March 3, 2024

North Arm Noir

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | Dec. 1, 2018

Used to be that wine lovers and makers alike sneered at reds made of hybrid grapes; high quality red wines, it was thought, could come only from tried and true vinifera grapes — like cabernet francs and sauvignons. That’s been steadily changing in the north-central reaches of lower Michigan. There, the hybrid Marquette grape is making a stand against the region’s harsh climes, powdery mildew, and pests — and helping some reds stand head and shoulders above even non-hybrid competitors. One we love: Walloon Lake Winery’s North Arm Noir, deserving winner of a double gold medal in the dry red category at this year’s Michigan Wine Competition. A deep ruby-red wine that’s smooth but with spicy jam undertones — we’re sensing tastes and aromas of berries and plum with black pepper and herbs — North Arm Noir is a great multi-tasker: a flexible fit for your holiday table, a great go-to hostess gift for parties, and a spectacular partner for a solo night by the fireside. $31.99 per bottle; shipping available. 3149 Intertown Rd., Petoskey. (231) 622-8645, www.walloonlakewinery.com

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