Posted by: Kath Usitalo | November 5, 2009

Time for Comfort Food (& Wine)

Mac logo Winner

Todd Sneed of Mt. Morris, Michigan designed the winning entry in the logo contest for the annual gourmet Mac & Cheese event

With all that’s going on in the world today, comfort food sounds really good right now.

And what’s more comforting and dependable than macaroni and cheese?

Gourmet mac & cheese, of course. With wine.

The Wineries of the Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) combine them in an annual event known as The Great Macaroni & Cheese Bake-Off, held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Definitely on my “to do someday” list.


Macaroni Black Star_0196

Will Black Star Farms' award-winning Raclette and Pinot Gris make it into the November 28 event?

At the 9th annual event, set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, November 28, the 7 WOMP wineries and 14 local restaurants will pair up to create winning combinations of their wines and the inventiveness of their chefs.

On that date, ticket-holding gourmands will roam the Little Finger wine region to sip and to sample creamy creations at the 7 wineries: 2 Lads Winery, Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyards & Winery, Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse, and Peninsula Cellars.

Everyone votes on the Most Unique, Cheesiest, Best With White Wine, and People’s Choice entries from the participating restaurants, which include The Boathouse of Bower’s Harbor (you may have read about my wonderful Dining on the Fly experience), Grand Traverse Resort‘s Aerie, and Poppycock’s (Paige’s favorite in Traverse City). Past recipes have included gorgonzola, lobster, ale, brie, walnuts, goat cheese—nothing humble or blue-box about these culinary takes on the dish that American households have turned to since President Thomas Jefferson served it in the White House in 1802.

The $20 ticket includes a souvenir glass and tastings of the pasta creations and fruit of the vine, and “only” 1,400 tickets are sold; it’s highly recommended that you reserve your spot in advance from the 7 WOMP wineries or online at Chateau Chantal.

For information on visiting the area, check with the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Pure Michigan logo_with tagCheese & Cheers!


  1. I have never heard of that event, Kath.
    Oh and how I love that Raclette from Black Star Farms, yumm!
    Every time we go there, I buy some and then I start eating it in the car on the ride home and by the time we get there, the cheese is gone and Mike cries 😦

  2. Simple: Tell him a mouse ate it!
    (or buy a second chunk and put it in the trunk where you can’t reach it until you get home and share it with him 😉

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