Saturday, December 2, 2023

Seize the Vine: Uncorked Advice from Local Wine Pros

Artist and polymath Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “The discovery of a good wine is increasingly better for mankind than the discovery of a new star.” While we think the Renaissance Man’s words are extreme, we find it hard to argue with one of history’s most prolific and successful inventors about the value of certain discoveries. Want to ponder his genius? Read on to see what you can discover from local wine professionals.


Mancy’s Steakhouse

Gus Mancy, Owner
Gus Mancy, Owner

953 Phillips Ave
419-476-4154 |

11am-2pm & 5-9:30pm, Monday-Thursday.
11am-2pm & 5-10pm, Friday.
4:30-10:30pm, Saturday.

Have you always loved wine? My first job at Mancy’s Steakhouse was in our wine room three nights a week. I was in the 7th and 8th grade. I would do my homework and retrieve wine when the servers came to the wine room. My cousin Mike worked the other three nights of the week. We did the wine ordering too! So, I loved wine but hated the taste…. at that age!
What was your first real wine experience? In 1992, I was a wine novice invited to stay at the Jordan Winery. It was quite an experience. The staff there was still giddy because President Reagan stayed in my same room the week before!
What are the most exciting innovations happening right now in the world of wine? Wine preservation systems like our Winekeeper at the Steakhouse or wine on tap at Mancy’s Italian allow fresh wine to be poured by the glass daily.

Steal: R Collection by Raymond Field Blend! Available at Mancy’s Ideal by the glass! $4 during happy hour.
Deal: Duckhorn Cabernet, Napa Valley! We are pouring for $20 a glass at the Steakhouse!
Unreal: 2015 Quintessa Cabernet! It is a legendary vintage and delivers Opus One quality for $125 less!

Rockwell’s Steakhouse at The Oliver House

Dawn Yoho.
Dawn Yoho.

27 Broadway St
419-241-1253 |

5-11pm, Monday-Saturday.

Have you always loved wine? No, I had to keep tasting to grasp the full package of wine.
What was your first real wine experience? Brunello di Montalcino. A guest saved me a glass to help further my pallette.
If you have a private collection, what’s your favorite bottle? Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel.
If you could share a bottle of wine with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be and what would you drink? Tom Hanks. Any bottle tastes good with great company.
Who do you enjoy a bottle of wine with most frequently? My husband.

Steal: Half-off bottles on Monday.
Deal: Finca Patagonia Grande Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Full-bodied, well-balanced and compliments most foods.
Unreal: 2010 Opus One Napa Valley. $270. Perfect balance of earthy and fruity flavors with a velvety silk finish.

Basil Pizza & Wine Bar

Mike Gregg, Beverage Director.
Mike Gregg, Beverage Director.

The Town Center at Levis Commons
3145 Hollister Ln, Perrysburg
419-873-6218 |

11am-10pm, Sunday-Thursday.
11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday.

You can only drink from one region for the rest of your life. What is it? The Rhone Valley of France. From Cotes-du-Rhone to Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Cote Rotie, the Rhone Valley has something for everyone. And you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to get the best!
What’s the best rule of thumb for pairing food and wine? The #1 rule of wine pairing is that there are no rules! If you like Cabernet Sauvignon with your tuna salad sandwich, go for it! All that matters is what you like. However, I would say that a good guideline for pairing is to match the weight of the wine with the weight of the food.
Who do you enjoy a bottle of wine with most frequently? That’s easy, my lovely wife!

Steal: Both the Bila Haut Cotes du Rousilllon and the Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano are knockout values. Both $25, but taste like they’re $100 bottles! They are both medium to full bodied, pair well with a wide array of our pizzas and entrees.
Deal: We roll out unbelievable deals every week at Basil, but some of my favorites are the hard-to-get craft beers that we feature. Sure, we’re a wine bar, but we have plenty for beer lovers as well, like limited releases from many Ohio and Michigan breweries.
Unreal: J.L. Chave Estate Saint-Joseph, $110. It smells and tastes like dark berry fruit, black pepper, olives, and smoked bacon. Beat that.

