Monthly Archives: October 2016

Tasting Notes: bigLittle Mixtape White

This is from one of the smaller wineries on the Leelanau peninsula; their tasting room is colocated with Mawby (the big sparkling wine producer in the Traverse City area). I’m having this tonight with a Thai curry catfish. The variety breakdown on this is 64% Riesling, 18% Pinot Gris, and 18% Pinot Noir (blanc de noirs process for that one).

bigLittle Mixtape White (2014) Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan – $17

Color: Pale brassy yellow

Aroma: Definite floral character on the nose, plus some soft hazelnut/vanilla notes.

Taste: Clean, classic Riesling up front with notes of apple.  Not noticeably sweet at all, but enough mouth-cooling heft to handle a spicy Thai dish. Lime zest and minerality come out after it’s been in the glass for a bit; no doubt prompted by the curry. Light body and clean but with a long finish. Excellent with spicy food!

This is a nice, pleasant, easy-drinking bottle as an aperitif, but it has enough staying power to keep up with Thai curry.  Recommended!




Tasting Note: Shady Lane Gruner Veltliner

I’m very happy to see Austrian grapes like Gruner Veltliner planted in the US – they’re a nice alternative to the same-old same-old.  I purchased this bottle on one of my summer trips up north, and enjoyed it with Chinese 5-spice chicken, vermicelli, mushrooms, and collard greens.

Shady Lane Gruner Veltliner (2013) Leelanau Peninsula, MI – $20

Color: pale yellow – is there a hint of green in there?

Aroma: a creamy nose with Golden Delicious apple and citrus.

Taste: Crisp up front with citrus notes dominating, then flinty and apple-pear tastes. Lively on the tongue. The finish has a hint of lanolin. Tart but not acrid.

Wonderful with the 5-spice chicken – really brings out the ginger and the heat of the Sichuan pepper.


Tasting Notes: Black Star Farms Arcturos Pinot Gris

This is one of the wines I picked up this summer in the Traverse City area.  Black Star has several properties, including vineyards on both the Old Mission Peninsula (a long, skinny spit of land which separates the bay into two halves) and the Leelanau Peninsula (a more substantial stretch of land on the west side of the bay).  Arcturos is one of their sub-brands – look for the ornate star on the label.

Arcturos Pinot Gris (2014) – $18

Color: very pale.

Aroma: lemon and lemon zest up front, then moving into pear and flinty notes.

Taste: round and soft, featuring pear and asian pear with underlying citrus.  Well-balanced acidity.  The finish is clean and a bit short, but then a few seconds later returns with more pear.

A good pairing for plain grilled or broiled chicken breast, or for light-bodied fish.