Category Archives: MIDWEST

Bernie Rink: The Laird of Leelanau

In the beginning, God created Leelanau Peninsula, and very shortly after that, Bernie Rink was born.  Today, at 88, you can find him sitting in the half-light at the entrance of Boskydel’s tasting room, exactly where a bouncer would sit … Continue reading

Posted in Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Tony Ciccone: Papa Can Too Preach

I wonder if when Tony’s kids were small, they used to say, “Papa, tell us the dead cat story again!!” Actually, you probably know at least one of Tony’s kids—pretty well, too—but  enough about that for now.  I’m of an … Continue reading

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Getting Your Goat At Traverse City’s Baddest Bodega

Long ago and far away, no circumambulation of Northern Michigan wine country was complete without a didactic pit-stop at the odd blue shop wedged between Peninsula Drive and E. Front Street. There, surrounded by a cornucopia of bottles from distant … Continue reading

Posted in GENERAL, Michigan | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Warren Raftshol: Peripheral Persistence

Whenever I stop in to see old Warren Raftshol in Leelanau’s answer to Area 51, I’m sort of overwhelmed; I feel both wildly lonely and strangely optimistic. He hangs on inside his wayward depot despite the odds, and Warren—whose sculpted … Continue reading

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Inside The Scatterbrain Of Sean O’Keefe

(Part One of a two part interview with Chateau Grand Traverse VP Sean O’Keefe; both parts appear in Heart & Soil: Grand Traverse Wine Country, set for release Dec., 2014) ‘Scatterbrain’ is his word, not mine.  Actually, Sean O’Keefe is … Continue reading

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Grand Traverse Distillery: Taking Their Best Shot

It’s an interesting question in any case: Does appellation play the same role—or any role—in defining a liquor’s quality as it does a wine’s? Or is it purely marketing schtick? I ask because a wine’s regulated place-of-origin is intimately woven … Continue reading

Posted in LIQUOR, Michigan, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Wearing Their Hearts On My Mitten: Michigan Wine Competition, 2014

I certainly hand it to the grape council that represents my Mitten: They are one sincere bunch. Such punkling puns aside, I mention this because The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council held its 37th Michigan Wine Competition on August 5, … Continue reading

Posted in Fruit Wines, Lake Michigan Shore, Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan, MIDWEST, Old Mission Peninsula | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment