Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin… Everything!

October 15, 2015

There’s a chill in the air. Fall is here, and to some that means one thing… PUMPKIN! Pumpkin everything. If you love pumpkin and local, award-winning wine, this blog post is for you. Let’s talk about some of the amazing pumpkin products out there and the Missouri wines that pair perfectly with them. There are also a plethora of scrumptious dishes you can make with pumpkin, each deserving a delicious wine pairing. After all… “A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (famous food critic).

Next time you’re at the grocery store, look for these items and the Missouri wines that go with them:

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything

Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms +Traminette

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Pumpkin Spice Almonds + Concord

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Pumpkin Tortilla Chips and Salsa + Norton

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn + Sweet Sparkling Wine

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Pumpkin Spice English Muffins (or bagels) and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread + Sparkling Wine (Maybe even a Mimosa...Cheers to Fall brunch!)

Often when people think of pumpkin recipes they think of sweets and desserts, but there’s potential for savory dishes is boundless. Try these recipes, and be sure to remember the Missouri wine!

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Pumpkin, Beef and Black Bean Chili + Traminette

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Thai Pumpkin, Coconut and Lentil Soup + Vignoles

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Chicken, Bacon and Pumpkin Gnocchi + Chambourcin

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Pumpkin, Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells + Seyval Blanc

Pairing MO Wine with Pumpkin... Everything
Pumpkin-Sage Cream Sauce + Vidal Blanc

Enjoy Pumpkin Season (oops, Fall) with Missouri wines!

Fall in MO Wine Country Bucket List

October 13, 2015

Fall in Missouri wine country is utterly fantastic. The breathtaking colors of the changing leaves are a sight to be treasured, and the cool, crisp air is ideal for snuggling up with a glass of your favorite local wine. These are some seasonal favorites we think should be on your Fall bucket list.

  1. Visit a wine trail. There are 10 in the state and they all have something different to offer. Several of them have unique events planned for this fall such as the Diva Weekend on the Route du Vin in Ste. Genevieve, Holiday Fare on the Hermann Wine Trail, Sip & Soup on the Missouri River Wine Trail, Taste of the Holidays on the Missouri River Hills Wine Trail, and Harvest Food Truck Event on the Missouri Weinstrasse.
  2. Taste a seasonal wine. Several of the 120+ wineries in the state make limited run, small batches of seasonal wines that range from Pumpkin Pie, to Cranberry, to Gingerbread. They are most often only available at the wineries and for a limited time. It’s almost a treasure hunt to find and taste these fun seasonal varieties.
  3. Try mulled wine (AKA Gluhwein). A traditionally German recipe, served warm, of spiced wine and fruit. It’s unique and delicious. Whether you try your hand at making it at home or enjoy it at a winery, it’s a must as the weather cools down.
  4. Savor the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. A scenic drive to a winery, a marvelous view from a winery’s outdoor seating, or hiking/biking the Katy Trail from winery to winery… there are lots of options for getting out and really appreciating the beauty of this season of transition.
  5. Create a Fall inspired sangria with your favorite Missouri wine. It’s easy to build your very best sangria with this guide.
  6. Listen to live music at a winery. Before the chill in the air gets too cold, enjoy some live music at a winery. Many wineries feature bands on the weekends.
  7. Go to a Fall Festival. There are many at wineries, other where wineries are in attendance, all are a great time. Check out this list of Fall festivals in Missouri for some ideas.
  8. Add wine to your favorite Fall baking recipe. Incorporating wine to your baking can add a unique flavor and richness. This guide will help you figure out the best way to wine-up your recipes.
  9. Sip your favorite Missouri red wine, fireside. Fall is bon fire season and there is nothing better than enjoying a bon fire with a glass of warming, red wine.
  10. Pair the first batch of chili with the perfect Missouri wine. Chili season is so close we can taste it, and that first batch always tastes the best. Doesn’t it? Be sure to pick up the ideal wine to go with it. This wine and food pairing guide will help you choose.

There are way more fun things to do in wine country this time of year than just what we have listed here, but we hope this is a good start to your “Fall in Missouri Wine Country Bucket List”!

Wine = Bottled Poetry

October 08, 2015

October 8th is National Poetry Day and we think this famous quote from Scottish novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, pretty much covers it!

