CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

Dining, Donuts, Dives and Diatribes

  • Recent Comments

    Ashton W on Ezzo Sausage Company – T…
    best donuts Columbus on The Sidedished Food Blogs of…
    CMH Gourmand on Mrs. Renison’s Donuts, M…
    Mark on Mrs. Renison’s Donuts, M…
    Shop Local, Columbus… on Columbus Pizza: A Slice of His…
    anna paolucci on Falling into the All for Fall…
    Cindy Leland on Falling into the All for Fall…
  • Categories

  • Top Posts

  • Archives: August 2006 to Now

Archive for the ‘wine’ Category

Arepazo (Tres) Tapas Bar & Grille

Posted by CMH Gourmand on September 29, 2014


The opening of (El) Arepazo is of interest for at least three reasons. First – the authentic Venezuelan and South American themed menu is amazing. Second, owners Carlos and Carolina Gutierrez have a great story of rising from rags to (someday) riches in Columbus. Third, this new location in the Brewery District (their third) may mark the tipping point for the third renaissance of the Brewery District.

I wrote about the couple in the early days of CMH Gourmand when they had just one location located in Pearl Alley. The couple were early adopters of the alley as an area to grow a community and it certainly has changed a lot since they opened there in 2005.

Their next move was to go mobile, which I detailed in this post from 2011. They opened a second location in Gahanna shortly after and they just sold the trailer a few weeks ago. The Brewery District location debuted at the end of August and is drawing in some good foot traffic is a short amount of time.

The Brewery District location is distinctly different from its sister restaurants. There is a lot of space inside and a nicely sized patio on the outside. There is a small takeaway / grab and go counter where you can score some of their addictive cilantro sauce, a dessert or some small dishes to go. Another corner has a pool table for those that would like to linger on between meals of cocktails. The bar space is ample with plenty of room to spread out while exploring the world of latino cocktails such as Mojitos and Caipirinhas. Unique to this space is a larger party room with an extensive wine rack which the couple plans to stock deeply with South American wines. All of the aesthetics aside, they did a great job to create a fun space to enjoy a wonderful menu.


As for the Brewery District here is a quick history. The area supported six breweries in its heyday, the age of the beer barons on the 1890’s. Prohibition marked the official end of the prosperity of the area although the area started to decline in the early aughts due to a combination of increased competition from Cincinnati and out-of-state breweries, the Anti Saloon League, labor strikes, the “drying of Ohio” as well as grain rationing and anti-German sentiments during World War I.

The second renaissance of the area was in the 1990’s when the Hoster Brewing Company Brewpub was the place to eat and drink and a string of bars led by Gibby’s, Victory’s and Hi Beck Tavern drew the masses to the city’s south side. The opening of the Arena District and Easton caused an entertainment ADHD which drew visitors away from the area and closed many businesses that had once thrived.

This third renaissance officially (according to me) started this year. While Columbus Brewing Company Restaurant, Shadowbox and World of Beer have held their own and kept people in the area, a burst of new blood entered this year starting with Brick (and American Kitchen) in the former Handke’s location and now El Arepazo. Some other spots including Kolache Republic have popped up on the High Street border of the Brewery District and German Village. The addition of the Cbus Circulator (a free bus which travels between The Short North, Downtown and the Brewery District) is bringing in more people to explore the area.



History lesson concluded I’ll now set the table with a sampling of the food and drink available. Not content with just one Cerviche, Arepazo offers five or more made fresh everyday including Ohio Cerviche made with Walleye and Ohio Sweet Corn. In the cocktail department, the staff behind the bar know what they are doing whether mixing a Mojito, Margarita or Caipirinha. Mix in some Sangrias, Mimosas and Pineapple infusions to the lineup and you won’t find it hard to opt for an alcohol inspired siesta some afternoon. Since this location is designed for more than just dinner, the menu also offers small plates / tapas for those that are looking to linger around for people watching or to hop from place to place in the Brewery District. (What may be) Mayan inspired murals will keep an eye on you while you look over the menu trying to decide what to order. The two Arepazo standbys – Empanadas (consider this a stuffed, fried dumpling) and Arepa (the namesake corn cake which inspired the name of the restaurant) are well represented. You can see my Arepa sandwich below.


