Tasting

An Engaging Offer at TASTES of Black Star Farms

Recent proposal trends about when and where to pop the question show that women really do not want the event to take place in an elaborate setting followed by a lavish dinner.  Instead they are likely to be pleased with something romantic and traditional that doesn’t break the bank.

TASTES of Black Star Farms offers all of the above and is just the right spot in Traverse City. Located in the uniquely historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons TASTES has the right ambience to make the moment memorable. Guests can start the evening off with wine sampling at the bar followed by a wonderful Matterhorn Grill dinner planned for two. TASTES offers private seating areas with warm lighting to capture the mood perfectly. After the big question a celebration is in order and can include Black Star Farms’ Be Dazzled sparkling wine paired with dessert.  

Affordable, unique, and with just the right amount of room to get down on one knee, TASTES is a great location to propose. For pricing information or to make a reservation please call Kevin Culloty at 231.944.1349.

The Matterhorn Grill Dinner is a simple and traditional European-style meal of Leelanau Cheese Company’s award-winning raclette cheese melted and poured over a selection of table-top grilled meat, sausages, potatoes, seasonal vegetables, apples, and hearth-baked bread.

TASTES is open Tuesday & Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and on Sunday, noon-4 p.m. The tasting bar offers samples and retail sales of the full range of Black Star Farms’ wines.  Small plates, both savory and sweet, pair well with wine samples by the glass. After 5pm, Matterhorn Grill dinners are served featuring Leelanau Cheese Company cheese and wine samples. Seating for groups of 2-18 is limited, and reservations are necessary.

Be Dazzled: Presented by Winemaker Lee Lutes

It’s the holidays and that calls for a festivity or two, making this “the time of year where sparkling wine should be everywhere, on every table, and at every setting” says Lee Lutes head winemaker here at Black Star Farms.  A bottle of bubbly is always a good choice when hosting or attending a party.

We recommend choosing an off-dry style that will please many palates as well as a dynamic range of dishes. Our 2009 Be Dazzled is made in this style and lends itself to being a great party wine at very affordable price. Learn more about this wine from Lee in the short video below.  Save 20% on the Be Dazzled with our featured monthly coupon or pick up one of the special holiday splits available for only $8.50 in all of our tasting rooms (please note the monthly coupon doesn’t apply to these).

TASTES Redeux

It’s almost all new at TASTES redeux.  If you haven’t been to TASTES in the past week, you haven’t been to TASTES.

We’ve redecorated, adding more tables and stools.  We have an enhanced all-day menu with new “tastes,”  making TASTES the perfect spot to grab a quick bite.  We can now serve larger wine samples by the glass, and our scrumptious house-made desserts are all accompanied by one of our Sirius Dessert Wines.

The tasting bar is still open with retail wine sales encouraged.  Our famous Matterhorn Grill dinners are still being served up in the evening.  We call it “the new fondue.”  A delicious respite from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s a romantic dinner for two or a fun way to celebrate with friends. As our seating is limited, please call 231.944.1349 to make your dinner reservations.

We hope to see you soon at TASTES redeux in the Mercato at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

Redeux = to remix.

Support the Traverse Health Clinic at the Day of Giving

Your purchases at Black Star Farms Old Mission Peninsula will go an extra mile this Saturday, as we will donate 15% of Old Mission tasting room sales and on-line (use code DOG) sales to the Traverse Health Clinic.

Whether you are looking for hostess gifts, Christmas presents or just stocking the cellar, you can also help support the health services provided to neighbors in need by making your Black Star Farm purchases this Saturday.  Traverse Health Clinic provides the region’s underserved with access to basic health services and is a local safety net for thousands.

About Traverse Health Clinic

The Traverse Health Clinic is the only local network of volunteering physicians and practitioners delivering healthcare to the uninsured. The organization began in 1975, when a small group of northern Michigan doctors and nurses came together to provide free healthcare to the region’s needy. Today, nearly 500 professional physicians and practitioners donate their time to ensure that the region’s uninsured and underserved get the healthcare they need.

The Clinic serves more than 2,400 individuals each month, providing access to services ranging from primary care, specialty, vision, dental, and mental health services, to outpatient services at participating hospitals. In 2010, $9,045,110 million worth of medical services was provided to Clinic patients. The non-profit organization is supported by private donations, grants, and state funding designated for indigent care. The Clinic itself is headquartered at 3147 Logan Valley Road in Traverse City, but physicians in Benzie, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau Counties serve patients throughout these counties in northwest lower Michigan.

