Mike Laing is back! Today he walks us through two wonderful wines, one from his own bigLITTLE wines and a wonderful bubbly from Mawby Sparkling. We talk about how bigLittle wines developed a signature white pinot noir; Mawby’s partnership with Cherry Republic, and how Michigan wines fit into the world stage of wines.

Links Mentioned In The Show

Transcript:

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And we wanted to put our mark on Leelanau peninsula wines. With unique styles blends maybe thought provoking wines that, that weren’t already in the market. 

Cliff Duvernois: So what makes Michigan a great state? I’m glad you asked. 

Cliff Duvernois: My name is Cliff Duvernois and I’m on a quest to answer that exact question. After 20 years, I’ve returned to my native Michigan, and I’m looking to reconnect with my home state. I’m talking to the people who are behind Michigan’s great businesses and top destinations, the same people who work hard every day to make our lives a little bit brighter.

Cliff Duvernois: And you Michigander are coming along for the ride. 

Cliff Duvernois: This is the Call of Leadership podcast.

Cliff Duvernois: Hello everyone. And welcome back to another episode of the Call of Leadership podcast. Today. I’m super excited because we have our first returning guest to the podcast, Mike Laing, who talked to us about Mawby Sparkling as well as bigLittle wines. And you can definitely go check out that episode. I’ve got it linked in the show notes down below, but Mike, how are you?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Great. Thanks Cliff. How are you?

Cliff Duvernois: I’m doing well. Thank you for asking. Yeah, so we are sitting here right now. It’s the end of June. It’s absolutely beautiful outside. We’ve got a killer view of all the beautiful vineyards that are around here. And Mike has agreed to talk to us today about some of the selections that they have, not only at Mawby, but as well as his own vineyard, which would be bigLittle wines,

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: wines. Yeah. Uh, today’s my anniversary as well. Uh, so it’s a beauty day, a beauty day as well. Yeah. A beautiful day all around. So thanks for, thanks for being here. We’re on the we’re on the porch at big little wines, overlooking the vineyard and I think that we’ll, uh, we’ll start with a big little wine, but a little bit about bigLittle. So big little is big brother, little brother, my brother and I started this brand a little over 10 years ago, actually.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And we wanted to put our mark on Leelanau peninsula wines. With unique styles blends maybe thought provoking wines that, that weren’t already in the market. We grow on three separate properties. And the brand, as it stands so far has been a hundred percent Leelanau peninsula fruit.

Cliff Duvernois: Beautiful. Now I do wanna ask this question, cuz I do follow your story on social media, but you’ve been out there kind of beating the band a little bit as far as. Getting some attention drawn to what you’re doing here with, big little wines and going outta state and places like that. So why don’t you talk to us a little bit about that?

Cliff Duvernois: Sure.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Well, we started distributing in the Chicago land area about a year ago, and we’re sort of developing that, it takes time to get your name out there. I think what you might be referring to is, is a recent, what I’ll call a blitz of the market down in the Detroit area. Some of that has been led by Our distributor Eagle eye brands.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And then some of that was our relationships that we had, but altogether working with our distributor and those people that we know in, in the trade, in the industry doing events, wine dinners, tastings, and Yeah, just just trying to slang bottles.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I mean, that’s the game. And that’s the fun and that’s the hardest part actually is selling your wine. I mean, the wine marketplace is so busy and

Cliff Duvernois: yes, it

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: many brands that we have to get out there and talk to people and, and tell ’em what we’re all about and pour our wines with them taste with them and just start that conversation.

Cliff Duvernois: One of the things that I would like to talk to you about is, and this is something that is periodically popped up when I’ve spoken to people, is that. There seems to be this perception when it comes to Michigan wines, that it’s not something that we’re really taking like too seriously.

Cliff Duvernois: And so some of the comments that I have heard from, other places and stuff, and it’s popped up in other conversations has been, how does it compare to California or French or anything else like that? What do you say to those people that kind of almost, turn their nose down to the wines that you guys are making?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Uh, I guess first I’d ask if they’ve tried the wines recently, I guess 30, 40 years ago the trend was on sweeter style, sweeter styles of wines. So maybe that’s where the perception is rooted, in folks’ minds.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: But I would say that there’s a huge movement towards developing the quality of our products both in the vineyards and in the seller. We absolutely take the wine making seriously and we take the vineyard management seriously and we’re trying to do the best we can. And so I would say that there’s a little bit of a disconnect probably on price.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Like people maybe expect a lower price point where people are looking to enter the wine, enter Michigan wines at a lower price point.