It is easy to decide to head to the German Village / Brewery District El Arepazo location. You are supporting a local business while eating a great meal and fueling the rebirth of the Brewery District.

Arepazo Tapas Bar Grille on Urbanspoon

Posted in cocktails, restaurants, wine | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Slate Run Vineyard

Posted by CMH Gourmand on August 10, 2013

It took two trips for me to find Slate Run Vineyard. Based on my chat with owner Keith Pritchard, that is a common occurrence. It seems his land is located where three counties and several different mail system merge together. GPS systems are frequently stymied when trying to find Slate Run. So to help you, here is the key to not driving up and down Winchester Southern Road for hours on end. Find Slate Run Metro Park and drive 1/2 mile north looking for the sign below.


After turning onto the gravel driveway you will find a large estate vineyard with over sixty varieties of grapes. All the wines at Slate Run are made with grapes from the property. Keith admits he may have lost count on the exact number. He started volunteering time at Shamrock Vineyard and from there….his collection grew and grew. He opened Slate Run in 1996. The property houses a tasting room and a Weinhaus which is used for weddings, meeting and more. It is largely a one man show at Slate Run. Keith has an extensive knowledge of wine and some opinions on the complexities of selling wine in Ohio. Over a dozen wines are available for sampling and sale. In addition to an appreciation of (or at least support for) Ohio wine Keith and I share a love of Ohio cheese. Pearl Valley Cheeses are available to enjoy with samples or to take with a bottle for a picnic at the nearby park. For my opinions on Pearl Valley Cheese as being one of the finest our state has to offer take a journey back in time to this post from 2008.


The Slate Run Vineyard is scenic and mostly peaceful, in between frequent automated bird chirpers which sound off to protect Keith’s grapes from varmints and the like. As a day trip, the Vineyard pairs well with a jaunt to the nearby Metro Park and a stroll through downtown Canal Winchester or even Lithopolis. As for which wine to try or buy I can’t advise you on the best one, I only sampled a five or six. I did enjoy the Rose and thought it was a reasonable value for the price. I am sure you will find at least one wine that pleases your palate and your pocketbook. The scenery and some wine education from Keith is well worth the drive. Add in a bottle of wine and a meandering drive finding Slate Run and you have a great Ohio afternoon.


Slate Run Vineyard
900 Winchester Southern Road
Canal Winchester

Posted in Ohio, Road Trip, wine | Leave a Comment »

Shade Winery Tasting Notes & Dec. 4th Art, Farm & Wine Tour

Posted by CMH Gourmand on November 28, 2010

On December 4th four Southeast Ohio businesses are teaming up for an interesting tour. From 1 to 5 pm, the doors will be open to Integration Acres (home to goat cheese, Paw Paw production and more), Rock Riffle Run Pottery, Thorn Ridge Studios (hand blown glass) and Shade Winery. Chris Chimel from Integration Acres handed me a flyer a few weeks ago when I was at the Athens Farmers Market. I will be out of town for the tour but decided I could stake out Shade Winery as an incentive for the rest of you to go. (Shade Winery is listed fourth on the tour but is easiest to find so I would go there to pick up a map and circle back at the end).

I have been stalking the progress of Shade Winery for months. I heard rumbling that the winery was constructing a building for tasting. Since there are no other wineries in the area and access to these wines has been limited I was keen to case out the place. The doors opened about two months ago. After some detours I was finally able to meet Neal and Oui Dix to sample all of their wines.

