901 Oak St, Columbus, OH 43205 Mon: Closed for Private Parties, Tues-Thurs: 4-10pm, Fri: 4-11pm, Sat: 11am-11pm, Sun: Closed (614) 441-8860

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Last Minute Wine Gift

Creating your own wine is exciting, expressive, and all about the experience. It is exciting to locally make, bottle and take home your own wine with a customized label. It is a great idea for a holiday gift! Creating wine for a special occasion is an experience. Handmade by you to add the perfect touch!

One person can make wine, or sixty people can make wine, as there is no required number of people! Set up a two-hour reservation with us by calling or emailing us. The day you arrive, one of our wine stewards will work with you and your group. You will be given an educational summary of the wines we have available to make, allowing you to choose six to sample. From the six samples, you can select however many wines you wish to make that day. After your decision about which wine(s) you are making is made, we will get our Winemaking Lab ready! You and your party will then move into our Winemaking Lab, aprons provided, and learn the hands-on process of primary fermentation from putting the juice into a bucket to getting the yeast activated. Once your wine is made, we will hold onto it for about 10-15 weeks, so our in-house winemakers can do their magic and get it ready for you to bottle! During your bottling, you get to choose a cap color to go with your personal label. After corking, capping and labeling, you get to take your wine home with you to enjoy!

To get a gift certificate, you can visit us or purchase it online by clicking here

To get more information and details about making your own wine, you can click here

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine. While the practice of wine tasting is as ancient as its production, a more formalized methodology has slowly become established from the 14th century onwards. Modern professional wine tasters such as sommeliers or buyers for retailers use a constantly evolving specialized terminology which is used to describe the range of perceived flavors, aromas and general characteristics of a wine. More informal, recreational tastings may use similar terminology, usually involving a much less analytical process for a more general, personal apprecation.

There are four recognized stages to wine tasting, appearance, “in glass” the aroma of the wine, “in mouth” sensations, and “finish” (aftertaste). These are combined in order to establish properties of wine which are complexity and character, potential (suitability for aging or drinking), and possible faults. A wine’s overall quality assessment, based on this examination, follows further careful description and comparison with recognized standards, both with respect to other wines in its price range and according to known factors pertaining to the region or vintage; if it is typical of the region or diverges in style; if it uses certain wine-making techniques, such as barrel fermentation or malolactic fermentation, or any other remarkable of unusual characteristics. Whereas wines are regularly tasted in isolation, a wine’s quality assessment is more objective when performed alongside several other wines, in what are known as tasting “flights”. Wines may be deliberately selected for their vintage (“horizontal” tasting) or proceed from a single winery (“vertical” tasting), to better compare vineyard and vintages, respectively. Alternatively, in order to promote an unbiased analysis, bottles and even glasses may be disguised in a “blind” tasting, to rule out any prejudicial of either vintage or winery.

At Camelot Cellars, we offer different ways to taste wine. We offer educational tastings, which are the Camelot Sampler and Camelot Sweet Mixer, each offers six different tastes from red, white to fruit wines. We also offer flights, we offer six different flights, each has three tastes which are more specific towards a kind of wine. We offer a single taste as well!

Ice Wine

Ice wine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing for a more concentrated grape juice to develop. The grapes' must is pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine. With ice wines, the freezing happens before the fermentation, not afterwards. Unlike the grapes from which other dessert wines are made, such as Sauternes, Tokaji, or Trockenbeerenauslese, ice wine grapes should not be affected by Botrytis cinerea or noble rot, at least not to any great degree. Only healthy grapes keep in good shape until the opportunity arises for an ice wine harvest, which in extreme cases can occur after the New Year, on a northern hemisphere calendar. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. When the grapes are free of Botrytis, they are said to come in "clean".

The secret to ice wine is processing frozen grapes at around 20 ºF. The frozen grapes are brought into the winery where they are transferred–thousands of hard, icy marbles–into a grape crusher and then into a grape press. Many heritage grape presses have broken under the pressure of attempting to press the concentrated grape sugar syrup out of frozen grapes. Only about 10–20% of the liquid in these frozen grapes is used for ice wine and because the juice is so sweet, it can take anywhere from 3–6 months–a long, slow, finicky fermentation–to make ice wine. When it’s all done, wines have around 10% ABV and a range of sweetness from around 160–220 g/L of RS.

At Camelot Cellars, our newest ice wine is Peach Ice Wine, which is a full of bright fresh picked peaches infused with our Riesling Ice Wine, a world-renown dessert wine with intense aromas and flavors of honey peach, citrus, and marmalade. Also, we offer Cabernet Franc Ice, a sweet and rich in texture with rose and salmon tints of color, this wine entices with irresistible aromas and flavors of honey, strawberry, and cranberry. Finally, we have Ice Wine Blend, a riesling, Vidal, and Gewürztraminer blend together to produce a silky, smooth full of melon, honey vanilla. Check our ice wines menu for more details by clicking here

Wines to Pair with Your Thanksgiving Meal

The most celebrated meal of the year deserves equally celebrated wines! We are excited to offer our recommendations for this year’s Thanksgiving table. The following are white, red, and fruit wines that are great to pair with your Thanksgiving meal!

For white wines, Australian Chardonnay is a medium-full bodied wine with rich, ripe fruit, plenty of oak & vanilla, it gives a buttery smooth mouth-feel. It pairs with cream based sauces & turkey.

