Wine Guide 2020

. November 1, 2020.
wine

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

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Jon Mickle, General Manager

Of the wines available at your business, what bottle is a…
Steal (great, low price): For $35 a bottle, our Giacomo Mori Chianti is hard to beat.  Often in a steakhouse, the go-to wine is Cabernet, but a nice tannic wine like a Chianti is a great pairing for a rich dinner like our Prime Ribeye.
Deal (amazing special): It’s not a specific wine, but we have a wine dinner coming up at the beginning of November.  We haven’t ironed out all of the details yet, but generally we feature a 6 or 7 course meal with wine pairings to accompany each course.  Our Sous Chef, Graydon, plans to go all out with a “Fall Harvest” theme this time around.
Unreal (your highest priced and best-tasting wine):  The 2015 Harlan Estate is a Bordeaux style red blend from Napa Valley that earned a rating of 100 from more than one publication.  Flavor and aroma profiles run the gamut from dark fruit, to crushed rocks, cured meats, and dried tobacco.  There’s a lot going on in this glass, and it’s on our menu for $1334.

If you have a private collection, what’s your favorite bottle?  My wife and I have been saving a bottle of Fratelli Revello Barolo from a trip we took to La Morra in Italy’s piedmont region a few years ago.  The best wines come with a story as well as tasting notes.  This bottle will be great whenever we open it, but the memories that it will evoke will be the best part.

What’s the best way to pick out a bottle of wine when you know nothing about the selection?  While a great food and wine pairing can be wonderful, I always say to start with what you know you like and proceed from there.  Also, if you’re truly unsure, any restaurant or wine shop you go to these days will have a wine steward, sommelier, or experienced server that will be able to make recommendations for you.

What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?  The old standby is that white wine goes with seafood, and red wine goes with red meat.  Sometimes I find that a creamy Chardonnay is an intriguing pairing with a nice filet mignon.

 

ToledoGQ_Gillig_KMiller-0172Gillig Winery

Photo: Matt Isley, Wine Maker
Answers provided by: Nikki Gillig, Owner/General Manager

Of the wines available at your business, what bottle is a…
Steal (great, low price): All of our fruit wines are extremely popular and are reasonably priced. Our most popular is Khaleesi, our easy drinking raspberry dragon fruit wine.
Deal (amazing special): I believe the majority of our white wines and red wines are a great deal. The majority of the grapes are sourced from California, but without California prices. High quality, but not high prices.
Unreal (your highest priced and best-tasting wine): Our Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is our highest priced wine and the highest quality. The grapes are sourced from Alexander Valley in California. Lovely with a nice steak dinner.

 

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving?
I love to serve our off-dry Riesling at Thanksgiving. This is a perfect wine that is not too dry and not too sweet. However, you have to be careful as it can get very sweet if you choose a “Late Harvest Riesling.” I would recommend an off-dry one for Thanksgiving as it pairs lovely with turkey.

What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
We love to do wine and food pairings here at Gillig Winery. We have every food item on our menu paired with one of our wines. My favorite pairing is our “Tickle Your Tastebuds” sandwich paired with our Gewurztraminer wine.

What’s a great pairing that readers would find surprising?
We love to pair wines with foods that people would normally not expect. For example, at one of our wine and food pairings we paired our Merlot with scallops. The reason why this worked so well is that the scallops were dressed with a balsamic glaze and served on hearty, cheesy polenta. It was absolutely delicious!

When did you first realize you loved wine?
Early on in our marriage, my husband, Trevor, and I loved to explore the wine world. When we began, over 20 years ago, we knew very little about wine. I loved learning the process in how wine was produced and how different wines pair with different foods. It really became part of our lifestyle. I learned that wine goes with anything and I love teaching and introducing others to the wine world.

When did you first realize you wanted a career related to wine?
I’ve always loved wine, but didn’t realize I could actually make a career out of it until 2009. Prior to owning the winery, I was a pharmacist. I really enjoyed being a pharmacist but had a passion for wine and knew I wanted to do something with it, just not sure what or how. What really got the idea in motion was when we were visiting a winery in Traverse City, MI in 2009, and we were having a conversation with the winery owners and how they owned and operated the winery. As we were leaving the winery, I told my husband, “That’s what I want to do! I want to own and operate a winery!” At the time he thought I was crazy to leave my career as a pharmacist, but with lots of research and determination, we made my dream a reality. Gillig Winery has been open since March 2016.

