Many stores have great sales on wine. You can regularly find good wine marked almost half off at Giant Eagle and other stores and wine shops. Once the wine is past its peak or a new year comes in then they have to mark down the old stuff. Some of the old stuff can still be pre-peak so it’s worth digging around for those wines. By peak I mean the wine has the best taste. If it sits too long, especially with sweeter wines, it goes bad over time.

Some stores have discounted wine that they are trying to sell off. The wine can be marked as low as a penny above cost in Ohio. When Tops was here they had to dump any wine they didn’t sell when they closed. Even the $100 bottles. You’d think they could discount it more so that it would sell, but the law wouldn’t allow it. Oh to be the sink that had those bottles poured into it.

Wine tags are coupons found on bottles of wine. They were more prevalent back some years ago, but there are still some found here and there. You can find coupons for meat, produce, condiments, snacks, and other items. Depending on the state upi live in you don’t always need to purchase wine with it. In Ohio you don’t need to purchase the wine. Cashiers sometimes see a wine bottle advertised on the coupon and they mistakingly think you need to purchase the wine with it.

Rebates for wine can be found on bottles of wine. You can usually find one that will give you a rebate for purchases of 1, 3, 6, or 12 bottles. I regularly find rebate for $24 for a case of wine. I’ve even seen rebates of $50 for a case of wine. Buying one bottle usually gets you $2 off or so and it tiers up from there.

Most every store will give you a 10% discount when you buy a case of wine. You usually can mix and match so that you don’t have to buy all of one wine. Wineries usually do the same. Some even give bigger discounts or 5% off for half a case.

I’ve purchased cases that some out of state wineries were trying to get rid of at 75% off the original price! Sometimes shipping can be costly though, but I’ve gotten it shipped from California for as low as $25 a case.

Yes, you can probably call me a wine snob. I’ve tried wines from just about every state and visited all the major wine regions multiple times. My favorites are dry, earthy, tobacco, leathery Merlots, Cabs, and Petite Syrahs. Funny, because that is also how I’d imagine a college party to smell like. I also like a buttery oaky chardonnay. A crisp Riesling is nice too. Everyone has their own taste, so what one thinks as spectacular another person might think it is horrible.

My favorite region for wine is Washington. They have some great wines and at great values. The best wines are in the Walla Walla region where it is like a desert, but there are tons of farms. My favorites there are a Barnard Griffin Port, Tagaris Merlot, and pretty much anything from Chateau St Michelle, Columbia Crest, and Columbia Valley.

Driving through wine regions is like taking a stroll through Heaven’s back yard. The wineries sit on rolling hills in opulent properties. Some look like mansions, rustic retreats, or even castles. Some of the best wine regions for the scenery are Paso Robles, Dry Creek Region, Sierra Foothills, Fingerlakes, the Dalles, Williamette Valley, to the Niagara region.

My favorite year is 2007. What does that mean? Wine has good and bad growing seasons. When it’s hot and dry, like it is this year, the grape becomes more intense in flavor. And 2007 was a great year. Off the charts for reds in California. Give me a bottle from that year and a straw and I am one happy camper. There was a Guenoc 2007 Petite Syrah that I hunted down at most every Giant Eagle. Wines Delivered-234x60

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A bottle of wine typically is equal in volume to 4 glasses of wine, but that depends on how a restaurant pours it and the size of the glass they pour it in. Sometimes you can get 6 glasses out of a bottle of wine if they are pouring them into small glasses. As a standard, multiply the glass price times 4 and if it is more than the cost of the bottle then get the bottle, if you plan on drinking that much. Ohio allows you to cork the bottle and take it home if you don’t finish it.

Many bars and restaurants do happy hour pricing on wine. Many are a $1 off or so for a glass of wine. Some charge $5 a glass…not that great of a deal. Places like Bar Louie will do $4 glasses of wine including glasses that are normally $10 or so. Some even do half off bottles or glasses of wine on certain days. Here are some (subject to change):

Please let me know if you come across any other half off places!

