Fried Chicken and Sparkling Wine: The Golden Couple

July 07, 2014


July 6th was National Fried Chicken Day, and that inspired us to write this post. We agree that this dish, the epitome of comfort food, deserves its own day, or perhaps even its own week or month. Fried chicken with its crispy, savory goodness is even better when you pair it with… sparkling wine.

Bubbly is good for a lot more than just wedding toasts, and it beautifully compliments fried chicken. If you really stop and think about it, it makes sense. Why, you ask? The bright acidity and lively citrus flavors found in dry sparkling wines help cut through the salty flavors and greasiness of fried chicken, while the tiny bubbles cleanse your palate and settle your stomach (which is sure to be full when there’s delicious fried chicken on your plate).

So, the next time you have a craving for old-fashioned, down-home fried chicken, try this classic recipe and pair it with a glass of award-winning, dry Missouri sparkling wine. You’re in for a real treat!

Missouri (sparkling) wine pairs well with fried chicken!

Raise Your Glass: Tips for Giving Great Toasts

June 24, 2014

Giving a toast, like any public speaking, can be scary and nerve-wracking. Whether you‘re the best man/maid of honor at a wedding raising a glass to the newlyweds, or at a work function toasting your co-workers on a job well done, here are a few tips that can help you get through it without breaking too much of a sweat.

Firstly and probably most importantly… a toast is not about you. The fundamental purpose of a toast is to say something nice about someone else, to honor and celebrate them. So, avoid focusing too much on you and your relationship with the toastee, and take the opportunity to make your friend, coworker or loved one look good. If you see that telltale look of admiration toward the subject of your toast when you’re finished… success!

Secondly and still very important… keep it short and sweet. This a dual tip. Try not to ramble on. A good way to avoid being long winded is to write down your thoughts ahead of time. A good toast, much like a good story has a beginning, middle, and end. That’s the keep it short part of the tip. Don’t forget to keep it sweet too, meaning stay positive. It’s not the time for criticism, constructive or otherwise. Focus on the good and keep the mood light.

Thirdly, remember that funny and embarrassing aren’t always the same thing. Jokes are great. They can break the ice and loosen any tension in the crowd, however, try not to make any that are directly at the expense of others in the room, especially the guest(s) of honor. Often the issue isn’t that the story or joke isn’t funny, but rather the lack of context for the audience. If you find yourself thinking “you had to be there”, maybe leave that part out.

Lastly, practice may not make perfect, but it sure will help! Write your toast out and rehearse it in front of a mirror or maybe a friend or two. This will help you feel more confident and comfortable when it’s time to raise that glass for real.

Traditionally speaking, sparkling wine is the first choice for a toasting beverage. Missouri wineries are making some delicious, award-winning sparkling wines, but many rules were meant to be broken. So, if you’re not a fan of bubbles, don’t fret. Raise a glass of whatever feels right.

Missouri wines pair well with great toasts!

Wine and Cheese

Missouri Wine and Beer: The perfect pair for Father’s Day

June 11, 2014

Some people like wine, some people like beer, and others like them both. Several Missouri wineries are also breweries. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Some of the equipment is the same and it’s a great way to offer consumers options. 

So, this Father’s Day, head out to Missouri wine country for a relaxing trip where you can enjoy handcrafted wine and beer. Or get a sampler of delicious local beverages for dad to sample at home. 

Charleville Vineyard Winery and Microbrewery – Ste. Genenvieve
Charleville is all about offering distinctive, hand-crafted wines and microbrewed beers in a relaxed atmosphere. They proudly offer an assortment of beer styles from their core year round beers (such as: Half Wit Wheat, Hoptimistic IPA, Tornado Alley Amber Ale, and Oatmeal Stout) to an extensive selection of seasonal beers (Box of Chocolate, Strawberry Blonde, Maibock… to name just a few) and limited release beers.

Crown Valley Winery, Brewery & Distillery – Ste. Genenvieve 
Visiting “Crown Country” offers a plethora of tasting options. They make a wide range of wines, including sparkling, while their brewmaster, Jeremy Gilbert, produces beer made in a state-of-the-art 15-barrel microbrewery. Some of their offerings include, Strawberry Cider, Farmhouse Lager, Wooden Nickel IPA, Gunslinger Double IPA, Big Bison Ale, and seasonal such as Peach Wheat and Blackberry Cider. They also have a distillate brand known for its line of “Missouri Moonshine”. Their Fizzy Izzy root beer has its own fan club as well. 

