I stumbled upon The Wine Spot early-on in my Cleveland experience. Mom and I were out house hunting last summer, and we noticed this wine and beer store was open on Sunday. A Sunday!
If you have never lived outside the state, you might be surprised to know that different states, nay different counties within those states, have different alcohol laws. We were moving to Cleveland from a state where, by default, all counties and municipalities are dry unless the local governments amend the laws to allow drinks of liquor (including high gravity beer) or wine to be sold at establishments or as retail. Fun fact: Jack Daniel’s is distilled in a dry county, so you can’t buy it there! Oh, and don’t get me started about the limited distributors and their monopolies!
Ohio, in contrast, does not restrict sales on Sunday. Hallelujah! And, we can purchase wine in grocery stores like civilized people. Interestingly, liquor is handled by the “Division of Liquor Control” through private businesses acting as its agent. The agents we have found are actually separate spaces within popular grocery stores designated for liquor sales only. But, I digress….
So, we found ourselves in a wine store on a Sunday afternoon. What to do, what to do….order a cheese and meat plate, of course (Figure)! The Wine Spot is a retail space for wine and beer, but they also emphasize tasting and socializing. There are a few couches and chairs in the back for lounging, and the front has a few high-top tables for noshing and people-watching while sipping. For parties, there is a separate tasting room that can be reserved. The Wine Spot does not have a full kitchen, so you can only order cheese and meats and the like, which is to be expected. The chalkboard announces the wine and beers available for consumption within the store, as well as a cocktail or two (although, they are not an agent and cannot sell liquor as retail). Also of note is the fact that The Wine Spot has agreements with local restaurants on Lee Road, which means you can BYOB or BYOW for dinner.
Overall, I really liked the experience of relaxing with a glass of wine and some cheese. Less satisfying for me is the retail aspect of the store. The wines and beers are of high quality, but not all of us what to grab a $50 bottle of wine (or more!) for a casual dinner. The selection of “everyday” wine is limited, which means I’ll be going to the grocery store for my wine purchases. But, for that late afternoon or evening stroll on Lee Road, I’ll be happy to pop in and check out the chalkboard for my next glass.