Beckys Bistro – Willoughby Hills – retail price wine night
Matchworks Tavern – Mentor – half price wine
Lure – Willoughby – half off bottles of wine

Manhattan Deli – Willoughby – half off bottles of wine with two entree purchase
Sara’s Place – Gates Mills – half off glass of wine
Bass Lake Tavern – half off bottles of select wine
The Blue Star Tavern – Solon – $5 off you bottle of wine

Vittorios – Wickliffe – 1/2 off house wine
Sushi Rock – Beachwood – half price wine
D’Vine – downtown Cleveland – half off flights of wine
Old Towne Tavern (soon to be the Purple Bull Tavern) – 25% off wine

The Blonde – 6901 Rockside Rd in Independence – half off wine bottles after 7 PM.
Paragon – Euclid – half off bottles of wine

Claddaugh – Legacy Village – half off bottles of wine – rare to see a deal like this on a Friday

Stampers – Half off bottles of red wine.

Stampers – Half off bottles of wine.

If you want free cheese plates, BOGO entrees, wine glasses and other deals at Ohio wineries, you can find coupons for them in the 2012 Our Town coupon book. You can purchase the 2012 book on my site for $16 now (normally $28 – new 2012/2013 books available in September for $28) at:

Here are the winery coupon offers in the 2012 Our Town and All Around coupon book:
BeneVino – free cheese plate
Buccia Vineyard – free cheese plate
Candlelight – BOGO snack menu item
Debonne Vineyards – free cheese plate
Emerine Estates – free cheese plate – lotsa fruit wines including carmel apple
Ferrante – free Trio garlic bread with purchase of two lucheon entrees
Firelands – free cheese plate
Grand River Cellars – BOGO dinner or luncheon entree
Heinemans Winery – free cheese plate
Hermes – free Baked Labrea bread round with olive oil with purchase – located in an old barn – very cool
Horizons – BOGO dinner or lucheon entree
Joe Biscottis – free cheese plate
John Christ – free assorted cheese and crackers with purchase
Klingshirn – 20% off non-wine purchase
Lakeshore Inn – free cheese plate – great garden and view right on the lake
Lalure – free wine glass with wine purchase – nice patio with the winery in an old farm building
Maize Valley – BOGO menu item
Markko Vineyard – free cheese and crackers
Mastropietro – free cheese plate – big facility
Matus winery – free cheese plate
Myriddin winery – free cheese and crackers – well hidden by Lake Milton
Old Firehouse winery – BOGO dinner entree
Paper Moon Vineyards – free cheese plate with food or beverage purchase – decent wines – nice facility
School House winery – free cheese plate
Swiss Heritage – free pound of swiss cheese with Heritage wine purchase
Vermillion Valley – free bruschetta with french points with food or beverage purchase – nice new faclity
Virant – free cheese plate with food or beverage purchase
Winery at Spring Hill- – free dessert with any food or beverage purchase

Find the best wines as found by the Ohio Grape Industries Committe at

Any Ice wine at Ohio wineries is top notch and win tons of awards. Usually they have to wait for two days of 19 degree weather before they can pick the grapes for the ice wine.

1) Markko’s – awesome chardonnays, cab sauvignon, and Rieslings
2) Harpersfield – superb chardonnays and other dry white varietals
3) St Joseph – great pinot noir (won double gold in San Fran), this year’s cab is nice too
4) Paper Moon – love their old vine zin
5) Quarry Hill – good reds and whites when in stock
6) Laurello – great variety of quality wines. Some Italian varieties too.
7) Maple Ridge – not open much, but great wines – organic too

There are also others that have a spectacular one or two – Troutman Cab Franc, LaLure Pinot Grigio, and many others.

1) Lakehouse Inn – it’s a B&B that sits on a bluff next to the lake, they have a deck on the lake, garden area that is a site to see that goes down to the lake.
2) South River (Church winery) – rebuilt church now a winery, great picnic pavilion and terrace area overlooking the winery.
3) Wolf Creek – in Akron
4) Ferrante – busy, but the place looks high falutin
5) St Joseph – new location – great overlook
6) Mastropietro – many weddings there

Most every winery has a great atmosphere. Here are some good ones:
1) Hermes
2) Harperfield Winery
3) South River
4) Lake House Inn
5) Thorn Creek Winery
6) Spring Hill

There are many Ohio wineries making spectacular wine. Sure, many years ago there were some and still are ones that still make the sweet stuff. But don’t let that fool you. There are many making great dry varietels. Some of the ones that made nasty wine some years ago have turned the corner and they now make spectacular wine.

Old Mill is unique with wood beams near downtown Geneva. Many have great music venues like Grand River Cellars, Ferrante, Chalet Debonnet, Old Mill, and Laurello. Chalet Debonnet has a great outdoor facility. They have craft beer there too – Rat Cellar Brewery.

