Girls Night Out
My husband and I have visited Mac’s Creek with our kids, en route elsewhere, to get our Nebraska passport stamps last year. However, both times I have gone “for real” was with girlfriends to enjoy the summer and early fall live music at Sunset. It’s called “Sunset in the Vineyard”. We enjoyed the “OK Sisters” on our most recent visit.
Mac’s Creek is tucked back behind Lexington in a rural setting. Farm buildings surround it as well as fields of corn. None-the-less -it’s a lovely setting and the rustic farm setting just sets the tone. I love the quote on the wall – “We are not trying to be like other regions. We are trying to show the potential of this region.” – attributed to an unknown source. The thought is that a winery in rural Nebraska is not going to be like California – nor are they trying to be. This is wine that represents rural Nebraska and what it can be. The Mac’s Creek building is very nice – very modern and well set up with plenty of tables for wine tasting and a gift shop atmosphere as well. The business offices are well hidden away and there is a room for events off the main area. Two serving bars are set up. The bathrooms are clean and decorated well -a plus in my book. The setting out back is just stunning.
Out Back is Where it’s At
Although the inside set up is very nice and ample for sitting around and sipping some wine with friends, the patio and other sitting areas out back are really where to sit if it’s a nice night. My friends and I did retreat indoors as it got dark to avoid the mosquitoes. That would be my biggest complaint about the set up – they really need to set out some Citronella candles and/or spray for bugs around the deck, especially when there are events. We did kind of get bit up and my poor friend got a giant well near her eye from a mosquito bite. The patio is set up with several tables and a “stage” area” on one end of the patio. The OK Sisters did a nice job with folksy music and created a nice ambience for the evening. It was also nice that there were periods of time with no music or light recorded music so it was easier to visit. However, my favorite part of the property is behind the neat rows of grape vines. There is a stage set up just in front of the back of the property.
When my friends and I saw a band here the previous summer, it was set up in this area. There are fire pits set up on several circular cement pads along this back stretch of the property with several chairs surrounding. This set up is just lovely for a cool evening, enjoying some wine and music. S’more kits are on the menu – which I think is a nice touch.
Customer Service and Food is Not Where it’s At
Our big disappointment was in the customer service. Now, this is not just my opinion – fortunately, I benefitted from the input of my 3 friends who were with me. The serving staff looked a bit sloppy and was not overly friendly. Wine is served in short glasses instead of stemmed wine glasses. Now, this didn’t bother me and the lady at the counter explained emphatically that it works out that a person gets a little more in the short glasses. However, it did really bother one of my friends and she asked for a regular wine glass (which they do have). When asked why this is so – they said the short glasses are less expensive to stock if they get broken or stolen. She said they often get slipped into purses. I think my friend took this personally but I didn’t. I can imagine people like a “keepsake” and to be fair – when my friend group came last year we did break a glass that got dropped on the cement fire pit circle.
However, I was not impressed (and neither were my friends) that our food was served on paper plates (and not even the high quality Chinette!) It seems to me if you are charging $20 for a Charcuterrie plate or $10 for chicken salad and crackers, that it should be on real plates that look nice. The food was also a bit lacking. The spinach and artichoke dip was pretty good, but the chips looked like a $2 bag of Tostitos were opened. Two of my friends ordered the chicken salad. It was not great. It was mushy and dull. When I think of a good chicken salad, I think of something with some decent chicken and some color – perhaps some halved red grapes or dried cranberries – something to make it pop. The pork nachos also were only so-so. The chunks of pork were large and not easy to eat and not plentiful. Again, it seemed like a bag of Tostitos had been opened with some jarred queso and BBQ sauce dumped on. The Charcuterrie plate was decent – the brie was good to dip in and the slice cheese was pretty good, but presentation was lacking. It looked like a sausage link had just been cut in choppy rounds – and not very well.
To end on a good note – I’ll talk about the wine. I’ve actually enjoyed Mac’s Creek’s wine for several years as they are popular in south-central Nebraska. The wines are on the sweeter side, although there are some dry ones, so keep that in mind according to your taste. I do think the wines are high quality and they have perfected their “brand” and are one of the top wineries in Nebraska. We enjoyed some of the sparkling Spring Mist and the Buzzard’s Roost – a sweeter red. I’ve had many of their other wines such as Edelweiss and Irish Jig – all very tasty. They have specialty drinks as well. My friends and I were not disappointed. Wine tastings are reasonably priced as well to allow for sampling a variety.
My advice for Mac’s Creek – enjoy the wine and the ambience. Consider going on a night with live music. Enjoy a fire in the fire pit, perhaps with some S’mores. However, consider eating at one of the authentic Mexican restaurants in town before you go.