La Cave du Vin, A local treat for wine lovers
The Heights wine scene is fortunate to have several wine bars. The oldest is La Cave du Vin on the corner of Coventry and Euclid Heights. It offers an assortment of wine and beer from around the world, and a limited food menu. Many wines are available by the taste, glass or bottle; others only by the bottle.
I began with a glass of 2005 Laurenz Gruner Veltliner from Austria. The wine was crisp and delicious with flavors of minerals, lime and a pinch of white pepper. I tasted three wines from Portugal, each a healthy 2-ounce pour. The 2006 Urban, made from a Spanish Tempranillo grape, was luscious and full bodied with complex cherry fruit. The Irreverante, made from Touriga Nacional grapes grown by a co-op in Portugal, is light and easy to drink. Its bright acidity goes well with food. The last, Aliança Terra Boa Old Vines, unfortunately, came from an off bottle, but I was not charged for it.
Erich Lasher, La Cave’s proprietor, recommended one more wine to taste. Chateau L8 0Escalle from Bordeaux (2005), at $12 a bottle, is a serious wine with lots of cassis, cherry, vanilla and even cocoa nuances—rich, ripe and very good.
Two great things about wine bars—tasting wines in a pleasant setting without buying the whole bottle, and the bartender has actually tasted most of the wines and can give you reliable recommendations. Find a wine you like and buy a bottle to go, or have your local vintner order one for you.
Walking down the stairs into La Cave is like walking into a cellar in Europe—a metaphorical trip to a place where you can taste wines and enjoy lively conversation. Cleveland Heights is lucky to have this one close by.