Lake Minnetonka Wine Recommendations

Choose the right wine for your next get-together with the help of three local experts.

Choosing the right wine is often considered a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This fall, enjoy the process—and the end result!—of buying a bottle of wine. Local experts Anissa Gurstel of Pairings Food & Wine, Ryan Sadowski of The Wine Shop and Gina Holman of Wayzata Wine & Spirits would love to make your next purchase fun and a little educational.


Cave de Saumur’s Les Pouches comes from the Loire Valley in France. Made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc (one of my favorite grapes), this wine has great minerality and contains a hint of peach and citrus. It's very food-friendly and will easily pair with fish, chicken or dishes with an Asian influence. $11.99. –Anissa Gurstel

Apremont 2010 is made from 100 percent Jacquere grapes, which are not always on the radar as being a go-to grape variety, but in my opinion most definitely should be. Pierre Boniface is a master at his craft; he grows grapes on more than 50 acres and produces some of the finest food wines around. Apremont is Boniface’s signature wine, and represents the great potential for high quality, aromatic and food-friendly whites from the Savoie region. This is a very delicate, light-bodied white wine with incredible floral and citrus aromas. When drinking this, I reach for cheeses, or simple fish or chicken dishes. $17.99. –Ryan Sadowski

Elyse L’Ingenue is a white wine made of four grape varieties from the Rhone Valley of France: Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. The wine has a light, golden-straw hue and lovely aromas of honeysuckle, hyacinth, ripe muskmelon and Anjou pears. The flavors are present upon the first sip and they create a thought-provoking experience. Luscious fruits like pineapple, apricots and fig balance wonderfully with the right amount of acid and minerality. The finish is reminiscent of creamy, lemon curd. Enjoy this amazingly rich wine with seared sea scallops with an orange bueurre blanc, ahi tuna or spicy Asian cuisine. $26.99. –Gina Holman

Minnetonka white wine picks


I love Domaine de la Terre Rouge’s Tete-a-Tete red from the Sierra foothills in Amador County, California. This Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre shows bright, fresh red fruits and lovely soft spices. This wine is one that I go to often because of how wonderfully food-friendly it is. Since it's medium-bodied, it can work well with almost any meat, but it's full-flavored enough to stand up to stronger wild game or grilled flavors, too. $17.99. –Anissa Gurstel

Agramente 2008 Vintage is produced in the Apulia region in southern Italy from a local red grape called Nero di Troia. This unique grape is named after the ancient city of Troy where it originated, and was brought to the region by the Greeks who settled in the Taranto area. Paolo Petrilli, who first made his mark growing tomatoes in Italy, has only 24 acres of planted vines and limits production to roughly 2,500 cases. This happens to be my favorite red at the moment; it reminds me of a right-bank Bordeaux with a splash of New World structure and balance. Flavors of ripe plum and cherry, with subtle coffee bean and earth, are prominent. I think this wine would be a match made in heaven with anything roasted or grilled, beef or poultry. $29.99. –Ryan Sadowski

Rioja wine lovers, take note. Tempranillo is grown throughout Spain, but this wine—a sensual beauty from 100 percent Washington State fruit grown in Rattlesnake Hills—expresses itself with true flavor characteristics that Rioja lovers have grown to enjoy. This wine delivers aromas of black cherry, vanilla and coffee along with spice and tobacco. The palette offers flavors reflective in the nose along with strawberry and mulberry fruit. The firm tannins and balanced acid in this wine give way to a silky finish. Enjoy this wine with an array of hard cheeses, bone-in braised chicken breast or grilled lamb. $20.99. –Gina Holman

Minnetonka red wine pick


Domaine Sache Lichine's Chateau d'Esclan's Whispering Angel rosé is a year-round favorite of mine. It’s a pale gray and salmon pink color, utterly dry and very elegant. This wine is a perfect example of the fresh, fruity rosés of Provence, and it’s made from a very traditional blend of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. $19.99. –Anissa Gurstel

Coteaux d’Aix is a small, fine-wine producing area within the larger Provence appellation, and Bargemone 2010 is my favorite rosé producer, hands down. Founded by Templar Knights in the thirteenth century, the property was named Bargermone after a wealthy family that owned it for 200 years. This bone-dry rosé is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Deceivingly pale in color, gobs of ripe cherry and strawberry jump from the glass with a mouthwatering finish that makes you want more! Serve this with seafood, and lighter fare; it’s great as an aperitif as well. $19.99 –Ryan Sadowski

Shane Rose Ma Fille Sonoma County is a crisp, refreshing rosé made in a beautiful salmon pink color. The nose on this wine expresses itself with aromas of ripe, ruby red grapefruit and Jolly Rancher watermelon candy. There is a hint of spice and floral notes present as well. This medium-bodied rosé expresses itself with bright fruit flavors of blood red orange, clementine and pink grapefruit. The acidity in the glass is bright and refreshing. Enjoy with braised BBQ ribs, pork tenderloin or salmon. $16.99. –Gina Holman

Minnetonka rose wine picks


To finish off the meal, I like to serve a little something that might surprise: Chateau d'Orignac Pineau des Charantes, a wine fortified with Cognac (and made in the Cognac region). This wine is a gorgeous amber color, with complex flavors of apricot, raisin and honey. I've heard it described as "liquid pleasure" and I totally agree. It goes equally well with cheeses or sweet desserts. A little goes a long way, so don't be scared off by the price. $34.99. –Anissa Gurstel

Jorge Ordonez & Co Victoria is a majestic dessert wine that comes from the high mountains of Malaga, Spain, in a village called Almachar. It is made from the Muscat grape known for the marvelous fruity scents and flavors. It really screams tropical fruit! This 2006 is filled with peach, nectarine and honey flavors and the finish is smooth and memorable. Try it with any dessert, especially roasted peaches. $37.99. –Ryan Sadowski

Discover a rich and complex dessert wine bottled here in the lake area at Parley Lake Winery. This property has been planting grapes since 1995 at the long-standing Deardorff Orchards in Waconia. The Frontenac 2009 dessert wine is made from the Frontenac grape variety and is handcrafted by local winemaker Steven Zeller. Enjoy aromas of black fruits and spice, and flavors of blackberry, black raspberry and a balanced residual sugar. Pair it with a molten lava chocolate cake or a cheesecake with a lush berry topping. $27.99. –Gina Holman

Minnetonka dessert wine pick