21 Wine Tasting Terms You’ll Want to Know

October 06, 2015

Wine tasting can be a little intimidating sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing the lingo can go a long way to making you feel more comfortable diving into the delicious world of wine. Missouri is home to more than 125 wineries, and they all offer tastings of some variety. Learn these tasting terms and you’re ready to head out to wine country and get the most out of wine tasting!


Smelly Terms 

Much of the experience of wine tasting comes from your olfactory sense. These terms will help you describe that part of the experience.

aroma — the smell of wine, derived from the grapes (different than bouquet)

bouquet — refers to the complex smells derived from the aging of wine

nose — describes the combination of the aromas and bouquet of a wine


Tasty (and sometimes smelly) Terms

You’re not only using your sense of taste when you take a sip of wine. You’re also using your sense of touch. These terms will help you describe what you smell, taste and feel.

acidity — the liveliness and crispness in wine that activates salivary glands

balance — when the elements of wine – acids, sugars, tannins, and alcohol – come together in a harmonious way

body — a tactile sensation describing the weight and fullness of wine.  A wine can be light, medium, or full bodied. (Note: A good way to think about this is the difference between skim, 2% and whole milk.)

dry —  describes a wine that doesn’t contain significant grape sugar; the opposite of sweet (Note: A wine can be dry and still taste fruity.) Wines range in sweetness levels.

herbaceous — denotes smells and flavors of fresh herbs (e.g., oregano, basil, rosemary, etc.)

hot — a description for wine that is high in alcohol

mouth-feel — how a wine feels on the palate; for example: rough, smooth, velvety, or furry

oak/oaky — denotes smells and flavors of vanilla, baking spices, coconut, mocha or dill caused by barrel-aging

spicy — used to describe smells and flavors reminiscent of baking spices, black pepper, bay leaf, curry powder, saffron, etc. found in certain wines

minerality — this is a fairly ambiguous term used to describe smells and flavors that remind you of the sea (think crunchy sea salt or oysters), the sidewalk after it rains, or even chalk

jammy — denotes wines with intense, concentrated fruit flavors


Random Terms of Interest

appellation — a delineated wine producing region, in the US they are called American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and Missouri boasts the very first one named in the country. (Note: You’ll often find the appellation or AVA listed on a wine’s label, more about that here.)

terroir — French for geographical characteristics unique to a given viticulture area (Note: If you’d like a more in depth understanding of what terroir is and why it matter, read this blog post.)

varietal — a particular type of grape. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of different grape varietals grown around the world. Missouri vintners primarily grow hybrid and Native American varietals that can handle the demanding weather of our region. (Note: You can learn more about Missouri grape varietals here.)

vintage — the year a wine is bottled.  Also, vintage is used to describe the yield of wine from a vineyard during a single season.


We hope this breakdown of some of the language of wine helps you get even more out of your next trip to Missouri wine country!

Ready, Set… UPCYCLE! Wine Glass Edition

October 03, 2015

Glass is pretty lovely on its own, but it also works incredibly well as a clean, crisp canvas for your creativity. Whether you’re looking to liven up your own glassware collection or make a unique gift for a friend, there are tons of wonderful DIY glass projects from which to choose.

Before you get started on a decorative glass project is right for you, we have a few tips and tid-bits to share.

  1. It’s important to prep your glass! Clean your glasses thoroughly. Consider using rubbing alcohol to eliminate any oil or grease from the surface. Other tips on “How to Paint Glass”, here.
  2. Different paint types produce different looks on the final product. Here’s a guide to help you decide which type of paint will work best for the end result you’re wanting.
  3. The bowl of a wine glass is round, making it a challenge to get a line that looks straight. A great trick is to put water in the glass and use the water line as a guide.


For something easy and quick that doesn’t take advanced artistic ability, try this tutorial for a cute dotted design.

An option for the slightly more artistically inclined is this tutorial for a red daylily painted wine glass. The person using the glass gets the best view of this unique design.

For the true artisté or anyone willing to give it a try, this tutorial for hand painted peacock feather wine glasses breaks the project down step by every little step. The results are absolutely beautiful!

Technically chalkboard paint is still paint, right? Create customizable wine glasses with this easy dip and sip tutorial or use this tutorial for a more refined version.

Sharpies can also be used to create functional masterpieces. This tutorial demonstrates several ideas for using sharpies (metallic in this case) to dress up wine glasses.