Cliff Duvernois: Well,

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: There’s a couple barriers to price for us. And I’m not, saying that our wines aren’t deserving of the price. Let me just give you a couple little nuggets of background.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I mean, it’s very expensive to farm up north here because our yields are so low. So our crops are crop load per acre is not ha it’s. It’s about half of what it would be in, in most parts of California. Right?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Yeah, if not less than half, so there’s that. And then labor’s a huge cost, as we all know, in, today’s in today’s world.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I guess if price is a barrier for people just shopping and, and shopping based on price that maybe gives some explanation as to why but for sure quality is definite. You ask any. Brand up here and obviously they wanna make the best wine they can. So it’s not that’s not the goal to just put a wine out into the market for the sake of putting a wine out into the market.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So, we at mob and to big little to a large degree, believe that sparkling wine is the right. The right style for this area. There are several reasons for that. We can get into that if you want. But what would I say to those people? Try the wines, revisit the wines, try them with food. They’re great.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Food wines. The vibrancy of the acidity in our products is. Is unlike most wine regions that I’ve explored we’re a cold climate we’re on the we’re on the boundaries of being able to grow grapes. Vinifera for sure. So, I challenge people to revisit and approach our wines with an open mind.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: You know, if you’re looking for a big red. You’re not gonna find it here. That’s not what we’re about. On the red wine side of things, you’re gonna look at medium bodied wines that have, again, a lot of acidity and a lot of fruit. And a lot of I, I kind of refer to like a positive tension in a lot of Michigan wines.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: There’s, this balance between acidity and fruit and yeah, this is. This is what we do, and this is what we love to do. And I guess I would just challenge those folks to revisit the products.

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, definitely. I know, I know from my perspective here, when, I hear comments like that, and I think that because the region is different, the soil is different.

Cliff Duvernois: The climate is different almost to sit there and say, well, let’s compare Michigan wines to California lines. That’s almost not fair. Really at the end of the day, because California wines aren’t like French wines, French wines. Aren’t like Italian wines and Italian wines. Aren’t like Argentinian wines. So it’s almost, you, you have to appreciate it in the context of where it came from.

Cliff Duvernois: And yet it doesn’t taste like a California wine because it’s from Michigan. Right, right. It’s not like you’re growing it in California and then bringing the grapes to Michigan. It’s, you know, it’s what it is here.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Right? I guess to. Just elaborate on that a little bit. I think it’s more fair to compare our wines to places like the Niagara peninsula to the finger lakes region, to all sauce, to champagne,

Cliff Duvernois: really, to,

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: uh, yeah.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: To, even, to, even to, I would say Southern New Zealand. And so, yeah, tho those are a few more, a few better reference points than California. The climate is just so vastly different and that impacts what great varieties we grow. H how we farm and how we make wine.

Cliff Duvernois: Beautiful. I did not know that, but that’s absolutely awesome.

Cliff Duvernois: So what, uh, what are we trying today?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So we’ll try two wines. Uh, one on the big little side and one on the ma side, the big little wine is a white pun noir called Treehouse. All of the names of the big little wines are referencing childhood memories that my brother and I share.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So we have wines like Treehouse, which we’re gonna try here. Dune climb, driftwood, tire swing, lightning bug, et cetera. So these are all, these are all memories that, that we share, but hopefully that. That others can reflect on as well. So that’s our. that’s our, uh, that’s our branding for the big little, for the big little wines and on the Mawby side, what we’re gonna try is a freestyle.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So freestyle, this particular freestyle is a rose, a freestyles are winemakers playground here. So this is tank fermented. So we have a sand painting on the bottle fermented side. That is also kind of one off here, gone and on the tank fermented side. We produce a wine called freestyle, and this is made exclusively of hybrid grape varieties, Le Crescent Lockett, Blanc, which you may have never heard of.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And we can get into that one and then Marquette. So you’ve probably heard of the first and third, maybe not the second. And we can talk about those varieties when we try the product. So that’s, uh, an off dry, it says semi suite. It doesn’t drink that way. It drinks off dry. Okay.

