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Tastemakers: American Spoon Foods Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce/Mackinaw Trail Winery Petoskey Tasting Room

Rick Coates - April 26th, 2010
American Spoon Foods Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce
It was 30 years ago while picking morels in Northern Michigan that Justin Rashid starting dreaming of creating a specialty store to market the bounty of Northern Michigan. A few years later American Spoon Foods was born in Petoskey.
American Spoon Foods has enjoyed much success over the years. They ship their products all over the world and many a visitor and local alike visit their stores in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix and Traverse City.
The secret to their success lies in the passion and commitment they have in only putting out the best. This philosophy was adopted from the start by Rashid and continues through every member of their team. Chef Chris Chickering spends weeks in the test kitchen perfecting each product they offer. His Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce is a classic example.
A relatively new offering to their popular grilling sauce line, the Cherry BBQ is not only tangy and tasty but versatile. Obviously, pairing the sauce with ribs and grilled duck on the grill makes sense. But take a great homemade bratwurst from the Tannery Creek Market in Petoskey and grill with this sauce and you will taste the magic of these flavors as they blend with grilled brat.
Another great recipe would be to add to grilled salmon; this is a great fish on the grill and it pairs well with cherry flavors. Certainly the old standby, grilled chicken works, and if you want to add a little zest to your BBQ meatball recipe the American Spoon Foods Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce is the way to go.
The business has lots of recipes and more than 150 products available, check out www.spoon.com or visit them at any of their locations in Northern Michigan.
--Rick Coates

Mackinaw Trail Winery Petoskey Tasting Room
Winemaker Ralph Stabile, along with his wife Laurie, launched the Upper Peninsula’s first commercial winery five years ago in Manistique. The Mackinaw Trail Winery enjoyed immediate success, becoming a major attraction for U.P. travelers. Wishing to expose their wines to those living below the Bridge, the Stabiles decided to open tasting rooms in Mackinaw City and Petoskey, with the latter opening just two years ago.
The Petoskey tasting rooom is nestled in the heart of the Gas Light District at 204 Howard St. and has become a popular destination for both visitors and locals looking for that “Michigan wine experience.” While the wine is made at the Stabile’s winery across the Mackinaw Bridge, visitors to the Petoskey tasting room get to enjoy the same tasting experience they would at the winery, with wines available by the bottle or the case.
Satellite tasting rooms have become a popular practice with some Michigan wineries. The opportunity to “try before you buy” is appealing to many wine buyers.
The Mackinaw Trail Winery is producing some wonderful gems. My late friend Joe Breidenstein of Walloon Lake was a huge fan of their Cabernet Franc with its hints of cherries and dark chocolate. Joe championed Mackinaw Trail wines and other Michigan wines at his many endeavors.
Local businesses in the area have also embraced the Mackinaw Trail Winery. Stafford’s Perry Hotel is hosting a Winemakers Dinner on May 21 with wines from Mackinaw Trail paired with each course. There will be a pre-event hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting and a Meet the Winemaker reception at the tasting room before heading over for dinner. --Rick Coates

 
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