German Mosel Valley Gewurztraminer is a refreshing, well-balanced with a delightful combination of strong, heady perfume, exotic lychee flavor & rich texture. It pairs with spicy meat & vegetable dishes.

Pacific Quartet consists of brilliant flavours of apple, stone fruit, lychee, rose pedals, and orange peel. It pairs perfectly with spicy & savory dishes.

Piesporter is a medium-dry soft, easy drinking white wine with delicate aromas and flavours of apple, pear, honey, and elderflowers.

For red wines, Chianti pairs tomato-based dishes. It's a dry, light-medium bodied wine with elegant flavours of cherries & blackberries with moderate acidity & spicy notes.

Italian Barbera is a medium-bodied with bright red fruit flavours of cherry and cranberry with a hint of spice and earthiness. Point Noir is a delicate wine with aromas of violet and luscious red fruit cherry, strawberry, and raspberry, silky & spicy. Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel is a dry, sturdy, vigorous red wine that is a very fruit-forward with flavours of black fruit, cherry, leather & spice.

For fruit wines, Cranberry Malbec is exquisitely tart & refreshing, cranberries are the perfect foil for the rich power of malbec's rich fruitiness. It pairs with grilled food and light fare.

White Cranberry Pinot Gris pairs with grilled vegetables, its bursting sweetness made white cranberry a unique and popular flavor in juice. Finally, the Pomegranate Zinfandel, the pomegranate's earthy, rich juice balances with zinfandel's slightly spicy robust grapes.

Holiday Cocktails

It's holiday season! So that probably means that you are celebrating (cheers!). We’ve got two flavorful cocktails featuring some our favorite local ingredients that are a must-try.

Here is all the information on what you would need to make your cocktail and how to do it:

Wine Blend

A wine blend is a wine made with a blend of several grape varieties. Blending is a traditional method of winemaking, and today there are several famous wine blends produced in classic winemaking regions. Just so you know, most wine blends are mixed together after the fermentation (and aging) is complete. When grapes are blended and fermented together it is called a field blend.

Blending is used to maximize the expression of a wine. It can enhance aromas, color, texture, body and finish, making it a more well-rounded and complex wine. If a wine doesn't have a strong scent, for example, a winemaker can add five percent of a more potent smelling grape and can experiment with different types of varietals coming from other vineyards. They could have been aged in oak barrels, fermented in various kinds of vessels or just harvested in different phases of ripeness.

In Argentina, the heart of most blends is Malbec. Merlot can be used to give the wine a better aroma and make it seem fresher or smoother. Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon are often added for structure or tannin concentration to make a more powerful wine. Creating the perfect blend also depends on the characteristics of the year and the expression of each grape. The possibility for combinations that result in a quality blend are endless.

At Camelot Cellars, we offer a variety of wine blends from white to red wine. A great white blend we offer is Pacific Quartet, which contains brilliant flavours of apple, stone fruit, lychee, rose petals and orange peel.

Nocturnal is a French red blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvédre and cinsault which delivers fruity plum, black raspberry and complex spicy flavors. California Mosaic Red are Merlot, Zinfandel, Petit Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blended together with aromas and flavors of juicy blackberry, raspberry and spice. Australian Fortitude is a powerful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot with aromas and flavors of black currant, plum, cherry and spice.

And many more where you can find under 'wines' on the homepage.

Wine Grapes

Technically, wine can be made with any fruit (i.e. apples, cranberries, plums, etc) but most wines are made with wine grapes. Wine grapes are not like the ones you find in the grocery store.
Wine grapes are smaller, sweeter, have thick skins, and contain seeds. There are over 1,300 wine grape varieties used in commercial production but only about 100 of these varieties make up 75% of the world's vineyards.

Wine grapes take an entire season to ripen and thus, wine is produced just once a year. This is where the term vintage comes from: “Vint” stands for “Winemaking” and “age” implies the year it was made.
So, when you see a vintage year listed on the label, that’s the year the grapes were picked and made into wine. The harvest season in the northern hemisphere (Europe, US) is from August–September and the harvest season in the southern hemisphere (Argentina, Australia) is from February–April. Today, the most planted wine grape in the world is the Cabernet Sauvignon ("cab-err-nay saw-vin-yon").

Camelot Cellars makes Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, a bold, fruit-forward style exploding with flavors of cherry, raspberry and black currant with a touch of oak. Another Cabernet Sauvignon we make is Lodi Ranch, which is a hearty red wine with classic flavors of black currants, cherry, oak, pepper and spice. These are great holiday food-pairing wines!

 

Wine Brings People Together

Wine has evolved as part of life, culture and diet since time immemorial. As an enduring cultural symbol of fine life, the role of wine has evolved over time, changing from an important source of nutrition to a cultural complement to food.

Wine, in general, is very much a lifestyle and one that innately brings people together. Where wine is present, people flock and knowledge and opinions are shared. It is here that the basics of human communication can be observed. Think about the last time you had a glass of wine with a friend. Surely, thoughts were relayed and insight was gained.

Whether enjoying a bottle during date night, saluting an achievement, finding refuge after a hard days work, or toasting around the table to the holidays, wine is best shared with others.

Camelot Cellars is all about the experience. People come here together for different kinds of experiences.  They come to tour our winery and see how we make our wines. People can also reserve a spot at the winery to hold any celebration they might have. Making your own wine is one of the great experiences you can have at Camelot Cellars and you can also customize your label. Camelot Cellars hosts great events on a weekly and monthly basis, from music to comedy to arts.

