NV CLE Urban Winery Cleveland Rocks Christmas Red

This is a wine bar that makes wine from juice brought in from around the world in Cleveland, Ohio.  This particular wine is their answer to the popular Christmas Ale beers.  While it may appeal to those beer lovers, it can not be recommended as a serious wine.  Fun, sure.  Made from Cabernet Sauvignon juice.  Its all about cinnamon, cloves and oranges.  Some heat.  One sip is plenty.  Kudos to them for trying, but let someone buy you a glass and then split it among a few people.  Retails for $30.  

NV CLE Urban Winery Lake Erie Riesling, USA, Wine Review

This is from a wine bar in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  They buy juice from around the country and make a wide variety of fun and sometimes very good wines.  This is a sweet Riesling from Finger Lakes, NY grapes.  Light green/gold in color.  On the nose this is ok.  Some citrus and slight minerals.  On the palate, this is quite viscous.  It is very sweet, cloying and lacking much acid.  This will appeal to the Blue Nun lover.  If that is what people like to drink, that is fine, but know that this is the type of wine that some will like and some will dislike.  

NV CLE Urban Winery Footlights Sauvignon Blanc, USA, Wine Review

This winery buys juice around the country and then makes the wine in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  This version was 2017 juice but the wines are not labelled with a vintage.  There is a wide range of quality and styles in these wines and some of them a very nice.  All of them are fun.  This one is made from California Sauvignon Blanc juice and is a tribute to the Playhouse Square are in downtown Cleveland.  Light golden in color.  It has nice grapefruit on the nose.  On the palate, there is good acidity with some grapefruit notes.  A bit short on the finish.  Will work with a wide variety of li

2007 Kinkead Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, Ohio River Valley, Wine Review

About 150 years ago, the Ohio River Valley was one of the top wine producing spots in the United States.  These days, the wine industry is more tourist based, but a decade ago, Kinkead Ridge was producing some excellent reds and 2007 was a great vintage (something that only happens maybe once a decade).  This one is drinking just fine right now at age 11.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rim.  The nose shows some tobacco, cherries, and slight spice.  Slight tannins on the palate.  Cherries with some depth and layering.  Nice balance.  In short, this drinks like a ten year old Brodeaux f

NV Lonz (Firelands Winery) Pink Perch, USA, Ohio, Wine Review

Lonz winery no longer exists as a winery (it is part of a park in the Lake Erie Islands), but at one time was the largest winery in the country!  The Lake Erie Islands are a summer time vacation and recreation spot (as well as the mainland coast).  This is a vacation wine meaning that it intended for people to buy while in the area and enjoying their vacation.  It is sold in and near the Lake Erie Islands in northwest Ohio.  This is self described as a white Zinfandel styled wine.  It is unclear what varietals are used to make it up (or even if it is 100% grapes).  Deep ruby in color.  The

NV Mon Ami (Firelands Winery) American Rose, USA, Ohio, Wine Review

This is a blend of French and American varietals made along the shores of Lake Erie near what is known as the Lake Erie Islands.  For those history fans, back in the 1800's, the Lake Erie Islands were on of the top wine producing regions in the country.  As recently as the 1930's it was rated as one of the top 5 along with Napa, Virginia, New York and Missouri.  Now the area is a summer vacation spot and due to the cold winters, late springs, hot summers, it can be a difficult place to make wine.  Mon Ami is a restaurant and a winery.  This is ruby/orange in color, deep and bright.  The nos

NV CLE Urban Winery Murray Hill Pinot Grigio

CLE Urban Winery is located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  They are essentially a wine bar that gets juice from California and other places and makes their own wine which is sold at the bar.  The labels feature different scenes of Cleveland.  This one features the brick street that is the heart of Cleveland's Italian community.  The wine is light golden in color.  The nose has tangerine and orange with a slight minerality.  On the palate, this is big and fruity.  Tangerine with some sweetness.  It is not deep but it has enough acidity to be refreshing.  While it does not have the minerality n

2014 Laurentia Vineyard and Winery Riesling Beton, USA, Ohio, Wine Review

From the shores of Lake Erie in Northeastern Ohio, this is a serious attempt at a quality Riesling.  And they succeed.  Light green gold in color.  The nose has some lemon, slight peach and slight petrol (kind of young for this).  On the palate, this has some green apple and peach.  It seems just slightly off dry but that may just be the fruit.  Good acidity but not bracing.  Nice finish.  This retails for $24 and is fairly priced.  I doubt many would guess its origins correctly in a blind tasting.  It probably won't make old bones and should be drunk in the next few years I would think (bu

2015 Lakehouse Winery Pinot Grigio, USA, Ohio, Lake Erie, Wine Review

Ohio actually has some of the longest wine making traditions in this country.  Prior to, and just after, Prohibition, the area along the southern shores of Lake Erie was one of the leading winemaking areas in the country.  These days, there are still many wineries producing many excellent whites and dessert wines, and the occasional quality red.  Most, however, follow the tourist model, often combining restaurants or Inns and providing entertainment in addition to serving their own wines.  The wine was from one of those.  That doesn't mean the wines are not good or worth buying.