You start with grape juice.
The other critical item that is needed is time and a good barrel or tank.
At the end of the process, you have wine.
If the growing season was a good one, if the moisture levels in the ground were just right, if the vines received the right amount of sunlight, the grape juice that you started with will have subtle hints of all sorts of other things: minerals, cherries, licorice, pear, and chocolate. I’ve even had hits of green olive in a bottle of Pinot Noir from a northern Michigan winery.
And, there are so many varieties: Zinfandel, Riesling, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Today’s wines come from the old world – France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. But, just as often they come from the “new” world: Chile, Israel, South Africa, and the United States.
Michigan has recently adopted Public Act 213 which allows restaurant patrons to bring a bottle of their favorite wine along with them to drink with their meals.
Wine lovers never had that option before. Remember to call the local restaurant if you plan to bring a bottle of your favorite Pinot Noir. The restaurant must have a liquor license already, and can charge a “corkage fee” to serve you the wine.
Restaurants can bar customers from bringing in wines that they stock, and have the option of opting out altogether. Patrons can take home an unfinished bottle as long as it is properly capped.
Michigan’s liquor control laws were put into place decades ago, but changes are adopted from time to time. BYOW is one change that can be enjoyed by all of us wine-lovers.
So, pick up a bottle of Michigan wine, find a restaurant that serves good local fare, and enjoy.