995116_538569326192598_2088170116_nBiaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

Courtney Barber, Managing Partner

Of the wines available at your business, what bottle is a…
Steal (great, low price): Cline “Old Vine” Red Zinfandel, $32.
Deal (amazing special): Prisoner Red Blend, $77.
Unreal (your highest priced and best-tasting wine): Caymus Cabernet, $120.

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving?
Z. Alexander Brown Red Blend— It’s smooth and fruity and pairs well with everything!

If you had to pick, would you rather drink only reds or only whites?
Whites.

Are boxed or canned wines worth trying?
Yes! They are a great value and you can try a few different varieties at one sitting (when at home) if your mood changes throughout the night.

What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
With our menu, our Sea Scallop Risotto with our Sea Sun Chardonnay.

When did you first realize you loved wine?
As soon as I took my first sip.

ToledoGQ_Joseph's_KMiller-1080Joseph’s Beverage Center

Chris Newton, Liquor Manager

 

Of the wines available at your business, what bottle is a…
Steal (great, low price): Imagery Cabernet or Chardonnay, 375ml for $4.99
Deal (amazing special): Chateau du Haut— Queray Red Bordeaux Superieur. Now $7.99, was $15.99.
Unreal (your highest priced and best-tasting wine): Bond Cabernet, $799.99.

 

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving?
Schloss Vollrads Riesling, $23.99.

If you had to pick, would you rather drink only reds or only whites?
Reds.

What is your least favorite wine trend?
Canned wines.

If you have a private collection, what’s your favorite bottle?
Chateau La Grande Roche Napa Cabernet

What is your favorite local winery?
Heineman’s.

What’s the best way to pick out a bottle of wine when you know nothing about the selection?
Ask one of our expert wine specialists.

Are boxed or canned wines worth trying?
Everyone should try them at least once.

Who would you most like to share a bottle of wine with?
My wife.

What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
Steak and a big, bold cabernet.

What bottle will you uncork to celebrate the end of 2020?
Veuve Clicquot.

Basil_Mike1_KMiller_WineGuide112019Basil Pizza & Wine Bar

Michael Gregg, Beverage Director/Sommelier

Of the wines available at your business, what bottle is a…
Steal (great, low price): We have a multitude of great value bottles at Basil, but if I’m forced to pick one (or two), I’d have to go with the Clos du Mont-Olivet Cotes du Rhone ($35, Rhone, France) and the Gorman Zachary’s Ladder Red Blend($60, Red Mountain, Washington). They are both fun, funky, peppery, and rich. And they both taste like they should be double the price.
Deal (amazing special): Visit us on Winesday (every Wednesday from 4pm-close), when every bottle is half-off!
Unreal (your highest priced and best-tasting wine): I take some issue with this question, because the highest priced bottle is rarely the best tasting bottle. Therefore, I will address the latter (and even then, taste is subjective!). Right now, I’m really enjoying the way that the Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir ($70) is drinking. It’s silky texture and gorgeous cherry spice notes make it a special treat.

 

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving?
You ask me this question every year, and every year I give the same answer: Champagne! Of course, my table will have 4-7 other bottles (Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Syrah…just to name a few), but Champagne is the one that will always be there!

What are your favorite, and least favorite, wine trends?
My favorite is the reduction of interference in the winemaking process. Wine is a gift from the earth; the less we do to it, the better it is! Which is a perfect segue into my least favorite trend: Bourbon/Whiskey barrel aging. It is pretty much the equivalent of dumping a bottle of vanilla extract into an otherwise perfect (or not so perfect) bottle of wine.

What’s a great pairing that readers would find surprising?
Riesling with anything! Many people still stigmatize Riesling due to Black Cat and Blue Nun hangovers, but the reality is that most Rieslings (especially from the Mosel and the Pfalz in Germany and Alsace, France) are bone-dry, dripping with stone-fruit flavors, intense minerality, and skull-crushing acidity. They pair with nearly everything. Forget what you thought you knew and give Riesling another chance!

What bottle will you uncork to celebrate the end of 2020?Anything that’s wet and contains alcohol.

