We woke up to another excellent sunrise over the bay. (I realize I took no pictures during this entire trip, and now wish I had.) In any case, after getting some coffee into us, we packed up, checked out, and drove over to our friends’ home for French toast and bacon. Incidentally, if you know any foodies, figure out a way to be asked to breakfast, especially if they make different foods than you do. I tend to go the more “eggs plus other things” route and make good omelets, but I don’t do sweet and having homemade French toast with bread specifically selected for the task was just wonderful. And of course, bacon.
Breakfast and dishes gave way to our plan for the day: wine, cider, and food. We piled into our cars — four adults and two kids — and headed up the Leelanau peninsula toward Sutton’s Bay. We kept along the West Grand Traverse Bay as we made our way to our first stop: Black Star winery. (Virginia accused me of thinking about David Bowie while we were there, and well, she was accurate. How could I not? I’m still semi-obsessed with that album.) We bellied up to the bar for a tasting of wines, from riesling to pinot gris to gewürztraminer to pinot noir to merlot to vidal icewine, and pleasant conversation with our tasting host, a nutritionist and teacher who had recently moved to northern Michigan.
Our next stop was Virginia’s favorite, Tandem Ciders. Aaron and Sarah were clearly regulars based on how we were greeted. We tried a number of apple ciders, ranging from classic British dry to sweet to oak-casked, as well as a brandy. We also tasted ciders made from cherries and plums, which was a treat (I don’t even see them on the website). House-made ginger ale was available for the kids, and went well with the more tart options.
We stopped for (a much-needed after two tastings) lunch at the VI Grill before driving to our last stop of the day, L. Mawby winery. They specialize in sparkling wines, one of which Sarah uses for her champagne truffles. They picked up their wine club shipment while we tried a few wines. I particularly liked the Blanc de Noirs and picked up a bottle for sometime later this year.
By that point, we had eaten and drunk plenty, and needed a rest break. We headed back to Traverse City and agreed to meet at their place in a couple of hours for dinner.
Dinner was a wonderful boeuf bourguignon they started making right after we left them, followed by cupcakes from Sweet Tartlette. After dessert, we sat around talking and listening to the Oscars (mostly for Chris Rock’s opening), and then the other three taught me how to play euchre. We played two matches, by which I started to get it. I’ll need to play a lot more before really getting the hang of it.
After the second match, we thanked Sarah and Aaron for their hospitality and penciled in our next visit before sleep and the drive home Monday morning. Thankfully, next time isn’t too far away.