 

The Color of Wine

In general, the color of wine comes from the grapes used. Reds are usually made from purple or blue grapes, while whites are made from greener grapes. When fermenting red wine, winemakers usually include the skin and other parts of the fruit along with the wine juice, causing the wine to taste bolder and look darker. Red wine should be served in glasses with a larger bowl so the bold aromas and flavors can emerge through mingling with oxygen in the air.

White wines are made from only the fruit juice. The majority of white wines are lighter and have a crisper, more citrusy flavor compared to reds. White wines generally have less alcohol and fewer calories than reds. Wines aren’t just red or white, some unique wines are golden, pink, or even orange.

At Camelot Cellars, we have different wines ranging from whites to reds and varying shades of each kind.

Capital City Wine Trail

In a state like Ohio, which currently is home to over 200 wineries, sometimes we need a little help to find our next destination for food and, more importantly, drink.

Wine trails have been a tradition for about 35 years, giving states another way to market their beautiful landscapes and businesses. Ohio has 6 different wine trails to try, giving a set area to try wineries in. Camelot Cellars is on the Capital City wine trail, along with fourteen other wineries in the area. All of these trails are are set in a certain area and give a nice breadth of wine offered within the state, from Old World to New World and sweet to dry.

This December, the Capital City Wine Trail will be participating in the Stuff the Stocking Trail, which allows wine lovers a chance to sample wine and appetizers are the various wineries and also receive a stocking stuffed with wine related gifts. For more information and ticketing, click here. If you can't wait for December to start your adventure, you can find out more about our wine trail and the others that Ohio has to offer here.

The Golden Age of Wine

Improved production techniques in the 17th and 18th centuries resulted in the emergence of finer qualities of wine, glass bottles with corks began to be used, and the corkscrew was invented.

The French wine industry took off at this point, with particular recognition being given to the clarets of the Bordeaux region by merchants from the Low Countries, Germany, Ireland and Scandinavia. Bordeaux traded wine for coffee and other sought-after items from the New World, helping to cement the role of wine in emerging world trade.

While the 19th century is considered the golden age of wine for many regions, it was not without tragedy. Around 1863 many French vines suffered from a disease caused by the Phylloxera aphid, which sucked the juice out of the roots. When it was discovered that vines in America were resistant to Phylloxera, it was decided to plant American vines in affected French regions. This created hybrid grapes that produced a greater variety of wines.

Bordeaux is one of the notable French wine regions which produces the merlot grape. Here at Camelot Cellars, you can try our French Merlot which uses hybrid grapes from that region.

Tannins

While drinking wine, at one point or another you’ve probably heard someone refer to a its tannins, but you may not know what they are or why they matter. While you don’t really need to know what they are, knowing can help you better understand the wine you’re drinking and even why some wines give you a headache.

Tannins are naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems. The longer the skins, seeds and stems soak in the juice, the more tannin characteristics they will impart. Red wines get their color from these skins and as such the skins are left in longer. These compounds in the wine are what create the drying sensation in your mouth when you have a red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tannins are also a natural antioxidant which protects the wine. This is what makes red wines able to be aged for years, making the flavors even more complex than what they started with.

Some of our favorite wines with strong tannins are our Estate Barolo and Italian Montepulciano, which are both featured on our Italian Full Bodied Red flight.

 

Oak and Its Uses

Oak has many different uses in winemaking, from coloring the wine to imparting flavor characteristics that are imperative to the flavor that we know when trying a specific wine.

Many times, these effects are imparted by aging in oak barrels. These barrels allow a small amount of oxygen in that stabilizes the flavor of the wine and lest some of the wine evaporate, concentrating the wine’s flavor.  They also impart flavors of their own and bring out flavors of the wines; mainly vanilla, caramel, and spice notes in whites and mocha and toffee notes in reds. The two most used oaks in winemaking are American oak, which imparts a bolder flavor, and French oak, which gives a silkier and smoother flavor.

As technology advances, more and more wineries are using less barrels, which are costly and rather large, and finding alternatives to imparting these flavor characteristics to their wines. Many wineries now put oak chips or staves into their wines to simulate the contact with the wine a barrel would have. This practice was outlawed in the European Union until 2006!

Here at Camelot Cellars, we use a variety of oak chips to impart these flavors to many of our red wines, from our Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir to our Lodi Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, and to a selection of our Chardonnays.

Old World vs. New World Wine Culture

As we learn more about wine, we begin to hear terms such as Old World vs. New World.

Old World wines are very location driven. They are made to give the drinker a taste of the vineyard, the village, the country of origin. Old World wines are derived from the traditional wine growing regions of Europe and the Middle East. Their wines are usually named after the regions in which the grapes are grown because of what they call terroir, which refers to the soil the grapes are grown in and climate which grows them. They believe that these are the standout characteristics of the wine and as such give them more weight than the winemaker themselves. Old World wines are also usually made in more traditional manners, hand picked and barrel aged.

New World wines are a bit more personal in that they are more about the winemaker and their ability to produce a quality batch of wine. These wines come from all over: the USA, South Africa, Australia, Chile. The  winemaking processes are usually a bit more technological, having pulled away from the traditional styles and beginning to utilize more of the science behind wine making itself. While most Old World wines are named after the regions from which they come, New World wines usually are named after the varietal of grape that was used.

