Wine and Cider Guide 2019

Each autumn, the branches of apple trees and vineyard vines hang heavy with the fruits of a long growing season. Every ray of sunlight, drop of rain, and nutrient in the soil have been soaked up to produce plump clusters of grapes and swollen apples filled with the juices, tannins, sugars, and acids that the vintners and orchardists have obsessively worked toward.

After three seasons of pruning and tending their plants, coaxing along the buds to fully grown fruit—and dreaming of their flavor potential—our area cidermakers and winemakers enter the harvest season with giddy hearts. It’s the moment of transformation—time for these artisans to put their craft into practice and produce beverages as ancient as the fruits themselves.

Whether you are already an oenophile or cider aficionado or are looking to branch out from craft beer and spirits, we hope this Wine and Cider Guide can lead you to the promised land of delicate aroma, complex flavor, and superb food pairings.

Learn what to expect from Minnesota-grown wine grapes, how to get the most out of a bottle of sparkling wine, and how to drink like Bacchus with a wine porron. Expand your concept of cider with a global guide to cider styles, tips on cooking with cider, and a recipe for a next-level cider cocktail.

Drink well and be hearty this autumn, my friends!


Brian Kaufenberg

What do Minnesota Grapes Taste Like?

The unlikely beginnings of Minneapolis cult favorite Cry Baby Craig’s hot sauce. Plus, a choose-your-adventure recipe guide to making your own hot sauce at home.

Bubbles That Won't Break The Bank

In my wine-buying experience, there’s no single purchase that can be more variable and unpredictable than a mid-priced bottle of sparkling. 

Cooking With Cider

When cooking, quality ciders can bring the same level of brightness, fruit, and acidity to food dishes as white or red wine.

Pour It On: The Porron is a splashy, exuberant way to share wine

The narrow-spouted glass wine pitcher known as the porron has its origins in Catalonian food traditions, where it cuts a fine figure at spring onion festivals.

Cocktail Recipe: Polishing the Apple

You’ll be forgiven if your conception of cider cocktails until this very moment consisted of snakebites on St. Patrick’s Day or the mulled stuff that Uncle Randy enjoys spiking just a little too much.

A Quick Guide to Cider Styles

You know your beer styles and wine varieties, whiskey vs. whisky, and what you want in a gin. But what about cider?