Cliff Duvernois: Okay.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: We could start with Treehouse if you

Cliff Duvernois: would like, let’s do that. So the first thing I think of when I see this particular wine here is usually Pinot noirs are red. You opted to go for white. Why, why did you choose that?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Well, um, we chose this style because of. A wine that we had that kind of wowed us. My brother and I had a wine from Ann Aimee vineyards in Oregon called Prismé.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I think it’s Prismé. I’m not sure how they pronounce it, but, uh, anyway, it’s a white Pinot noir and we really feel like we can hit this style home every year. And I’m really just not convinced yet that we can produce quality. Red Pinot noir every year in Northern Michigan. We’re just, we just sometimes don’t have the heat that we need, but we do have the heat that we need to rip.

Cliff Duvernois: to ripen

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Pinot noir for a white table wine. And we whole cluster press the fruit similar to the way we hope that we press for bubbly. So we pick the whole cluster off the vine, put it in a press, press it. There’s not a lot of color in Pinot noir. It’s pink when we press it. But the color’s not very stable because there’s not a lot of tannin in Pinot noir.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So. Tannin holds on it, binds with color and holds the color and solution. Not really the case here, the color falls out throughout the fermentation and aging process. So we end up with maybe a slightly HUD white wine.

Cliff Duvernois: Wonderful. And I will say from personal experience, I’ve learned that the tannins now that I know what I can taste for on my P isn’t really my cup of tea.

Cliff Duvernois: If it’s overpowering to the point where it completely dries my mouth.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Yeah. So here, we’ve got 2021 tree house and 2021 across the board in Leland I and old mission peninsulas was a lower acid year. So this is a softer wine than we’ve made in the past. It’s a pretty big style. I would compare it to maybe like an Oaked Chardonnay.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: It doesn’t have all of that Oak aroma and flavor, but it is fermented and aged in. Neutral Oak barrels. They’re older barrels that don’t have a lot of flavor to give, but still provide a roundness and a softness to the wine as it ages.

Cliff Duvernois: Beautiful. I love how light this is.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I love how light this is. Yeah, there’s still some nice red. You can get hints of kind of some red fruits on the finish,

Cliff Duvernois: mm-hmm

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: which is what we’re going for here, for sure. You know, O O other, if you’re, if your listeners are interested in other white Pinot noirs I’ve seen them mostly from from Germany and from Oregon.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: If you’re looking to explore that style in any depth, ask your local wine shop and, uh, they, if they don’t have something on the shelf, they can most likely order something for you to explore this style in a little more detail.

Cliff Duvernois: Certainly now somebody who’s, who’s approaching this wine here, this white Pinot noir.

Cliff Duvernois: And if they’re not too familiar with wines, what are some of the things that they should be thinking about when they’re trying this.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: As far as food or just, what are some thoughts that might be running through their head

Cliff Duvernois: So let’s try that. Let’s talk about some of the things they should be thinking about when they’re tasting it.

Cliff Duvernois: And then some of the, maybe some of the food pairings that would go good with it. Okay.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Okay. Yeah. It’s. Heavy bodied. It’s I think it’s medium bodied. We do a lot of Lee’s contact here. So with Lee’s contact, we’re trying to build texture and midpalate in the wine. So this is a really rich and savory wine, I think, uh, in my opinion. And then we’ve got this underlying tone of, Pinot fruit. So it’s red fruit, so you almost get subtle red fruit flavors underneath, uh, and towards the finish.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So I, I would approach this. Like a Chardonnay, frankly maybe an UN Oaked Chardonnay, maybe an Oak Chardonnay somewhere in that vein. So I would think about creamy pastas mushrooms. I would think about seafood scallops, lobster fatty or fish. I don’t know. It could maybe hold up to a pork loin.

Cliff Duvernois: Ooh.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: But I’m thinking more, I’m thinking more in that. the cream creamy pasta, any, I mean, this is really good with mushroom dishes, whether that’s pasta pizza or anywhere in between. So I don’t know, those are some thoughts I have on what people should be thinking about this wine from both a food and just a kind of general mindset.

Cliff Duvernois: And the one thing that I really appreciated about it is the fact that when you do taste it, it is rather light it’s not something that lingers indefinitely or, hangs on to the back of your tongue or something. I do get a taste back there, but for the most part, it feels rather light.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Yeah. And as far as Michigan whites go, I personally think this has a bit more depth.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: There’s more weight here, so there’s partial malolactic fermentation. There’s softer acidities there. But then in general, 2021 was, was a, a lower acid vintage on the whole.

