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The Mendel Center will bring Winter Delights home in 2021

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December 08, 2020
BENTON HARBOR, MI – While it will be cold outside, it will be cozy and warm inside when The Mendel Center brings its annual Winter Delights celebration home in 2021. On Saturday, February 13, Winter Delights: Bringing Valentines Home promises to be a memorable night of wine, chocolates, cooking, music, and other fun experiences for attendees from the comfort of their living room through connected devices of all types.
The evening begins at 6 pm with an optional interactive cooking demonstration led by Chef Luis Amado. At 7 pm, the first of five guided wine tastings will take place, conducted by Michael Moyer, director of the LMC Wine and Viticulture program at Lake Michigan College. Between wine tastings, participants will enjoy a virtual guided tour of the Lake Michigan College Welch Center for Winter & Viticulture, gourmet chocolate samplings, and live music from Alex & Erin.
“Looking ahead, we anticipate that public gatherings will continue to be restricted in February. We see this reimagined Winter Delights as another way to be creative with our capabilities and partnerships to provide a uniquely entertaining experience,” stated Mike Nadolski, executive director of The Mendel Center.
Nadolski went on to say that the virtual nature of this event makes it a perfect experience for individuals, couples, or groups of friends to enjoy. If people have other dinner plans or wish to only be part of the tastings, they are free to join in at 7 pm.
During the week of February 8, wines, chocolate, and recipes can be picked up at the Welch Center or they will be shipped to each registrant for an additional fee.
The evening’s wine tasting guide
Michael Moyer is the Director of the Wine and Viticulture program at Lake Michigan College, currently in its fifth year. He has 20 years of commercial winemaking experience and holds a Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis. He comes to Michigan most recently from Figgins Family Wine Estates in Walla Walla, Washington. Prior to that, Moyer worked as Instructor of Wine Science and Winemaker for College Cellars of Walla Walla. His early industry experience was gained in Amador, Napa, and Sonoma counties, as well as the Willamette Valley.
The evening’s culinary guide
A native of Guadalajara Mexico, Chef Amado began his career at the age of 14 as a pastry cook. He moved to the US to Study culinary arts and Graduated from GRCC in 1992. He then traveled to Europe and worked in Spain and Belgium to develop his knowledge of classical European Pastry. He was the program director for The Culinary Institute of Michigan at Muskegon, Michigan for 22 years. He is currently the Culinary Management Program Chair at Lake Michigan College since 2016. In the summer months he travels internationally to teach workshops and masterclasses to other professional chefs in Europe and Latin America.
The evening’s musical entertainment
Alex Holycross (The Native Howl) and Erin Zindle (Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds) have joined forces, from vastly different musical backgrounds, to perform as a new duo. Their fresh sound, dubbed ‘Outlaw Americana’, splices Alex’s heavier bluegrass/metal style with Erin’s sultry songwriter/world music influences. The guitar/fiddle driven performance showcases a new take on story-telling by drawing lyrical parallels between folklore and the current state of the world.
Alex & Erin video teaser:
Registration is $25 per person at or by calling the box office at 269-927-8700, option 1, Mondays through Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. This event is open to attendees 21 and older.
Each $25 package includes:
  •          Five, 50ml wine samples from Lake Michigan Vintners (Hard Cider, Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Red Hawk Red (sweet red blend)
  •          Gourmet chocolate sampler
  •          Special Valentine’s weekend entrée and dessert recipes
  •          Virtual tour of the Lake Michigan College Welch Center for Wine & Viticulture
  •          Live music from Alex & Erin
This activity is supported by The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
About The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College
The Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mainstage season performance in the fall of 1992. Since that time, it has presented Mainstage season performances to more than half a million patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Newly renovated Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979, is a 13,700-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 229-seat Hanson Theatre is home to the Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Departments as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.
The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.
Find #TheMendelCenter online at:
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Mendel Center Season Sponsors
Stage Side: The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, Honor Credit Union, The Inn at Harbor Shores, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Meijer, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Spectrum Health Lakeland, TCF Bank, TPC Technologies.
Platinum: B&L Information Systems, Berrien Community Foundation, Citadel Dance and Music Center, Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors, Insurance Management Services, Pier 33, Siena Heights University
Gold: Beaudoin Electrical Construction, Inc., Hanson Group, Holt Bosse, Horizon Bank, Metzger Insurance Agency, Silver Beach Pizza, Southshore Concert Band, Studio 807.