Glitter undeniably makes everything fancier. The challenge is making sure the glasses are still washable while maintaining the shine that makes glitter so fun. This tutorial says a couple coats will do the trick. While this tutorial says it’s all about sealing it off. Take your pick and sparkle on!

Etched glass is the epitome of class. Don’t you think? With limited supplies you can create some beautiful glassware with this easy to follow tutorial. If you have a Silhouette Design or Cricut, you can take this idea to the next level!

gilded base is a great way to dress up a champagne flute. This tutorial uses a gold paper doilie and mod podge to make two simple things look exponentially more glamorous.

Choose which project sounds right to you and don’t forget to toast with some Missouri wine in your masterpiece when it’s complete.

Missouri wine pairs well with crafting!

Roses are red; violets are blue. We love rosés, and you should too!

October 02, 2015

Rosé wines are a bit of a mystery to many people. Let us shed some light on the subject of this delicious category of wine. First off, we need to bust the myth that all rosés are made by mixing white and red wine together. This is not the most common method. Secondly, we need to clarify one hugely important fact: Most wine grapes have clear juice, regardless of the color of the skin. The color of wine comes from the must (skins and seeds).

The majority of rosé wines are made via the skin contact method where red grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, often called maceration. This time period can range from a few hours to a few days. The must is then pressed and discarded, unlike with the red wine making process in which the skins remain with the juice throughout fermentation.

Rosé wines can vary in color greatly, but they are generally some shade of pink, sometimes with a hint of orange or purple. The longer the juice macerates with the skins, the darker the color. The type of grape also affects the color of the resulting rosé wine. Whatever the shade, they are a pleasing pink color which has garnered them a fair amount of popularity all over the world (and definitely here in Missouri).

The unique flavors, aromas, and characteristics of rosé wines vary based on the grapes used, but overall they are light and fruity. This is due to the winemaking process. Their light, fruity nature makes them a great pairing for many different foods such as salads and vegetables, fish, spicy foods, barbecue, and cheeses. The versatility of rosé wines is another reason they are a crowd favorite.

You may have heard the term “blush” wine and wondered, “Is that the same thing as rosé?”. Well, the answer is a tad complicated. Rosé is a term with a long history whereas the term blush is rather new. A blush wine generally refers to a sweeter rosé wine. Yes, that means not all rosé wines are sweet. In fact there are many dry rosés. Rosé wines can run the entire gamut of sweetness from very sweet to bone dry. Don’t judge a wine by its color.  It’s always a good idea check the sweetness level of a rosé you’re purchasing.

So, we’ve covered how rosé wines are made, where they get their color, unique characteristics and pairings, and sweetness level. What have we missed? Oh, yes. Age! Because of the short time rosé wines spend on the skins, they are meant to be enjoyed young. If you’re used to hearing the-older-the-better with wine… forget it. In the case of rosés, the fresher the better!

Missouri winemakers are no strangers to rosé wines. Due to the nature of rosé wines (enjoy young, remember!) it’s difficult to have a comprehensive list of rosés made in the state, but here’s a start if you’re looking to track down some locally made rosé wines. Another great place to look is our trophy case where you can find award winning rosé wines.

It’s the perfect time of year to explore rosé wines; perhaps with your Valentine?

Missouri rosé wines pair well with Valentine’s Day!

Cookies Made with Wine = Yum!

October 01, 2015

October 1st is National Homemade Cookie Day, so we decided we should round up some recipes for delicious cookies made with the only thing that could make cookies better… wine! Baking with wine adds depth to the flavor and richness to your sweet treats. Try these cookie recipes with your favorite local wines, and maybe enjoy a glass while they’re in the oven. You’ve earned it!

These traditional Italian Wine Cookies are great made with your favorite dry red wine and dipped in coffee, hot chocolate or even in a glass of wine.

Try this recipe for a fun take on Ciambelline Cookies made with white wine, and topped with a super simple white wine glaze. If you’re not an anise fan, substitute it with vanilla. The resulting cookies are still quite delicious.

If you’re looking for something a little different, these spicy Dutch Soetkoekies are perfect for you. Make them with a Missouri port-style dessert wine.

As the weather cools down, make some mulled wine with your fave local red wine and save some to bake these Mulled Wine Cookies. They are a soft, fluffy cookie with a delicious mulled wine glaze!