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

Brandee Ford, Service Captain and Bartender
Brandee Ford, Service Captain and Bartender

1320 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg
419-872-6100 |

11:30am-9pm, Sunday-Thursday.
11:30am-10pm, Friday-Saturday.

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving? Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Proprietary Red Blend … a great wine with nicely balanced fruit, oak and tannins.
Have you always loved wine? I’ve always had a growing interest in wine and wine production. Biaggi’s wine program and extensive training has really helped me to expand my knowledge and understand the many nuances of wine varietals.
If you have a private collection, what’s your favorite bottle? Earthquake Cabernet … it’s just a really great cabernet bursting with flavor.

Steal: Lucky Star Chardonnay. Not only a great wine for the price ($7.49/glass), but it pairs really well with any of our pasta dishes.
Deal: Gran Passione Veneto Rosso. This wine is produced using the appassimento method. Because this method uses partially dried grapes, it requires more grapes for production. The result produces a full-bodied, deep red wine with soft tannins.
Unreal: Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. We offer this exceptional wine by the bottle only ($119). This is arguably one of California’s finest Cabernets, with a signature dark color, rich well-balanced fruit and ripe, velvety tannins. It’s simply a beautiful wine that will never disappoint.

Walt Churchill’s Market

Richard Fortney, Maumee wine specialist
Richard Fortney, Maumee wine specialist

Maumee: 3320 Briarfield Blvd, 419-794-4000
Perrysburg: 26625 N Dixie Hwy, 419-872-6900.

7am-9pm, Monday-Saturday.
8am-9pm, Sunday.

If I could only drink from one region for the rest of my life? The Cote du Rhone is hands down my favorite region for wines that pair well with food as well as by themselves. There are a little over 30 varietals that are allowed under AOC laws that give winemakers the opportunity to blend their wines that are a true expression of the terroir and microclimate.

Steal: Villafane & Guzman, Legado, Cabernet Sauvignon. $9.99. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown at 2,500-feet elevation in extremely rocky soil. Full-bodied “old world” styling, with a nose of red and dark berries, violet, cassis, and a hint of cedar. In the mouth it is extremely well-balanced with black currant and spice.
Deal: Unus Solus, Rosso. $17.99. Unus means unique in Latin. This Tuscan wine is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot. This wine is solid and shows an elegance that can be defined as an expression of the Montalcino terroir.
Unreal: The Vineyard House, Napa, Cabernet Sauvignon. $199.99. Founded by second generation vintner, Jeremy Nicke, The Vineyard House vineyard is situated literally next to the famed Screaming Eagle vineyard in Oakville, California. Only 750 cases of this classic, world-class Cabernet is produced.


Jon Mickle, General Manager
Jon Mickle, General Manager

6130 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg
419-873-6590 |

11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday.
11am-11pm, Saturday. 3-9pm, Sunday.

What’s the best rule of thumb for pairing food and wine? There have been whole books written on the subject of wine pairings, and while I won’t argue that there is no merit to a great pairing, my number one rule is to order what you like! If the idea of a slightly sweet white wine with tropical fruit flavors turns you off, then skip the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc no matter how well it pairs with what you’re eating. Exceptional wine and food pairings can undoubtedly enhance any meal, but always remember that you are the ultimate arbiter of what you like!

