There are some brilliant wineries in Michigan, if you can believe it, so while Napa may hold the wine designation for the United States, Michigan is sneaking around in the background selling some delicious wines to goo American Midwestern folk.

  • Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn in Traverse City is a beautiful old vineyard run by a former priest and nun – so you don’t have to worry about paying for questionable values. You can stop by and do a full tasting for about $5 but I recommend their Naughty White. I love the name! And I love the taste – it’s fruity and floral and aromatic. It’s a perfect summer wine and adding an ice cube or two certainly doesn’t dilute the complex flavors!
  • Round Barn is right between Chicago and Holland so it’s a perfect road trip stop in Baroda. Their chardonnay (too expensive at $21.99, but for special occasions or weddings maybe) is creamy and buttery and has the BODY of a red wine with the fruity taste of a white wine. It’s the best of both worlds! I advise drinking this one on its own rather than with ice or spritzer. It’s just too expensive to be mixed up!
  • Fell Valley is another one in Southwest Michigan – there seems to be some correlation between the Lake Effect and the climate in Southwestern Michigan that suits grape growing. This shop has sparkling wines, reds, specialties (too expensive) and fruity wines. The fruit wines are TO DIE FOR with blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and cherries. Careful though! You don’t want to end up with blue teeth!

Whites are a little better suited for ladies nights, book club meetings, brunches and casual gatherings. There’s something light and carefree about white wine, plus it’s served cold which is just more pleasant than red which is served at room temperature. If I MUST drink red (besides a cab, which I enjoy immensely) I’ll often chill it first just so that it goes down a little easier.

Red wine may contain more antioxidants to encourage its heart-healthy qualities, but it’s also higher in calories. White wine may benefit the lungs (according to google, I have no idea why) but it’s worse for your teeth. So this decision is best left to your personal tastes – and like everything else, don’t overdo it. Everything in moderation!