Blogs > Eating It Up Locally!

Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The perfect wine for a sweet tooth

Those who know me, can attest that I have quite a sweet tooth. So, when I heard that our local wineries were putting together an Ice Wine self-driving tour on Saturday I jumped at the opportunity. My wife also was eager as we are always on the lookout for "adventure dates" (defined as anything other than a dinner and a movie).

And we weren't disappointed.

The wines -- which taste like alcoholic syrupy juice because the grapes aren't harvested until late in the season -- were excellent at all six locations. Some carried hints of apricots, others had a bit of a spiciness to them.

Special award goes to Debonne Vineyards who took the super-sweet wine, added a chocolate liquor, then drizzled the glass with Hershey's syrup for an Ice Wine Martini.I told you I had a sweet tooth.

While I'm handing out awards, the Coolest Winery goes to South River Vineyard, which makes its home in a church building that looks like it came right out of Little House on the Prairie. Actually, the former Methodist church built in the 1890s came from Portage County where it was abandoned in 1970 and stayed that way until 2000 when it was taken down and rebuilt in Harpersfield on the Ashtabula side of the Lake County border.Chatting in a wine bar setting among the pews and stained glass creates an interesting vibe.

But Ferrante's, Grand River Cellars, Laurello Vineyards and St. Joseph Vineyards each also offered a unique setting and tasting, despite all six being located in the same general area -- just south of Route 90 near Routes 528 and 534.

There were only two downsides. One was this event was so popular that every winery was packed with hundreds of revelers and while that's great for their businesses during a traditionally slow time, it did infringe on the usually tranquil atmosphere. Second, the trees must be amazing in the summer and fall but nowadays the barren trees were more in line with, well, ice wine.

But we'll definitely be visiting our version of Napa Valley again -- hmmm,these wineries are having an "Around the World" wine tour April 25.

-- John Bertosa,


Blogger Ryan Reichert said...

Hey John - great review of the festival. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. I work for Grand River Cellars (handled the tastings of our other wines in the cellar). We're excited for the April event, and hope you'll make it. I'm also working on coordinating some special tastings just at our winery as it begins to warm up outside. Feel free to drop me an e-mail and check out my blog:

March 27, 2009 at 3:08 PM 

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