Monday, January 16, 2017

Warming Up Mid Winter....

We had a wonderful time last night up in Northern Michigan, warming up with good wine, good food and good friends.  It may have been cold outside but inside we were bathed in the warmth of a beautiful wine tasting dinner hosted by The Springbrook Inn, located in Prudenville, Michigan. Springbrook Inn is owned by the lovely Kathy Grover and is home to the East Bay Grill ran by Chef, Cole Morison.  Together, they put on 6 wine tasting dinners each year.  Chef Morison supplies the menu to his wine purveyors and they pair each course with a wonderful wine which is then available for purchase by the guests.

This is the second wine tasting that we have attended at Springbrook Inn.  When we walked in we felt as though we had entered a Winter Wonderland. The dinner is limited to two long tables of guests, each who received a menu of the courses with the wines with which they would be paired at their assigned seats.

We started the evening with cocktails, toasting the New Year and family and friends both near and far. The cocktail hour is precisely one hour, after which Chef Cole Morison came out and introduced the first course, a Winter Vegetable Bisque that was garnished with a square of puff pastry and sprinkled with some gingered garlic.  This dish was paired with a Domaine Laroque Cab Franc from Southwest France.  The sommelier explained that while it is unusual to start a tasting with a red wine he felt that this was the perfect match for the bisque. I could not have agreed more.  On the nose; spice, berries and earth.  On the palate: Silky with medium body, very dry.  It brought out the earthiness of the winter vegetables and was sweetened slightly by the candied ginger.

The second course was a lovely pasta with an orange saffron sauce topped with a perfectly cooked shrimp and scallop.  This was paired with a Chardonnay from Jam Cellars out of Napa Valley.  This is a buttery can almost smell the is smooth and creamy, very full bodied.  This wine was perfect with the salty sweetness of the dish.

The entree  was Veal Scallopini over a White Bean Puree paired with an Italian Chianti Classico from D'Albola.  I felt the White Bean Puree was the star of this plate. Not that I didn't enjoy the Veal but the puree was smooth, earthy and continued that feeling of warmth that pervaded my evening.  The pairing was nice as the wine was also very earthy, smelling of "dirt" and tasting of cedar and figs.  It was dry and soft with a bit of sourness that caught my attention.

Our dinner was finished with a Tiramisu that was served with another Italian wine.  This one, a sparkling Prosecco Brut from Mionetto was a light, fruity wine that is made from 100% Glera grapes that are harvested in late September.  

It was an exceptional evening and I am excited to attend upcoming wine tasting dinners at this wonderful Inn.  You can follow Springbrook Inn's facebook page to keep informed of these and other events taking place.


  1. Wow, what a fun night out with friends. The food and wine pairings both sound amazing!

  2. Sounds like so much fun. I love Veal Scallopini. It has been awhile since I had a good one!!

  3. That definitely sounds like a nice evening. I love dinners like that.


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