The hilly Colerain Township of Cincinnati’s West Side is easy to get lost in, but travel the winding roads long enough, and you’ll run across a place like Vinoklet Winery. With an eye on quality dining, this spot makes a line of its own wines and also features many high-end events and music. It’s a serene environment, lost in the foothills, with a warm fireplace and low-lit dining spaces. I can’t think of a nicer place to bring a date.
The wines steal the show. They generally mix grapes from several of the traditional genres and Among your best options:
- Cincinnatus: Merlot. It’s very dry but it has a nice body.
- Sunset Blush: The wine is made with Catawba, Vidal and Niagara grapes. It’s got a very sweet flavor, with a little bit of a citrus and fruit taste to it.
- In Vino Veritas: A desert white which almost reminds me of moscato. I love the taste, the Vidal Blanc grapes are especially good.
- La Dolce Vita: Also a sweet wine this one made with Chambourcin and Concord grapes according to the menu.
The grill of Vinoklet features a pretty decent variety of fine items, steak and seasoned salmon and others. Guests then grill their own cuts of meat over a large interior charcoal grill. There are some instructions for the time to grill each piece of meat, to get a rare, medium or well-done sear. Some people love this idea and others don’t. I think it’s a cool concept. The sides are good too, everything from the garlic mashed potatoes, the vegetable soup, and the fried goodies you get sometimes in the evenings, such as chicken tenders or fried pickles.
In all, the atmosphere is very romantic, with its spacious low-lit dining areas, the decorations, and the fireplace, it’s about the perfect place to take a date. It seems to bring in an older and more sophisticated clientele too, so dressing up a little might be recommended. There are also different events going on from night to night, with wine tastings, cigar nights, and a “grill to perfection” event that lets people sample from the aforementioned-self-serve grill experience and a buffet of very good foods. A $40 bill will also get you a bottle of one of the wines with the dinners. Really, about the most perfect for a date, and pretty economical too. It’s a real pleasant experience and a gem lost in the foothills of this great city. Definitely worth a try.
- The best deal is a regular Friday night special, the “Grill to Perfection” which is $40 for a grill-yourself meats and a buffet of good foods, along with a bottle of wine of your choice.
- There are also wine tasting nights if you’re interested in trying the different types.
- They also do weddings, and this is a great place for things like that.