Are you a chocolate and red wine lover? We’ve got the answer… these Dark Chocolate and Red Wine Cookies are decadent and delicious, and perfect with a Missouri Norton wine.

Looking for something a little lighter? White Wine + Lemon Cookiesdefinitely fit the bill. Make them with a citrusy Vidal Blanc.

If you have a favorite cookie recipe, try adding wine to the mix. Baking with wine is rather easy. Here’s a guide to help!

Happy Homemade Cookie Day; enjoy!

She Sheds: Retreat and Relax with MO Wine

September 25, 2015

She Sheds are the ladies’ answer to Man Caves, a restful retreat or special place to let the creative juices flow. Shed the stress of the day to day grind in your own personal oasis. She Sheds are the latest trend in self-care, and for good reason. Creating a space where you can relax and rejuvenate is a great idea. Why not transform that old backyard shed to do so?

Photo from House to Home

When you’re creating your She Shed, keep these things in mind:

Get comfy!

Comfort is important when planning your She Shed. Fill your retreat with whatever makes you the most comfortable, whether that’s a day bed, a chaise lounge, or an overstuffed chair perfect for throwing your legs over the side. Do vibrant colors make you warm and happy? Brighten it up! A great motif for decorating your She Shed is bringing the outdoors in with delightful floral prints and lots of windows for natural light.

Relaxation is the name of the game.

Stock your personal oasis with all the things that help you unwind and let it go (whatever it may be). If crafting clears the mind, your She Shed is the perfect place to set up a creation station. Bring your favorite books and escape into the pages. Scented candles help create a calm atmosphere, but remember it’s probably not going to be a very large space; so nothing too overwhelming. Perhaps a Zen yoga retreat is your ideal She Shed theme.

Completely customized.

Let your She Shed be a reflection of your personality. Is modern elegance your style? Or do you identify more with bohemian chic? Run with it! From the outside in, add special touches to your She Shed that make it uniquely yours. It’s the little things, right?

Don't forget the Missouri Wine!

The ideas behind She Sheds are relaxation, fostering creativity and rejuvenation. Obviously wine is a must, and local wine… even better! Here’s some inspiration for simple DIY wine bars to add to your She Shed.

However you like to relax, creating a special place for yourself is a great way to take time out from the hustle and bustle. Cheers to She Sheds!

Fall is here (or is it Autumn?) in MO wine country!

September 23, 2015

Fall (or Autumn if you’re fancy) has arrived in Missouri wine country and we can’t wait to see you. Crisper air, colorful leaves, bon fires and festivals… so many wonderful things to appreciate about Autumn and you can find them all at a local winery. Check out this list of Fall festivals around the Show-Me state, and make plans to enjoy Autumn in wine country. It’s closer than you think!

Must-try MO Wines of 2015

September 21, 2015

Nine industry experts blind-tasted hundreds of Missouri wines at the 2015 Missouri Wine Competition, and according to them, these 12 wines rose to the top of the pack as the Best of Class. Head out to wine country or your local retailer and give these wines a taste before they’re gone!

Meet the rest of the 2015 Best of Class winners:

  • Governor’s Cup (Best Overall): 2014 Vignoles, St. James Winery – St. James
  • C.V. Riley Award (Best Norton): 2013 Savage Norton, Chandler Hill Vineyards – Defiance
  • Sparkling: Brut Rosé, Stone Hill Winery – Hermann
  • Dry White: Dry Vignoles, Adam Puchta Winery – Hermann
  • Semi-Dry White: 2014 Vignoles, St. James Winery – St. James
  • Sweet White: 2013 Vignoles, Stone Hill Winery – Hermann
  • Dry Red: 2012 Chambourcin, Stone Hill Winery – Hermann
  • Semi-Dry Red: 2013 Steinberg Red, Stone Hill Winery – Hermann
  • Sweet Red: Stone House Red, Montelle Winery – Augusta
  • Rosé: Dry Rosé, Stone Hill Winery – Hermann
  • Fruit Wine: Raspberry, Windy Wine Company – Osborn
  • Dessert/Fortified: Cream Sherry, Stone Hill Winery – Hermann
  • Late Harvest/Icewine: 2013 Vidal Ice Wine, Stone Hill Winery – Hermann
  • Distilled Product: Cherry Brandy, Montelle Winery – Augusta


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