Brittany Thompson Explores the Nauti Vine Winery
by Brittany Thompson
I love wine. I am a certified wino like most millennials. Since moving to Cleveland, my fiancé and I have spent many a weekend traversing Cleveland wine country near Lake Erie. This weekend, we jumped in my car, and headed to a new winery in the Akron/Canton area. This winery isn’t new to the market but they were new to us.
On Friday evening we headed to The Nauti Vine Winery on the Portage Lakes. We arrived around 8pm on Friday and it was packed. The parking lot was full and I was worried about where we would park our car. To my pleasant surprise, the winery offered complimentary valet parking. This was a much appreciated gesture since parking spaces were limited. We waltzed into the winery and were immediately hit the sounds of wine loves toasting to the weekend. It was Friday after all. We headed to the bar to place our order. Similar to most wineries, The Nauti Vine, only has bar service. My fiancé ordered a sangria (he loved it) and I tried two white wines plus a red wine. The Nauti Vine offers a tasting special that includes three wines plus a Nauti Vine wine glass for $5. I’ve been to a lot of wineries and this is hands down the best tasting deal I’ve experienced. I tried the following wines:
- Vino Amore: A rich butter chardonnay with heavy oak notes. I don’t normally drink Chardonnay but it was a hot Friday night and I thought I would give it a try. After one sip, I knew it wasn’t for me – there was too much butter. I was looking for something more cool and crisp
- Vista Terrazza: A light and refreshing Pinot Gris. This was the perfect wine for my Friday night. It was a dry white wine, that was cool and crisp. It fit the mood I was looking for perfectly.
- Grazie: A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. I found this wine a little too heavy for a hot Friday evening on the lake. I enjoyed it though and I’d love to add a bottle of this red to my collection for a rainy or cold evening. It would pair well with any type of red meat. Think grilled steak or a juicy burger straight off the grill.
Our evening wouldn’t have been complete without some light winery snacks. We ordered the soft pretzel which was served with the spicy mustard. This was hands down the spiciest mustard my sinuses have ever come into with, hands down. Don’t get me wrong it was absolutely delicious but I probably won’t need to clear out my sinuses for a few years. If you order the pretzel go easy on the mustard. We also ordered a mushroom flatbread (very thin crust; heavy cheese & a mix of mushrooms – we liked it but it was very rich) and the hummus platter. The hummus platter included three different hummus’ along with peppers, carrots, and celery.
The Nauti Vine has indoor seating plus three outdoor seating spaces. The first patio is right past the bar and overlooks a few vines and the lake. You can take the steps down to the lower patio which is right next to the dock of Portage Lake. Be careful when walking down to the lower patio as the steps are quite steep. The only downside that I could find to sitting in the lower patio is that you have to walk up and down to order your wine. When I went down to check out the lower patio there wasn’t a bartender serving the section. The third outdoor space is on the side of the parking lot and has a few covered picnic tables.
We enjoyed our Friday evening excursion to the Nauti Vine and I’m sure we’ll return again this summer. We ordered two glasses (Sangria & Pinot Gris), a flatbread, hummus platter, and pretzel. Our bill was $52 which isn’t bad for a Friday night date.
Brittany is a writer who moonlights as an account manager Monday - Friday. She's lived in Cleveland since 2015 and can't believe how much she loves the city. She spends her time drinking wine and finding the best happy hours all over the CLE. Follow her @uptownbrittany on twitter and btownyaknow on IG. You can also check out her website.