Almost seven years ago, my husband, Shannon, and I started a blog about Michigan wine. Little did we know that, within just a few years, our hobby would become our business.
The blog, MichiganByTheBottle.com, promotes the entire Michigan wine industry with audio and video podcasts, video travel diaries, tasting notes, articles, contests, aggregated links from around the web and more. We quickly built a fan base on social media and found there was an entire community of Michigan wine lovers that had just been waiting to be united in a meaningful way.
Whenever we were at wine events, shooting video and interviewing winemakers, people would approach us and say, “I want your job!” — at which point, we had to break it to them that it wasn’t our real job, just our “fun” job.
But in 2012, we took the leap and made it our real job. With the opening of Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room in Shelby Township, we became the first tasting room in the state to unite multiple previously unaffiliated wineries under a single roof. Partnered with six Michigan wineries, we feature about 40 different wines for tasting in various sized flights (series of wines). Besides just everyday wine tasting, we have tons of special events, from free live music weekly to winemaker dinners held in collaboration with local chefs to wine education classes to yoga and wine. Various wine merchandise and accessories also are available, along with snacks made by fellow Michigan small businesses. (Several of our vendors are based right here in Macomb County, including Detroit Chocolat and The Popped Kernel, and one of our favorite folks to team up with for pop up food events is Isaiah Sonjeow from Khom Fai: Thai Dining Experience. All three are located just up Hayes from us, in Shelby Township.)
Guests can just drop in to the Shelby Township location and visit us any time during our regular business hours: noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Our special events on Mondays and Tuesdays, when we’re closed to the public, require pre-registration. A full list of upcoming events can be found at MBTBTasting.com/events.html.
As a Macomb County native — I grew up in Sterling Heights, and currently live in Macomb Township — I’m proud to be a business owner in Macomb County. Though we’ve since opened a second location in Royal Oak partnered with eight Michigan wineries, and have a third location in downtown Auburn Hills pending for 2016, Shelby still feels like our “home base.” The support of the community has been amazing; we have tons of wonderful regulars there, and it’s been incredibly rewarding to both meet fellow Michigan wine veterans and introduce many others to Michigan wine for the first time.
The Michigan wine industry is at an exciting point in its history, earning the state increasing acclaim both domestically and internationally. The industry contributes about $300 million to the state’s economy annually, and there are now more than 110 wineries operating here. Long well known for whites, Michigan is beginning to get on the map with its delicious red wines, as well, including exquisite Cabernet Francs and Pinot Noirs.
Many people who haven’t had Michigan wine lately may still associate the state solely with sweet whites. We have representation of the entire spectrum: whites and reds, dry wines and sweet wines, fruit wines and dessert wines. We encourage anyone who enjoys Michigan wine or is interested in trying it to come visit us and see what the state has to offer!
COMING IN 2016:
Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room – Auburn Hills
3384 Auburn Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
For more information, please check us out at MBTBTasting.com (for tasting room info) and MichiganByTheBottle.com (our main site promoting the entire Michigan wine industry), or on our various social media accounts, where we love interacting with Michigan wine lovers!
Facebook for MBTB Tasting Room-Shelby Township: facebook.com/mbtbtasting
Facebook for MBTB Tasting Room-Royal Oak: facebook.com/mbtbonwoodward
Facebook for MBTB Tasting Room-Auburn Hills: facebook.com/mbtbauburn
Instagram for all MBTB Tasting Room locations: @mbtbtasting
Twitter for all MBTB Tasting Room locations: @mbtbtasting
Facebook for MichiganByTheBottle.com: facebook.com/michbythebottle
Instagram for MichiganByTheBottle.com: @michbythebottle
Twitter for MichiganByTheBottle.com: @michbythebottle
Cortney Casey is the co-founder of MichiganByTheBottle.com and co-owner of Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room. She is also a contributing writer for Michigan Wine Country Magazine, HourDetroit.com and Wine Tourist Magazine.