I decided to kill two birds with one stone and celebrate Valentine’s Day with Pat, my boyfriend, at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante in Harpersfield, Ohio on Sunday. We try not to make a big deal out of this holiday but it just happened to work out this way. And Pat was feeling the whole wine thing because he just watched Sideways.
The Ferrante family has been making wine since 1937. The winery originated in Collinwood, Ohio and moved to Harpersfield in 1979. Ten years later the restaurant opened to showcase the award-winning wines and construct the classic food and wine experience. Ferrante is one of the largest vineyards in Ohio and hosts events and live music all year.
We were greeted by a very friendly hostess and escorted to our table in the main dining room. The restaurant was bustling with couples and families enjoying the musical sounds of Joey Vanilli. Vanilli was nestled in the upper portion of the restaurant; the high ceilings helped his soulful jams radiate throughout the building.
The main dining room was lined with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the 65-acres of vineyards. The natural light illuminated the dining room, accenting the rustic Italian decorations.
Pat and I started our dinner with a glass each of Ice Wine. Pat had the Vidal Blanc Ice Wine and I had the Cabernet Franc Ice Wine. Of course we shared.
The Vidal Blanc Ice Wine is white, creamy, tastes like honey and is $8 for a 4-oz glass. The Cabernet Franc Ice Wine is red, velvety, tastes like berries and is $10 for a 4-oz glass. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Definitely.
Readers beware: a 375-mL bottle (about 1.5 cups) of Ferrante’s Ice Wine is between $29 and $35. The price is pretty standard for a bottle of Ice Wine from the Grand River Valley region of Northeast Ohio. The 8th Annual Ice Wine Festival is just around the corner, so stay tuned for more information about Ice Wines.
We splurged for dinner, conforming to the celebration of Valentine’s Day. I had the Vitello alla
Carciofo Limone, which is a really fancy way to say veal with artichoke hearts, proscuitto, mushrooms and capers in a white wine lemon butter glaze and served with pasta and a salad. It was $19, as veal is normally a little more expensive.
Pat isn’t too adventurous when it comes to food, so he stuck with a pizza. Both were very delicious.
We decided to try two more wines with dinner and that’s when things got interesting. I ordered a glass of White Catawba and Pat ordered a glass of Bianco, a white wine I have never heard of or tasted before. The waitress described it as “a very grapey smell and distinct taste.”
I found out on Sunday that very grapey means it smells like asphalt. Are you familiar with the smell of freshly paved roads? That is what this wine smelled like. The woman working in the wine tasting room warned us not to smell it and just drink it. We should have listened to her. It did taste delicious though.
We decided to try every wine on the menu to prolong our Valentine’s Day dinner. We started with the dry to medium dry and proceeded to medium sweet to sweet wines.
Dry to Medium Dry:
- Reserve Chardonnay
- Signature Series Chardonnay
- Signature Series Pinot Grigio
- Golden Bunches Dry Riesling
- Signature Series Gewurtztraminer
- Vino Della Casa White
- Reserved Red
- Cabernet Franc
- Pinot Noir
- Vino Della Casa Red
Medium Sweet to Sweet
- American Riesling
- Grand River Valley Riesling
- Vidal Blanc
- Jester’s Blush
- Pink Catawba
- Celebration Spice
Of all these wines we tried the Celebration Spice was my favorite. It tasted sweet and full of flavor…like pumpkin pie! It was an explosion of flavors in my mouth. I understand why it’s the last wine to taste on the sweet wine sample tray. I loved it so much I bought three bottles of it for $8 each. I have dubbed it the Christmas Ale of wines.
None of the other wines really stuck out to me too much. I know everyone has a different palette and prefers different tastes but I just don’t like dry wine. Especially Riesling. Maybe that will change one day. Until then, I’ll stick with my sweets.