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Issue Date: July 2012

Grape Escapes: The Perfect Pour

Not sure where to start your sipping? Take some expert advice from American Wine Society’s Tom Cobett and The Locavore’s Kitchen author and local-foods enthusiast Marilou Suszko on the region’s best quaffs, from ice wine to cabernet.
Amber Matheson



Golden Bunches Riesling, $14.99

"It's consistently good — you would swear that it came from Germany. It's slightly sweet and carries the aroma of peaches, apricots, melon and honeysuckle."


Josephine, $15.99

"An elegant white wine that is incredibly aromatic. They don't grow a lot of it. When they have it, it sells out in a month. It's named after the owner's grandmother."


Traminette, $16

"This relatively new white-grape hybrid is as aromatic as the dickens. Whenever you see [it], buy it! You can pour it in a glass, hold it at arm's length and still smell the wine."


Pinot Grigio, $10.99

"The first thing you get is the aroma of peaches. At the end, you get a refreshing pop of lemon-lime zest from the high acidity that we get here in Ohio."


Chardonnay, $10.99

"A bright, crisp, clean expression of fruit, with no interference from oak barrels. The citrus and green apple aromas remind me of classic French Chablis wines."


Maize Valley

Raspberry Wine, $14.99

"Great fruitiness — this is one of their best. Fruit wines are supposed to smell and taste just like the fresh fruit; the color, aroma and taste of this wine all scream raspberry."


Chambourcin, $10.35

"It's a beautiful, magenta-colored wine loaded with frutiness. It has no bitterness from tannins. Lots of Ohio wineries make this wine — I like Klingshirn's the best."


Cabernet Sauvignon, $33

"Everyone told [owner Arnie Esterer] he was nuts to try to grow vinifera grapes in Ohio. [His] grapes produce the truest expression of a Bordeaux-style wine."

St. Joseph

Pinot Noir, $20

"They're small but incredibly good. The owners have day jobs but they do this because they love doing it. Pinot noir at its finest; it's a small production so you better hurry!"

Vermilion Valley

Dornfelder, $15

"A German varietal red wine as good as in Deutschland. An intensely dark and somewhat spicy wine, this is the only dornfelder we have seen in Ohio, and it is simply spectacular."



Muscat Blanc, $10.99

"This is a sweet wine, and those do good around here because of the shorter growing season. This wine should be chilled to make it refreshing."


Viognier, $13.99

"Typically a viognier is a French wine, but we're doing it here now. It's a little on the dryer side, for whites, and a little crisper."


Classico, $32

"It has a unique aroma, and for a chardonnay, it's pretty powerful and distinct. Enjoy it with a simple dish, chicken or fish — light on the seasonings and sauces."


Chardonnay, $42

"Markko Vineyard does some terrific whites. He has this climate out there, right along the lake, that really enhances the wine he makes."

Paper Moon

Old Vine Zinfandel, $16.99

"It's a variety that's pretty specific to California, but some of our local wineries bring in the juice and create wine under their own label."


Quarry Hill

Apple Wine, $13

"It's about a sense of place. One of my favorite combinations is apple wine with sausage and sauerkraut. It was kind of fun to try to bring all those things together."


Truscano, $24

"It's a nice table wine, a lot of dark fruit flavors, and a little bit of oak to it. If I have a piece of beef from a local producer, and I want to braise it in wine, I would add an Ohio red."

Vermilion Valley

Cabernet Franc, $16

"Smooth and enjoyable. I wouldn't call this a heavy-body red, but it was pretty enjoyable on a cool summer afternoon."

The Winery at
Wolf Creek

Cabernet Franc, $19

"Their cabernet franc is going to be way different than anyone else, because there's a ridge on his property, where the grapes are grown, that changes the climate."


Cabernet Franc Ice Wine, $34.99

"Typically, people think of ice wines being made out of a vidal blanc grape. This wine isn't steeped in the skins that give it the intense color; the color is more delicate."

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