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.
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.
Formerly an award-winning home brewer, Mike Byrne now oversees the award-winning Buckeye Lake Brewery’s handcrafted beer. Its rotating selection of six beers on tap, which range from a brown porter to an amber ale to a stout, fills growlers at the 42-seat pub. Along with Ohio wine, the brews complement the pub's panini sandwiches and pizza delivered from Pizza Cottage straight to the pub’s tables.
Among its accolades and titles, Weiland's has also been known for more than 40 years as the "Ultimate Meat Market" ever since the bar by that name closed down due to unshakable shame. Get your Henry the Eighth on during the summer grilling season with a fresh capon and accompany it with local cheeses such as Oakvale Gouda (produced about an hour away in London) or Ohio Blue Jacket Dairy's array of plain and flavored fromages. You can also buy local with Daisyfield pork from Sandusky or Weiland's very own salmon sausage. Otherwise, liven up your next summer cookout or paper-doll picnic with a selection of up to 25 kinds of fresh fish—including yellowfin tuna, certified organic salmon, domestic swordfish, and hand-cut catfish—and a side of fresh-baked bread or one of the seasonal pies from Columbus's own Just Pies. Gourmet groceries such as jellies, jams, chutneys, and sauces from Stonewall Kitchens, French lemonades, Madhouse Munchies, Talenti gelato, and more add a sophisticated touch to an unaccompanied cheese plate or barren hot dog. Prices and specials vary, but a recent special offered St. James Smokehouse smoked salmon in six all-natural flavors (including lemon, garlic, honey, and pastrami) for $7.35, with a pound of Genoa salami going for $4.99 at the deli.
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.
Brady Konya and Ryan Lang aren't from Ohio, but they loved the area for its business-friendly community and rich natural resources, and decided Columbus was where they had to build their distillery. The duo's passion for the Midwest colors everything about Middle West Spirits, from the name down to the Ohio-grown soft red winter wheat in their whiskey and award-winning vodka, which they also infuse with honey and vanilla beans or stone fruit. Inside the distillery, which sprawls over 10,000 square feet of open air, Brady and Ryan craft these artisan OYO spirits—named after the original word for the Ohio River Valley, pronounced o-y-o_—in 600-liter pot-and-column stills. Hand-built onsite by German craftsmen using copper, stainless steel, and bits of Saturn's rings, these stills earned Middle West Spirits a place on _Popular Mechanics' 5 of the World's Most-High-Tech Distilleries list.