When it comes to food and wine trends, local is the new organic.
Talk to Mark Anusbigian, president of Westborn Market, and count all the local artisan products in the stores. Circling the wagons around our Michigan food industries is not just a fad these days; it’s a retail movement.
And now, in time for Thanksgiving, Anusbigian can raise a toast with his own wine, Market White – all-Michigan grown and produced – with the Westborn logo on the front.
“We have been talking about doing our own private-label wine for a long time,” Anusbigian said this week. “Most likely we thought it would be from California or Europe.”
But the trend to local products changed all that, he said.
“We met with David Braganini at St. Julian at the winery and on our patio at the Berkley store to make our own blend.”
The new Market White is an off-dry mix of Riesling, Vidal, Seyval and Chardonel, all grown within a 40-mile radius of Paw Paw, where St. Julian is based.
The rustic tan and Granny Smith apple-green label has a comfortable, approachable feel with a vintage plow in the center and the word Michigan in big, prominent type.
The wine is a well-built blend; it leans to the softer, sweeter style, with lovely tropical flavors framed with lime and stone fruit. It’s closed with a screw cap, which helps keep it fresh for days after it’s opened.
For the holidays, Market White is priced at two for $16. Regular retail price will be $8.99.
With a name like Market White, will we see a Market Red, too?
“That’s our plan for next year,” Anusbigian says.
Five for Thanksgiving
These Michigan wines are easy to find in Metro Detroit stores and reflect the strides in artisanal winemaking. Plus they’re great for turkey pairing. Some suggested prices reflect holiday sales.
Good Harbor Fishtown White, $8: This is one of Michigan’s earliest and time-tested blended wines: Chardonnay, Vignoles and Seyval. Good Harbor founder Bruce Simpson introduced it back in the 1980s, about the time he created the equally enduring Trillium. Both are a toast to the nearby fishing village of Leland and perfect for the holiday table.
Chateau Grand Traverse Dry Riesling 2010, $13: Few wineries in the state have upped the quality and kept a steady hand on the price like Grand Traverse has. This dry Riesling, packed with classic fruit, is a cocktail of tropical flavors framed with acidity and minerality.
St. Julian “St. J” Chardonnay 2010, $12: This beauty is Granny Smith apples, Bosc pears, lemon, lime and tangerine turned up to High. The unoaked fruit is fresh and unconstrained.
Chateau Chantal Semi-Dry Riesling 2010, $11. This is classic Old Mission fruit: tart and crisp, flowery on the nose and stony minerality that joins with the acidity to encase the whole package. The lingering finish is dry and tart like lime. The sweetness is subtle. It may be labeled “semi-dry” but its overall personality is dry.
M. Lawrence “Detroit” Demi Sec, $15: This bubbly by Larry Mawby is a sweet-tart-crisp sparkly wonder that never stops firing jets of tiny bubbles in the glass. The fruit is like smashing kiwi, pears, melon, pineapple and nectarines in your mouth. The colder you serve it the better it tastes. It’s a blend of equal parts Riesling, Traminette and Cayuga.