Camelot Cellars will be showcasing both Old World and New World wines tomorrow at the 18th Arthritis Foundation Wine and Dine, a food a wine tasting benefit for the Foundation. For more information about the event and/or ticket sales, click here.

Harvest Season

Also known as "The Crush," grape harvest season is upon us.

In the Northern Hemisphere, harvest season usually begins by the end of August usually ends by the beginning of October, with certain varietals being picked throughout the rest of autumn. It starts with picking, both by hand and with machines depending on the vineyard. There is some contention in the winemaking community about which is better, with machines being faster but hands being more gentle and discerning. Once the grapes are picked, they are moved to presses to extract the juices before being racked off into barrels or carboys to start the fermentation process to become wine.

We are in the midst of this season across Ohio, with different celebrations being held at the different wineries across the state culminating in a celebration of grapes and their place in Ohio's history with Geneva, Ohio's annual Grape Jamboree, held at the end of September.

Camelot Cellars will be celebrating the season at the 5th Annual Hops and Vines Festival in Gahanna, Ohio on September 22nd. The event will be supporting the Gahanna Parks and Recreation Services and will showcase local wineries, breweries, and distilleries. More information can be found here.

Wine Bottles

You have to love a glass wine bottle. Always perfectly shaped, sized, and handled.

The wine bottles we know and love didn't actually come to be made in a standard form until the 20th century.  They weren't even made of glass until the 17th century, when the coal burning furnace was invented. The first containers used were called amphorae, which were clay pots. Glass, in its first form, was far too thin and fragile to be trusted to hold any liquid, let alone wine. But as technological advances were made, many by the English,  the furnaces burned hotter and glass blowers were able to create sturdier, thicker walled, and darker bottles. These dark bottles were employed by winemakers, which protected their wines from ultraviolet rays. These advances allowed bottles to become standardized so they could be sold in stores, whereas before, the bottles were however large a lungful the glassblower could use.

Here at Camelot Cellars, we employ the use of the standard 750ml wine bottle and the 350ml bellisima to store over 50 different types of wine, all of which can be sampled at our tasting bar and can be personalized with any picture you can imagine on a label.

Columbus Summer Wine Festival

Mike Gallicchio Now, the Columbus based event firm behind many of the areas award-winning festivals, and CD102.5, the region’s largest independent radio station, are hosting the inaugural Columbus Summer Wine Festival, taking place on Saturday, August 25 at the Columbus Commons. The event, designed to showcase Ohio wines, will benefit the children's' charity CD102.5 for the Kids. This event not only wants to become the premiere celebration of Ohio wines but it also will help support the Ohio wine industry by providing a new opportunity to feature the state's grape industry.

We are definitely excited to come out to the inaugural Summer Wine Festival because it is being hosted right in our backyard and we want to represent our hometown! We will be sampling and selling bottles of a variety of our wines, including THE LAST FOUR CASES of our Peach Bellini, which has tasting notes of the popular Italian Bellini cocktail. For tickets and more information click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Sangria

Little is known about the origins of this Spanish drink. They cannot be pinpointed exactly, but early versions were popular in Spain, Greece, and England. The term sangria dates to the 18th century. It is generally believed to have been taken from the Spanish sangre (blood), in reference to the red color of the drink; some believe, however, that the word comes from Sanskrit via the Urdu sakkari (sugared wine). Sangaree, a predecessor drink to sangria that was served either hot or cold, likely originated in the Caribbean, and from there was introduced to mainland America, where it was common beginning in the American colonial era but largely disappeared in the United States by the early twentieth century. Sangria as an iced drink was reintroduced to the U.S. by the late 1940s through Hispanic Americans and Spanish restaurants, and enjoyed greater popularity with the 1964 World's Fair in New York.

Sangria is a very personal beverage and everyone has their own variations, adding various fruits and other liquors, such as brandy or triple sec. Here at Camelot Cellars, we have a limited run of Raspberry Peach Sangria, which mixes flavors of ripe raspberries and juicy peaches to create a refreshing and easy to drink wine. This wine can be found in the store and will also be featured at the Columbus Wine Festival on August 25th. More information on the festival and tickets can be found here.

 

 

 

Vintage Ohio Wine Festival

While Vintage Ohio by Ohio Wine Producers Association at Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio has truly grown to showcase more than just wine, the winemakers and their vintages draw more than 30,000 wine lovers to Lake County each August. Vintage Ohio is sponsored by the Ohio Wine Producers Association. It was named American Business Association ‘Top 100 Event in North America’ in 2001 and AGAIN IN 2005 and was named as one of the nation’s top wine and food events by ‘Wine Spectator,’ ‘USA Today’ for the past five years as well as by ‘Bon Appetit,’ Southwest Airlines in flight magazine, and many other national publications. Vintage Ohio is the premier wine, food, and family fun festival between the Appalachians and Rockies. It is the largest event of its kind in Ohio and offers a premier tasting opportunity for people to discover the award winning wines of Ohio. It is at this event that nearly 20 Ohio wineries produce over 150 varieties, and nowhere else are so many Ohio wines available at a single venue. In addition, Vintage Ohio hosts two stages of live jazz, blues, oldies, reggae, and rock music. Dozens of regional restaurants and caterers serve their finest cuisine.

This year at the 24th Annual Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, Camelot Cellars showcased ten different wines ranging from our Mosaic Blend, which blends together four different red grapes to give aromas and flavors of juicy blackberry, raspberry, and spice to our newest Dragonfruit Raspberry Shiraz, which has a beautiful blush color and flavors of dragonfruit and raspberry.