Cliff Duvernois: And definitely I could see with this being as a light, as it is with just a touch of fruit that this would go really well.

Cliff Duvernois: Like you were mentioning before with like seafood or fish. Because typically that has the taste on those isn’t like in your face, right? It’s a more like subtle. So you would like to have a nice, subtle wine to go with it. Yeah. You don’t want it something that’s gonna completely overpower your mouth.

Cliff Duvernois: And then when you put a piece of fish in there or scallop or whatever, then you don’t even taste it. Yeah. You

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Mm-hmm . Yeah. You know, I think one thing I’d just point out again, that I believe I mentioned in the past in this conversation is. The Michigan wines have higher acidity. This is a lower acidity vintage, but this acidity is still present light crisp and that really pairs well with a lot of foods.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I mean, rich foods. 

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Roast roasted foods, grilled foods but foods with a little bit of fat rich cheeses, et cetera, et cetera. So, uh, the acidity is pretty, the acidity is pretty cleansing and food friendly.

Cliff Duvernois: So I wanna circle back here while we’re on the topic of Pinots then we’ll bump. We’ll definitely jump over to the bubbly for Pinots here.

Cliff Duvernois: You were talking about how you feel at this point that producing a red Pinot noir. Isn’t something

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Isn’t something

Cliff Duvernois: you could feasibly do because a number of conditions where, how do you experiment or how do you try that? To know it for sure. Do you make a small batch of red Pinot or, and just, let it set for however long and then go back in then try it.

Cliff Duvernois: And then judge, then if it’s ready to start producing or is it just, uh, how does that process work?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I’d say it’s more a function of the growing season. If you can make a quality red Pinot noir. So for example, last year, would’ve been a great year for red Pinot noir in Northern Michigan. Because, like I said, we had, we had good heat, we had lower acidities and and that makes for a quality of red wine experience tells me that’s not possible every year.

Cliff Duvernois: Right.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Experience tells me that not every year, are we gonna be blessed with that type of a vintage where we can ripen the fruit so that it. Produces a quality of red wine. I believe that sparkling wines and a white Pinot noir are more easily repeatable styles. And so that’s where we honed in.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Gotcha. On the, on the white Pinot noir, I’m not saying that red Pinot noir isn’t good in Michigan ever. I’m saying that the vintages are fewer and far between for us to want to commit to that.

Cliff Duvernois: style, certainly. Yep. Okay. And I could get that. And another thing you were talking about before with experience you’ve spent, I don’t know how many summers. In Michigan. So you kind of get a feel for what it’s like over the long term, cuz like you said, it’s something that if you’re gonna start producing it, you wanna make sure that you’re able to produce it consist consistently the quality that you were talking about before.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: At the quality that you were talking about before. Yeah. And the price point. So if you’re gonna make a red Pinot noir, you gotta commit around this time of year, which is late June. You have to commit to that because you’re gonna, you’re gonna have to drop some fruit. You’re gonna have to drop fruit in the vineyard so that what’s left will get as ripe as you want it to make red wine.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Well, we don’t really necessarily have to do that for sparkling and for white Pinot noir. Gotcha. Right. Those are some critical points there. And if you’re doing that, if you’re gonna go through and thin the.

Cliff Duvernois: vineyard

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: to create the best Pinot noir that you possibly can on the red wine style of things is gonna have to be more expensive because you’re not gonna have as much fruit per acre.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So our customers willing to pay that. Well, maybe cuz Pinot noir is sort of sexy and hot. But is it the right style for the region? Eh, I don’t know. Some years, yes. Most years. Probably not.

Cliff Duvernois: Certainly. Certainly. And I did not know that before, so you have to actually go through you’re more or less culling the grapes. So the ones that are remaining will get us ripe as they possibly can.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Right? Yeah. So it’s just thinning the crop. It’s done, you know, all over the world with all sorts of fruits and vegetables, but yeah, the main premise is that you wanna do that as early as possible so that the vine puts its energy throughout the growing season into the fruit that’s remaining.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So it can ripen those clusters. And not more clusters than it would want to for the style that you’re making. So, yeah, it’s all about to the style. You have to commit to that style, uh, when you plant the vineyard, when you pick your site but also throughout the growing season,

Cliff Duvernois: learn something new every day.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: It’s a labor of, of love, but it’s also hard work. A lot of time and energy goes into vineyard care and. so yeah, we saw our vineyard manager walk by earlier. Her name’s Megan Budds. She went to Michigan state. She’s outstanding.

