Categories Search

A Wine Lover’s Guide to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Sure, you’ve heard of California wine country, but what about Michigan wine country? Yes, you heard that right—Michigan, specifically the Ann Arbor area, has a flourishing wine sceneA2 is home to several amazing wine bars, wineries, wine stores and more, each dedicated to providing delicious, high-quality wines to oenophiles throughout the area. 

To prove it to you, we’ve crafted a whole wine lover’s guide to Ann Arbor! We promise that whether you’re more of a vino or rosé person, you’ll find it helpful all the same. Enjoy! 

Jump ahead: 

 

Ann Arbor-area Wine Bars

Owned and operated by the Jonna family, this neighborhood wine bar and dinner destination boasts a chic atmosphere, 150 wines and a New American menu. Their team has more than 40 years of experience in the food and wine business, offering everything from weekend brunch to wedding services. Their outdoor patio is one of our favorites, nestled on South Main and covered by picturesque trees and umbrellasClick here to make a reservation and peruse their menu before you go. 

 

Inspired by the culture and cuisine of Italy, Paesano is one of Ann Arbor’s best local restaurants and wine bars. Boasting a spectacular wine list (which even grabbed the title of Grand Prize Winner in the Best Wine List in America by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine), seasonal Italian dishes, a gorgeous outdoor patio, wine tastings, Italian cooking classes and more—Paesano is one A2 wine lovers won’t want to miss. 

 

Dessert aficionados—this one is for you! La Dolce Vita, owned by the same masterminds behind The Chop House, is “the ultimate after-dinner experience.” Gourmet desserts and pastries; port and dessert wines; cognac; premium bourbon; single malt scotches; and hand-rolled cigars are waiting for you in this dimly lit, dessert haven. 

 

Mediterrano, which is the sister restaurant to the wildly popular Carlyle Grill, serves up flavors inspired by 14 different countries around the Mediterranean region. Driven by the belief that the Mediterranean diet is inherently nutritious, their food features an innovative fusion of flavors, ingredients and spices sourced from local farmers and purveyors as much as possible. Their wine offerings are just as amazing as their food, featuring an extensive selection of Spanish, French and Italian wines. 

 

The Earle has been a downtown Ann Arbor favorite for more than 20 years. In addition to the decadent menu of French and Italian country cuisine, they also offer live jazz five nights a week, and solo piano and solo guitar performances, to put the already-incredible ambiance into high gearBecause their world-class wine selection has over 1,200 options, the Earle is one of the top restaurants in Michigan for wine lovers. Their wine menu covers a wide range of regions, each with multiple producers and vintages, perfect for those who are looking to step outside of their comfort range. 

 

What once was a small, family-owned Korean restaurant called Kana, is now a contemporary wine bar, offering pan-Asian cuisine and next-class hospitality. Here, you’ll find a variety of delicious dishes derived from and inspired by several different Asian countries. They also have an incredible wine selection, which changes slightly each month with brand new selections and even some local, Michigan-made fare. 

 

Part shop, part food truck destination, part wine bar—York is everything we love about the Ann Arbor food scene: delicious and innovative. The shop specializes in food and drink produced by local artisans, offering everything from wine to pantry staples. They also serve food and wine with a worldclass menu of bottled beer, espresso drinks, homemade soups and European-inspired sandwiches. For more variety, don’t miss their two permanent food trucks on the property, Ricewood BBQ and Bao Boys. They also host food events almost every single week, promoting local food pop-ups, food trucks and more. Click here to see everything that is going on at York this week and to peruse their online menu.

 

No matter what you’re in the mood for, Zola Bistro is one of the best destinations every day of the week. Tucked inside cozy and casual digs, you’ll want to come back time and time again just to admire the decor! But dinner dishes like Blue Crab Cakes, Moroccan Salmon and Penne with Sweet Italian Sausage may bring you back as well. Their wine list may not be as extensive as others on this list, but we promise it won’t disappoint. Their thoughtfully compiled offerings include some from southern France and California that not only complement their Mediterranean-influenced flare, but their iconic weekend brunch as well. 

