Cleveland’s wine scene is growing and “ridiculously diverse” if you ask Willburr Moore, bar manager at Toast Cleveland in Gordon Square. Celebrating its nine-year anniversary, Toast is known for its patio, brunch and constantly rotating wine list.
“Our menu can change every four to 10 days,” Moore says, adding that there are popular staples, including the Los Chuchaquais, a peppery, heavily bodied red wine.
In Ohio City, stop at Market Avenue Wine Bar with its vintage living room feel and vibrant patio. Flight Cleveland is a wine shop and bar with a “flight club” allowing you to choose three, six or 12 curated bottles.
Eight acres of nationally awarded gardens make winding down with wine naturally relaxing at ThornCreek Winery & Gardens in Aurora. Duck into the rustic aging cellar and sip in a covered garden and entertainment space with a waterfall, brook, lush plantings and twinkle lights.
Try the Cleveland Sunset from Lakewood’s Humble Bee Vineyards, a Gold Medal-winning small batch winery that makes honey wines. The flagship strawberry-orange honey wine is lightly sweet, refreshing and has a semi-dry citrus finish.
At CLE Urban Winery in Cleveland Heights, a key part of the business is to celebrate Cleveland, says owner and founder Destiny Burns. Wine labels bear names and pictures from the city, and the winery partners with local chefs to bring food pop-ups to the venue.
When the large garage doors are up, a gentle breeze flows through the space. “It’s a neighborhood joint with a taproom feel, and we have board games, great music and conversation areas where you can meet with friends,” she says.