Every wine has a specific and unique story rooted in age and location and history. Yet the individualized nature of wine itself also has a singular uniting factor that brings people together, whether it’s to celebrate, commiserate or simply strengthen the bonds of friendship. Greater Lansing has a wide variety of special spots where residents enjoy gathering and raising a glass in what author John Fante referred to as “the brotherhood of the grape.”
Since 1981, Dusty’s Cellar at 1839 Grand River Ave. in Okemos has been providing local residents and visitors a sophisticated evening out with its upscale menu; lengthy wine and tap offerings; and several distinct spaces to meet, share and entertain. The wine bar at Dusty’s was temporarily closed during the pandemic, but the business continued to connect with its fans through special events such as Zoom wine tastings, a Sunday wine series and a four-course Italian wine dinner.
The State Room
The State Room restaurant in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing is repeatedly honored with the Best of Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator magazine. The hundreds of by-the-glass or bottle offerings at The State Room are unparalleled in the region, and they are paired with the restaurant’s culinary delights from its staff of professional chefs.
Named after the classic Rolling Stones album, this gem just off the main drag at 218 Abbot Road in downtown East Lansing has been a wildly popular gathering spot for the friendly-and-casual crowd since 1973. Well-known for its rotating list of craft beers, Beggar’s Banquet also features an extensive bottle wine list and wines by the glass. Be sure to ask your server what would best pair with the extensive menu of comfort food that has a twist of elegance.
Put on your pith helmet and get ready to explore the world of wine at Capital Prime. The award-winning steak and seafood restaurant at 2324 Showtime Drive in Lansing allows guests to introduce themselves to the delicate subtleties and intricacies with numerous curated wine flights featuring 2-ounce pours of four different selections. The restaurant proudly shops Michigan, so its extensive menu includes local ingredients that are handpicked daily by the trained chefs.
Save the miles on your vehicle because you can visit an award-winning winery right here in the region. With four decades of experience in hobby wine-making, the owners of Burgdorf’s Winery, 5635 Shoeman Road in Haslett, started the business in 2005 out of a three-car garage. Today their 5-acre site provides the perfect atmosphere to experience the award-winning wines produced on-site from the fruits and vegetables of local Michigan farmers.