Went to an interesting young business in Shelby Township (Hayes, north of Hall), named Michigan by the Bottle (MBTB)….yes, in the same plaza as the unaffiliated Sherwood Brewery. It was opened by an adorable young couple who are Michigan wine enthusiasts. Not wine makers, just wine drinkers/bloggers and locavores. http://www.mbtbtasting.com/
I sat at the bar, admired displays from local artists, and had three wine samples from the thirty-five available (enough to leave with a buzz on an empty stomach). Because I arrived before 6PM*, these samples were just $5 grand total. Yes, if these wines were produced by MBTB, then they may have come as free promotional tastings. But, MBTB is not in business with any of the six wineries on offer in their establishment. That is not a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. *After 6PM the price is $10, but you get $5 off of a take-home wine bottle purchase, so that still is a $5-for-3 samples price in my book, since the samples surely will surface a “must have” take-home winner. By the way, for $5 more, you can get five samples, rather than three, and you also get Michigan made snacks such as artisan cheeses or truffles. Really neat.
As you might imagine, there are social oriented promotions, as well. As I’ve obnoxiously commented before, I can’t think of too many places I’d want to go around Utica, Shelby Township, etc., to meet women if I still were still single. Maybe Metropolitan Café (haven’t been there in ages…still good?), and now there is MBTB. MBTB periodically has sold-out gatherings such as food and wine pairing dinners hosted by visiting chefs from the Detroit area, educational gatherings featuring wine masters, live local musicians, etc.. They also have other social events which sound a bit more of a stretch (call me a square), such as “wine and massage (Therapeutic Thursdays),” and “wine and yoga (Sips and Serenity).” Hey, gotta push the boundaries. It’s not their problem if some fuddy-duddy such as myself finds the concepts to be outside my comfort zone.
This has to be a tough dream to pursue, but they’ve already made it seven months (rich parents?). And, maybe the best still is yet to come. I have long felt guilty about talking-up Michigan agriculture while not patronizing local wineries. MBTB may have given me the nudge I’ve needed. The bottle of Domaine Berrien Cellars’ (from near Benton Harbor) pinot noir which I picked up today from MBTB is a great start for me!
PS--if you've ever considered going on a Michigan winery tour, but aren't sure where to start, talk with these guys first; they seem to have all the insider advice!
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