International wine dinners in the Heights

Taste on Lee Road has one of the most ambitious wine and food menus in the Heights area, combining the advantages of a wine bar with a full service restaurant. It also has a splendid program of events and wine tastings. Many of these are, for a nominal fee, basic tastings of five wines geared to a central theme. A Champagne tasting is scheduled for December. On occasion, Taste will also hold more elaborate wine dinners. 

I recently attended one such meal that featured the wines of Domaine Trimbach, a winery founded in 1626 in Alsace, France, and a region famous for its dry white wines. The guest speaker of the evening was Anne Trimbach, a 13th-generation family member who works at the winery. Her father, Pierre, is the current winemaker. Anne provided great insights and a charming presentation. The cost of this dinner was a reasonable $50. The five-course meal included five wines designed to pair with each course. My favorites were the 2007 Riesling and the surprisingly youthful 2002 Muscat. The food was excellent and showed great thought, both in its preparation and its design. Thanks to coowner and wine director Larry Weider for organizing this event.   

The regular wine menu at Taste is more than respectable. There is a decent menu featuring 8-10 wines by the glass, both red and white. The bottle selection is more complete with a nice mix of old standards and interesting wines to try. The service was excellent. If I had to find a complaint, it would be the lack of Ohio wines on the list. In this era of supporting local food and local establishments, I encourage everyone to include the area wineries in that endeavor. Taste, a neighborhood gem celebrating its first anniversary this month, is now on both my food and my wine radar.  Visit for future tastings.

Loren Sonkin lives in Cleveland Heights, is the winemaker for in California and writes for

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Volume 2, Issue 11, Posted 10:19 PM, 10.20.2009