Skip dinner on a first date— it’s awkward, expensive and neither of you wants to commit a faux pas. Instead, head over to Zinful in downtown Perrysburg for some wine. It’s sold by the glass, or, if it’s going well, you can enjoy an entire bottle (or two) with a small corkage fee. More of a beer person? They’ve got that, too. Plus cigars, if it’s that kind of night. Zinful is built for intimate occasions, but the space is open enough for a raucous party with a bunch of your best pals and heavy sampling of the large selection.
The best part? Joyce Franzblau, the proprietor of Zinful, is your best wingman. She’s versed enough in vin that she knows the perfect bottles to complement your favorite flavors and the ideal appellation for all events. You’re unlikely to find that sort of specialized service in some national chain grocery store.
Starting as a wine-inspired restaurant in Waterville five years ago, Zinful offered a full assortment of gourmet-style offerings— something that came instinctively to NW Ohio native Franzblau.
“It was all accidental,” she said. “I was looking for a business to own, and came across a property in Waterville, and within a few days, I decided to open a wine and cigar bar, it was that fast.”
The name “Zinful” emerged from a trip she’d taken out to California: “It’s a slang word for wine at the time was ‘zin’ rather than ‘vin,’” she explained. “So, I tried to come back to Ohio and license the word ‘zin,’ but it was taken, so I added the suffix ‘ful,’ so it’s like your glass is ‘full of zin.’ Everyone thinks it means ‘sinful,’ but that’s not what I was going for.”
She ended up closing the Waterville restaurant for personal reasons, but reopened Zinful in downtown Perrysburg a few months later. The new tasting boutique is in a location that allowed Franzblau to narrow the focus to libations and cigars, without the additional duties of a restaurant.
“I evaluated lots of business types,” said Franzblau. “I had always enjoyed wine and craft beer and realized there was a huge curve in the craft beer industry as well. So I decided to try my hand at that.”
Since opening her tasting boutique and retail store last March, she’s been granted her full-service license— so the scope of the business has expanded to include opening those full bottles on-site. While the cigars have to stay outside (Ohio law), there’s no reason you can’t dash back and forth to enjoy a pairing.
Mark your calendar
In addition to a cozy space to sip your wine and beer selections on comfortable couches or around a more intimate table, Franzblau is about versing NW Ohio’s drinkers in varietals and the vineyards they’re sourced from. She regularly hosts events, bringing in wine aficionados and vintners to expand on what’s in the bottle. Upcoming in March is a visit from one of the owners of Michael David Winery in Lodi, Calif. Valentine’s Day offers an exciting evening of blind tastings, where you won’t know if it’s red or white in your glass.
Expect the shop, its educational offerings and its selection to just keep growing with time and exposure. Franzblau offers, “This is a wonderful place to go before and after dinner.”
4-9pm, Tuesday; 2-9pm, Wednesday; Noon-9pm,
Thursday; Noon-10pm, Friday-Saturday.
218 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg | 419-931-9946 | zinfulwine.com