Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Cork Poppers Return!

It's been awhile since I've had a wine-tasting post. Our Cork Poppers gang met once this summer while we were away and again for a BBQ (where I'm sure wine came up in the conversation).

So we were excited to have a new experience in wine tasting -- at a local winery.

Well, excited and a little bit nervous. To be perfectly honest, the experience Rick and I have had with Michigan wines has been far less than stellar. This winery, Burgdorf's, was right here in our own town, far from the more known Michigan wine areas on the west side of the state. (That's Deb Burgdorf below!)

We arrived at the charming winery late -- having passed it by and missing the small sign. But as soon as we walked in, we knew we were in for a delightful evening, no matter what the wine!

And if we had any reservations, they were gone after having our first taste -- an un-oaked 2009 chardonnay. It was cool, crisp, light and quite dry. The handout they gave us said it was a silver medal winner in the 2009 Michigan wine competition, and I can see why. It was a little pricey for me ($21.99 -- and I tend to try to keep my wine buys under $15) but it was really delicious!

Dave and Deb have a delightful two-room operation -- one side is a tasting bar and gift shop, the other also with gifts but more industrial, with jugs of wine waiting to be bottled.

We learned they both had many years in agriculture and science and while they used Michigan grapes, they also used those from other vineyards around the world.

They set out some delicious snacks (I ended up buying the Tuscan Olive dip and the little crock they served it in). And the shopping was great. (I sort of overdid it, but they had such cute things at such reasonable prices, who could resist?)

Our $20 "admission" brought us samples of eight wines they planned for us, plus two "wild cards," our choices from their list of eight whites, four reds and six fruit wines. By and large, I'm not a fruit wine fan. We sampled Perfection, Blueberry (Rick really liked this one) and Red Raspberry. That last was such a hit with both of us and our wine guide Dick that at least a couple bottles were purchased at $17.99. Oh, to have it with decadent flourless chocolate cake, truffles or on ice cream. I can't wait!

Rick also liked the Cayuga White ($19) and I enjoyed the Pinot Grigio ($19.99). For primarily being red drinkers, neither of us were knocked out by the reds, but remember -- this is Michigan. I've never had a really terrific Michigan red. I don't think the climate's right.

Dave was good at explaining wines, telling us about the four "S" qualities -- Swirl, Smell, Sip and Suck (in air after sipping), which enhances the flavor. The fifth S is spill. We didn't! His patter was funny, informative and as personable as he was!

If you live in the mid-Michigan area, I would recommend a visit. Just belly up to the bar and enjoy! (They also have a patio, a little too cold and dark for us this evening, but we look forward to revisiting and giving that a try!)

The crackers, cheese and dip were good, but we were in need of more sustenance, so it was off to Barb and Mike's house for a terrific dinner of two soups, cornbread, dessert and an enormous salad, called "The Compost" by Mike!

I'm not sure I know anyone who creates better table scapes than Barb.

This time she used the softer purples, reds and naturals all from her garden.

And we all got to take home a centerpiece as a favor! What a favor!

The best part of this, of course, is the friendship and laughter. We recognized two birthdays (here is Birthday Boy Mike)...

... the successful surgery and recovery of one of our members, and talked the news and fun of the day. We laughed. We left satisfied and happy.

We can drink wine anyday -- alone or with another. But it's so much more fun when sharing the experience with friends.

Good night!


ForgedinPaper said...

I actually think it was a wine club post that I first discovered your blog. That salad is amazing I'm drooling looking. I did have a giggle at your shopping but only as I would have been just as bad. It looks like a lot of fun.

ForgedinPaper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beth said...

you and your wine...
due to a medical condition i can no longer drink any of it.....

oh well, i can still have cookies....

ForgedinPaper said...

Time for bed as it's late here and I just posted the same comment twice lol.

~*~Patty S said...

Cork Poppers
Love it!
What a lovely gathering and for such a good cause WINE and Friendship!
Beautiful table too!

Marilyn Miller said...

I have never acquired a taste for wine, but still love going to wine tastings and taking a sip of Jim's wine. This looks like a really fun evening. The table was beautiful and that salad looked so very good. Thanks for sharing a delightful evening.

Joanne Huffman said...

I love your reports on your wine tasting parties - such fun times with friends.

Deb said...

What a great evening you had. I love all the beautiful bottles, glasses and bowls that show on this post. That dinner sounds so good and of course, friendship...nothing like it.
Deb (likes wine) =^..^=x5 (not so much)

Annie Jeffries said...

I can't think of a better way to spend a day. There is warmth and friendship and celebration abounding. Love it all.

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

I've never tried Michigan wine, I am particularly interested in the un-oaked Chardonnay... how do they aged it then? Sounds like a robust savignon blanc, could it be?

ps - did you read my comment about the Argentinian wine Bonarda? I left it in one of you past posts re: road trip.


shoreacres said...

Reading your blog is like reading postcards from a strange and exotic outpost - what riches you have available to you, in every sense. Just looking at the table decorations, for example - my goodness. I suppose there are people here who can do such things - have the time, the money, the creative energy (!!!) but in the circles I move in just now, we don't do any of that sort of thing. Cutting back is the name of the game - and figuring out how to live with some degree of graciousness with no budget for "extras".

I'm not much of a wine drinker, either - I stopped drinking reds aeons ago when I began getting splitting headaches after one glass. :-( But like Michigan, Texas has some good wines, especially Llano vineyards, and I'll indulge in one of theirs from time to time.

jet1960 said...

Like I've said before I live vicariously through your adventures! This looks like it was a great evening!

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