Wine tasting is so much more than just sipping a glass of pinot grigio from the couch at home while binge watching Netflix. Being out in the city with a few friends, enjoying stimulating conversation as you unwind and let the stress of the workweek slip away, learning the nuances of how to go about properly tasting and evaluating wine—it is an experience that is not to be overlooked. And Cleveland won’t let you down!
Where to go: CLE Urban Winery
CLE Urban Winery (2180 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights; 216-417-8313) offers you guided wine tasting, cheese boards and snacks to pair with your wine, and even hand-dipped chocolates. Although they don’t have a vineyard, CLE Urban Winery is a true contender! Their wines are hand-crafted and bottled on-site and made from only premium juice from the US west coast. All of their wines are named to celebrate Cleveland. Built in a 100-year-old former garage, CLE has transformed the space into a chic tasting bar and winery—large glass windows allow you to view the whole winery production area from Lee Road. Call ahead or check the website for the latest restrictions for group size, social distance seating, and special events: https://cleurbanwinery.com/cleveland-heights/
Give Your Taste Buds Something to Talk About—Mead
What is Mead? Is it wine? Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey. Just as cider is made from fermented apples or wine from fermented grapes, mead is carefully crafted by making a “must”, a sweet, fermented liquid from honey and water. Of course, using the best honey will create the ultimate mead along with the addition of fruits and spices. Next, yeast is added to the must to begin fermentation. Once fermentation is complete and the meadmaker is satisfied, the clarification and aging process begins. It can then be bottled and ready to try!
Where to go: Western Reserve Meadery
Located in a 1915 vintage industrial building, (2135 Columbus Road, Suite C, Cleveland; 216-716-2500), the Tasting Room is open and ready to help you discover and sample mead. Chill out in the relaxed environment, surrounded by the original wooden beams and brickwork, and let the knowledgeable staff guide you through the various meads—from dry to sweet, robust to light and sparkling. Which mead will be your favorite?
Be sure to visit their website at https://www.westernreservemeadery.com/ for all the latest information on COVID precautions, make reservations, and updated hours of operation.