Perfect Pairings

Perfect Pairings

So, you purchased one of St Ambrose Cellars’ signature meads, wines, ciders, or brews but now hesitate at the fridge with the plaguing question: ‘what food pairs best with my beverage?’

No worries, we got you covered with a comprehensive list of drink pairing that will help no matter where your tastebuds meander.


Imagine a canvas on which it is your job to elegantly paint only two of the many pigments on the palette spectrum-ing robust, dark, sweet, bitter, fruity, or dry. It might seem overwhelming.

However, there is a trick to blending a beautiful mead portrait – which is to pair light meads (such as our Dancing Bare Ambrosia) with light foods (i.e. fish, chicken, etc.), dark melomels (AKA fruit meads such as Cherry Amore or Rhythm & Blues) with heavier foods (think stews and beef), and light melomels (John Lemon, Razzputin, and Razzmatazz) with fresh and popping flavors (perhaps salads or spicy shrimp tacos).

There is some room for play here but, to continue this painting metaphor, as you shade your landscape of sunset over Lake Michigan, restrain from smearing too much yellow into the waves.


No pressure here except the taped lines your art teacher has placed between colors. Meads have guidelines, wines have laws.

To reference our menu directly:

Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio (as well as other dry whites) pair well with vegetables and some fish.

Chardonnay (a rich white) pairs well with cheeses, most fish, and lighter meats.

Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and all dark reds) pair well with heavier meats and cheeses.

It should be said that most wines love bread and other starches so if you ever feel lost in the nitpicking, grab a baguette and enjoy the rest of your evening daydreaming of the cobblestone avenues in Paris.


Pairing beer to food is less a chore and more an exciting experiment. Even lighter ales can shine with the spicy or dark meals and darker brews can work wonderfully with fish. Our recommendation is to order a pizza and pick at the toppings between swigs.

How about you?

Do you have any favorite mead, wine, or beer pairings using St. Ambrose products? We’d love to see them!

Spring Wine Releases

Spring Wine Releases

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing and we’re uncorking some new wine for you this week at St. Ambrose Cellars!

Sunset Beach


Strawberry, cherry aroma, bright acidity, lingering and spicy finish. 100% Marquette grapes.

Harvest Date: 11-2-2017
Brix@ Harvest: 24.5
pH: 3.2
TA: 9.6
ABV: 12%
R.S.: 2.6
Vineyard: Daddy Long Legs
Bottling Date: 3-26-2018
Price: $13

2017 Pinot Grigio


Lemon zest and orange blossom aroma. Tangerine and citrus flavors with a creamy minerality mouthfeel – mandarin orange and spicy finish.


Creamy fish and chicken dishes with lemon

Harvest Date:
Brix@ Harvest: 22.3
pH: 3.17
TA: 7.05
ABV: 13%
R.S.: 0
Vineyard: Daddy Long Legs
Bottling Date: 3-26- 2018
Price: $16

2016 Merlot


Aromas of cherry, vanilla, baked bread and cedar. Underlying tones of eucalyptus. Flavors of black cherry, blackberry jam with coffee finish.


Braised short ribs, roasted duck, charcuterie and grilled mushrooms

Harvest Date: 10-18- 2016
Brix@ Harvest: 24
pH: 3.75
TA: 7.5
ABV: 14%
R.S.: .2 (unfermentable)
Vineyard: Herman Farms
Bottling Date: 4-5- 2018
Price: $26

2017 Sauvignon Blanc


Tropical fruit aromas of passion fruit, guava, gooseberry, and smoked herbs. Juicy white peach mid palate with kiwi and grapefruit finish.

Pairing: Shellfish, cream sauces, gourmet cheese and spring vegetables

Harvest Date: 10-4- 2017
Brix@ Harvest: 23.2
pH: 3.2
TA: 8.6
ABV: 13%
R.S.: .7
Vineyard: Herman Farms
Bottling Date: 3-26- 2018
Cases: 86
Price: $22

2016 Vin Gris


Vin Gris is the juice from pinot noir. Whole cluster press gives the wine more
structure a very slight hue of pink.

Flavors of white cherry, passion fruit, strawberry. Creamy yet spicy lingering finish.

