At Zephyr Wine Bar & Café in Marquette, it’s connections that matter. Marcella Krupski, the only Certified Sommelier in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, explains, “Our food reflects the way people drink wine. They share a bottle, share a plate, share camaraderie. They connect.”

To that end, Zephyr offers world-class but affordable wines paired with charcuterie, artisanal cheeses and other sharing dishes—bagna càuda, for example, a pot of hot olive oil popping with garlic and anchovy, with an assortment of vegetables and bread for dipping. Or raclette, a fragrant melted cheese served over potatoes and pickles.

Owner Daniel Rutz says, “We love wine and we love food. So we created the wine bar to be the kind of place we ourselves hope to stumble upon when we travel.”

Beyond the imported charcuterie and cheeses, Rutz adds, “our food is made in-house, from scratch.”

Chef Ryan Howe says he is committed to “using the freshest ingredients from the best local sources and building relationships with local farmers. Our foods are complemented by, and themselves complement, wine.”

Besides the sharing plates, Zephyr offers homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Howe says, “My favorite soup is our smoked whitefish chowder. And my favorite sandwich-soup pairing is the TES (prosciutto, raclette and onion-fig compote) matched with one of our creamier soups, [like] tomato or broccoli, to mellow it.”

The 20-page menu includes flavorful non-alcoholic beverages like shrubs and tonics and a small array of craft beers and liquors, but focuses on wine. Monthly guest chef dinners feature five courses with wine pairings, and wine-tasting classes are offered periodically.

Sunday evenings feature live music and every Wednesday is Parents’ Night, allowing parents to enjoy an adult experience while bringing children along for their own fun.

Rutz relishes Zephyr’s combination of sophistication and northwoods U.P. culture—building community and connecting.

Photos by Zephyr Wine Bar & Café

This article originally appeared in the 2019 fall/winter issue of Experience Michigan magazine. The contents of this article were checked for accuracy when it was published; however, it’s possible some of the information has changed. We recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the destinations, attractions or restaurants mentioned in this article.

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Katherine Larson is the “At the Table” columnist for Marquette Monthly, and a freelance writer based in Marquette. She founded and managed a farmers’ market in rural Ohio and remains passionate about farmers’ markets, with their wild capricious bounty and the discipline that seasonal eating imposes.

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