Spring Forward…to a Cleveland Week of Wine

I always enjoy a sneak preview of really cool happenings, especially when a Champagne toast is involved. Facing the wicked wind and the first flurries of the season, I headed to the PlayhouseSquare offices of WVIZ/ideastream to hear the latest.

This spring, a group of civic-minded oenophiles will host a weeklong celebration of wine to take place in March 20-27, 2015. Cleveland Week of Wine will feature an extensive list of tastings, seminars and parties. Much like the well-established Cleveland Beer Week, there will be opportunities for local restaurants and businesses to participate under the umbrella of the larger event.

wkofwineBoard members of Cleveland Week of Wine, which will operate as a nonprofit organization, include Ed Thompkins of Heinen’s, Mary Grace Herrington of WVIZ, Daniel Greathouse of Heidelberg Distributing, George Schindler of Hospitality Restaurants, Terry Uhl of The Uhl Group and John Owen of Press Wine Bar. Christine Montague, director of Cleveland Beer Week, is also involved in the endeavor.

Heinen’s Ed Thompkins, president of Cleveland Week of Wine, acknowledged the long, successful partnership between Heinen’s and WVIZ as presenters of the World Series of Wine, and said Cleveland Week of Wine “will feel similar but will take things to the next level, focusing on winemaking, partnerships and Cleveland.”  The new, expanded event will be held in March which Thompkins explained is a much better time for winemakers since it is out of the harvest season.

Cleveland Week of Wine will kick off March 20-21 with Heinen’s/WVIZ Grand Tastings and Seminars at the new Cleveland Convention Center ballroom. Herrington, a downtown resident, is particularly thrilled the event will be in the heart of the city, saying “the new venue will allow the event to continue to grow, allowing greater capacity for attendees, and additional rooms and space for special events such as classes and special topic seminars. The previous event was maxed out on space and could not accommodate everyone who wanted to attend.”

Other planned events include a Barrel Tasting on March 25 at the new downtown Heinen’s store, and Champagne Under the Chandelier, a signature event focused on sparkling varieties, on March 27.

The timing of Cleveland Week of Wine will coincide with the 39th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival, providing even more reasons to head downtown to celebrate Cleveland’s expanding culinary, arts and culture scene.

I think we can all drink to that!

—Lisa Sands

Note: If you can’t wait until spring to get your wine buzz, find a list of local wine events here!