12 Corners’ South Pier Chili

Recipe by Gloria Oberst, co-owner of 12 Corners Vineyards
Photo by Taylor Michael

Kick off the fall season with this cozy chili, the recipe for which comes from Gloria Oberst, co-owner of 12 Corners Vineyards in Benton Harbor. Pair with a chilled glass of Gewürztraminer.


  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 16-ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • One 16-ounce can of navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • Two 14 ½–ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup sweet red wine (Oberst uses 12 Corners’ South Pier Sunset Red)
  • Saltine crackers, finely crushed (optional)
  • Green onions, chopped (optional)
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain.
  2. Place mixture in a 5-quart slow cooker. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and red wine. Cook at high for 3 to 4 hours or at low for 5 to 6 hours.
  3. To thicken (optional), stir in finely crushed saltine crackers until the desired thickness is achieved.
  4. Top with chopped green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.


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