A hungry girl's adventures in Cleveland and beyond.

Guest Post: Western Reserve Wines by Cooker Girl

Sarah is one of my very favorite bloggers. Not only is she sweet as can be, she always is cooking up something delicious in her kitchen. If you need a cake or other goodies for a party, she can provide a recipe or even bake it for you! Plus, she's got some great dance moves...
One of her goals for the year is to drink more wine. Um, I'd love to help with that! Here's one of the ways she is working on achieving her goal. 
I think you'll want to join her!

Hey everyone, remember me?  I'm Sarah from Cooker GirlWhile Crystal is on vacation, I'm hosting Eat*Drink*Cleveland for the day.  I am going to fill you in on my favorite wine shop, Western Reserve Wines in Solon.  They have a friendly and knowledgeable staff, wines from all over the world, bottles for every price range and weekly wine tastings.

I've always wanted to be a regular, but I don't really go anywhere on a regular basis (other than grocery shopping).  But recently I realized that I AM a regular at Western Reserve Wines.  I'm not there every week, but I'm there often enough that they know me.
Every Saturday Western Reserve Wines has a casual wine tasting.  By casual I mean, stop in anytime from 2-5pm and take yourself on a tour of the day's offerings.  Tasting notes are provided and the staff will tell you about each wine as they pour.  The tastings are $5 (cash), 5-7 wines are offered and cheese and crackers are provided.  Tastings must be paid in cash, but all other purchases can be done with a credit card.  Fairly often customers will bring in a bottle from their personal collection to share with other wine lovers at the tastings.  In the picture above, the bottle on the far right was from a personal collection.

If you can't make it on a Saturday, stop into the store during the week.  They might have a few bottles left open from the Saturday tasting, just ask and they'll let you sample for $0.25.

"We taste the bad ones so you don't have to!"
Every other month they do a 12 under $12 tasting which costs $10.  You sample 12 wines under $12, and for the next 2 months they are placed in a special section so the current selection is easy to find.  I love a good deal, especially for wine, so you'll usually find me at these tastings.  The 12 under $12 is always on the first Saturday of every other month, the next one is July 7th.

Kathi Hays and her staff are incredibly helpful.  When I have a dinner party, I go in and tell them my menu and my budget (less than $20/bottle).  They always come up with a great suggestion.  Western Reserve Wines will also track purchases for you.  It's perfect for when you can't remember a certain wine that you've bought in the past.  If you mention it, they'll even note what you were planning on serving with each wine so you can go back to that pairing again.

My tastes have changed a lot over the past few years.  I have learned so much about what I like and don't like just by trying lots of different wine.  If you sign up for their email list, you'll get notified about the weekly tastings (menu and tasting notes) and special events.  They have a champagne and sparkling wine tasting event in November that is not to be missed!

Western Reserve Wines has a box where you can drop off your corks to be recycled.  Or if you want to bring corks home for your latest Pinterest craft project, the corks are up for grabs.  When the box gets full, they send it off to be recycled and eventually it becomes cork flooring.

You can check out their website to browse a partial list of their inventory, or even sign up for a registry!  Any winos out there getting married soon?  Go ahead and register for Riedel crystal and the wine of the month club.  Western Reserve Wines also does private tastings after hours.  My mother-in-law and her friend are having a combined birthday party where we'll be doing a private tasting.  I'm really excited for this tasting party for obvious reasons, but also because I'll be catering the desserts!

My husband Kevin, me, Amanda, Crystal and Scott (Amanda's husband)
I definitely recommend stopping by the next time you need a bottle of wine!  And wine tasting is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, especially if you're killing time before a certain blogger's wedding reception.


Western Reserve Wines
28300 Miles Road (in the plaza next to Miles Market)