It is an easy drive to Shade Winery. Take SR 33 (past Athens if you are heading south) to the Rainbow Ridge Road and you hit Gilkey Road in about one minute. The winery was established in 2004 but Neil has been at his craft much longer. He started making Elderberry wines by hand in 1986. Chris from Integration Acres gave him a “nudge” to start selling his wine commercially several years ago. Initially the Elderberry wine was available at places like Casa Nueva and The Farmacy. Neil has grown the number of wines over time. He added some grape vines for “curb appeal” for the winery but decided to start doing something with them. He has expanded his acreage along with his wine varieties over the last few years. Current wines available include: Estate Vidal Blanc, Corot Noir, Elderberry, Riesling, Chambourcin, Niagara (blush), Concord, Schnuckleputz (not a cartoon character but a wine made with lemons, ginger and organic sugar) and (Root Source) Elderberry wine with ginseng.

Full sampling of eight wines costs $6. Since Hocking County and “metro” Athens is an integrated food community cheese platters with Integration Acres cheese and ramp crackers are available to go with your wines. Tastings are typically Friday and Saturday from 1 to 8 PM but check the website or call ahead in the cold months especially since Neil and Qui take off for Thailand for weeks on end in the wintertime.

Posted in Athens, Ohio, Road Trip, wine | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

You can be a Wine Judge for $50

Posted by CMH Gourmand on August 12, 2010

(Sunday August 15th: Sorry title correction: – You could have been a Wine Judge……I just found out all the judge slots are full.)

Objectively, judging, evaluating, tasting and opining about food is a subjective trade. I judge at the North Market, for Kansas City BBQ Society competitions and elsewhere. Judging can be hard work. The volume of food can be overwhelming or underwhelming. The quality can vary as well. My greatest challenge is when I am judging wine because it is something I only have intermediate knowledge of and because the way it is done is objective and means medals for some. I just finished a wine judge refresher class on Tuesday.

I have attended the Columbus Food & Wine Affair for the last two years and look forward to going again in September. In 2009, I was able to become a judge for the Grand Tasting. Each year, The Food & Wine Affair receives 350 or more wines for competition. A group of judges including wine experts, distributors, industry insiders, food writers and a gourmand set out to score them objectively. We sample five to eight (or more) flights of wine rating appearance, taste, bouquet, aftertaste and other factors to come up with scores from a low of 0 (never happens) to 20 (rare). In the course of a morning of judging, I may try fifty to eighty wines. Sounds like fun? It is. However, sampling that much wine wears you out. You really have to focus on the sip (one will do) and spit aspects of the tasting process. If you focus on the slurp, swallow and chug aspects of wine drinking you will be done for.

I really enjoy this experience because it forces me to focus on one wine at a time. Unlike food where the focus is flavor and consumption, judging wine breaks things down to different aspects of the wine and enhances the experience. It is like tasting one bite of steak, savoring it, then moving on to something else.

As a wine enthusiast judge you will be trained by Rob Somers, the Wine Competition Chair. Rob will conduct an educational session that guides novice judges through the intricacies of tasting and judging wines. I have known Rob for a few years, he is very knowledgeable (and started his culinary career at Casa Nueva in Athens). After your training you will be judging wine the same way I am (but drinking less) and you will get to make picks for a new wine award, the People’s Choice. You also get a light breakfast and lunch at Columbus Fish Market. This all happens the morning of August 21st.

The 2010 Medallion winners and the People’s/Enthusiast’s Choice will be announced at the Columbus Food & Wine Affair Grand Tasting on Friday, September 24, 2010. Guests will be able to sample all competition entries that evening.

If you want to join the world of judging you can jump in with help from the link below:

Wine Enthusiast Competition / Judging

Posted in culinary knowledge, events, wine | 1 Comment »

House Wine U Graduation Day

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 7, 2010

my first i-Phone photo, twelve wines sampled during week 12 of class

On Tuesday night I graduated from House Wine U(niversity), a prototype twelve week wine course taught by Donnie Austin the owner of house wine. House Wine is a retail wine store and wine bar in what is known as the Worthington Corner across from Worthington Inn.

Here is a copy of the e-mail I received about the class before I enrolled. I’ll use Donnie’s words for the background:

For the two years since we’ve opened, I’ve had many inquiries about wine classes and wine education in general. As you have purchased wine from House Wine, we feel like we’ve been able to share our passion and knowledge.