The Omnibus Liquor Bill is now Official!

The Omnibus Liquor Bill that was vetoed earlier this fall has finally been signed and put into action. This is great news for anyone involved in the wine and spirits industry as the bill has many benefits. Read below to learn more about the bill from our managing partner Don Coe, who was instrumental in getting this bill on the table and passed.

What is this bill called and where can others find information on it?

It is the Omnibus Liquor Bill and the actual bill number is HB 6224. Information about the bill can be found on the Michigan Information (MIRS) website.

How long have you and others been advocating for this bill?

3 years

What exactly does this bill permit?

There are several different provisions to the bill they include:

  • The ability for MI wineries to charge for tastings at their tasting rooms, without a food requirement.
  • The ability for MI wineries to host off-site tastings at retail stores across the state.  
  • The ability for MI wineries to apply for a license for Sunday morning and Christmas sales.
  • MI distillers being able to sample and sell spirits at offsite tasting rooms.
  • Allowing MI restaurants to provide the spirits at a catering event.

Why did the governor originally veto the bill?

The governor opposed the amount of wine poured at the off-site retail tastings, that being 3 three oz samples. This is a large amount that she would like to see made smaller.  She also opposed the provision which would have allowed MI restaurants to provide spirits at a catered event.  She felt that this provision impacted upon the business of MI retailers who supply the spirits and would like the individual who is hosting the event to have to purchase the spirits directly from a retail store.  

Victory

After 3 years of commuting to Lansing from Traverse City to advocate for this bill, Mr. Coe is no doubt very pleased and eager to see these provisions put into action. The one he is most excited about pertains to small Michigan distillers having the opportunity to introduce their products to consumers at offsite tasting locations. ”This will lead to increased exposure of the spirits as well as an increase in the demand for them at independent retailers.  This is very exciting for all of us involved in the spirits industry,” notes Coe.  On the homestretch, we are now waiting for approval from the township and county governments where our tasting rooms are located to begin sampling the spirits at all of our tasting rooms. For now if you are interested in trying any of our spirits they are available at our Old Mission tasting room only. Stay tuned for an update on when they will be at all of our sites.don

A Re-Cap of our Sparkling Wine Twitter Tasting

 

cortcase:

 

@whavill There’s always something happy about a glass of bubbly.  #bsfbubbly

DonCoyote99: Nice active bead #bsfbubbly
bstar2009: Love this! RT@whavill: I taste green apple as well with a hint of happy #bsfbubbly
DonCoyote99: Extra dry style at least, great acidity and intensity #bsfbubbly

Bubbles make everyday special…that’s what we think as well as those who participated in last week’s Sparkling Wine Twitter tasting (Tues. Nov. 16th).  The tasting featured two new bubbly vintages, including our 2010 Be Dazzled and our 2010 Bubbly Nouveau.  The wines are very different in style and taste.  Some of the featured comments are posted above. For a more complete look at what transpired that evening take a look at the transcript here. There were 307 tweets and 24 participants.  Michigan By The Bottle also posted a great re-cap video just after the tasting.  Take a look at their video below.

 

Nice Article About Michigan Wines

Howard W. Hewitt  newspaper columnist and blogger of  Grape Sense – A Glass Half Full  visited us this summer to learn more about  the Michigan Wine Industry. On his trip Mr. Hewitt  found that he was pleasantly surprised…Read more of what he has to say in this great article posted on Palate Press, The Online Wine Magazine.

 

Toast the Season Strudel Recipe

Rosemary and garlic shredded duck strudel with chevre cheese, caramelized onion and wild mushrooms. Topped with a walnut roasted red beet-basil pesto.

Filling

  • 1 duck, roasted and shredded
  • ¾ cup chevre cheese
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 cup wild mushroom mix
  • 3 T butter
  • ½ cup fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • S&P

Rinse duck in cold water, pat dry. Marinate with olive oil, ½ rosemary, ½ garlic, S&P and refrigerate for 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roast duck for 45-50 minutes. Let cool and pick meat, then shred and place in a large mixing bowl. Caramelize red onions by sautéing them in butter for 8-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and sauté for 8-10 more minutes. Put the mushrooms and onions in the bowl with the shredded duck and add the rest of the ingredients, combining well. S&P to taste.