Cliff Duvernois: Nice, nice. So let’s move on to the bubbly. We’ve got this freestyle semi sweet rose, which you’re saying is a little bit more on the dry side, but let’s go ahead.

Cliff Duvernois: And,

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: yeah, I would, I would say semi

Cliff Duvernois: semi dry 

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: mislabeled, but. So, I don’t know if your listeners know about how bubbly is made, but all sparkling wine goes through two fermentations. This is not a carbonated product, nor is any bottled product that Mawby makes. Or they’re not carbonated. It’s a natural bubble from a second fermentation. And the two methods we use are tank fermented or cube clothes, or Charma, those are all words to describe that same tank fermented process or bottle fermented, which is the traditional champagne method.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Sparkling wine is,

Cliff Duvernois: sparkling wine

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: is a little bit more labor intensive.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Then table wine because of the nature of the two fermentations in the case of traditional method, bubbly, there’s a lot of hand labor. There’s a lot of touching of those bottles as, as they’re, maturing and being riddled and disc discouraged and prepared for sale.

Cliff Duvernois: Uh, I think the term for that is turning the bottle. Is

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Yeah. Riddling turning. Yeah. Yeah. Riddling. So anyway, I just wanted people to know. Sparkling wine is a little more involved than it’s not carbonated wine. It’s it’s it’s a second fermentation. So this is a tank fermented, bubbly, and inherently in that style, you don’t have a lot of yeast contact.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: You don’t have a aging, so we’re, we’re looking for a more fruit forward drink now style. So we’re gonna have way more fruit here. It’s very light pink again. Marquette Le Crescent and Lacoy Blanc.

Cliff Duvernois: We’re gonna have to talk about Lockett Blanc. I just like to say in that Lockett Blan.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: we shall.

Cliff Duvernois: Oh, I like that.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Yeah. It’s probably drier

Cliff Duvernois: than maybe

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: than maybe where you thought it would be based on the label. a lot of nice fruit here. I mean, there’s. Berry aromas and flavors, I would say,

Cliff Duvernois: well, the thing is when it comes to rose bubbly, which by the way are my favorite, cuz I consider them to be a little bit more rare, but this is the kind of thing that, you know, either, either on a, like a really nice spring day or even on a summer day, you know, I just like to be able to, just to crack one open and just sit in the yard and enjoy it.

Cliff Duvernois: This right here would be something that would be definitely worthwhile to enjoy probably with a friend or three. Right. But it’s just, it’s just really, it’s really nice. And it is, it’s light, there’s a little bit of fruit there, like you said, it’s not very dry. So my mouth doesn’t feel like a dried out sponge when I get done drinking it.

Cliff Duvernois: So yeah, this is. Uh, this is beautiful. I even like to crack one open when it’s raining, cuz then it reminds me of the sunny days. Right. So yeah.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: so yeah. So Le Crescent is leading the charge here as far as the aromas. It, when it’s fermenting, it’s almost reminiscent of like walking through an orange Grove when they’re blooming orange blossom.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Um, and then Marquette is a red hybrid variety. Uh, developed at the university of Minnesota, LA Crescent is as well, I believe. But Marquette is a red variety that we whole cluster press and make into a rose and then blend back into different wines. This being one of them, excuse me. And then Lockett Blanc is also a hybrid variety, but I do not know what it’s a cross between, but it’s mostly grown in Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So it’s super cold hearty. So it’s a white variety. The only red variety here is the Marquette. 

Cliff Duvernois: Man I’m really liking this. What would you pair with, uh, the

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: a real, a really nice charcuterie board, whether you want as elaborate or as, as simple as you’d make that a soft cheese, like a, a double or triple cream Brie. What else?

Cliff Duvernois: Um,

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: this could hold up to grilled salmon salad or smoked smoked fish salad, Nicoise salad, perhaps something like that.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Certainly I think those are all be first thoughts of mine for, for this wine.

Cliff Duvernois: Excellent. Now, cuz I wanna make sure that, you know, we’re covering the gamut here cuz I, I know there’s some there’s some preconceived notions about bubbly and, and what it serves and I know there’s a lot of people out there that thinks that, bubbly is just something they should have before the meal.