We are excited to bring you House Wine U., a 12-week wine education program to teach you what you need to know about wine to take your wine appreciation and enjoyment to another level. The classes will cover all the major wine regions around the world and enhance your “romance of the grape.” You’ll be among a small group to taste and talk wine with me, with a format of education and open discussion. By the end of the program, you will have tasted more wine than you ever imagined.

Our program is something new for Columbus and we think those participating will come away with a more intimate connection with wine. As I’ve learned more about wine in recent years, I’ve had a passion to share my knowledge and the setting for House Wine U. is the perfect environment. This program for novices who want to learn wine or seasoned wine drinkers who want to learn more.

Week 1: The Basics – Whites and Bubblies
Week 2: The Basics – Roses, Reds and Fortifieds
Week 3: Wines of the USA
Week 4: Italy 1: Tuscany
Week 5: Italy 2: Other Great Wines
Week 6: France 1: Bordeaux and Burgundy
Week 7: France 2: Other Great Wines
Week 8: Spain 1: Rioja and Sherry
Week 9: Spain 2: Other Great Wines and Portugal
Week 10: Germany 101: Riesling
Week 11: Australia/New Zealand
Week 12: Argentina/Chile and South Africa

Starting in January, our class of nine met each Tuesday at 6 PM to explore the world of wine in the back corner of House Wine. Fortified with Stan Evans crackers and cheese, we tasted, sipped, dumped and occasionally pounded pours of seven to nine wines. We received a handout at the start of each class describing the region we would cover and how wine is produced, defined and grown in that area. Students left with more knowledge about a region and the wine styles it is known for as well as the grapes that give the area it’s trademark appellation. Questions from my classmates included history, hot picks, industry trends and insider stories from the world of retail wine. The class is perfect for wine novices who are afraid of wine snobs as well as intermediate wine drinkers that are looking to expand their range of tasting knowledge beyond standard grocery store picks. It was a good value in comparison to other wine classes I have taken. I learned about a lot of French and Italian wines and was given an opportunity to sample vintages I would not have considered before. I also found a Rose I liked, which I did not think could happen. Donnie plans on offering the class again, perhaps in the fall.

I do want to give a quick shout out for Donnie and House Wine. Donnie is active in the community, especially in Old Worthington. He has worked hard to expand events to promote the area and his fellow independent business owners. Donnie has partnered with the Worthington Inn to create a new wine dinner series which is a good value and a good way to learn about wine pairings. Donnie also has a small but deep collection of microbrews in the shop as well which serve as the foundation for beer tastings.

What I like most about House Wine is the self serve wine pourer. You buy a card which gives you access to twelve select wines then you can decide if you want a taste, a pour or a glass. This allows customers an easy way to sample an expensive wine they know they will never buy or take a risk on a value wine they were not sure they wanted to buy.

More information on house wine
644 High Street
Old Worthington
house wine

Posted in culinary knowledge, wine | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Ravenhurst Champagne Cellars and Feast of the Boneless Fowl

Posted by CMH Gourmand on November 8, 2009

Ravenhurst Champagne Cellars

34477 Shertzer Road
(Intersection of Yoakum and Shertzer, just off SR 31)
Mount Victory
web page – work in progress
Call to check on tasting dates
(Take SR 33 to SR 31, Turn at Yoakum Road, located at the intersection of CR 342 and 343)
When open, hours are: Friday – Noon to 7 PM; Saturday – Noon to 6:00 PM

I made my first trip to Ravenhurst a few months ago. It is exactly one hour from my Clintonville Chateau. This year I have made an effort to learn more about Ohio wines and was intrigued to find a winery near Columbus. There are over 100 registered wineries in Ohio but only a small number make wines exclusively using their own grapes grown in their own soil. Ravenhurst is one of these wineries. Most Ohio wineries are located near lakes and rivers for the benefits bodies of water give to the growing of grapes. Ravenhurst’s geography is a bit of an anomaly but it works well for the unique fruit forward flavors of the wines. These seemed to be ample reasons to visit so it was time for me to hit the road.

