine Steak Sauce Recipe

January 23, 2018

What grows together goes together and Missouri beef and Norton wine are a prime example. Big, bold and complex, Missouri Norton wine is an amazing complement to a delicious steak. This sauce is a great way to take your steak dinner to the next level. Try it today!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqmnsvkAOcM&t=3s

Time: 25-30 minutes |   Yield: 4 servings

Missouri Red Wine Steak Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tbsp- Canola oil

4 (6-8 oz) Steaks, sirloin  

3 tbsp- Shallots, minced

2 tsp- Fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 cup- Missouri Norton (full-bodied red wine)

1/2 cup- Beef stock, unsalted

1 1/2 tsp- Butter, unsalted

1/2 tsp- Dijon mustard

1 tbsp- Flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat.
  • Sprinkle steaks evenly with salt and pepper.
  • Add steaks to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan. Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high. Add shallots and rosemary to pan; sauté 1 minute or until lightly browned.
  • Add wine and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beef stock; cook 4-6 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half and mixture is slightly thickened.
  • Remove pan from heat. Add butter and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste; stir with a whisk.
  • Top steaks with sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve alongside a glass of Missouri Norton and enjoy! 

Sweet Cuts Heat, But Why?

January 16, 2018

Sweet Cuts Heat, But Why? Spicy noodles alongside a glass of white wineSweet or semi-sweet (also sometimes called off-dry) white wines with fruity flavors and crisp acidity have been the accepted “best pairing” for spicy foods for some time. And if you’ve ever had a glass of deliciously fruity Missouri Vignoles wine with a plate of devilishly spicy Thai food, we’re sure you’ll agree. But why do these wines work so well?

Spicy peppers are the primary source of heat for many foods. These peppers are high in something called capsaicin which our taste receptors recognize. They send a signal to our brains that we are experiencing spicy stimuli. (My mouth is on fire!) Now, why some people hate this stimuli and others love it is up for debate, but if you are a spicy food fan, here are the reasons to reach for a sweeter, acidic white wine when you enjoy your favorite burn-inducing dishes.

1.They are cold.

Even a cold or room temperature chili pepper will make your mouth feel hot when you eat it. Our brains instantly look for something cold and refreshing to tame the flames. White wines are chilled and their cool temperature is a very satisfying sensation when enjoyed with spicy food.

2.They are sweet.

Residual sugar in wine helps to coat our tongues and calm some of the heat we feel from the capsaicin in our spicy favorites. The rest of the dish becomes more bearable.

3.They are lower in alcohol.

High alcohol wines can intensify the perception of heat in our mouths when paired with spicy food. If you’re looking for a more intense burn, then by all means… give it a try.

Now, if you’re not a white wine fan, but you love spicy food, don’t fret. We have some tips. Look for a red wine that is fruit-forward, has ample acidity and maybe a little sweetness, preferably one that is lower in alcohol. Now here’s the real game-changer… chill it. No, really. Go against everything you’ve ever heard. If you want to enjoy that red wine and the spicy food, try chilling the bottle. That way you get the refreshing quench immediately on your palate, but you can still enjoy all the flavors of your favorite red wines.

Here’s to enjoying award-winning Missouri wine and delicious spicy food. Cheers! 

Norton- The Story of an All-American Wine

January 11, 2018

Norton- The Story of an All-American Wine The Norton grape makes complex, luscious dry red wines, deep and intense dessert wines and a little of everything else in between. It’s a Missouri favorite and was even named the state’s official grape, but it has a complicated and somewhat contentious past, particularly regarding its name and origin.

Norton, named for Dr. Norton of Virginia, has also been called Norton’s Virginia Seedling, Virginia Seedling, and Cynthiana. The Cynthiana vs Norton debate tends to be the most heated. Cynthiana, believed to be discovered in the 1830s in Arkansas was thought to be a different variety for many years. However, genetic testing shows the two are indistinguishable, despite different ripening times and reported subtle differences in flavor. Both of which could be attributed to the area in which they’re grown, also known as terroir.

The Norton grape variety is believed to have been developed in the Virginia gardens of its namesake, Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton. The first mention of the grape comes from a prominent nursery of the time in 1822. However, there was a claim brought forward in 1861 that a Dr. F.W. Lemosy discovered the vine growing in wild on his property and gave a cutting of it to Dr. Norton in 1835. Being that there were two recorded mentions of Norton’s Virginia Seedling before 1835, this claim seems unlikely, but has caused some confusion as to the true origin of the grape.

What we know for sure is that Norton has found a willing and accepting home here in Missouri, and we are grateful for its hardiness and ability to make high-quality wines.

 

Timeline:

Norton- The Story of an All-American Wine | Historic Sketch of v. aestivalis from the "Manual of American Grape Growing"1818-1822 – Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton, an avid horticulturist working with many grape varieties and experimenting with crossing different breeds, developed the grape that would become his namesake in Richmond, Virginia. The exact parentage is still unknown. Norton is classified as vitis aestivalis (native American), but most likely the variety has a grandparent belonging to the vitis vinifera (European) family. 

