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Jul 5, 2013 07:56 PM

Michigan By The Bottle (enjoyable wine tasting room) Shelby Twp [DTW]

Went to an interesting young business in Shelby Township (Hayes, north of Hall), named Michigan by the Bottle (MBTB)….yes, in the same plaza as the unaffiliated Sherwood Brewery. It was opened by an adorable young couple who are Michigan wine enthusiasts. Not wine makers, just wine drinkers/bloggers and locavores.

I sat at the bar, admired displays from local artists, and had three wine samples from the thirty-five available (enough to leave with a buzz on an empty stomach). Because I arrived before 6PM*, these samples were just $5 grand total. Yes, if these wines were produced by MBTB, then they may have come as free promotional tastings. But, MBTB is not in business with any of the six wineries on offer in their establishment. That is not a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. *After 6PM the price is $10, but you get $5 off of a take-home wine bottle purchase, so that still is a $5-for-3 samples price in my book, since the samples surely will surface a “must have” take-home winner. By the way, for $5 more, you can get five samples, rather than three, and you also get Michigan made snacks such as artisan cheeses or truffles. Really neat.

As you might imagine, there are social oriented promotions, as well. As I’ve obnoxiously commented before, I can’t think of too many places I’d want to go around Utica, Shelby Township, etc., to meet women if I still were still single. Maybe Metropolitan Café (haven’t been there in ages…still good?), and now there is MBTB. MBTB periodically has sold-out gatherings such as food and wine pairing dinners hosted by visiting chefs from the Detroit area, educational gatherings featuring wine masters, live local musicians, etc.. They also have other social events which sound a bit more of a stretch (call me a square), such as “wine and massage (Therapeutic Thursdays),” and “wine and yoga (Sips and Serenity).” Hey, gotta push the boundaries. It’s not their problem if some fuddy-duddy such as myself finds the concepts to be outside my comfort zone.

This has to be a tough dream to pursue, but they’ve already made it seven months (rich parents?). And, maybe the best still is yet to come. I have long felt guilty about talking-up Michigan agriculture while not patronizing local wineries. MBTB may have given me the nudge I’ve needed. The bottle of Domaine Berrien Cellars’ (from near Benton Harbor) pinot noir which I picked up today from MBTB is a great start for me!
PS--if you've ever considered going on a Michigan winery tour, but aren't sure where to start, talk with these guys first; they seem to have all the insider advice!

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  1. They have a very active FB page too. Courtney (the female half of the couple) was in the Court of Master Sommelier's intro course I took last Oct in the Detroit area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Niki in Dayton

      Indeed, that would be another reason for stopping in to chat with Courtney-- if you are contemplating a Sommeliers certification, even for personal interest (in the spirit of how goatgolfer earned a certification from KCBS to judge barbeque competitions). Courtney did discuss that. She said she was torn, because that credential seemed like an obvious imperative for her business, but when she made the significant time/stress/$ commitment she found that half the educational material was only remotely and indirectly pertinent to Michigan wines. This of course was an issue because she has pledged her full and ever lasting allegiance exclusively to Michigan wines.
      PS-- I brought my bottle of MI Domaine Berrien pinot noir to a party, but the host never opened it so I didn't get to enjoy it. :-(

    2. Are any of the reds from Brys Estates represented?

      2 Replies
      1. re: RedTop

        No...but they may be open to your suggestion. They currently only have wines from six vineyards. Sandhill Crane, Peninsula Cellars, Gill's Pier, Domaine Berrien, Chateau de Leelanau, and Chateau Aeronautique, representing all four current "wine trail regions" in Michigan.

        1. re: VTB

          Clever approach!

          Next time I'm (we're) out Washington way, I'll stop in.

      2. Funny you mention this place.
        They started as wine bloggers, btw.
        Over the winter I thought i had this great idea to start a blog (but more then a blog actually) about the Michigan WIne industry.
        Then I saw these guys. Nice site btw. And a 3-4 year head start.
        But there is room for competition (and I won't be doing the exact same things they do anyway) in this niche, and I will be launching my site in a few weeks.
        It will be if you want to check it out.
        I have started with a Facebook page for folks that are interested in what I am offering - just search pages for "MI-Wines" and you should find me.
        And, oh, btw, there are some incredible wines being produced in Michigan. Wines from 2012 are really incredible.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Markcron

          Um, I'm not good at Facebook, but I REALLY want to learn about your recs and the best place in Oakland County to buy them. I did do the FB search fxn, and came up short. Got a link or some remedial tech advice for me? Thanks

            1. re: Markcron

              THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! Thank you. Pretty cool :-)