December 2018's Favorite - CLE Urban Winery Holiday Tasting

When I came up with the idea for the Founder’s Favorite tab I knew it would be difficult for many reasons ( first and foremost being that I am not a blogger ), but I am quickly learning HOW difficult it will be to choose a favorite experience each month!

December 2018 started off with a bang for Wine Taste Cleveland tasting opportunities and I am so thankful and fortunate to have been to SO many amazing events, choosing just one was seemingly impossible. I was able to sample Cristal with new friends from France, join one of Cleveland’s first wine tasting Meet Up groups, attend TWO Michael David tastings ( you can’t go wrong with these wines ), and head back to my “ole faithful”, Wine Bar in Rocky River, for some blind tastings. All of these were unique, educational, and led me to new friendships with some of the most interesting people in this city.

My absolute favorite experience this month however, was a somewhat impromptu VIP tasting at CLE Urban Winery in Cleveland Heights. I have crossed paths with CLE Urban’s owner, Destiny Burns, many times in our wine loving pursuit and this chick is a bad ass hustler if I have ever met one. Seriously, she’s my wine working idol. She invited me to their wine club holiday tasting on a Wednesday night before I was leaving at the crack of dawn for a work trip. My early morning flight and a million things going wrong that day almost made me miss this night, good thing they didn’t!

Destiny introduced me to the head wine maker, Dave Mazzone, after I unprofessionally crashed the party about an hour late ( still so sorry about that, those million different reasons mentioned above got in the way that night ). Dave informed me that he was going to be administering a tasting of their wines to some restaurant owners and invited me to jump in. Obvious no brainer. Dave was incredibly welcoming and laid back from the get go and his restaurant friends were equally rad, setting the tone for a fun night ahead.

I was under the impression we’d be tasting 7 or so wines, but ohhhh was I wrong. For two hours, Dave walked us through 20 different bomb ass wines. I mean bomb ass….not ONE was bad ( in my opinion, but I promise others would feel the same ). The gentlemen tasting with me were a BLAST and while we couldn’t enjoy full glasses of all 20 wines, we definitely did our best to fully sample each:) Rocking good time, of course. Our knowledge levels were all over the spectrum, but we knew we liked this wine and wanted to drink more of it!

Hearing how each wine was made, where the name came from, and how the labeling worked was icing on the cake. The best part of the evening was being able to sample wines that were still aging and comparing them in different phases of the wine making process. Dave, Destiny, and my new friends were so quick to welcome me into this tasting that would easily cost $100 per person anywhere on earth, and I had so much fun I forgot to take pictures of most of it. I can’t wait to promote the wines anywhere I go now, too!

Thank you to Dave, Destiny, and the dudes in this tasting group, you are now my first Founder’s Favorite and one for the books!

Let’s Swirl Some More!