1822 – Norton’s Virginia Seedling is first listed commercially in a catalog by William Prince Jr. for his family’s nursery, the Linnaean Botanic Garden and Nurseries of Long Island.

1830 – Prince describes in detail and praises the Norton grape in A Treatise on the Vine.

1840s – Norton makes its way to Hermann, Missouri.

1848 – The first vintage of Missouri Norton is bottled.

1861 – A man named F.W. Lemosy comes forward with a claim his father discovered the Norton grape 1835 and gave a cutting of the vine to Dr. Norton. Seeing as it had already been commercially available for several years prior to 1835, this claim doesn’t appear to have merit, but still casts some doubt on the true origin of the grape.

Mid-1860s – A devastating blight attacks the vineyards of France. Scientists in France and America worked to uncover what was destroying the vines at their roots. It was a pest called Phylloxera.

1870-1890 – The golden age of Norton.

1870s – Cuttings of American grape vines, including Norton, which are resistant to Phylloxera are sent to France to be grafted to their vines.

1873 – The first of many to come, a Norton wine from Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, Missouri wins a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Vienna.

1874 – A study commissioned by the French Academy of Sciences lauds Norton as producing “wines of the finest quality”.

1883 – Norton is recognized as the “best medicinal wine of America” in the American Cyclopedia, a Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge.

1900 – Norton’s popularity spreads to winemakers across America. A Frenchman turned Floridian wins medals for his Norton wine at the Paris Exposition.

1919 – Prohibition goes into effect and most vineyards are destroyed. The Norton grape is nearly lost forever.

1965 – Jim Held, having newly re-opened Stone Hill Winery, discovers pre-Prohibition Norton vines (dating back to the Civil War) on a nearby property and brings the variety back to commercial use.

1988 – Dennis Horton, originally from Hermann and now a vintner in Virginia, requests a shipment of Norton vines from Stone Hill Winery, bringing the varietal back to its birthplace.

1993 – An issue of Gourmet Magazine, penned by Gerald Asher, brings attention to the Missouri wine industry and Norton, calling it the “indigenous grape that might yet do for Missouri what Cabernet Sauvignon has done for California. 

2003 – Norton is named the Official State Grape of Missouri.

2013, 2014 and 2017 – Norton wines from Stone Hill Winery take home the triple crown at the Missouri Wine Competition for Best of Class Dry Red, Best Norton, and Best Overall, known as the Governor’s Cup.

Now – Norton wines from across Missouri and Virginia win numerous accolades at national and international competitions every year. Norton continues to flourish in Missouri, accounting for nearly 21 percent of all the grapes grown in the state.

 

Sources:

Kliman, Todd. The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine. 1st ed., Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2010.

Stover, Ed, et al. “Investigations into the Origin of ‘Norton’ Grape Using SSR Markers.” Researchgate.net, 18 Dec. 2014, Link.

Ambers, Rebecca K.R., and Clifford P Ambers. “The Norton Grape: An American Original.”American WIne Society Journal , vol. 36, no. 3, 2004, pp. 77–87., Link.

Hedrick, U P. “The Domestication of the Grape .” Manual of American Grape Growing, Norwood Press J. S. Cushing Co.—Berwick & Smith Co., 1919, pp. 12–12.

 

The Cork Conundrum: How To Filter Cork From Wine

January 09, 2018

 

It happens to the best of us. You pop the cork on your favorite Missouri wine but soon realize that you've left a few cork pieces behind. Don't fret. There's a simple solution to your cork conundrum. Watch the video to see our super easy fix.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr_jo3dXxdc

Missouri Wines Trivia Challenge

January 04, 2018

**UPDATE**

More than 300 people took the recent Missouri Wines Trivia Challenge. Eight clever guessers won a Missouri Wines stocking cap. Did we stump you? Here are the answers. 

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Do you consider yourself a genius with a knack for knowledge? Are you a minuscule fact marvel? Trivia Day is celebrated on January 4 and is the perfect time to test your knowledge of Missouri wines and the Missouri wine industry. Answer the questions correctly and you could win a cool Missouri wines stocking cap. Five clever guessers will win so what are you waiting for? Click here to take the Missouri wines trivia challenge. The challenge ends January 18, 2018.

  

 

 

 

2018 MO Wine Lovers Calendar

January 02, 2018

These days there's a holiday for everything, but the way we see it is... why not? Even if a holiday may seem a bit silly, we'll take the excuse to raise a glass of Missouri wine and celebrate. Will you join us this year? 

List of local and national wine themed holidays | Missouri Wines

January: Norton Month 

February: 18- Drink Wine Day, 24- Open That Bottle Night

March: 3- Mulled Wine Day 

April: Chardonel Month 

May: 9- Moscato Day, 25- National Wine Day 

June: Vidal Blanc Month, 9- Rose Day 

July: Concord Month 

August: Vignoles Month 

September: Missouri Wine Month 

October: Create your own MO wine celebration! 

November: Chambourcin Month 

December: 5- Repeal Day, 20- Sangria Day, 31- Sparkling Wine Day 

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