 

 

National Girlfriends Day

Today, we celebrate National Girlfriends Day, a day to thank the female friends that help us keep it all together. Whether it’s a relative, a best friend, a classmate, or a co-worker, these ladies make life brighter, fuller, and complete. National Girlfriends Day celebrates the unlimited ways life is better with our girlfriends in it. Today let your gal pals know just how much they mean to you—this one’s for the girls!

Bring your girls out after work for Wine Down Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm, where you can get five tastings for five dollars, or make it a girl's night out at Ladies Night from 6pm to 8pm for $5 glasses of wine and half off drafts and flights. Come enjoy our Rosè flight, featuring our new Pink Pinot Grigio, which is pale salmon pink in color with light apple, pear, floral and tropical fruit aromas, followed by an off-dry, crisp, light-body, with strawberry and rhubarb flavors.

If you can't come out tonight, make your own Ladies' Night! Saturdays feature $5 Wine Slushies or you can come tour our site and enjoy a tasting of some of our best selling wines with the girls. Come get pampered at our Wine & Mini Spa night on August 14th or have your fortune told on August 21st during our Wine & Psychic Night.

 

National Wine & Cheese Day

On July 25, we celebrate the ultimate pairing, wine and cheese. National Wine and Cheese Day provides an opportunity to sample some of our favorites in a social gathering or simply as a way to expand our palate.

The pairing of Wines and Cheese has a long tradition of being regionalized.  Across wine producing cultures, each will have traditional approaches to pairing their local wines and cheeses.  For example, the French Brie region has long been noted for its many tannic wine varietals such as Beaujolais as well as for its Brie cheese production.  That doesn’t stop a sommelier or cheesemonger from making recommendations to their clientele.  Sampling the complexities in sweetness and acidity and comparing them at a tasting makes for an enjoyable experience.

At Camelot Cellars we pair our White Zinfandel with an All Ohio Artisan Cheese Board.  The cheese board comes with an assortment of Ohio cheeses, fig jam, spiced nuts, grapes and baked Italian bread.

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE AND WINE- A PERFECT PAIR

Some say it can’t be done, pairing wine with chocolate, but if you choose the right wine to compliment the right chocolate it can be a remarkable pairing opportunity. Here are some tips:

Start off by keeping things simple. Pick a wine that is slightly sweeter than the chocolate you plan on eating. This allows the chocolate to take center-stage and the wine to play a supporting, complimentary role. With both wine and chocolate carrying their own distinctively intense flavors, you don’t want to have a dominance battle between the two. A good rule of thumb is chocolate first, wine second.

Try matching a lighter, more elegant flavor of chocolate with light-bodied wines. Similarly, the stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be.

If you plan on tasting multiple chocolates and wines throughout the night, like a wine tasting event, plan on moving from lighter chocolates and wines to a darker chocolate and fuller-bodied wine. Working from a light, white chocolate through milk and ending on the drier notes of dark chocolate you’ll avoid palate fatigue.

Be sure to reserve your spot for our chocolate and wine pairing happening Thursday, July 19th!

OHIO WINES

Ohio may be known as the Buckeye State with over six national championships in college football, but Ohio is also known for making some delicious wine in the wine industry.  There are over 260 wineries throughout the state.  The first grape varietals to be planted in Ohio were Catawba.  Ohio wines began in the early 1800s when a pioneer named Nicholas Longworth planted grapes around the Cincinnati region, right above the Ohio River.  Longworth’s efforts proved to be fruitful and by 1859 Ohio was the leading producer of wine. At this time, Ohio produced more wine than any other state in the country, and Cincinnati was the most important city in the national wine trade.  Although, this was short lived given crop disease, the Civil War and then Prohibition.  Many grape varietals grown today include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Noir. 

Ohio is the sixth largest producer of wine in the United States and the ninth largest producer of grapes.  The state produces a whopping 9.53 million gallons of wine.  There are 8,067 full-time jobs devoted to the Ohio’s wine industry, which helps support the 1.37 million tourists who visit Ohio to experience the state’s wine.

CAPITAL CITY WINE TRAIL

According to the Ohio Wine Trails Association- the Capital City Wine Trail offers something for every level of wine lover. Whether you are just beginning to discover the world of wine or consider yourself a connoisseur, the wineries in the heart of Ohio will make you feel welcome.  Camelot Cellars is honored to be a part of this trail.  What you will find at each location just might amaze you: friendly folks who approach their labor of love with a passion and an eagerness to share their knowledge of the historic profession of turning grapes into wine right here in Central Ohio. 

At some of the wineries you will find acres of wine grapes in rolling vineyards that serve as a backdrop while you sip their vintages on nearby picnic tables. At others, you will find comfortable tasting rooms and perhaps a cozy fireplace. Some winemakers welcome you into their home for a sampling of wine and cheeses. At several, you will find unusual gifts and ideas for your next wine tasting party. 
With each winery located within a short drive from Columbus, it is possible to visit two or three in a day and additionally explore the unique communities that surround them. The wineries you visit along this trail all have one goal: to pour a wine for you that will become your next favorite. So, grab a few friends or visiting family members and begin discovering the wines produced in the heart of Ohio. For more information on the Capital City Wine Trail, please visit Ohiowines.org.