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah. Do you agree with that or do you agree that it can be with the meal

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: sure. For sure. And for the dessert back to this, back to this kind of acidity pairing with, with rich fattier foods, I think that when you start exploring that, even on the appetizer cheeseboard scale you can get a feel for what I’m talking about.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Pairing bubbly with food, and then you can elaborate on it from there.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So, I mean, you could take those rich pats or pork bellies and think about pairing those with bubbly. And it’s not a bad idea. And I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Cliff Duvernois: Okay, beautiful. Now the question I got for you is, you know, because I know that you guys are working all the time and thinking about different types of wines that you can produce.

Cliff Duvernois: Is there anything that you’re working on right now that you’re a little excited about or is that all top secret? Can’t share?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: it’s not top secret. So we just released downstairs an Apertif and that Apertif was developed to pair with our bubbly, but also to be enjoyed with sparkling water. And that’s a domain Leland law product.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: It’s called Yaro. We just released that a couple weeks ago. That’s pretty cool. And so we’re I’m just trying to gauge the consumer rate.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Reaction to that product and see if, if there’s another style of AIF that we might consider making. We’re looking at, at Reisling a little more seriously for bottle fermented.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: We had a sand painting, 10 that we released at this this spring in the wine club shipment. And we’ve received a lot of great feedback from that wine. That’s 80% Ling, 20% Pinot GRE making the case for a bottle for minute sec. S E K T kind of a German style bubbly since they grow a lot of resing in Germany.

Cliff Duvernois: Yes, they do.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So that’s pretty cool, cuz there’s a lot of Reisling up here. So we have access to a good amount of Reisling for bottle fermented. I think that has some legs. What else? I. At big little, we’re really hot on Gama. And, uh, we planted planted more this year for a variety of, of reasons. We think that we can make a quality gamay every year, but right.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Like I mentioned before, right, right around now, we’re, we’re gonna thin the crop. So we are gonna drop fruit so that we have, a specific yield per acre on that vineyard to shoot for the style of wine we wanna make. And we’re shooting for a red wine. On that vineyard. Uh, but I do think gamay has potential in rose table wine as well as bubbly.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: I like that. I like versatility in a great variety. I would say Pinot Blanc is another one. That’s very versatile as a blender for sparkling as a single varietal, sparkling it’s tank, fermented or bottle fermented or as a table wine. So I like varieties that are versatile, that crop well, that grow well in our region.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Gamay, Pinot Blan c, Chardonnay. I guess those are styles, varieties that. Kind of hot on now.

Cliff Duvernois: beautiful. And also too, cuz I’m, I’m following your story on Facebook. It looks like there was a partnership between you and the Cherry Republic. Yeah. Which is interesting. Talk to us about that.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: that. Right. So. My brother’s been a board member on the Great Lakes Business Network, which is a collection of businesses just designed to pro promote the health and wellbeing of the great lakes.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And that’s all great lakes states by the way. Not just in Michigan. So there’s membership, throughout the seven or eight state great lakes region, but Yeah, we, we joined forces with Cherry Republic, great folks over there and created a 60% cherry wine, 40% grape wine bubbly, and it’s called sustain.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And a large portion of the proceeds are going to help support the great lakes business network. So that’s on sale now at both cherry Republic. Locations locally, that’s Glen Arbor and traverse city, as well as the mob tasting room here in Suttons bay, south of Suttons bay. So come and get that, try it.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And we hope you enjoy that. And the looks like we have the, maybe the, the air show prepping here

Cliff Duvernois: could be

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: uh, for TC 4th of July weekend.

Cliff Duvernois: Sounds like freedom. Why don’t you talk to us a little bit about, so, and I know we don’t have a sample here. Why don’t you talk to us a little bit about if, if somebody wanted to, you know, get a bottle of Sustain, what could they expect with it? Is it sweeter? Is it drier? Is it cuz you mentioned before it’s bubbly.

Cliff Duvernois: So what, what could people expect?

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: so it’s very cherry driven 60% cherry wine it’s sort of. I would say just supported by that 40% of grape wine in the sense of you don’t taste a lot of the grape component.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: But but it’s there for texture and, and a little bit more softness. The cherry. Flavor is, is super present, but I, it’s not, it’s not sweet. It’s I would say it’s off dry, maybe on the sweet end of the dry scale. Maybe like 12 grams per liter of sugar, which is 1.2% residual sugar, which is not very sweet.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: With that wine, cherry pie. I would serve that with, with dessert. It would be good, drizzled, like almost like a bubbly float could be kind of fun with ice cream. Just taking a different turn on this one, just a different outlook as far as pairings go. Um, have fun with that.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Have fun with that one. 