Bias Winery and Gruhlke’s Microbrewery – Berger
As the story goes… Gruhlke is a gnome who moved from Germany to the hill at Bias Vineyards & Winery in 1998. Gnomes, as you may know, live underground with their buried treasures. Gruhlke’s treasure is secret formulas for great microbrewed beer. Gruhlke has agreed to share his secret formulas and assist with the beer brewing in exchange for naming the microbrewery after him. They offer a variety of beers on tap, some of which include, Missouri Wheat, Naughty Ale, Black Lager, Chubby Stout, and Nate’s Tripel.

Windy Wine Co. and Blackbelt Brewing Co. – Osborn 
When Kraig Keesaman opened Windy Wine Co. he planted the idea of his brother, Kasey, having a brewery onsite. Last year, the dream became a reality when Blackbelt Brewing Co. was introduced. They offer a milk stout called Ninja Breakfast, a light rye ale called Rye-Kwon-Do, an India Pale Ale called Hop-Kido, an apple ale called Grapple, Brew-cha Libre, an agave-infused pale ale, and a Belgian golden called Crow Killer. 

Cave Vineyard – Ste. Genenvieve
Cave Vineyard is a family affair through and through. That extends from the winery operations to the beer brewed on site and sold on-draft in the tasting room. The son-in-laws (also affectionately referred to as the SIL’s) brew a variety of beer to be served on site only. You’re always in for a new and different treat from the classics to unique seasonal offerings when you visit the Cave. 

Beyond wineries making, serving and distributing their own beers, there are other partnerships between brewers and winemakers. Public House Brewery is building a brand new facility to expand its operation in conjunction with St. James Winery, and Broadway Brewery leases space from Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport. To take it a step further, many of the 125+ wineries in the state partner with local, craft brewers to offer beer in their tasting rooms. 

Missouri wine pairs well with Missouri beer. Drink local! 

Pairing Sauces with Missouri Wine

What’s Your MO White?

Celebrate Memorial Day with Missouri Wines

May 22, 2014

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who served in the US military. Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial kickoff to summer. Festive gatherings and barbecues with a patriotic theme are common during the three day weekend. Missouri wines are fantastic with the grilled meats, vegetables and fruits of the new season. Start your cookout with refreshing pitchers of ice cold Sangria. The variations on this classic wine punch are nearly endless. Have fun mixing it up with your favorite Missouri red, white, rosé or sparkling.

When it is time to eat,  treat your guests to mouthwatering smoky-sweet BBQ beef short ribs paired with Chambourcin's cherry, earthy aromas. The dark berry and spice of bold Norton is a mouthwatering match for Texas-style smoked beef brisket. Juicy, grilled pork chops provide a nice contrast to the deep, grape jam aromas of sweet Concord.

Grilled rosemary chicken is delicious with the citrus fruit flavors of oaked Chardonel. You can also enjoy this dry, full-bodied white with a chicken cobb salad loaded with avocado, bacon and blue cheese. Crisp, medium-bodied Seyval Blanc is a great pair for vegetarian offerings. Serve it with grilled portebello mushroom burgers or colorful grilled vegetables seasoned with fresh herbs.

Missouri's award-winning wines will take you all the way through dessert. Sip a semi-sweet Traminette with a slice of apple pie. Pair the citrus, floral and tropical flavors of Vignoles with a fresh fruit and mint salad. Homemade strawberry ice cream on a warm day is divine with light Catawba.

Missouri Wines pair well with Memorial Day!

5 Missouri Wineries With Adventure-Friendly Packaging

May 13, 2014

1. Peaceful Bend Vineyard – Steeleville

Peaceful Bend Vineyard – Steeleville

Peaceful Bend Vineyard’s Grapes of Raft series of wines in a 1.5L recyclable pouch with a convenient pouch is perfect for all your travels.

2. 7Cs Winery – Walnut Grove

7Cs Winery – Walnut Grove

7Cs Winery packages several of their wines in 3 different size pouches. Which one works best for your next adventure?


3. West Winery – Macon

West Winery – Macon

West Winery offers many of their most popular wines (rotating varietals) in pouches which hold the equivalent of two bottles. Perfect for camping, boating, hiking, or just savoring one sip at a time!


4. Cave Hollow West Winery – Hannibal

Cave Hollow West Winery – Hannibal

With a campground on-site, it’s no surprise that Cave Hollow West Winery puts many of their wines in pouches to make camping and other outdoor adventures even easier.


5. St. James Winery – St. James

St. James Winery – St. James

St. James winery offers a pouch ready to head to the pool or cook-out with you as the weather warms up.