Camelot Cellars offers a full tasting bar and handcrafting experience.  We allow our customers to handcraft their very own wine with us, bottle it up and take it home with a personalized label on it.  We also have many rental options available for parties, corporate team building and more! Our old-world rustic space is the perfect place to book your next event with us!

 

WINE SAMPLING: SMELL & TASTE

Smell: When you first start smelling wine, think big too small. Are there fruits? Think of broad categories first, i.e. citrus, orchard, or tropical fruits in whites or, when tasting reds, red fruits, blue fruits, or black fruits. Getting too specific or looking for one particular note can lead to frustration. Broadly, you can divide the nose of a wine into three primary categories:
• Primary Aromas are grape-derivative and include fruits, herbs, and floral notes.
• Secondary Aromas come from winemaking practices. The most common aromas are yeast-derivative and are most easy to spot in white wines: cheese rind, nut husk (almond, peanut), or stale beer.
• Tertiary Aromas come from aging, usually in bottle, or possibly in oak. These aromas are mostly savory: roasted nuts, baking spices, vanilla, autumn leaves, old tobacco, cured leather, cedar, and even coconut.
Taste: is how we use our tongues to observe the wine, but also, once you swallow the wine, the aromas may change because you’re receiving them retro-nasally.
• Taste: Our tongues can detect salty, sour, sweet, or bitter. All wines are going to have some sour, because grapes all inherently have some acid. This varies with climate and grape type. Some varieties are known for their bitterness (i.e. Pinot Grigio), and it manifests as a sort of light, pleasant tonic-water-type flavor. Some white table wines have a small portion of their grape sugars retained, and this adds natural sweetness. You can’t ever smell sweetness though, since only your tongue can detect it. Lastly, very few wines have a salty quality, but in some rare instances salty reds and whites exist.
• Texture: Your tongue can “touch” the wine and perceive its texture. Texture in wine is related to a few factors, but an increase in texture is almost always happens in a higher-alcohol, riper wine. Ethanol gives a wine texture because we perceive it as “richer” than water. We also can detect tannin with our tongue, which are that sand-paper or tongue-depressor drying sensation in red wines.
• Length: The taste of wine is also time-based, there is a beginning, middle (mid-palate) and end (finish). Ask yourself, how it takes until the wine isn’t with you anymore?

Be sure to stop by on Saturdays as we offer complimentary tours in which you can pair with a wine tasting! Reservations required!

WINE FESTIVAL SEASON IS HERE

Wine and food festivals are paradise for wine obsessives — they’re ideal opportunities to explore wine regions and styles, to taste through dozens, even hundreds of bottles.  Hundreds of food and wine festivals are held in the U.S. each year. Some, like the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, are decades-old events that attract foodies of all types. Others are first-time efforts in smaller towns.  No matter their size, a typical food and wine festival will feature tastings, pairings, demonstrations and “dine-arounds” held at local restaurants, often with regional wines.  Camelot Cellars participates in dozens of festivals each year throughout Ohio.  Here is a list of a few festivals we will be attending starting this weekend!

Friday, June 8th- Marysville Wine & Jazz Fest.

Friday, June 15th – Saturday, June 16th- Grove City Wine Fest

Saturday, June 23rd- Riverside Wine Festival

Saturday, June 23rd- Fayetteville’s Toast to Summer

Saturday, June 30th- Toast of Ohio

FARMERS' MARKETS AND WINE

Farmers' Markets give you a chance to get some of the best home grown food around. Shop from local farmers and businesses every week for seasonal vegetables, fruits and flowers, plants, baked goods, honey, sauces, oils and vinegars, beef, pork, eggs, wine and cheese. Enjoy cooking and wellness demonstrations, food trucks, live music and interactive kids’ crafts. 

Camelot Cellars is part of the Pearl Market, Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers’ Market and the Baltimore Farmers’ Market.  Last year was the first year that wineries could be in farmers’ markets and sell their wines!  According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Markets Directory, there are 313 reported markets in Ohio. As the interest in locally grown food has expanded, the market for locally produced wine has expanded as well.  One bill, House Bill 178 by state Rep. Nathan H. Manning, R-North Ridgeville, allowed wineries to obtain a license to sell wine at farmers markets. The wineries also could distribute samples at the markets to show off their products.

Another measure, House Bill 342 by state Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, allow wineries that make all of their wine from grapes grown on their own land to obtain an "Ohio Farm Winery" permit, making it easier for estate wineries to promote the fact that their wines are entirely locally grown.

 

THE HISTORY OF ROSÉ

In ancient times, red wines were more like rosé than the hearty, deep-hued and tannic red wines that we drink today.   Lighter colored wines were more desirable and considered to be of a higher quality than wines that would see longer skin contact and have darker hues.

A great example of this can be seen in Clarets – today, these Bordeaux style red wines are dry, dark in color, and present concentrated flavors.  In the Middle Ages, however, Claret wines (clairet in French) were actually light-bodied, fruity and easy drinking.

From about the 5th Century through to the Middle Ages, Champagne was producing still, pink colored wines made from Pinot Noir.  These wines were made to compete with popular red wines from Burgundy, but the climate of Champagne would result in grapes whose juice was low in sugar, high in acidity and thin-bodied.  In some cases, elderberries were added to improve the taste and darken the color of the wine.

 After Dom Pérignon was able to perfect the technique of making truly white wine from red grapes in the 17th Century, some of these “white wines” would be re-colored with red wine to produce rosé for those who still wished to consume pink wine.