Cliff Duvernois: Maybe like with a vanilla ice, cause you said

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: yeah, vanilla

Cliff Duvernois: called vanilla ice

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: cream. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: cherry ice cream,

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: cherry or I guess you could probably take that, you know, it might be fun to marinate some pork in that or maybe use it cause pork cause pork, I would think is does really well complimenting like sweeter flavors.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Fruits. Yep. Yeah. Fruits. So it might be nice with bacon wrap dates, for example, that that could be pretty.

Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, it could, now I’m getting hungry. so I can say this with a clear conscience.

Cliff Duvernois: I have been a happy member of, the bubble fizz club ever since I found out about it, I’ve gotten, every six months get a great shipment from you. Sometimes I tweak it.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Thank you for

Cliff Duvernois: Yes. And so with that being said, why don’t you talk to us a little bit more about. Some of the packages, cuz I know it’s not just Mawby cuz sometimes there’s big little wines that are included in that.

Cliff Duvernois: So talk to us a little bit more about that and what people can expect.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: the Mawby wine club actually will always be six bubblies from Mawby that we present for the selection, but then you can customize.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So, we don’t. We don’t choose. We’ve never chosen as far as I know, a big little wine to, as one of the six in the standard order. Okay. But you can swap it out. If you know that you don’t like sweeter wines and we suggest a bubbly, that’s sweet, you can swap it out. You can swap out that wine for a big little wine or another mob wine that you know, you like.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: And those shipments are twice a year. So we charge your card on file in late April. And in late September, the wine arrives at your door two or three weeks later. we’re sharing new things, exciting things, things that we don’t always share with the general public, with the wine club. First, the wine club sees those first.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: They see also access to events, on property and off As well as perks in the tasting room, as far as discounts go. Bottle service is available only to wine club members, for example. That’s a recent development in the tasting room here. So, like I said, benefits on property and off, but, uh, the best benefit I think is receiving cool, unique, bubbly twice a year at your door.

Cliff Duvernois: Yes. Wonderful. And I can say that there was the shipment that I got, I wanna say that was at the latter part of last year.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: year,

Cliff Duvernois: Maybe. Yeah, it was a latter part of last year. I remember cuz I broke it open on new year’s Eve, but you actually had a bubbly and I can’t remember the name of it. I think it was called red. Yeah. That a bubbly that was fermented in bourbon. CAS. Yeah. Yeah. So that was

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: oh, interesting.

Cliff Duvernois: flavor

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: we took our, red bubbly it’s R E D D is what we call it Redd. As far as I know, I think that’s a nickname that Larry Mawby had, or still has for his wife. So Redd.

Cliff Duvernois: Oh, there we

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: go. And, um, and we aged that wine in bourbon barrels for, we aged it for quite a while, 14 months and then we referment and bottle.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: So yeah, bourbon barrel aged red. There, there was a regular red and several other fall, fall like bubbly.

Cliff Duvernois: Wonderful. That’s awesome. And so for our audience that wants to connect with you, follow with you, you see what, you’re, what you’re doing online. I’ve seen some of the videos that you guys made on YouTube and you’re posting ’em online too talking about, I think it was a spritzer. I think you were chatting

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: Yeah. I was probably talking about E O this new TIF, right? As, as a spritzer. Yeah. Yeah. So ma.wine is the place for all things ma and big little wines.com for big little, our tasting room’s about five miles, five miles south of Suttons bay, maybe 10 miles north of traverse city. Maybe not even that far right between the two.

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: On the beautiful Leelanau peninsula showing itself well today.

Cliff Duvernois: Oh my God. It’s just gorgeous outside for our audience. We will definitely make sure to have the links to all the goodness that we talked to down below. Mike, it’s been a real treat having you back on the podcast today and, uh, it’s so can ICAST today and, uh, soaking up this weather and, and getting all your knowledge.

Cliff Duvernois: So thank you for making time for

Mike Laing, Mawby Sparkling and BigLittle Wines: us. Thanks for having me. And, um, thanks to all your listeners.

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