Pair with cherry glazed pork tenderloin or a Traverse City cherry salad with grilled chicken. Cheeses like gruyere or wensleydale, cranberry cheese.

Harvest Date: 10-18- 2016
Brix @ Harvest: 22.2*
pH: 3.2
ABV: 12.5%
R.S.: .85%
TA: 8.7 g/L
Bottling Date: 2-21- 2017
Vineyard: Evans Brothers (Frankfort)
Cases: 104
Price: $22

2016 Dry Riesling


White rose petals on the nose. Flavors of white peach, citrus, tropical, green apple finish.

Pair with roasted sausage and grapes or your favorite spicy dish with curry. Cheeses like sharp cheddar, parmigiano reggiano, and goat cheese.

Harvest Date: 10-18- 2016
Brix @ Harvest: 20.2*
pH: 2.9
ABV: 11%
R.S.: 2%
TA: 8.03 g/L
Bottling Date: 2-22- 2017
Vineyard: Daddy Long Legs (Benzie)
Price: $22

Pinot Noir Riesling 2016

Pinot Noir Riesling 2016

A lovely pink wine in hand. The sun blazing on your shoulders. And a big splotch of BBQ sauce narrowly missing your shirt after you eat an amazing pork nacho. That’s summer, right? If it’s your idea of a good time, you don’t want to miss out on Pinot Noir Riesling.

This is a first of its kind for our winery! A lovely pinkish/red color, our Pinot Noir Riesling blend is handcrafted to perfect your summer evenings on the porch.

Pinot Noir Riesling 2016 features watermelon, strawberry, and cherry flavors. There is a nice spice on the finish to tingle the tastebuds. The whole cluster press of the pinot noir grapes provides the wine with a nice structure.

St. Ambrose Pinot Noir Riesling is an ideal summertime wine. It plays nicely with your favorite backyard barbecue fair – we recommend pairing it with BBQ pulled pork nachos, or perhaps your favorite spicy rubbed meat. On the cheese platter, find yourself a nice cheddar or monterey jack and enjoy!

This new wine is here for a limited time only. You can try it in our tasting room, and you can purchase bottles via VinoShipper here.

Wine Stats

Harvest Date: October 2016
Brix at Harvest: 21.5*
pH: 3.1
TA: 8.55 g/L
Blend: 66% Pinot Noir, 34% Riesling
ABV: 11.5%
R.S.: 2.6%
Bottling Date: March 2016
Vineyards: Evans Brothers (Frankfort, MI) and Daddy Long Legs (Benzie County, MI)
Winemaker: Michael Altesleben

The Case of the Secret Beach

The Case of the Secret Beach

The Private Investigator set himself down at the bar with a sigh. It was a wet night, but the bar was dry. So was his tongue. He was looking to fix that, right away.

“What can I do ya for, chief?”

“Something sweet.”

“Right-on. What’s your name, fella? For the tab?”


“Need a little more … that’s not uncommon, buddy.”

“Lemon. John Lemon.”

“… don’t joke with me, boss.”

“I’m not. I promise you that.”

John Lemon had heard it all before. People always wanted to hold his hand, let him be, get together … he was done with it. Let them joke. His dad liked the music. That was John’s burden to bear for the rest of his life. At least he wasn’t “Sue”.

John sipped his Tupelo. Mead. Interesting. Made from honey. That’s a new one. Maybe the buzz would help him relax and find this “Ginger” he was looking for.

That’s when he saw her – red hair ablaze, shooting a glare at him from the end of the bar. John cocked an eyebrow. She motioned him to come down. He shook his head. Never move if you don’t have to. Have to conserve the energy where you can.

She was exasperated, but collected her purse and made the journey.

“Ginger, I presume?”

“Oh honey, I get that a lot.”

“So … yes?”

“We’ll go with that.”

John raised his brows. This was going to be a challenge.

“You called my office. You’re looking for a Secret Beach?”

“You might say that. Or you might say, I need something from the Secret Beach.”

“Listen lady, I don’t have all night.”

This was a level ten lie – he had all night, and all the nights after this. Business hadn’t been too strong lately.

“I left something … important … down there …” she trailed off.

“Money? Jewels? What are we talkin’ here?”