The climate and soil of Ohio can be a terror on the terroir of an Ohio wine. At Ravenhurst, they used ingenuity to turn the tables in their favor. By drilling down four plus feet into the clay infused soil of the region, the vines are given a protective sheath to protect them from harsh Ohio winters.

Ravenhurst produces about a dozen styles of wine. About one half are champagne style wines including an interesting Petit Rouge which blends Pinot Noir and Chambourcin grapes. Ravenhurst also pours and produces a few white, red and dessert wines. Tastings are offered on select weekends.

Ravenhurst wines have won a fair share of domestic and international awards. Distribution is limited to the winery, a place you may have heard of called the Refectory, The Plaza Inn in Mt Victory and the Mt. Victory Drive Thru.

Feast of the Boneless Fowl Menu

Owner C.A Harris is an experienced chef as well. Ravenhurst hosts several cooking demonstrations / dinners paired with their wines during the year. Chef Harris cooks and instructs while guests drink, eat and learn. I headed back to Ravenhurst on November 7th for the Feast of the Boneless Fowl. Chef Harris showed us how to deconstruct a turkey to make a boneless Thanksgiving feast. We watched on as he deboned, stuffed, (forcemeat) and sewed up the turkey for cooking. The cost of the class paired with a meal and several pours of wine was $29.95.

The finished product moments before consumption

Chuck Harris and his wife Nina are joined by Jonda and Richard Anderson as your hosts at the winery. Tastings are a relaxed affair. The people behind the counter are knowledgeable about their wines and how pair them. Jonda in particular was helpful, loaning me $4 so I could buy a bottle of the Grand Cuvee after I realized I had left my credit card at home and found my funds were limited. (I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a $38 bottle of champagne today….). Guests also receive the wise counsel and company of the house dogs – Zeus and Hera.



It is an easy and pleasant drive to Ravenhurst via SR 33 and 31. You could also take a variety of backroads up as well (such as SR 257), which I do on occasion to remind myself that Ohio is still farm country. I found the Feast of the Boneless Fowl to be a good value and well worth my time (as are the wines).

Posted in culinary knowledge, Ohio, Road Trip, wine | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Jim’s Judgment Day: Part Two – Wine

Posted by CMH Gourmand on August 4, 2009

Food and Wine Affair - September 25th

Food and Wine Affair - September 25th

On August 4th, I judged pork during the day and wine at night. I had the fortune of a friend referring me to the judges team for the The Columbus Food and Wine Affair. To serve as a judge, I had to attend a class on wine judging run by coordinator Rob Somers from Fosters Wine Estates. Rob has been with the Columbus Food and Wine Affair since it launched 7 years ago. Only two wine festivals in the US require judges to take a class prior to judging for the event – the other is the Cincinnati International Wine Festival. Having this standard for judging is important to maintain credibility. Evaluating something that is mostly subjective – such as wine – an event needs to ensure everyone is on the same page. This approach to judging is similar to the training I had to be come a Kansas City BBQ Certified BBQ judge. Note to self: avoid judging BBQ when I will be judging wine a few hours later.

This is a system summary. Each wine has the potential for 20 points. Here is the breakdown of scores.

0 – 1 points

Aroma / Bouquet
0 – 6 Points

Taste and Texture
0 – 6 points

Aftertaste / Finish
0 – 3 points

Overall Impression
0 – 4

The approach to judging is to sample each wine on its own as objectively as possible. The 10 judges in training scored close to each other for each wine and our scores lined up within Rob’s range – a good sign. This is especially important since we will be judging 70 – 80 wines in each of our tasting teams. Awards will be presented to the winning wine makers for the Food and Wine Affair on September 25th.

I did attend this event in 2008. Tickets were $100 last year but I am certain I consumed that much and more in food, wine and entertainment. It is held at the Franklin Park Conservatory which is a great venue for any event of this stature. The food part of the affair comes from some of out best local restaurants. Proceeds from the event go to charity so you can have fun at the affair with no guilty conscience.