 

Ann Arbor-area Wineries 

Made right in the heart of Ann Arbor, De Angelis wines contain no added sulfites or preservatives—only grapes. Because of the freshness of their wines, they are best enjoyed young. Inside the Jackson Road winery (when there isn’t a pandemic) you can enjoy tastings and live music shows. 

 

Sandhill Crane operates a year-round tasting room in Jackson and the Cider Mill Tasting Room in Dexter during apple season. Made in small batches right on the premises, the tasting lineup includes well-balanced acidic white wines, rich reds, flavorful fruit wines, and delicious dessert wines. 

 

Thirty minutes outside of Ann Arbor in Northville, this winery and brewery experience is a mustsee! The family-run business is a taphouse for their own wines, ciders and beers. And it functions as a music venue with shows from both local bands and solo musicians.

 

Chateau Aeronautique has two venues to taste their wines and attend special events. The original Airpark Tasting Room in Jackson features airplane decor, including paintings of vintage airplanes and a grass runway. The Irish Hills in Onsted sits on 26 acres of vineyard landscape and has a 1976 German glider wing for a bar top, vintage destination posters, and airliner seats for seating. Both locations host private events, wine tastings, and socially distanced public celebrations! 

 

117 West Louis Click Highway, Jackson 

This drinking destination and eatery is a must-visit in Jackson. Operating under the name Grand River Brewery, they feature a brewery, Sleeping Bear Winery, a craft distillery and a farm-to-table restaurant so there’s something for everyone to enjoy! In the brewery, they create beverages using only Michigan hops and Midwestern malted barley. In the winery, they showcase the same love for local by using locally grown grapes, as well as apples in their hard ciders.

 

Vine2Wine owners and winemakers Mark and Sherrie Zucker found their passion for winemaking after they received a homemade bottle of wine as a gift. Today, their popular Northville winery has been open for nearly two decades—providing high-quality wines and custom-wine services to the entire Ann Arbor area. Here, you can make your own wine, customizing every part of your batch, from the juice to the label. Perfect for private parties, date night or a solo adventure, Vine2Wine allows you to get in on the wine-making experience without all the equipment!

 

Ann Arbor-area Wine Stores

Located in Kerrytown Market, Everyday Wines has pretty much any type of wine you can think ofThey add new varieties every single week and include them on their “New Arrivals” section of their websiteclick here to explore this week’s! You can also find a great selection of beer, hard cider, sake and more both online and in their retail store.

 

We hate to disappoint you, but that castle on West Stadium isn’t a real castle — though they may stock something way more valuable than royals and gold. This wine “castle” is home to a spectacular selection of wines, beer, liquor, cigars and party planning supplies. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, their expert court jesters will be happy to point you in the right direction. 

 

Tippins Market is your one-stop-shop for specialty grocery items, fresh-made pizza, beer, wine, spirits, in-house butcher cuts, and so much more. They’ve been serving the Ann Arbor area for over 10 years now, striving to achieve a comfortable shopping experience that has something for everyone at every price. 

 

Ground Control Wines is a tiny wine shop featuring adventurous wines owned and operated by Kristi Brablec, the managing partner of Zingerman’s Food Tours. They’ve been serving the Ann Arbor area since the summer of 2020, selling delicious wines from all around the world at great prices. Click here to peruse their current stock and learn more about their popular Wine Club. 

 

Nestled in The Courtyard Shops, Village Corner is a wine shop offering diverse wines, spirits, cigars and comestibles. They are currently home to more than 5,000 wines for you to taste and explore. If you don’t feel like going in person today, no problem! They also offer shipping throughout Michigan and delivery in the Ann Arbor area. 

 

 

You Had Us at Merlot

What are your favorite wine-lover destinations in Ann Arbor? Let us know in the comments below! 

Leave a Comment

comments powered by Disqus