I Wish Lessons’ professionally guided classes convene in various venues throughout Chicago, Boston, DC, and Detroit, uniting and educating like-minded learners in vibrant social settings. The company’s hundreds of teachers have educated countless learners while introducing them to new friends and planning private events, including birthday parties and baby showers. Classes broach a multitude of engaging, lighthearted subjects, such as beer and bacon pairing, scotch tasting, cupcake decorating, and sushi rolling.
Arbor Brewing Company serves organic pub fare that incorporates local farmers’ and growers’ fresh, seasonal meats and produce. The dinner menu showcases Lake Superior whitefish ($13) and the Ar-burger ($13), a 1/3 pound patty of beef from McLaughlin Farm, a local producer of grass-fed, hormone-free cattle. Vegetarians rejoice when served the beer-battered tempeh sandwich ($8) from the lunch menu. Night owls can nosh hearty bar fare from the late-night menu, such as pierogies ($8) or a half pound of chicken strips ($7).
Good wine, good friends, and a good cause?Wine for Warriors is a non-profit organization that combines all three during educational tasting events to benefit soldiers and their families. A joint effort by the Cellar Door Club and Michael "The Wine Counselor" Schafer, the events are held at Cellar Door's barrel-lined wine room and range from an introduction to wine-tasting with wines from around the world to a crash course on food pairings. During classes, visitors will learn more about wine varietals and how to appreciate them so they can come to their own conclusions about which variety they prefer.
Shannon and Cortney Casey have journeyed all over the state of Michigan in pursuit of their passion: wine. Michigan By The Bottle started as a blog, but their readers' demand for locally produced wine spurred them to open their own tasting room. Now, though the pair still creates wine-focused videos and interviews Michigan winemakers, they spend much of their time inside the Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room. Between walls hung with works by Michigan artists, they pour wines from six Michigan wineries.
These six partner wineries represent the state's four major wine trails: Lake Michigan Shore, Leelanau Peninsula, Old Mission Peninsula, and the Southeast Michigan Pioneer trail. Each is also one of Shannon and Cortney's favorite boutique wineries, chosen in part because they use only their own estate-grown or locally sourced fruit.
Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard and Winery makes wines and ciders from fruit grown on the family farm. Peninsula Cellars expresses its region through cherry, apple, and grape wines, and Domaine Berrien Cellars’ proprietors handcraft wines from 21 varietals. Chateau Aeronautique Winery, with an airplane-themed decor, places emphasis on the setting of a tasting, and Gill's Pier Vineyard and Winery is modelled after boutique vineyards of France and California. The family-run Sandhill Crane Vineyards works with local ingredients and contributes to local charities.
In the Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room, servers pair these libations with snacks ranging from sustainable cheeses to organic single-origin chocolates, each made by in-state producers. In addition to special wine tastings, the tasting room also hosts events such as food-and-wine pairings as well as onsite massage and yoga. Open to the public Wednesday through Sunday for drop-in tastings, the tasting room holds private and special events on Monday and Tuesday.
The seasoned chef at Filippa?s Wine Barrel pays homage to the history of American cuisine with a menu of classic comfort dishes, seafood, and steak-house cuisine created from seasonal ingredients from local sources whenever possible. A large, rotating wine list includes pours from local Michigan wineries, as well as Napa Valley reds. Diners tuck into the upscale eats inside cozy, horseshoe-shaped booths or sup al-fresco on the patio surrounded by a lush landscape of high grasses, the gurgling of a small pond, and the soft, lilting melodies of an opera-singing garden gnome.
Tasters at the Metro Detroit Beer Sampling savor a diverse set of six Michigan microbrewed beers. Buds and brains alike are captivated as certified sommelier Anthony Minne, a vetted beverage consultant from Plum Market West Bloomfield, discusses the finer points of each pour. Tongues emerge educated in taste, better able discern the qualities of a well-crafted brew and distinguish the difference between a lager and a logger. Taste tipplers sip outdoors on The Community House's brick terrace, soaking up the dusky summer eve atop wrought-iron patio furniture. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held inside The Community House.