Posted in events, wine | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Ten for $10 at the Refectory and a side of Moretti’s

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 19, 2009

Refectory Restaurant and Bistro
1092 Bethel Road
Northwest Columbus

The Refectory

The Refectory has long been known as the go to fine dining destination in Columbus. The setting in an old church, the welled dressed and heeled servers and the French themed cuisine may give some people the perception of stuffiness or exclusivity. This is perception only. The Refectory is very accessible to people with deep pockets as well as those with frugal sensibilities. The restaurant goes to great lengths to create events that appeal to all tastes and budgets.

One Saturday per month, the restaurant hosts a 10 for $10 wine tasting. I have been trying to get to one of these for over a year. I finally made it to a special weekday tasting last Tuesday.

The concept is straight forward. Ten wines can be sampled for Ten dollars. When weather permits, the tastings are held outside. The Refectory has an award wining wine cellar and long relationships with many wine makers and distributors so there is no slacking in the selections.

I spoke with one of the servers as I paid for admission, he told me the previous Saturday tasting had over 80 people. The evening I attended seemed to have 35 to 40. There were also several baskets of exceptional breads to munch on between pours. I am a bread snob so being able to nibble away on a variety of superior slices between sips is worth at least a couple dollars to me…which makes 10 for 10 an even better deal.

For those that have never been the the Refectory, the 10 for $10 tasting is a no effort, low cost introduction to the restaurant and what it has to offer. Sign up at their web site to get e-mails on the tastings and other events.

Speaking of deals, last week was also Well, to clarify, this was a Restaurant Week sponsored by 614 Magazine (as well as others). There is also a Dine Originals Restaurant Week (which this year will be presented twice – you may have already missed one in March and the next is in September).

The purpose of a Restaurant Week is to promote local restaurants with special deals and prix fixe menus to encourage people to try places they have never sampled before. I opted to try a place that had fallen off my radar for two years.

Moretti’s of Arlington
2124 Tremont Ctr

There were three choices for the first and second courses. This is what I sampled with my dining assistant.

Round One

Eggplant Caponata with grilled toast paired with a Mediterranean Chopped Salad.

Fried Calamari with lemon herb aioli paired with a Caesar Salad

Round Two

Chicken Francaise with asparagus, mushrooms and lemon cream

Veal Meatballs with spinach linguini in tomato sauce

Round Three

Chocolate Dipped Cannoli

Everything sampled was incredibly good. I also had an opportunity to study the regular menu which listed menu items I had forgotten about. The pasta is homemade, the sauces are fresh and rich and I am now hooked in for a return visit. The price for the three course meal was $21. Prices for the other meals during restaurant week varied from $15 to $35.

At $10 plus $21, it was a value evening out. As I was seated at Moretti’s, I saw a large group of people come in that I had seen at the Refectory wine tasting ten minutes before, either I was being followed or other people were looking for a good deal as well.

Posted in restaurants, wine | Leave a Comment »

Footnotes from the 8th Annual Ohio Food and Wine Festival

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 13, 2009

I was a “celebrity” wine server at the Friday night pre-party for the Ohio Food and Wine Festival at the North Market. At a certain point of the night, I think I might have penciled in Cougar as the third part of the festival, there was a clear demographic early in the evening. Maybe it was that comment or good behavior or bad behavior – I’m not sure which, but I was relieved of duty early in my shift and allowed to sit back and enjoy the evening. This gave me a lot of time to ponder as I waited for Ms. Gourmand du Jour to arrive.

This year I was paired with The Winery at Wolf Creek.

Pouring wine or any role that puts one behind a bar opens up a different realm of communication. I noticed the same at the Comfest Wine Booth this year. I have some great conversations with people just by the act of pouring wine in a glass. A question leads to some banter and sometimes you almost feel like you have made a friend in a few minutes. There is always some memorable person or remark whenever I pour. There is no other role in this world that sets one up for this much fun.

Sarah and the rest of the Wolf Creek crew were great. The fan favorite of the evening seemed to be their “White Lies” a sweet white grape wine.

