Midwest Wine: Missouri's Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery

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A glass of wine is necessary on days that end with y. For me, there is nothing like enjoying a glass (or 3) while cooking dinner. Although I don’t live in the major wine regions, I have come to love and even prefer a good Midwest wine. We can’t grow Merlot, Cabernet or Shiraz. Why? Because it’s too freaking cold here in the Midwest and I am okay with that (the wine, not the cold).

When I first started drinking wine, it was in a box (don’t get me wrong, some of those are pretty good nowadays) and boy did I feel classy…because classy people drink wine, right? I have come to learn that there are all types of people who love wine. I have even seen a group of bikers in their Harley gear enjoying a wine tasting.

When I first introduced my husband to Midwest wine, he was very skeptical. He was familiar with California wines and he didn’t care for them. Now, it’s his drink of choice just like it is for me. We love to visit wineries and try new wines native to that region. Enough about us, let’s get on with the review.

Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery- Platte City, Missouri

Located about 30 minutes North of Kansas City, Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery is Missouri’s first “green” winery. Using a variety of green tactics, they make everything from dry to sweet wines. The sheep help out in the vineyard by “mowing” in between the vines. Of course you can’t have sheep without a sheep dog too.

The Mow Crew

The Mow Crew

Chickens and bats are also utilized for pest control. The more pests (i.e. bugs) they eat, the less chemicals go onto the fruit. Less chemicals = happy consumers.

Bat House

Bat House

The owners, married couple Jason & Colleen Gerke, have made their mark on the wine industry in Missouri by using these techniques, but the best part is what is created by these techniques. Do I have to tell you that I am talking about the wine?

Here are our personal favorites:

1. Butterfly Blush – It’s semi-sweet and goes great with roasted chicken, white cheese and lighter desserts like angel food or pound cake (sounds like a picnic wine to me).

2. Critter Cuvee – A blend of white Missouri grapes (no, I don’t know which grapes, that’s part of the secret). It pairs well with mild cheese, tart fruits or BBQ chicken.

3. Vignoles (vee-knoll) – This varietal is the Midwest’s answer to a Riesling. Bursting with flavors of honey and pineapple, this pairs great with spicy foods and seed fruits. I like to take a mix of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and marinate them in Vignoles over night. Drain the berries and serve over angel food cake, add whipped cream and voila, a perfect summer dessert. The last step in making this is VERY important. While no one is looking, drink the remainder of the wine right out of the bowl. Don’t look at me like that, you shouldn’t waste good wine and you know it.

If you are in the Kansas City area and are a wine lover (if you are not, then we can not be friends), check out Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery for a tasting or for one of their many popular events. I’m going to try to make it out for the grape stomp this year…

Jowler Creek Tasting Room

Jowler Creek Tasting Room

Just remember when pairing food and wine, it’s okay to throw out the conventional (wine snob) ways to do it. You don’t have to drink red wine with red meat and white wine with fish. There are some pairings that do complement each other and bring out the flavors of the meal. Some foods smooth out the acidity of certain wines. If it tastes good to you, drink it. Nobody is going to get mad at you if you drink peach wine with steak (I might have had this the other night). Do you know what else goes good with wine? More wine…

What are your thoughts on wine? Do you have a favorite?

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