“You’ll know it when you see it.”

John knew his Supreme Court cases, and that phrase carries a certain connotation in that curriculum. He assumed she wasn’t talking about her dirty magazines.

“How about we table the object, and we talk place. Where’s the Secret Beach?”

“You know Star Thistle Ave?”

“I do. Been down that way many times.”

“Go down there tomorrow night. 9 PM. You’ll get the info you need.”

And with that, she was gone. John was glad to have another billable hour tomorrow night. Probably two by the time he found the “info” she was talking about. If he took the scenic route, maybe three. That’ll almost pay for a week of rent at the motel.

For now, he enjoyed his mead.

And that’s when she walked back in, strode across the bar floor, and sat back down next to him.

“Ginger, you’re back?”

“Back, honey? I just got here … wait … you didn’t meet my … twin?”

John was gonna need another drink.

** End Part 1 **

Michigan Wine Month Specials

Michigan Wine Month Specials

May is Michigan Wine Month! The return of sunshine and warmth to the Mitten is also the perfect time to celebrate the incredible amount of great wine that is produced here every year.

At St. Ambrose Cellars, we’re celebrating Michigan Wine Month with special deals on four of wines and meads. These four featured products are 30% OFF in the tasting room through the end of the month.

Dancing Bare Ambrosia

Dancing Bare is a blend of white wine grapes and star thistle honey. At 66% honey and 34% honey, this pyment is a perfect gateway for wine drinkers into the world of mead – and vice versa. This crisp, semi-sweet beverage will make a great addition to your collection.

Rose Ambrosia

A pyment produced from local grapes, hand pressed, and fermented with gallberry honey collected by our bees. Semi-sweet with a refreshing combination of cherry and sweet spice flavors, and a bold, complex, bouquet. Rose Ambrosia is an ideal candidate for a wine slushie – for those of you looking to cool off and still get your fix this summer.

Marsanne Viognier 2011

Come out of your comfort zone and try our Rhone Varietal blend white wine that will take you straight to France. Full bodied with a nutty aroma and a honeyed texture. A unique wine sourced from Michigan grapes.

Another great way to take the edge of the heat this summer is a sangria – and our Marsanne is an awesome base for your summer sangria needs.

Riesling Reserve 2011

A true classic from our lineup, and it’s almost running out! This Riesling is made from fruit grown by the Vans Brothers Farm. The 2011 was a warmer season and allowed us to pick fully ripened fruit that exudes great Riesling flavors with just enough acidity to provide structure to this perfectly balanced wine.

2016 Pinot Grigio

2016 Pinot Grigio

This month marks the return of a Pinot Grigio varietal wine to our shelves. Our 2016 Pinot Grigio comes in a fresh new label with a green St. Ambrose Cellars goddess and some eye-catching foil. Inside, you’ll find the great tasting white wine that you expect from the talented team of winemakers in the back.

What is Pinot Grigio?

First, one of the most common questions – yes, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same thing. Why two names for one thing? Who knows. Mysteries of the universe. Related to the Pinot Noir grape, these are beautiful grapes:

Pinot Grigio grapes produce fruity flavors, typically. These wines tend to run towards the dry end of the scale but some are sweeter – whether by sweetening with other ingredients or (more rare) if they come from the Alsace wine region on the border of France and Germany.

Suffice to say, our 2016 Pinot Grigio doesn’t include old world European grapes. This wine is our most-dry white wine on the menu currently.

Our Pinot Grigio

Our version features flavors of peach, lemon, lime, and a ruby red grapefruit finish. This light and citrus wine is also very food-friendly because of the subtle flavors. It won’t overwhelm the food on the menu.

We recommend trying it with creamy Italian dishes like risotto and mushroom or prosciutto. On the cheese end, you can go with parmesan and mozzarella for a tasty combination.

The Stats

Harvested: October 2016
Brix @ Harvest: 21
pH: 3.0
TA: 6.5 g/L
ABV: 12%
Residual Sugar: 0.0%
Vineyard: Daddy Long Legs, Benzie County, MI
Bottling Date: February 2017
Level of Acidity: Low
Tannin Level: Low
Oak Level: None
Ageability: 2 Years
Body: Light