Jennifer Nesbitt (a Lunch Lady) pouring wine til closing time

Jennifer Nesbitt (a Lunch Lady) pouring wine til closing time

Some people snicker at the mention of Ohio wines. This is really uncalled for. Ohio has a long wine making tradition that includes leading the nation in wine production prior to Prohibition. The folks from Firelands Winery (also at the festival) have some interesting wine facts worth looking at –

Fun Facts from Firelands

I learned something during my shift.

Delaware is a:
a) State
b) City
c) County
d) Grape.

Answer: All of the above. There were delaware grapes in a Wolf Creek Wine but not from the place at the end of SR 315.

The most common question of the night: What does oaked mean?
The wine was aged in an oak barrel.

The other part of the festival is food. The world premiere of the Ohio Proud mobile kitchen was on Friday night with Robin Davis from the Dispatch Kitchen demonstrating her culinary skills and sharing tips with the crowd.

Many of the North Market merchants stayed late Friday night to serve food and treats to festival attendees in between drinks. One item that paired well with the wines was waffles.

A new merchant at the market is A Taste of Belgium with a Liege style Belgian Waffle (thicker, sweeter, and a bit richer than your typical Belgian waffle).

So those are a few notes from the evening, but that is not what I was pondering while I was sitting and sipping ice wine. I was thinking about everyone at the festival.

The “celebrities” included Walker Evans (Columbus Underground), Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (Clerk of Courts), G.A. Benton – (Food Writer for Columbus Alive) and others. These are all people I like. Each of these people is making Columbus a little bit better in some way

For food writers, you might think it was a cut throat world of trying the get the scoop on the newest restaurant or the hottest bar. We do not compete against each other if anything we collaborate on finding and sharing our favorite meals.

The same goes for the Ohio wineries, they collaborate to promote Ohio wines and get us used to drinking our “home grown” (some times) or at least “home owned” wines.

The North Market Merchants are in the same boat, they need to keep competitive to stay in business but they collaborate their time, energy, resources and more to help market the Market and keep the ability to buy from your friends, neighbors and fellow Ohioans from withering on the vine.

Another thing I thought of was the accessibility of wine. There are so many places that offer wine tastings in town that are affordable, relaxed and fun – Weilands, Hills Market, Whole Foods, Refectory, House Wine, Twisted Vine, etc., that wine continues to become a “typical” thing not just something to feel awkward about at a fine dining establishment.

With all of the above going on at the same time – I would say the event was a success.

Posted in markets, wine | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Statehouse Saturday: Ohio Wines with a Side of History

Posted by CMH Gourmand on June 5, 2009

Columbus Foodcast, recently sampled a variety of Ohio Wines with the esteemed Andrew Hall of Oinos Nervosa

Andrew does not give away kudos – he is noted for his strong opinions on a number of subjects – including wine. However, he does opine on a few Ohio wines that more than hold their own. In fact there are a handful that kick ass at an affordable price. Our state produced vino can be hard to find (try Weilands and Hills Market). A fun resource for Ohio wines is the Ohio State House. (This is the only instance of state government doing something constructive to support my alcohol purschasing).

I found the Ohio State House Museum Shop has a respectable supply of Ohio wines including Kinkead Ridge a favorite of mine as well as the usual suspects.

I made my first foray on a sunny Saturday in May. There was plenty of metered parking available. I had the Statehouse almost to myself. The building is beautiful inside. The statehouse offers history, art and some interesting people watching (I spied Japanese tourists, lobbyists and politicos lurking around). There are tours available. For the more spontaneous there is a handout with maps of the inside and outside as well as a detailed history of each area of the building. The park / courtyard outside has comfortable benches, trees and open areas to sit and relax. You can make a full downtown day of it by going to the CAPA Summer Movie series across the street the Ohio Theatre.

I bought the Breitenbach because the bottle was so cool.

I bought the Breitenbach because the bottle was so cool.

The gift shop is in the ground floor. More information is available at

And speaking of Ohio Wines…..

If you want to sample a wide variety of them, the North Market will host the Ohio Food and Wine Festival July 10th, 11th and 12th.

Posted in Columbus, wine | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »