WineMakers Guild's wine on premise process gives customers an opportunity to craft their own palatable wine creations away from home, avoiding disastrous wine spills that coat carpets and living-room wildlife in rose-colored speckles. In as little as 30 days, visitors can create their own personalized conversation-propelling elixirs with quality juice sourced from around the world. Over 100 tasty wine varieties are available to make, with 30–40 available for tasting at any given time. Your Groupon is good for 15 bottles of Green Apple Riesling or Blackberry Cabernet, or it can be applied toward the price of making any other varietal. A knowledgeable staff of vinologists assists customers at every step, ensuring a tasty blend that is ready to sample in four to eight weeks. Fermentation, racking, stabilization, and filtering all take place on-site, bypassing the need for purchasing winemaking equipment, messy clean-up, or complicated grape-squashing dance steps. The stress-free process yields 15–30 custom-labeled bottles of high-quality wine unsullied by sneaky fairies and even sneakier roommates who keep "mistaking" your wine stash for the Kool-Aid they store in a wine bottle next to it.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
Meza owners Tatjana and Jason Brown populate their shelves with more than 200 hand-selected domestic and imported wines, hosting casual wine-tasting events that cast the spotlight on five wines and light Italian tapas from Cardone's Restaurant. Ushering in libations from regions such as Napa, Sonoma, and Columbia Valley and international grape extracts from countries including Argentina, Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Australia, Friday-night wine tastings showcase an ever-changing cast of deliciously bottled characters. The Spanish Tasting—Hot New Wines event sends taste buds feet-first into zesty, citrusy whites such as verdejo and viura, and smoky reds from Rioja. Prime mouths for summer with Patio Pounders from the United States and stimulate palates and optical organs with the Amazing Aussie Wines with Cool Labels night, showcasing the rich varietals from Some Young Punks, which punch palates with labels such as The Squid's Fist and Passion Has Red Lips.
Tony Klausing traces his interest in winemaking back to watching his father prepare 1-gallon batches in the basement, where the inexperienced vintner would mix ingredients in the only method afforded to him: trial and error. Later, when Tony went on to open his own winery with the skills he learned, he decided to give it a name from a classic song, and landed on a shortened version of “Good Vibrations.” Now that he’s perfected his winemaking process, his wines bear the names of other favorite songs, acting like a mix tape that declares his crush on the craft.
Tony shares his ardor with the visitors to his storefront, where they’re greeted in a room with exposed brick and wood accents. The tasting bar encompasses a selection of more than 20 vintages, each of which pairs readily with available cheese plates. Clients can even charter the winery to produce wines of their own design that also bear custom labels.
Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades The Wine Guy Bistro, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.
Founded by world-class duo Igor and Svetlana Iskhakov, Dance Centre is dedicated to the empowerment and physical fitness of the everyday person via the art of dance. The studio features both high-level instruction for budding Baryshnikovs as well as a host of beginner-friendly classes in a variety of dance styles. Group classes consisting of as few as five pupils practice basic steps within the Gahanna facility's grand 6,000 square feet of studio space, the perfect place for dancing and drag racing floor buffers. Igor and Svetlana also host regular practice parties for their students, which present festive opportunities to show off new skills in a no-pressure social setting or mingle with accomplished star students.