At Camelot we bring in the juice that has been sitting with the grape skins for a certain amount of time.  The skin contact stays with the juice for a few hours and then strain the skins off which brings out the pink, blush, salmon color that you see.  Some of the aromas found in rosé include raspberry, strawberry, almond, banana, grapefruit and even cut hay.  Our California Sauvignon Blanc Rosé has tropical notes of pineapple and peach with raspberries and cherry. 

Rosés are not meant to be cellared. Rather, they should be consumed within one year for best quality. No excuses, drink up!

FRUIT WINE

The most basic definition of wine is an alcoholic drink produced by the fermentation of sugars in fruit.  Any fruit can be used to create wine but most of us are familiar with grapes being used in the wine making process.  Our fruit wines are slightly lower in alcohol content compared to a typical white or bold red wine.  All of the fruit wines at Camelot Cellars are handcrafted on site by taking a concentrated grape juice, imported from vineyards all over the world, and then adding a back sweetener of a fruit juice concentrate.  The back sweetener is added during the last stage of production, this allows for the flavor of the fruit to instantly be tasted when you take your first sip.  Our number one seller of fruit wine is the Green Apple Riesling.    

Fermentation 101

The natural fermentation process is what turns grape juice into an alcoholic beverage (wine). How does this chemical process work? It's pretty simple, really.

Grape juice is loaded with natural sugars. When a strain of yeast is added to the grape juice, the yeast consumes the juice's sugars, converting them into alcohol (more specifically, ethanol/ethyl alcohol) and the chemical by-product of carbon dioxide. Fermentation is an extremely important process in wine making - in fact, without it, wine cannot be produced. While fermentation is a natural process, it can be manipulated, delayed, paused, accelerated in many different ways - all of which will surely be reflected in the end result. The temperature and speed of fermentation can be controlled by the wine maker for the best effect, and other factors like the oxygen levels in the must/juice are also carefully monitored and considered. The fermentation process can happen in a stainless steel tank, as is most common today, or in a wine barrel or even individual bottle as the case may be.

At Camelot Cellars, we begin fermentation in our stainless steel tanks and glass carboys. 

THE CORK DEBATE!

Here at Camelot Cellars, we use synthetic corks to seal our wine bottles. For years, many have debated which cork is better, synthetic or natural? The natural cork has been in practice since the seventeenth century. In fact, it was first put into use by the famous champagne maker, Dom Perignon. The natural cork is associated with hundreds of years of tradition, elegance, and sophistication.
Cork comes from the bark of a specific species of oak tree found in the Mediterranean and Portugal. While they have an average lifespan of one hundred and fifty years, the cork can only be harvested every nine to twelve years, making this resource very valuable, especially since the number of wine bottles produced each year keeps rising. About seventeen billion bottles of wine are produced each year, and natural cork production just cannot meet that demand.
The response to the issue surrounding natural cork is synthetic cork. Synthetic corks have been serving nine percent of the annual wine production. The synthetic cork can be branded just as the natural cork can. Synthetic corks do not crumble or break inside the bottle and transmit no foreign odor to the wine. They are easy to withdraw from the bottles and replace natural corks within the wineries with no additional cost to convert to the synthetic product since they are mechanically the same device. This leaves them as the more trouble-free alternative.

LEGS FOR DAYS!

We often get the question at wine tastings, “What do legs in a wine mean?” Very valid question as some will stare intently at them as they swirl a wine, while others wonder, what are they looking for exactly? So what are legs? “Legs” in a wine glass are the tears that stream down the side of the glass after you swirl it. Some take special notice of these legs – are they fast or slow? Thick or thin? Whatever speed and shape they take, what does it even mean?

Well, we can tell you what it DOESN’T mean – the legs of a wine show you nothing of the wine’s quality. Legs are created in a glass by several different relationships between the liquid and the glass surface and between the water and alcohol components of the wine. The way the legs fall usually has to do with the level of alcohol in the wine and the speed at which it evaporates, which means, in easier terms, that thicker and slower legs can indicate a higher alcohol level. That said, sugar in wine can also lead to slower legs, so a sweet wine may showcase legs that slide down the glass more slowly. So, in short, watching the legs flow down a glass may be pretty, but won’t give you much insight into the wine. You can, however, guesstimate that heaver and thicker legs may equate to higher alcohol and/or a touch more sugar in your wine. So remember, legs have nothing to do with the quality of the wine and that very dry whites and reds have no residual sugar indicating it has no legs.

OUR WINE AND FOOD PAIRINGS 

Foodies love indulging in some of their favorite dishes as well as adventuring out and trying something new or unique.  Foodies also love finding some of the perfect pairings of food dishes and wines.  Here at Camelot Cellars, we partnered with Chef Ed Bisconti on our new Italian Gastropub, The Osteria, to offer made-from-scratch Italian dishes such as flatbreads, pastas and much more.  Our Osteria menu offers our hand selected wine pairings for an unforgettable combination and taste. 

Our truffle is house-made cavatelli, sautéed wild mushroom mix, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, drizzle of truffle oil, toasted garlic bread. Paired with our house-made wine, the Estate Barolo.  We chose the Barolo because the Nebbiolo grape grown in in the Piedmont Region of Italy gets its flavor profile from the soil.  The mushroom flavor of the wine pairs well with the mushrooms and a touch of truffle oil, as truffles are grown in the Piedmont Region as well. This is a perfect pairing of earthiness taste. 

