Wednesday, May 27, 2009

hot weather, good grapes

We took a nice trip up into Michigan for the holiday weekend and we happy to see many new acres of grapes being planted in the southwest portion of the state. Due to the Lake Effect on this region, this area produces very fine white wine grapes like Riesling, Traminette, Vidal, and Chardonnel.

We stopped at a local Michigan winery I had not been to for a long time and were surprised they limited tastings to five samples, yet offered more then two dozen wines. The hostess suggested we share the one ounce pours between us to spread our tastings a bit wider, yet I thought they should drop to 1/2 ounce tastes and give us ten choices.

The hostess said the limit was the owner's policy, not the law. I think its a bad idea myself, I will hesitate to return to that winery knowing I can only try five wines on a given day. I am not courting a free wine buzz, I just think the winery is limiting its sales and hurting return business with such a severe limitation.

Where should you draw the line? Its a fair question, many wineries allow open tasting, some limit it to flights of six to eight wines, a few even have started charging for as few as six tastes. The other consideration is inebriation, how much wine can we serve a customer reasonably at a taste test? I'd like to know what you think, either email me at or place a comment here (click "comment" below) as to what you think.

Next time we'll address the issue of paid tastings specifically, so be thinking about what your stand on this hot issue is...

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