Steal: 2013 CASA SETARO “DON VINCENZO,” Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio. $38. The grapes for this wine were grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in Italy’s Campania region. It’s got a great medium to full body and while there is some fruit to it, the main attraction is a wonderfully smoky note. It is hard to beat this level of complexity at this price point.
Deal: 2013 LA SPINETTA, Langhe Nebbiolo. $50. Generally, I’m not a big fan of running wine features, but when our rep brought this in as a sample I told her to send me a case and I’d figure out something to do with it. It presents the accepted nebbiolo notes of rose petals and some earthiness, but also shows very interesting notes of citrus, pine, and pineapple. This wine will have you scrambling for adjectives to describe all of the different aromas and flavors.
Unreal: 2004 CLARENDON HILLS ASTRALIS SYRAH, Australia. $448. While this is not our most expensive wine (that honor belongs to the Penfold’s Grange Syrah at $855.00), the Astralis Syrah is one of our best. Robert Parker once referred to the Astralis as one of “Australia’s greatest Syrah(s),”and his Wine Advocate rated the 2004 vintage 98 points. As far as what flavors to expect when drinking this wine, I’m not sure I have the necessary space here to outline everything! Very intense, the 2004 Astralis exhibits everything from blueberries, plums, cherries, violets, and blackberries; to pepper, smoke, and roasted meats; to vanilla and toasted oak. Best enjoyed over the course of a long meal, this wine will benefit from aeration and decanting.

Bottle Shop at Mancy’s Italian Grill

Tricia Rasar, Certified Specialist of Wine
Tricia Rasar, Certified Specialist of Wine

5453 Monroe St
419-824-2463 |

11am-8pm, Monday-Wednesday.
11am-9pm, Thursday.
11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday.
4-8pm, Sunday.

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving? Hexamer Spatburgunder Weissherbst and Titus Napa Valley Cabernet Franc.
What do you think the future holds for this industry changing? The future is bright! Millennials are now the largest purchasers and consumers of wine, and they are just getting started. They enjoy dining and socializing, which is great for on premise wine sales!
Do you have a guilty pleasure when it comes to wine? My guilty pleasure is vintage tawny port called Colheita.
When customers order wine with their meals, are there pairings that make you cringe? This isn’t exactly a meal pairing but the pairing of chocolate with dry red wine. It is a tannin and acid overload. It is usually the wine that suffers.
Who do you enjoy a bottle of wine with most frequently? I’m fortunate to have a family and large circle of friends who love wine, but my aunt (whom I am named after) is my partner in wine crime.

Steal: Le Hameau Sauvignon Blanc 9.99 and Paxis Red. $9.99.
Deal: Fattoria Fossili 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. $39.99.
Unreal: Bond Melbury Napa Valley Red. $649.99.

Rosie’s Italian Grille

Phil Barone, Owner.
Phil Barone, Owner.

606 N McCord Rd
419-866-5007 |

11:30am-9pm, Sunday-Thursday.
11:30am-10:30pm, Friday-Saturday.

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving? We will be having the Frank Family Zinfandel at our Thanksgiving dinner! It is a family favorite and will pair perfectly with my wife Betsy’s handmade ravioli and turkey dinner.
What’s the finest wine you’ve ever had? I would certainly say that is the Chateau Lafite Rothschild, a red blend from Bordeaux, France. I had so much fun drinking this wine that I giggled like a child. A great bottle of wine just makes you laugh sometimes. This wine came from my brother John’s wine cellar and was shared over a family dinner. I’ve never seen my father laugh so hard. We created some great memories over that special bottle of wine!
If you could share a bottle of wine with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be and what would you drink? That would be my mother, Rosie, who was a rockstar in her own right. My mom had a sweet tooth and loved the Asti Cinzano. I would give anything to share a bottle of wine and catch up with my mom.

Steal: Michael David Freak Show ($38/bottle)—This great wine is a red blend with flavors of ripe plum, caramel, and blackberry. It is both smooth and delicious!
Deal: On Wino Wednesday at Rosie’s any bottle of wine is an amazing deal! On Wednesdays, you get $10 off any bottle of wine $29 or more and $5 off any bottle of wine $28 or below (excluding house wines)! A particularly good deal is our Jordan Cabernet. With this special, it’s just $74 a bottle! This great wine comes to life with a hint of acidity and a slight fruity expression.
Unreal: The Opus One is an incredible wine. At $295 a bottle, it has notes of blueberries, blackberries, and a bit of a spicy finish.

There you have it. Get your holiday drink on!

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