Going to a good winery means more than sipping on your favorite glass of cabernet. From locally made appetizers to unique, hearty entrees, food has the ability to enhance the wine’s flavor and vice versa. Grab a bite at one of these three wineries.
Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant: With a laid-back atmosphere and live music, this spot is the perfect all-in-one. Locally sourced appetizers, such as the Ohio cheese plate ($14), are perfect starters, while a selection of award-winning wines from the cellar keeps you hungry for more. “We don’t strive to be super-fancy, we just want to make sure that our customers know that they can come and get some good American fare at our facility,” says owner Cindy Lindberg. Try This: The limoncello cake ($5.50) complements the unoaked chardonnay ($6.50 per glass, $21 per bottle), which has notes of green apple and pear. 5750 S. Madison Road, Madison, 440-298-9838, grandrivercellars.com
Kelleys Island Wine Co.: Located on the titular Lake Erie island, this gastropub-style restaurant and winery’s menu of flatbreads and pizzas is all about putting you in vacation mode. “Just like anything else, food is important for anything,” says general manager Abbey Rosado. “There are so many wines that are complemented by foods and cheese.” Bite into the cheesy, garlic-filled Fun Guy pizza ($22.50), while trying one of the winery’s seven wines made with local, island-grown grapes. Try This: A glass of Inscription white ($7 per glass, $19.50 per bottle) brings out the earthy flavors of the Beemster cheese plate ($11.75). 418 Woodford Road, Kelleys Island, 419-746-2678, kelleysislandwineco.com
Sapphire Creek Winery: This elegant winery boasts an eclectic menu full of modern-American cuisine, including steak, and endless seafood options. The lobster Tater Tots ($23), topped with a scallion cream sauce and chives, are a must-have, especially with a sweet rose, a smoky pinot noir or a vintage reserve cabernet. “We try to keep our menu California fresh since we are a Napa-inspired winery,” says executive chef Richard Bennett. “We try to keep our foods light and vibrant.” Try This: The lamb ragout ($35), a rich pasta dish made with savory Parmesan cheese, goes perfectly with the red blend ($11 per glass, $35 per bottle). 16965 Park Circle Drive, Chagrin Falls, 440-543-7777, sapphire-creek.com