Shop local: buy Ohio wines

Debonne Riesling

Some very nice wines are made right here — in our own backyard. Ohio winemakers deserve our support as much as our local merchants and farmers. Here are three Rieslings that are great on their own, before a meal, or with lighter summer fare.

Ferrante (Harpersfield, Ohio) 2007 Golden Bunches Dry Riesling at $13 is one of the best wines being produced in the state. Last winter, when I served as a judge for a competition of the best Michigan and Ohio wines, this was one of the top wines! It is so good that you don’t need to qualify that statement by saying "for an Ohio wine." It has plenty of fruit and complexity. The wine goes well with chicken, fish or vegetarian dishes. It is not bone dry and its only sweetness comes from the ripeness of the fruit. I bought my bottle at Heinen’s in University Heights.

Kinkead Ridge (Ripley, Ohio) 2008 Reisling down along the Ohio River, is making some of the finest wines in Ohio. Many stores, including Whole Foods in University Heights, carry (or will order for you) their lineup of wines. This one runs around $12 and is very good. It is dry with lovely green apple flavors. This one works well with lighter foods, cheeses, and poultry, especially right off the grill.

For those who prefer a wine that’s a bit sweeter, look for the Debonné (Madison, Ohio) 2008 Riesling Reserve. Debonné wines have really improved in quality over the last few years. This wine is semi-sweet, making it cool choice for a warm summer evening. It has lovely peach and pineapple notes and pairs nicely with cheeses before a meal. It is also relatively low in alcohol. I bought my bottle for $11 at Zagara’s in Cleveland Heights.

Loren Sonkin lives in Cleveland Heights and writes for He welcomes your comments and suggestions at

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 1:40 PM, 06.23.2009