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Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Alaina Dodds
November 18, 2019 | Alaina Dodds

Wine Pairings for a Delicious Thanksgiving Feast

The most magical time of the year is nearly here with the holiday season right around the corner, when families and friends gather around the table and enjoy conversation, great food and, of course, plenty of wine. Although this time is wonderful and we look forward to it all year long, it can also be stressful! Families don’t always get along, cooking for a lot of people isn’t easy, juggling work/kids/travel schedules, etc can be difficult. Well, we have one solution to it all...WINE. Always wanting to make your lives easier, we’ve created the perfect Thanksgiving meal for you, with each course expertly paired with our wines and the reasoning behind the wine choices. So, sit back and enjoy the read. 

Appetizers and Cuvee Evan  

We always like to start festivities out with some bubbly. It’s celebratory, pairs so easily and is light and airy before a big meal. I LOVE our 2016 Cuvee Evan, Blanc de Blanc with baked brie, homemade potato chips or even spicy chicken wings! If you want something a bit fruitier, then a great choice would be Brix.  

Main Meal with Rosé, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Block II, and Bowers Harbor Red 

Stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry sauce, candied carrots – oh my mouth is watering! Get out your stretchy pants people because we are going to stuff ourselves with deliciousness. I love serving all the wine with the main meal, giving lots of options for everyone. So, I will put out Rose, Pinot Noir which is a chameleon with food pairing because it is neither a white nor red. It’ll provide some fruitiness, some tartness, as well as some earthy notes on the finish. It’s technically a dry wine, but a people-pleaser! I’ll also add Riesling, Block II to the mix, not only because it’s my favorite wine on the planet but because very few wines can manage green vegetables (like green bean casserole or brussels sprouts) as Rieslings can. In addition, the acidity of the wine cleanses the palate between bites of heavier gravy, meat, and stuffing. With turkey, I like to serve a lighter red, which is where Bowers Harbor Red comes in. It offers fruit notes for the cranberry sauce, it’s not heavy since turkey is a lighter meat, and you will get some hints of smoke on the finish from the barrel-aging that works amazingly well with potatoes and stuffing.  

Dessert and Ice Apple Cider 

This pairing is a staple time and time again, pumpkin cheesecake with Ice Apple Cider. Believe me, when I say, it’s MAGIC and you want it on your holiday table this year.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how these pairings turned out. Wishing you all the happiest of holiday seasons! 

Click on the highlighted wine names to go directly to each wine to shop, or click here to shop all wine. 

Time Posted: Nov 18, 2019 at 8:29 AM Permalink to Wine Pairings for a Delicious Thanksgiving Feast Permalink
Alaina Dodds
November 17, 2019 | Alaina Dodds

Riesling, Block II: A Favorite of Yours, Mine and Our Wine Makers!

I remember when I first started working in the Tasting Room at Bowers Harbor Vineyards about six years ago, I thought I disliked Riesling because “it is too sweet.” It didn’t take long for me to learn that the Riesling grape is the most dynamic grape of them all, meaning it can be extra dry, extra sweet, and everything in between. Currently, we have seven Rieslings on our menu, and they range from dry, like our Block II that I’m featuring today in this blog to dessert style with our Whaleback. If I had to choose only one wine to drink for the rest of my life (oh, the horror!) I would choose our Riesling, Block II. It turns out, it’s not only my favorite wine but it’s also our Wine Maker Bryan Ulbrich’s, too!  



Block II has taken home many prestigious awards over the years and is not only our most awarded wine but also one of the most awarded Rieslings in the whole country. Some recent awards include Best of Class at the Long Beach Grand Cru, Gold at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, Double Gold at the San Fransisco Invitational, Double Gold at the San Fransisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and has received 93 points with the James Suckling Report. 

The Wine 

Bright and fresh, Rieslings epitomize the beauty of a clear Michigan summer day. Riesling flourishes in our Northern climate and is putting Michigan on the map with award-winning wines. Our Block II Riesling is one of these wines. The 2018 vintage is the driest in our Riesling line-up, with only half a percent of residual sugar. Crisp acidity accentuates the palate and brings forth mouth-watering notes of tart grapefruit pith. Move over, sweet Riesling! Dry Riesling has earned its moment in the limelight! 

The Grapes 

100% estate-grown and hand-harvested exclusively from our Block II Vineyard, with rows planted East-West, the sun exposure on the grape clusters bring forth higher Brix levels on the south-facing clusters, and lower Brix levels on those facing north. This variance brings complexity to the wine, which makes each sip a new experience. 

Tasting Notes 

Block II Riesling offers up grapefruit pith and cardamom on the nose, with a palate suggesting orange, grapefruit, and lemon pith. Hints of minerality on the finish. 

Pairing Suggestions 

Grilled sea scallops in butter sauce; Sushi; Sharp cheddar cheese. 

Riesling for the Win

Riesling is one of the great white varietals of the world, with its incredible versatility (from bone-dry to dessert-sweet) to its terroir-expressiveness, no matter where it’s grown, it’s a force to be reckoned with! 

Time Posted: Nov 17, 2019 at 12:21 PM Permalink to Riesling, Block II: A Favorite of Yours, Mine and Our Wine Makers! Permalink