(Bonus) St. James Winery – St. James

(Bonus) St. James Winery - St. James

St. James also offers wine in plastic “mini” bottles that hold 187ml (or ¼ of a regular wine bottle). Aren’t they so cute? In addition to mini bottles, St. James makes a 3L box perfect for a big group or keeping your wine fresh in the refrigerator. Both these less than conventional packaging options are available in their Velvet Red and White wines.

via 5 Missouri Wineries With Adventure-Friendly Packaging

Celebrate National Beef Month with Missouri Wines: 31 Days of Deliciousness

May 08, 2014

What do a juicy hamburger, a savory steak, and a tender rack of ribs have in common? They are all examples of the many tantalizing forms of beef. May is National Beef Month, so now is the time to celebrate this mouthwatering meat with your favorite Missouri wines.

Beef is flavorful and versatile. It can be enjoyed any number of ways, which gives you practically limitless options for wine pairings. Red wines are commonly matched with beef because their dry and astringent tannins shine when combined with beef's proteins. For instance, a glass of spicy, full-bodied Norton is exquisite with a rich, buttery filet mignon wrapped in bacon. When you dress up a burger with portabello mushrooms and brie cheese, it brings out the earthy, cherry flavors in Chambourcin. If you're craving something sweet, try Concord with succulent slow-cooked barbecued beef sandwiches.

It might seem unconventional, but white wines are also great with the right beef dishes. Serve a floral,  fruit-forward dry Vignoles with a simple, tasty beef stir-fry with bell peppers. Or choose a slightly sweet Traminette to perfectly balance the salt from the stir-fry's soy sauce. The apple and citrus aromas of Vidal Blanc are refreshing with a grilled steak salad loaded with wholesome veggies.

Don’t let any leftover wine go to waste. Cooking meat with wine not only adds delicious, complex flavor, but also helps to tenderize the dish. Use a dry Missouri white wine for this rosemary sauteed beef. A dry red is a nice addition to this recipe for beef tenderloin with spring vegetables.

Still hungry? Visit the Missouri Beef Industry Council website for more beef recipes, and to select the perfect wine to pair with them.

Missouri wines pair well with beef!

Have a Few Sips on Route 66

May 08, 2014

Route 66, also known fondly as the “Mother Road” holds miles of history and still stands as a symbol of free-spirited independence. The open road is calling. Will you answer? The Show-Me State’s portion of the route runs from the Mississippi River in St. Louis, down the Interstate 44 (I-44) corridor to the Kansas border.

While you’re visiting this historic route you can also experience delicious, award-winning Missouri wine. On your journey, you can pair a little history with local wine and take the old highway that dates back to pre-Civil W

ar era state lines. Hop on I-44 in St. Louis and head southwest to Eureka. Eureka is host to the Route 66 State Park. When you leave Eureka you can take Historic Route 66 out of town, or you can get back on the Interstate to continue onward. Don’t forget to visit Meramec Caverns in Sullivan on the way!

The next stretch of the Mother Road includes some “must see” wineries. A good place to start is the historic town of Leasburg where Belmont Vineyards has access directly off Route 66. A few more miles down you will find St. James, which boast many prized wineries including; St. James Winery, Meramec Vineyards, Three Squirrels Vineyards, and Heinrichhause Winery. Another good spot to check out is the Rosati Winery Museum, where you can see the impressive history and mechanics of the pre-prohibition Missouri wine industry. Another spot to check out is Peaceful Bend Winery, which has one of the most romantic views along the route.  For even more breathtaking views continue along the Route, winding around the river bluffs of the Big Piney River, and check out the Trestle Bridge in Devil’s Elbow.

If you’re headed home after a day on Route 66 remember to bring home a bottle (or two) of your favorite Missouri wine to share. Continuing for a second day?  There are several beautiful Bed & Breakfasts’ just a few minutes off Route 66 around Waynesville. Start your next day off right with a stop in Lebanon to check out the Route 66 Museum, complete with classic cars and other memorabilia.

Hop back in your car and head to Springfield which has a Route 66 park and both OOVVDA Winery and Tyler Ridge Winery only a short jaunt off of the Mother Road. If you decide to spend more time in the Springfield area, the Ozark Mountain Wine Trail stretches 30 miles outside the city in every direction and boasts nine wineries and special gifts for visiting.

Beyond Springfield is the oldest part of the route that was bypassed years ago. However, there are still gems like the historic town of Carthage, home to White Rose Winery, and plenty more fun before you end your trip in Joplin, Missouri. For more information about the wineries, visit or if you want more information about Route 66 check out .

“Get your kicks on Route 66″ by the legendary Nat King Cole

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