C U R R E N T Travels | 2019 Mac & Cheese Bake-Off x OMP Wine Trail

Monday, December 9, 2019

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

*in partnership with OMP Wine Trail

Old Mission, New Name, Delicious Mac & Cheese

If you're looking for Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, she got a makeover! Meet Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail aka #ompwinetrail as the cool kids call it. While they recently rebranded {+ you know I love a branding switch up} one thing that remains the same is their most buzz worthy event - MAC & CHEESE BAKE-OFF! Yes, you read that right! Today, I'm sharing every single detail about my recent one of a kind experience! {Did I mention it SOLD OUT IN 23 MINUTES?!}

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

MAC & CHEESE BAKE-OFF 101
Before we dive into all of the yummy eats, it's important to learn tips + suggestions surrounding this popular event!

- 10 Wineries, 10 Mac & Cheese Pairings, 1 Peninsula

- ONLINE VOTING | This was a new feature this year! We were emailed our ballots to vote for our favorites in each category - Cheesiest Dish, Best Pairing + Overall Favorite!

- THE GOLDEN NOODLE | This year is the first time winners received a trophy to display for the entire year! When bragging rights come to an end at their 2020 event, past winners will be invited back to defend their titles!

- WHAT TO WEAR | Northern Michigan cold just hits different! + trust me it was C O L D {even without snow on the ground}. LAYER UP since you will be spending time indoors + outdoors {depending on lines}. I wore a sherpa jacket with a blanket scarf, flannel shirt, my thickest denim + ankle boots!

- WHERE TO BEGIN | Exploring Old Mission Peninsula + 10 wineries can feel overwhelming if you don't know where to begin. OMP Wine Trail suggests to start clockwise around the peninsula from your starting point. + if you're directionally challenged like I am, a map is provided at the first stop detailing everything you will experience at each location!

- PACE YOURSELF + STAY HYDRATED | Remember when I said this experience could feel overwhelming, that goes for the actual food + drink too! The Mac & Cheese Bake-Off began at 10A + ended at 5P. While most stops were pretty easy to navigate, it did get busier + we did experience lines around lunch time. OMP Wine Trail wants everyone to enjoy themselves, but also promotes responsible drinking! Drink water in-between stops + at each location to stay hydrated! Trust me, the wine + mac will still be there when you arrive!

- TRANSPORTATION | While OMP Wine Trail does not provide transportation for this event there are plenty of suggestions for getting around. It's important to arrange for a designated drive, reliable transportation ahead of time, carpool if you're with a group or take advantage of local wine tour operators.

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

MINI MAC & CHEESE BAKE-OFF GUIDE
+ now for the reason you're here - WHERE DID WE GO? WHAT DID WE EAT? WHAT DID WE DRINK? One thing I can for sure guarantee is that you won't leave hungry {or thirsty}. From the additional welcome pours to the Mac & Cheese itself, we had a variety of eats + sips to taste!

Here's a mini guide of everything my husband + I experienced!


Stop 1 | BLACK STAR FARMS x Hearth & Vine Cafe | Autumn Apple & Brie Mac & Cheese topped with Peach Glazed Pork Belly & Scorpion Pepper Balsamic with 2017 Arcturos Semi-Dry Riesling

Stop 2 | MARI VINEYARDS x Smokehouse Mac Shack | Taco Mac & Cheese: House-made Cheese Sauce, Cavatappi Noodles, Diced Tomato, Red Onion & Taco Meat served on a Bed of Corn Tortilla & Topped with Taco Sauce & Chopped Lettuce with 2016 Scriptorium Riesling

Stop 3 | HAWTHORNE VINEYARDS x Hotel Indigo | Warehouse Mac + Cheese: Cavatappi Pasta, Farm Country Cheese House Five-Cheese Blend, Applewood-Smoked Bacon with Butter-Herb Bread Crumb Topping

Stop 4 | BRYS ESTATE VINEYARD & WINERY x TC BBQ | Smokes Brisket Mac & Cheese with Gouda and Baby Cheddar Cheese with 2018 Riesling Reserve

Stop 5 | BOWERS HARBOR VINEYARDS x AERIE Restaurant & Lounge | Creamy Gouda & Munster Mac & Cheese with Chopped Beef Brisket with a JalapeƱo Apple Honey Glaze with 2018 Unwooded Chardonnay

Stop 6 | TABONE VINEYARDS x Birdhouse Bites | Smoked Cheddar Andouille Mac & Cheese with Creamy Pinot Gris Bechamel Sauce with 2016 Estate Riesling

Stop 7 | CHATEAU CHANTAL x West End Tavern | Creamy Lobster Mac & Cheese with Gruyere with Naughty White

Stop 8 | 2 LADS x Rare Bird | BBQ Pork Belly Mac with Green Chile’s and Carmelized Onion with 2018 Riesling - Fouch Vineyard

*Disclaimer | There were 10 stops total + we powered through 8 of them aka I hit a wall + needed a nap! Here's a look at the pairings we missed!

Peninsula CellarsWooden Whisk Creations | French Onion Mac N'Cheese with Rye Bread Crumbles with 2017 Semi-Dry Riesling

Chateau Grand Traverse x Bayside Market | Local Roasted Acorn Squash Three Cheese Mac with Sundried Tomatoes, Spinach and Spiced Pepitas with 2017 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail

2019 MAC & CHEESE BAKE-OFF WINNERS CIRCLE

CHEESIEST DISH | BLACK STAR FARMS {My favorite across the board!}

BEST PAIRING | MARI VINEYARDS {Tasted like I was eating a hard shell taco - + I wasn't mad at it!}

OVERALL FAVORITE | CHATEAU GRAND TRAVERSE {Kicking myself for skipping this spot since it seemed to be a favorite for everyone who visited!}

Old Mission Peninsula

+ there you have it! A little bit of everything you need to know about the 2019 Mac & Cheese Bake-Off! Have you attended this event in the past? If so, share your experience in the comments. If you missed out this year, no worries! Mark your calendars for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH, 2020. + if that's too far away for your tastebuds, be sure to attend OMP Wine Trail's upcoming Winter Warm Up in January of 2020 - including 10 wineries + food pairings at each stop.

Thank you to Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail for inviting us along! We had an amazing time + I have a feeling this will become a yearly trip!

If you'd like an inside look at our entire trip, there's a shiny new TRAVEL VLOG on my YOUTUBE CHANNEL!


*This post was first seen on CURRENTLY Kherington and in partnership with Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

PREVIOUSLY ON CURRENTLY KHERINGTON | Winter Getaway x Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

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