Pesto

  • 4-5 medium roasted red beets
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • S&P

Add all ingredients to a food processor and combine well until smooth.

Phyllo

  • 1 lb or 20 sheets of phyllo dough
  • ½ lb melted butter

On a cutting board place 1 single sheet of phyllo and lightly brush with melted butter. Fold in half and repeat. Fold in half and repeat again. Place a small spoonful of the filling at the base of the buttered phyllo dough and fold like a flag all the way to the top. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until light brown and crispy. Top with the pesto and serve.

Wine Club Appreciation Dinner

 
Friday, November 12th, 6:30 – 9 pm 
 
Don’t miss this fabulous event planned exclusively for wine club members. This is a unique opportunity to taste our wines along side complementary dishes, prepared by our chefs from the Inn. They will be presenting a harvest feast that will include seafood, poultry, wild game and local meats.  The preliminary menu includes:
  • Pistachio and pine nut crusted rack of venison served alongside a pancetta basil risotto croquette with a Sirius port wine reduction.
  • Horseradish and sesame crusted ahi tuna on a wanton crisp with an edamame bean salad and a miso aioli.
  • Heirloom tomato leek braised Piedmontese short ribs served with a fontina celery root puree and roasted cipollini onions.
  • Smoked rabbit, spinach and morel mushroom cannelloni in a white truffle Parmesan cream sauce and garnished with toasted pine nuts.
  • Pan seared sea scallops stuffed with crab and fromage blanc with a kalamata olive basil pesto and lemon garlic couscous.
  • Prosciutto, roasted beet and arugula salad with Bartlett pears, goat cheese and candied macadamia nuts.

Dessert Menu Items Include:

  • Vanilla bean pumpkin cheesecake with a chocolate sea salt bark and a creme anglaise.
  • Pecan white chocolate torte topped with a raspberry and blueberry compote.
  • Apple, cranberry and toasted walnut blondie topped with a pear brandy caramel and Amaretto whipped cream.

This is our most popular wine club event and an RSVP is necessary by Nov. 10th. The cost is $55 per person and space is limited. RSVP to Chris Lopez at 231-944-1271 or clopez@blackstarfarms.com.

 

Hard Apple Cider at Black Star Farms

In the last year hard cider has become more popular amongst beer and wine drinkers. Knowing that cider production dates back to colonial times it is fun to note that it is a beverage making a comeback.  In recent years we have been making cider from a variety of different apples. Our winemaker Lee Lutes is proud to be part of an emerging cider making movement in Michigan as well as in the Midwest and Washington.

The ciders we make at Black Star Farms are made in a “winemaker’s” style.  What we mean by this is that we aim to keep the fruit component very fresh and bright, and retard any oxidation or degradation of aromas and flavors.  In other words, this cider should taste like fresh apples right off the tree, and not like apple beer (not to take anything away from that style, but it is not what our focus is).

In addition to this style our winemaking abilities allow us to do some production processes that make the cider deeper and more complex – things like lees aging and stirring as well as some oak aging programs.  These processes are intended to make our ciders more interesting and dynamic to drink.

We use approximately 8 different apple varieties in these ciders including, Rhode Island Greenings, Winesaps, Spies, Red and Golden Delicious, Galas, Jonathon, and Crabs.  These are mostly eating/cooking apple varieties, as local farmers have not created extensive plantings of “traditional” cider varieties, but this plays out well for the style we are striving to create.

Lee and two other prominent cider producers including Dan Young from Tandem Ciders and Mike Beck from Uncle John’s Winery will be representing the state of Michigan at the upcoming Cider Days Festival in Franklin County, Massachusetts. This event represents all things cider. Lee and the others will be participating in a series of educational events including round table discussions, specialty tastings, and research to find the next best apples for cider production.

This year all of the apples for our Hard Apple Cider were pressed at our Old Mission winery. We had a large lot of up to 75 bins. This kept the winery staff busy loading, pressing, pumping, and cleaning. The end result is sure to be a cider bubbling over with the fresh taste of Northern Michigan apples. For a glimpse at the process take a look at this short picture video.