An anniversary trip four years ago introduced our latest Michigan Wine Lover of the Week, Jean Cartwright, to the wonders of local vino in a big way. Check out how this Novi resident's experience at Chateau Chantal got her and her husband hooked.
"In 2008, I was looking for a location in Michigan where my husband Brian and I could celebrate our 30th anniversary. It had to be close by, and unique. I spotted Chateau Chantal advertising in a magazine and asked my husband if he could give up beer for a week and go wine tasting for our anniversary, and the rest is tasty history! We booked a few days in October 2008, and that year visited 16 wineries in Michigan."
What was the first Michigan wine you ever drank?
"A chilled bottle of Celebrate was in the mini-fridge in our room and that was the first we tasted, and it was perfect for the occasion."
What's your favorite Michigan wine?
"Brian and I are lucky in that we agree on the type of wine we like; we tend to drink wines on the dry side, so Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and dry reds, especially Cabs and Cab Francs fill our wine rack.
Currently, my favorite wine is Chateau Grand Traverse Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay, 2010. We served it at our daughter’s wedding last month and still have a few left. I love the round, smooth, buttery flavor, well chilled."
What's your favorite Michigan winery?
"When we do our annual wine buying trip Up North, we always have a great visit at Longview, Gills Pier, Chateau Grand Traverse, Bowers Harbor, Black Star Farms, Forty-Five North, Left Foot Charley, and, of course, Chateau Chantal. So many good ones! What makes each stand out always is the people!"
Do you have a favorite Michigan wine trail?
"We do a few wine trail events, although we visit the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau mid-week in the fall. We also love the Great Lakes Wine Fest in Brooklyn in May, and the Meadowbrook Wine Fest in Rochester in August. The Pioneer Wine Trail is closest to us and we have done their spring wine and food pairing event twice."
What's the most surprising Michigan wine you've tried?
"The most surprising Michigan wine I have tasted is Warner's Peaches and Honey! Dessert and summer in a glass at the same time!"
"If you have never tried Michigan wine, there are so many to try. Talk with the staff, be daring at the tastings! And take some home to share. Best, Michigan wines are affordable, and can include that special event bottle at the same time!"
"If we are not drinking Michigan wine, we belong to the Wine of the Month Club at Simply Wine in Northville, and they have a huge variety they introduced to us. Our favorites are Austrailan Shiraz, Spanish Rioja or a medium red blend. There are never enough chilled whites in our cooler in the summer, and never enough steaks in the freezer for our stock of big Cabs."
About the photo...
Jean and Brian with Bob Begin of Chateau Chantal.
Interested in being the MBTB Michigan Wine Lover of the Week? E-mail us and request a questionnaire!