Wine and 173 Morels

Yesterday Jess and I ventured into uncharted territory on the Leelanau Peninsula. She had seen an all-call for area photographers to shoot the Leelanau Peninsula Vintner Association’s annual Sip & Savor event, and thought it sounded like fun. She asked if I’d like to join (plus, safety in numbers, right?), and as a non-drinker, I figured volunteering as a photographer was probably my best bet to see some of the Peninsula’s 25 wineries…and with an exciting cast of characters.


We started out in Glen Arbor just a little past 11:00. I sampled Jess’ sangria (surprisingly drinkable) – which she opted not to finish, because unlike other Sip & Savor participants, she intended to remain sober – but I opted for a cherry ginger ale (very good with a strong spicy finish…see, I can do this connoisseur thing!).
Sip & Savor

By 3:00, we had visited eight wineries. Jess had begun asking for very small tastes at each place, and because we are gross such good friends, I also sipped each of the offerings. No surprise, the sangria was the only one I even marginally enjoyed, but I will say I did note a distinct flavor difference in the food pairing offered at Gill’s Pier. Eight small samples of wine later, Jess was still fully sober. However, eight full tastings of wine later, many participants were cheery and bleary-eyed. I’m betting they spent at least some of the evening enjoying the day’s purchases, so I suspect that this morning wasn’t pretty for many of them. We’ll see because we go back out there for round two this afternoon 😉

After our Leelanau touring, we rejoined with husbands and Jackson (Jess’ son) for a debrief followed by dinner. And since the sun was still above the horizon, Tony and I jaunted out to the woods. Just in case. Our find exceeded our expectations by a good order of magnitude. Instead of a paltry dozen, we counted 173 morels. Some of them were seriously tiny, and we obviously didn’t pick them – but we found them, so we counted them. Anyone who wants directions to our spot – just ask. I’m happy to tell. Sure I am. 😉

Photos include some of the itty bitty ones, so I do recommend clicking through for the greater detail in the slideshow Happy Hunting (if you hunt) or just Happy Spring (if you don’t)!

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12 thoughts on “Wine and 173 Morels

  1. Haha, we’re gross. 🙂 Here’s hoping round two is as fun as round one was! Blue skies are calling our names! (Followed by more morels) 🙂

    • Soooo, round two: prettier locations, less lively crowds. Also, I think you meant: “more morel,” as in one 😉 At least Jackson and I had a good time playing guns!

  2. I sure hope that mushroom trend continues thru the rest of the month,looking very promising.As always great pictures ,looking forward to seeing the both of you.

    • We went out yesterday afternoon and only found one 😦 But, reports from downstate sound good! If we get some rain between now and when you visit, things should be in excellent shape! Can’t wait to see everyone!

  3. Heather unless your a recovering alcoholic I can understand & respect you not wanting to drink…but if that’s not the case…man your missing out on some yummy grape stuff!!! lol

    • For good reason, I do worry about addiction so I never developed a taste for it. Living where I do, I know I’m missing out though. I have friends who really enjoy craft beer and the wines, so I taste everything they get when we’re out together 😉

      • Understood. Just teasing you a little in good fun! I’ve only ever drank in moderation and so I am completely ignorant and don’t understand the draw to over indulge anyways. Its of zero concern for me. One or two glasses of wine & I’m totally happy. I think of Italian or French cultures that have had table wine everyday of their lives for centuries and it’s just part of their lifestyle.One glass of red wine a day is actually supposed to be good for you. But like all things it’s an acquired tasted. I didn’t enjoy beer until I was 30 yrs old for instance! lol

        • Out of everything I tried over the previous two days, the red wine was the worst – tasted just like isopropyl alcohol smells to me 😉 I’d have to start small – like sangria, which mostly seems like berry punch anyway. Perhaps now that I’m in my thirties (31 next week!), I could acquire the taste enough to enjoy a couple ounces 😉

          • By the time your my age you’ll be wondering why you didn’t enjoy it sooner. lol. Cheers!

  4. I simply can not imagine finding 173 morels. Can. Not. Imagine. I know they exist in the woods around here, but no place we’ve ever gone. Experiencing deep morel envy. Barry said yesterday–gosh, what we could do with just ten of Heather’s mushrooms. They would go so good with our salmon… (The wine tour sounds fun too!)

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