Join our Chef and winemaker, as they walk you through a locally inspired wine pairing dinner. Learn as they explain the cooking methods used and how the wines enhance and complement the flavors of the artfully prepared courses. Seating is first come, first serve. Reservations can be made here.

 

 

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AND WINE, THE PERFECT COMBINATION!

 

It is everyone’s favorite time of the year! Girl Scout Cookies are back! The cookies are a sweet treat for both kids and adults, but we decided to add a little extra treat for the adults with our Girl Scout Cookie and Wine Pairing event coming up on Saturday, March 17th from 5:00p- 8:00p at our winery! Want to know what wine would go great with that box of Thin Mints or Sonoma’s?  Click here to buy your tickets and attend an educational event where we pair our favorite wines with our favorite cookies! And yes, we will have cookies and wine for sale!

Arguably the most famous and popular of all the Girl Scout Cookies, Thin Mints have that addictive quality that makes it way too easy to eat an entire box in a matter of minutes.  Chocolate and mint combine for a satisfying, oddly refreshing treat that chocolate lovers across the country go mad for! The only wine to drink with a distinguished cookie such as a Thin Mint is a deep, intense red blend tailored for chocolate pairings! We recommend one of our limited-edition wines, the Italian Barbera, which is a light to medium bodied red with notes of cherry and red fruit.  Most Italian wines get their flavor from the soil, so this wine has an earthiness taste to it.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy #tastebudtuesday! We are here again with #ColumbusCurdNerd. Today's pairing is Herve Mons Pyrenees with dried apricots paired with Camelot Cellars Pinot Grigio.

Pyrenees is a creamy and sweet semi-firm sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees region of France. It is made by Herve Mons, one of France’s top cheesemakers and affineurs. Upon tasting, Pyrenees melts in your mouth. It tastes of sweet cream. I like pairing this one with dried apricots. The bright acidity of the apricots cuts the creaminess and balances it out. 

The uniquely Italian version of the well known Pinot Gris grape, picked earlier in Italy than in all other regions and well before its characteristic loss of acidity at ripening, for a bright, crisp, dry white wine with a gentle perfume and a detectable spiciness. Fresh, fragrant and lively, its flavors include a certain flintiness with hints of citrus and almonds. The perfect pairing to enhance the intense flavors of the dried apricot but not over power the creamy delicateness of the Pyrenees.

 — at Camelot Cellars.

 

 

 

WE ARE PROUD TO BE PART OF OHIO PROUD

We are now part of Ohio Proud! Created in 1993, Ohio Proud is the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s marketing program that identifies and promotes food and agriculture that are made in Ohio and grown in Ohio. Agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry, contributing more than $105 billion to the state’s economy.  Consumer surveys indicate that those surveyed preferred to purchase an Ohio product over the national brand, and are willing to pay more for the local product.  Choosing Ohio Proud means you buy local products, support your local farmers, increase sales of Ohio companies, provide jobs to Ohioans and reinvest in Ohio’s Economy.  Consumer’s can identify us as an Ohio Proud member by seeing the Ohio Proud logo advertised on our website and other promotional material. 

Here, at Camelot, we source juice from all over the world and in Ohio to make our handcrafted wines.  The fermenting and filtering is done on site. The bottling process is done by hand which includes sanitizing the bottles, filling them with wine, corking and sealing the bottles and adding our own custom label.  We are proud to be one of the almost 300 wineries Ohio has to offer.  We even distribute our wine in over 200 stores throughout the state of Ohio.  

For more information on Ohio Proud, visit http://ohioproud.org/

Our newest collaboration blog with Michelle Vieira#tastebudtuesday We approached her a while back to start a wine and cheese blog since she is passionate about her cheese and we love to pair wine with food! Enjoy these February weekly wine and cheese pairings.

Happy #tastebudtuesday! Starting today, we will be collaborating on wine and cheese pairings with the @Columbuscurdnerd herself, Michelle Vieira!

We wanted to kick off our partnership with Michelle with a cheese that mirrors her mission and our's as winemakers. Windham is a cheese that was born in Vermont at Grafton Village Cheese, but really matured and became its own in Brooklyn at Crown Finish Caves. Crown Finish takes surplus milks from different creameries and ages cheeses in an old, re-purposed lagering tunnel from the 1800s underneath Brooklyn. In the cave, the cheese gets the opportunity to intermingle with all kinds of beneficial bacteria to form a wild, natural rind. Windham is a full-bodied raw milk cheddar that really takes on the taste of the terroir in Vermont. Upon tasting, there is a subtle taste of the grass the cows grazed on. We have paired Windham with local apple butter from Dutch Kitchens and sesame flatbreads from International Passport. Together, it creates a warm, cozy bite of toasty cinnamon.

As we kick off our weekly blog, Tastebud Tuesday, which pairs wine with cheese, it was a natural fit to have Michelle Vieira impart her cheese knowledge! Our Chilean Pinot Noir has a bright ruby color with delicate aromas of red berry flavours. Medium bodied and supple with a hint of herbiness, the mouth feel is very elegant with soft tannins and a subtle oak finish. Vibrant and food friendly. Windham cheese has a subtle flavor that is accentuated with the the local apple butter, which goes well with the elegant herbiness and natural spiciness of the Pinot Noir especially when adding in the apple butter!

If you are in Columbus, take the time to stop in and sample our wines with our very own select cheese board. We are looking forward to future tastebud tuesdays!