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Michigan Winemakers Are Creating Some Great Sparklers

by Guest Blogger: Terry Stingley a.k.a. The Wine Guru on Dec 21st 2009

This is the time of year when our thoughts turn to festivity and celebration. It's the historical season for doing so, a tradition that may even have pre-historic roots. While our ancestors undoubtedly knew the value of a hearty celebration, we have only been blessed with the addition of Champagne and sparkling wine in fairly recent human history. And what a blessing it is.  There is ritual in the "popping of the cork". There is elegance and verve in the steady ascent of bubbles in a crystal flute. And the heady mix of good friends and good food are only accented by the fizzy euphoria of a chilled glass of sparkling wine.

Here in Michigan, we are doubly blessed with a winter wonderland that serves as the perfect backdrop to some of the best sparkling wine available...made right here at home. From Tabor Hill's Grand Mark to L. Mawby's Blanc to Blanc and Cremant, from Chateau Chantal's Sparkling Cherry to St, Julian's line of non-alcohol bubbly, there is a wonderful home-grown concoction to suit every palate.

And this year, I was honored with the opportunity of collaborating with Michigan's most talented sparkling wine maker, Larry Mawby, to create a brand new bubbly we have appropriately labeled, "Celebrate Life". Made in the traditional methode champenoise of Champagne, France, this demi-sec (off dry) is a salmon-hued classic, intended to accompany all of life's finer moments. And it compares favorably to all those $40 Champagnes at a fraction of the cost. (It's only available at select Harding's stores in Portage and Richland).

As we like to say, "Don't wait for a reason to celebrate. Let life be the celebration!" Cheers! And happy holidays to everyone!

Terry Stingley is the Wine Buyer for Harding's Markets in western Michigan.  He has spent more than thirty years studying and enjoying the wines of the world before focusing his attention on Michigan's growing industry.  You can follow his musings on Twitter as @TheWineGuru.  Thanks for sharing, Terry.


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