Grape juice magically transforms into wine in the same way milk becomes cheese and a 1972 Dodge Dart becomes an even older 1972 Dodge Dart. Tipple the tasty transformation with today's Groupon: for $10 you get $20 towards any in-stock wine at Cascade Winery. Cascade Winery doles out original wines made from local ingredients and hones in on Michigan fruit and grape wines. The winery ferments and bottles popular vintages such as raspberry chocolate ($15) and cranberry ($10) on-site. Sip from current specials such as the cabernet franc 2008 ($12) and a symphony red ($12). Adventurous sippers can complement a feisty dish or bland dinner conversation with the sizzling jalapeño wine ($8). Cascade Winery also generously allows prospective patrons to browse its award-winning variety at the tasting bar or tour the store to learn more about the fermenting process and Michigan's fruit-wine industry and tradition.
Jaden James Brewery
Jaden James Brewery isn't the Bonga family's first foray into the world of sippable fermentation. In the same space where they now create specialty beers, they've spent years crafting wines from the fruits of Michigan's bountiful vineyards and orchards.
"So many people come for the wine, but we often get one half of a couple who says, 'I like beer,'" says Bob Bonga. The brewery's current selection includes a cream ale to be savored between bites of pretzels, a Russian Imperial Stout, and an oatmeal porter that Bob characterizes as "wonderfully dark, with roasted tones of chocolate and coffee." The juice of apples harvested in northwest Grand Rapids goes into hard ciders.
The family also prepares a short list of snacks for visitors. In the future, the Bongas may grow their menu further by distilling their own liquors.