Wine-tasting in Cleveland, Lake Erie, Northern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, etc
March 8, 2006 2:59 PM   Subscribe

What are some good wine tasting options in Cleveland, Northern Ohio (eastern of course), Lake Erie, Western Pennsylvania? I am going to be in a hotel in downtown Cleveland this weekend with some friends and we want something to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

After reading some other wine-tasting related posts on AskMe (1, 2, 3, 4) I know there are a lot of folks here that know about wine, and I also know there are a lot of wineries in this region along Lake Erie. Any suggestions as to which wineries to visit, and which to avoid in these above-mentioned regions? Any websites or publications to look into for reviews about wine-tasting, possibly about wineries in the area? Thanks!
posted by tweak to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh and I realize yes, there is google, but more personal recommendations are preferred :)

My party is about equally mixed male and female, so there is equal interest in whites and reds. Yes, we are all relatively unsophisticated, but that doesn't mean we can't tell when wine tastes bad!
posted by tweak at 3:00 PM on March 8, 2006

My party is about equally mixed male and female, so there is equal interest in whites and reds.

Is there some belief that people break across gender lines in their preference for wine? That's news to me.


I can't give you any personal recommendations, but I live in Cleveland and I'll ask some friends here.
posted by amro at 4:03 PM on March 8, 2006

I don't drink wine (so I'm not going to be very helpful), but you're only a short distance from the birthplace of Pizza Vino.
posted by bwilms at 4:31 PM on March 8, 2006

Gust Gallucci's Italian Food and Specialty Items on Euclid Ave in Cleveland has always had a huge wine selection--including a surprising number of imports. It's a restaurant and Italian food supply store, but many people in the area go there for some of their grocery needs (myself included once in a while). You might call them and ask about wine tasting--they're something of an establishment and probably can point you in the right direction.
posted by vkxmai at 7:38 PM on March 8, 2006

Response by poster: amro: fair point, I just wanted to include all the info I could think of, and I've noticed that a lot of the girls I've gone wine tasting with have in fact liked whites (especially sweeter ones like Rieslings) as opposed to reds. YMMV of course.
posted by tweak at 10:24 PM on March 8, 2006

I don't know about vineyards in the area, but you might enjoy La Cave du Vin (their site seems to be down but maybe try later) and Grovewood Tavern & Wine Bar - they have tastings and wine dinners from time to time (call or check the site), but you can choose from their nice list any time you go. If you're interested in any wine *shops*, I recommend Shaker Square Beverages (there are a few locations but I prefer the actual Shaker Square shop). They have a very good selection and depending upon who's there when you go, they're generally pretty knowledgeable. Although, if you're not from Ohio, I don't recommend paying Ohio's high wine prices if you don't have to.

As for the male/female white/red stereotype, all that did was make you sound more sexist than you probably actually are. I'm a female who vastly prefers reds, the darker the better, and I know males who prefer whites. You could have said "our group has a variety of tastes, so recommendations for both whites and reds are welcome" and made your point without sounding sexist.

It's going to be rainy and chilly here this weekend, so it's a good idea to stay in and drink wine. Have fun and enjoy!
posted by boomchicka at 4:35 AM on March 9, 2006

Well said, boomchicka.

I have a friend who grew up in Geneva on the Lake (about an hour east of Cleveland) and says there are lots of great wineries there, although I didn't get any specific names. Click on "Wineries" in the link for some options.
posted by amro at 5:36 AM on March 9, 2006

Don't know the name of the winery, but my great aunt used to work for a winery in the Dunkirk-Fredonia, NY, area, on the shores of Lake Erie between Erie, PA, and Buffalo, just off I-90.

It supposedly very similar in climate to the Finger Lakes region which is renowned for its wine.

Upon googling, I found this site and I think the one she worked at was this one.
posted by Doohickie at 6:43 AM on March 9, 2006

Best answer: hosts a food and wine forum. There's an embarassing amount of noise but this is exactly the sort of question that they could knock out of the park.

Vineyards:Debonne Winery, Old Firehouse Winery (Geneva on the Lake), Troutman Vineyards, Maple Ridge Vineyards

Winery directories:My Ohio Wine, Ohio Wines

Wine shops:Western Reserve Wines, Jerry's Wine Center, Colonial Wine & Beverage. Western Reserve Wines gets the most love from the food and wine forum denizens.

Cleveland wine events:, Wine Buzz. Each lists at least one event this Sunday and there are at least a couple others that are only off by one day.

You could also look for good restaurants that host events. I'd like to emphasize that I selected these restaurants because they, regularly or occasionally, host wine related events. The only one that I really like is fire. They all have very good reputations though. The chef at Baricelli, for instance, is regularly nominated (in the first round) for the Beard Foundation Midwest awards and Classics is Ohio's only (ever) five diamond AAA restaurant. Baricelli, Classics, Blue Canyon (worthless website), fire , Giovanni's, Lockkeeper's, Chez Francois, One Walnut. None of them are having events this weekend but their regular wine content might be enough to interest you after or instead of a winery tour. I held a $4000 bottle of wine at Classics. Baricelli and Giovanni's are DiRona award winners.

Wine/cocktail bars: I don't know whether any of these places really have extensive wine lists or if they're mostly cocktail bars. Velvet Tango Room has a reputation for being both expensive and excellent but I'm not specifically sure about the wine. Supposedly they have great chocolates, too. Market Avenue Wine Bar, Velvet Tango Room (horrible web site) and Budapest Blonde.
posted by stuart_s at 12:35 PM on March 9, 2006

I second the Shaker Square Beverages Recommendation, it is well worth the trip.
posted by vkxmai at 1:11 PM on March 9, 2006

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