How to Taste Wine Like a Pro

Five Simple Steps

It’s Local Wine Week! We’re celebrating by sharing our wine tasting insights with you. A good friend and a bottle of wine isn’t all you need for a successful wine tasting. Learn how to tastewine like a professional with these five simple steps!

1. Cleanse Your Palate

Is important to have a clean palate while wine tasting to ensure an accurate taste of the wine. You can do this by eating the crackers provided or wine tasting on a relatively empty stomach. Once your palate is clean, pick your wine preference.

2. Glass Etiquette 

Something you may not consider is the size of the glass that you’re using. A large wine glass with a small amount of wine is ideal when wine tasting. Once the small amount of wine is poured, swirl it around to oxygenate the wine. Oxygenating the wine activates the true flavor of the wine.

3. Wake Up Your Senses 

Now that you’ve woken up the wine’s senses, smelling the wine far away and then up close wakes up your senses. Your sense of smell then anticipates the taste of the wine. Take time to look at the color of the wine. The color can give you more detail like how old the wine is. If you’re drinking a red wine, they tend to lose color as they age. White wines are vise versa, gaining a richer color as they age.

4. Taste Test 

It’s time to taste! Take a small sip and swirl it around your mouth. This gives all your tastebuds a chance to pick up any particular tastes that the wine offers. Allow time to enjoy the wine finish, which is the after taste that the wine offers. It’s an important part to the taste test!

5. Repeat & Enjoy

Once you’ve enjoyed your first sample, cleanse your palate and move onto the next!

Wine tasting is a fun way to visit with friends and family while tasting good wines. Enjoy complementary wine tastings are available in our tasting room Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.!


Celebrity Art Gala – Fan Favorite Winner!


Our own Jean McIlquham, co-owner of Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard received the Fan Favorite Award at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire Celebrity Art Gala on October 5th hosted at the Lismore Hotel. Her piece raised $1,900 for the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire and was purchased by Northwestern Bank.

Jean would like to thank her supporters, especially Jerry at Northwestern Bank and Jeff at Regis Court Dental Associates for their awesome bidding war!

July 22, 2018 – Live Music with Yata, Sinz, Orfield with Ellen Whyte

July 22, 2018 – Live Music with Yata, Sinz, Orfield with Ellen Whyte

Join us Sunday, July 22nd, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for live music with Yata, Sinz, Orfield with Ellen Whyte!

Yata, Sinz and Orfield are joined by Grammy award nominee Ellen Whyte on tour from Oregon.  This group brings an unexpected and masterful mashup of blues, folk and swing jazz with vocals, guitars and tenor sax.  Combined, these veteran musicians have won music awards in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington.  A special chemistry moves as they combine their songwriting and performing skills, presenting a musically powerful and entertaining performance.  They bring humor, and pathos to their show with musical expertise and passion.

Last year, Sue Orfield (saxophone), Randy Sinz (bass) and Yata (guitar) released their first CD, Dancing in the Light, with 12 beautiful, original songs. Grammy award nominee, Ellen Whyte (guitar) joins in with her own amazing blues songs, and in this band, everyone can sing.

7th Annual Celebrity Art Gala – As Seen on WEAU


Featured on WEAU this week was an introduction to the upcoming 7th Annual Celebrity Art Gala hosted at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, where our own, Jean McIlquham, is being featured as a celebrity artist this year!

The event will take place on Thursday, October 5th from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM hosted at The Lismore.  Presented at the event will be a live auction, featuring one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces from local celebrities!

Celebrity Artists:
Dr. Rima DeFatta (DeFatta ENT)
Jean McIlquham (Autumn Harvest Winery + Orchard)
Catherine Emmanuelle (Eau Claire City Council)
Wes Escondo (Big Brothers Big Sisters)
Cyndee Kaiser (Local Artist)
Jamie Kane (Scheels)
Mark McHorney (United Heathcare)
Dr. Labcoat + Child Artists
Sara Brunner (Mayo Clinic Health System)
Mystery Artist!

Proceeds from the Celebrity Art Gala support the Museum’s Play For All Program. If you are interested in reserving a spot, please visit the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire website.

Fall Festival at Chippewa Falls Orchard Benefits the Alzheimer’s Association – As Seen on WEAU


As seen on WEAU:

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) — The leaves haven’t changed color yet, but families got a head start on celebrating the fall season this weekend.

Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard in Chippewa Falls hosted day two of its annual Fall Festival Sunday.

People enjoyed apple picking, wine tasting, wagon rides, and a free corn maze.

Proceeds from apple picking and tasting room sales from Saturday and Sunday will be donated to a local charity.

“It’s a great event for people to come out and listen to live music, we have some big bands here this year and every year we give the proceeds to some kind of cause, this year is the Alzheimer’s Association,” said co-owner Jean McIlguham.

Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard will be open six days a week until October 31 and will feature live music on Saturdays.

Fall Festival – September 9 & 10

Fall Festival – September 9 & 10

Chippewa Falls, WI – There’s nothing better than kicking off fall by picking your own apples, strolling through a corn maze and sipping on a glass of wine. Families and community members are invited to Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard’s annual Fall Festival this Saturday and Sunday, where a portion of this year’s sales will benefit a local charity.

“We are always grateful to live and own a business in such a supportive community. This is an opportunity for us to give back and pay it forward,” said co-owner Jean McIlquham.

Proceeds from apple and tasting room sales on both Saturday and Sunday will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Visitors to the orchard are encouraged to enjoy family events, such as face painting and a petting zoo, and free live music events all weekend, including a free concert by Dead Horses, a popular folk band which performed at the Blue Ox Music festival.

“The fall season is something we look forward to all year. We have something for the whole family, so we are excited for this event!” said co-owner Chad McIlquham.

Fall Festival Autumn Harvest Winery & Orchard – As Seen on Mom’s Everyday

Chad McIlquham was featured on Mom’s Everyday this week sharing with us details about Autumn Harvest Winery’s Fall Festival event.

“This year’s fall festival is a fun, free, family event September 9th and 10th. This year we will have a corn maze, wagon rides, pick your own apples, ready to pick apples, fresh apple cider, a patio, live music from 10-6 both days. Wood-fired pizza on Saturday and barbecue on Sunday” shares McIlquham.

With all the exciting activities going on, it will be the perfect fall event for the whole family! For more details, visit our event page. A portion of the proceeds for this event will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.