If you like the sweet wines that Ohio was known for way back when then try John Christ, Klingshirn, Firehouse, Emerine Estates (try their caramel apple) Buccia, and Virant. I’m not crazy about them. Too much sugar can make them headache wines.

Some wines are sourced from outside of Ohio. Because the source changes most every year the taste can change also. You’ll see those bottles labeled American instead of say, Grand River Valley.

Some restaurants charge a corkage fee. It’s a fee to open a bottle of wine that you brought in. Works great since you can find a steal at a store and then bring it in to open for $5 or less. Some places don’t even charge a fee to do so.

At Cedar and Green Wine and Cheese you can pick a bottle in their store and drink it there with a $5 corkage fee. You can find great deals on bottles. Some are less the $10 on sale. Located in University Heights. On Saturday, 7/28 they are having Cheap Wine Night – taste 54 different wines plus hot and cold appetizers for only $16.50 per person.

At Pranzo located in downtown Willoughby bring in your own bottle and pay $2 per person (or per glass) for a corkage fee. It’s a great deal since most restaurants charge double of what a store charges for a bottle of wine.

Get 5% to 15% or more off you dinner tab which includes the whole bill including wine and tip. Just match up your credit card to the site and start earning rewards that will be sent back to you in the form of a gift card.
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Some restaurants on allow you to use the gift certificate on your wine purchase. It will usually state on the certificate if they do. If nothing is stated, ask if they do.

Get $25 restaurant gift certificates for $10 or less with their special discount codes.

Check to find the special discount deals.

At checkout use code: SUMMER
Deal goes through: Friday, July 26, 2012

Click here to get gift certificates for over 200 northeast Ohio restaurants and thousands of others across the U.S. – great for vacations!:

Sign up today to the new Food Friends program and you’ll receive 15% cash back on all your purchases for one year!

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Some states don’t allow shipment of wine out of state. Check this site to see if your state does:

Deer Vally Winery just opened off 534. M Cellars plans to open around October. It’ll be near the church winery. Ohio has over 160 wineries.

In Ohio they have to charge for tastings. Lame. It should be up to the discretion of the winery to charge. In some wine regions most of the wineries don’t charge for tastings, usually at wineries off the beaten path too. Some will credit the tasting fee if you buy a bottle of wine (Fingerlakes). Some charge way too much like $5 or $10 for a tasting if not more (Napa). Some are free after using a wine pass that gets you freebie tastings and discounts (Dry Creek Region and Fingerlakes). Some charge a reasonable amount or none at all (Sonoma). Some you can find free tasting coupons on their web-site. Some wineries should pay you to taste their wine and then use your body for science to test the effects of nasty wine.

The Cleveland Wine Festival runs July 27-28 at Voinivich Park next to the Rock Hall. Check out more on it at It’s run by Giant Eagle. Tickets are $28 in advance or $35 at the gate.

This huge wine event is half at Lake Farmparks in Kirtland. It’s being held August 3 & 4. Tons of Ohio wineries participate. Music and events all day long from 1-10 pm. Look for a $10 off $30 gate ticket coupon in the Sun Newspapers.

Ticket prices:
Adult taster in advance: $25
Adult taster in advance including Meet the Winemakers Tent: $40
Adult taster at the gate: $30
Adult taster at the gate including Meet the Winemakers Tent: $45
Two-day adult taster in advance: $45
Two-day adult taster in advance including Meet the Winemakers Tent: $75
Designated driver: $12
Child [under 18] $3
Child [under 3] Free

Special rates available for groups of 10 or more. To find out how to qualify for this incredible savings, call 800-227-6972.

Advance sale priced tickets are available via 1-800-227-6972
or via our Online Order link below. Thank you for your interest in Vintage Ohio.

Vintage Ohio advance tickets are also available at Northeast Ohio Giant Eagle Stores for $25. If you purchase with your Giant Eagle Advantage card the price is $23.

Click here for more information:

WVIZ throws a great wine event each year. It’s one of my favorites. Heinens helps sponsor the event. Many of the wines they sell will be poured at the event. Great food there too.
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Typically the festival is the last weekend in September in downtown Geneva. Stomp grapes, try grape pies, and listen to bands. You can do wine tastings at one of the halls there.


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