150 free wines

While I’m not necessarily sure anyone would actually taste all 150 varietals available, you certainly can if you’d like – on us. The spirit of giving continues this week with two free tickets to the Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, courtesy of the Ohio Wine Association.

On Monday, I wrote about the special discounted rate for Cleveland Foodie readers ($17 tickets by calling 800 227 6972 or clicking and using reference code FOV2009). And while $17 really is a great deal for what’s sure to be another great year of this fantastic event (truly – I’ve gone a few times now and have really had a good time!), I think we can agree that free is even better.

If you’d like the pair of tickets, leave a comment – with your e-mail address or you won’t be included – and tell me your thoughts to this: If Cleveland were a wine, what wine would it be and why? The contest is open until August 3.

By the way, Doug Trattner wrote a great post on his blog yesterday about Ohio wines and wineries. It’s a great read loaded with lots of new places to explore and more reasons why you should put this event on your calendar (I think a trip to Harpersfield Winery is in my future).


  1. Yanni
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Cleveland Wine:
    It would have to be dark, a Cabernet, representing the typical overcast sky of North East Ohio.

    It would also have a smokey nose, echoing the past smokestacks that once billowed from the steel plants.

    Finally it would have a sweet tinge to it. Why? You have to be sweet on Cleveland to live in it!


  2. Brian
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Cleveland would Port

    Port is a fortified wine in order to help make it last journies and survive temperature changes; it helps to be fortified in Cleveland to survive the winters and the attitudes of some.

    also here are many authorized grape varieties which can go into a port; Cleveland is made up of immigrants, you can be from just about anywhere in the world and become a Clevelander. We welcome all.

  3. Chris Gammell
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I think Cleveland would be a sharp Pinot Grigio. On its own, the taste might be a little much. You'd look at it all by itself and say "Ahh…maybe I'll go grab a glass of Merlot or something more soothing to my tongue".

    But then you go out fishing and catch some delicious lake Erie perch and decide to cook it up…well that goes nicely, doesn't it?

    Then you decide to take a walk down to a metropark and get home and want something refreshing and crisp…well that Cleveland Pinot Grigio you just had with the fish was refreshing! Why not have a second glass?

    Then you go out to a local music venue you're such a rocker that you done even care what you look like drinking white wine at a rock concert. It's your drink, and you're not afraid to say it.

    And even in the cold winter months, after being snowed in twice and not being able to pull your car out of a snow bank, you're still don't mind because you know how delicious that first bottle of pinot grigio will be come spring.

    Your friends in other cities won't get it. They'll tell you that Cleveland Pinot Grigio is a bitter drink that they wouldn't be able to stomach. But you'll smirk, because you know better.

    ~Chris Gammell
    chris dot gammell at gmail dot com

  4. Rosemarie
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Cleveland is Sangria (in the winter it is Gluhwein).

    Sangria is a simple, delicious way to enjoy wine. It can be classy, inexpensive, fun, sweet or fruity. It is up to each person's individual taste, and every time can turn out a little different. Just like Cleveland, every person is a little different and there is so much to do in Cleveland that every day is different if you want it to be!


  5. John
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink


    Cleveland is a Table Wine, blending multiple varietals which hail from various regions, all coming together to produce one great taste that is widely accessible and enjoyable to many!

  6. Anonymous
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Michelle, if you go to Harpersfield, I believe I heard they have outstanding Pinot Noirs, please try it and post for us.

  7. Steve
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Cleveland would be a big fat Syrah, perhaps from the Rhone region of France because of the smokey flavors just like our air, and the bacon fat in the nose like the meat that flavors so many of the dishes cooked here. Or it can be one of the New Age fruit bomb Syrahs from California or Shiraz from Australia that go so well with cooking on the grill, or with some strong cheeses after dinner. Because we all know that Cleveland is something different for all people. And I vote also for Harpersfield, it's a very nice place. woshoe@copper.net

  8. joe
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    cleveland is an ice wine, the cold and ice make it a sweet city.

  9. Dina
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps a viognier could best define Cleveland. The reaction of the majority of people to both names would be "What?!" But then there's the first taste, the amazing crisp clarity, and yes, the intense fruitiness. But when paired with perch or whatever the day's freshwater catch may have been, then enlightenment comes, and you begin to understand… Cleveland.

  10. Bridget Callahan
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I think Cleveland is the onion wine a husband of a friend made recently. Because we're homemade, and it takes an open mind to appreciate us. But goddamnit we try everything.

  11. Sarah
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I think Cleveland is like Merlot. It's not as stuck up and fussy like a Cab (or a "big-name" city) can be. It's also more affordable. Cleveland likes it's meat, and Merlot will go well with just about any of them. Like Merlot, Cleveland has gotten a bad reputation, but we're bouncing back.

  12. All Lacquered Up
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for offering this great giveaway. I've been attending Vintage Ohio for the past 8 years in a row and it's the one event I most look forward to each summer. Of course it's grown in popularity that it's terribly overcrowded now but we still wouldn't miss it.

    We are actually planning an outing to Harpersfield, South River and Laurello soon. I love the far east side wineries.

    I don't think Cleveland can be summed up by one wine. Unlike other cities that you can define by a certain landmark, type of people or signature food, we are such a great mix of so different styles and cultures.


  13. shelby
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Zinfindel-rich, lush and complex. often overlooked but the more you drink, the more you begin to understand all the subtleties that lie underneath. a wine made for reminiscing as well as for celebrating.

  14. am
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Cleveland would be ice wine for sure. The grapes grow nicely during the beautiful summer and through the wonderful fall, but come winter, baby, hold on! It gets cold and delicious wine results… something like that. :)

  15. Melissa
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    If Cleveland were a wine, it would of course be a nice red wine (to keep us warm in the NE Ohio winters!), specifically the Markko non-vintage Cabernet Reserve.

    The wine, as explained on their website, is different from other wines, as it is a mixture of 2 different years ('05 and '06), just as Cleveland is made of a mixture of many types of people. Still, the blend of different years works, (just as the blend of cultures in Cleveland works) making it my favorite Ohio wine.

    Just got back from Harpersfield and my own Ohio wine country trip (I was also inspired by the SCENE article) — if you want you can see my thoughts on my blog . Hoping to attend the Vintage Ohio Wine Fest to try some other local wines!

    – Melissa

  16. michelle v
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    And the winner is… John! Congrats and great answer. My coworker, who is a big time wine enthusiast and Cleveland fanatic, felt you had the best answer tot he question (and I agree).

    Thanks everyone! If you're still interetsed in going, remember you can use the Cleveland Foodie code and get tickets for $17

  17. Posted September 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Its always a good time trying all the different wines. We enjoy the wine and the festivities. Cant wait to go back.