ToledoGQ_HollywoodCasino_KMiller-0205Final Cut Steakhouse and Seafood, Hollywood Casino

Andrew Carter, Manager

 

Of the wines available at your business, what bottle is a…
Steal (great, low price): My favorite steal is Pecchenino San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogliani. $35.
Deal  (amazing special): The wine that I feel absolutely contends above its price point is Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. $100.
Unreal (your highest priced and best-tasting wine): We are very fortunate to have several wines in this category. First growth Bordeaux, Opus One, Hundred Acre, etc… we’re getting in both Harlan Estates and Bond this year which I am very excited about. This year I’ve had some fantastic Australian wines, so I find myself lingering by our Penfolds Grange. It’s a wine that changed the industry regarding both Australian wine and Shiraz. Penfolds Grange is $780.

 

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving?
Beaujolais Village! It’s an extremely food friendly wine that will pair with many of the different dishes on the table. Plus it’s an excuse for me to drink one of my absolute favorite styles of wine.

If you had to pick, would you rather drink only reds or whites?
This probably the toughest question for me to answer as it changes frequently, but now I would go with red. Red wine can go from light (Beaujolais Village, Dolcetto d’Alba, Pinot Noir) all the way to some of the biggest wines there are (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Tannat), so at least I would never get bored.

What are your favorite, and least favorite wine trends?
There are a lot of interesting wine trends out there now. Favorite— we are seeing more and more female winemakers in the industry which is something that I am very excited about. Least favorite– bourbon barrel wines.

What is your favorite local winery?
The one that I am most excited about is Gideon Owen Winery in Port Clinton. Due to COVID-19 I haven’t been able to go to many wineries this year, but I love the direction and the idea behind what they are doing. I am really looking forward to going there soon.

What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
While I love to play with new and unexpected pairings there’s nothing quite like the classics. There’s something to having Cabernet Sauvignon with Ribeye or Oysters with Chablis. One of my personal favorites is pasta with tomato sauce and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The tomatoes have so much acidity that they need a wine that can match that as well as be robust enough to handle some of the richer elements in the dish. It’s a simple pairing but it’s something I can come back to again and again.

When did you first realize you wanted a career related to wine?
I had been working in restaurants for awhile and I had always gravitated towards wine, but I never took it too seriously. Then I had the opportunity to work at a small winery in Michigan, which sounded fun and different. I had never considered a career related to wine, especially in the area, but working there changed that.

When did you first realize that you loved wine?
It was a cheap bottle of Chianti that started it for me. I got into an argument with a friend about the dryness of the wine and he was right. I can be competitive, so I started reading about wine to figure out why I was wrong… and I just kept going. 

What bottle will you uncork to celebrate the end of 2020?
My usual answer would be a bottle of Champagne, however after this year… I’m thinking Bourbon.

wineRosie’s Italian Grille

Phil Barone, Owner

Of the wines available at your business, what bottle is a…
Steal (great, low price): The Mettler Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, California is a great wine for the price. We offer glass pours for $12.95 and the bottle for $49. It may not be the cheapest wine on our wine list, but it has the best price for the taste.
Deal (amazing special):Every Wednesday we offer Wino Wednesday. All of our bottled wines $28 and under are $5 off and bottles $29 and up are $10 off.
Unreal (your highest priced and best-tasting wine):
One of our highest priced ones is the Caymus Cabernet from Napa, California. It is available on our Captain’s List by the bottle for $125. It is a very rich and fruity wine.

What is one bottle of wine you plan to have on the table at Thanksgiving?
For Thanksgiving, we have a tradition where my wife and daughters make handmade ravioli with red sauce for our first course. We will probably enjoy this dish with the Earthquake Zinfandel from California.

If you had to pick, would you rather drink only reds or only whites?
A full-bodied and dry red wine.

If you have a private collection, what’s your favorite bottle?
At Rosie’s we have the Captain’s List on our wine menu. This list is like my private collection that I offer to our guests. My favorite bottle would be the Frank Family Winston Hill Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

What is your favorite local winery?
One of my favorite local wineries is The Lumberyard Winery and Supply in Napoleon, Ohio. They have a nice selection there and we even take our food trucks out there from time to time, too.

What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
For white wine I would say any of our fresh catch fish (or Mahi Mahi when we have it in stock) prepared grenobloise style with the La Crema Chardonnay from Sonoma. For red wine I would have to say our baby lamb chops with the Caymus Cabernet from Napa, California.

What bottle will you uncork to celebrate the end of 2020?
After the year we have had I would need to break into the tequila. All kidding aside, if I would open up the most expensive bottle of wine we have at Rosie’s because we survived 2020. That would be the Joseph Phelps Insignia, which is a Bordeaux red blend from Napa Valley, California.