Friday Five 10.11.2019

I am so excited about today’s blog post. As you know, I LOVE booze, and a unwinding with a great glass of wine is one of my favorite things to do. I change my wine consumption with the season, and for me, fall means the reintroduction of gorgeous red wines to my collection. Today I have the honor of interviewing Lindsay Smith of Flight Cleveland ( a Best of Cleveland winner for 2019!!) for her recommendations of the 5 red wines you MUST try this fall. I’ve asked Lindsay for recommendations several times, and she’s had 100% success recommending wines I absolutely LOVE!

Lindsay has generously included her tasting notes as well and pricing, so if you’re in the Cleveland area, I hope you will stop by Flight Cleveland to get these. Incidentally, Flight is a great spot for a date night or for a general catch-up with friends night.

Here’s Lindsay:

My favorite reds for this fall are as follows:

In the bottle shop:

  • McNab Ridge Winery Pinotage, Mendocino County, California $19 | We love McNab Ridge because they are growing varietals in California that are uncommon. This wine is no exception! Pinotage is South Africa's signature varietal created back in 1925, and is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. It often produces a red wine with smoky, earthy flavors sometimes with tropical fruit notes, and has been criticized for smelling synthetic in poorly made versions of it. This wine bears none of that critic, in fact it's delicious! It shows notes of dark red fruits like raspberry, blackberry and plum, with hints of cocoa and spice in the background. It's the perfect cold weather sipper!

  • Scaia Paradiso, Veneto, Italy $20 | We land in Italy for this next wine, and our first impression was it's red wine season!!! This classic Veneto blend includes Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's soft and warm, with notes of Morello cherry, candied red berries, black pepper, liquorice and tobacco. We would suggest drinking this with hearty fall pasta dishes, grilled meats and vegetables, it is certain to please Italian red wine lovers!

  • Nicolas Idiart 1911, Pays d'Oc, France $17 | This wine represents a very special project, brought to life by Maison Idiart. Located right next to the Canal du Midi, in the village of Pezens, this small plot of land was planted in 1911. The vineyard has 14 different grapes varieties : Aramon Noir, Aramon Gris, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Vieux Carignan, Alicante, Malvoisie, Negrette, Portan, Mourvèdre, Aspiran, Carmenère, Terret Blanc. The blend is unique and full of the history. It deep and shows concentrated fruit flavors, but yet it is silky and soft with notes of cassis and minerality. It is a whole lot of wine for the price!

On our list (Editor’s note: these are available by the glass at Flight for you to try before you buy!)

  • Tenuta di Scerscé “Nettare” Rosso di Valtellina, Lombardy, Italy $25 | This younger, softer version of Nebbiolo is bright, with aromas of fresh cherry, rose petal and crushed rock. Wild strawberries, dark cherries, graphite minerality and hints of fennel play with graceful tannins in this easygoing, savory sipper. This is a lovely introduction to the Nebbiolo varietal, and quite different from the most famous wines made with Nebbiolo, Barolo and Barbaresco.

  • Elyse Winery “C’est Si Bon”, Sierra Foothills, California $23 | This classic Rhone blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, Counoise makes a delicious wine with the characteristics similar to a Cru Beaujolais- earth, spice, intense floral fruit, light body, vibrant acidity and soft tannins. C’est Si Bon means “It’s so good”, and it’s true!

Huge thanks to Lindsay for these recommendations!! I will be picking up a bottle of the Pays d'Oc and the Tenuta di Scerscé “Nettare” Rosso di Valtellina FOR SURE this fall! CHEERS FRIENDS!!!

If you’re in Cleveland (or visiting) and looking for something fun to do, keep scrolling for my shortlist of events coming up!

Checking out some of the gorgeous wines on the shelves at Flight Cleveland! Make sure you follow them on  Instagram  so you’re up to date on their events!

Checking out some of the gorgeous wines on the shelves at Flight Cleveland! Make sure you follow them on Instagram so you’re up to date on their events!


October 11th: Pop Life Soft Opening + High Vibes Pop Life's mission centers around community, love, art and yoga. General Admission will feature two floors of HIGH VIBE activities, including Aura Aura Photography, Chair Massage, Astrology Readings, Pop Life Manicures, Henna, and more!

October 14th: CIFF Comedy Short Films at JukeBox! The next CIFF isn’t until March/April 2020, but this event gives you just a little taste of one of my favorite parts of the festival - enjoy some laughs with some drinks and pierogies!

October 18th- 19th: Fall Arts Show at Screw Factory Artists Lofts. Over 50 artists are presenting their work including pottery, fragrance, photography and so much more.

October 24th: Lakewood Chocolate Walk. The 11th annual Chocolate Walk – hosted by LakewoodAlive and the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance (DLBA) – represents a popular autumn tradition with a devout following of chocolate fans from all over Northeast Ohio. Participants visit 25 shops and eateries in Downtown Lakewood that are Sweet Stops. This event is limited to 200 tickets and it always sells out.

October 24th: Christmas Ale First Pour at Great Lakes Brewery. This is practically an official Cleveland holiday. The bar opens at 11 and the first Christmas Ale will be poured at 11:30 am. Get in on the fun!

October 25th: The Best of CLE party hosted by Cleveland Magazine. This one sells out each year, so get your tickets ASAP. You can take 20% off your ticket order by using the promo code COVER2019. I will be attending this one since I was one of the cover girls for the October issue, more on that here.

November 3rd: The Big Taste of Fitness. Join Beauty Boost Cleveland and sample a series of 25-minute workouts by studios across the Cleveland area! I’m signed up for this and so excited to attend and experiment!

November 5th - 7th: Engage! Cleveland hosts its 2nd Annual Professional Development Week. This 3-day event includes valuable workshops on leadership, effective communication, career planning and so much more to help you grow not only personally, but professionally in Cleveland.

November 9th: The Standard Market is back, and Bombay Taxi Boutique will be back with new wearable crystal jewelry! This event is from 10 am - 5 pm at Stash Style in Rocky River. Additional details coming soon!

November 19th: Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Cleveland. This is an event for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, side-hustlers, dreamers and doers. WED Cleveland is bringing together a force of local women in business and nonprofit leadership to spark new ideas and build bridges of support and collaboration

If you’re looking for some fun, unique holiday events in Cleveland (that always sell out), head over to this post, and make sure you get plan ahead and get your tickets!

I will update this list each week. ENJOY!

If you are hosting an event and would like me to mention it, please email me using the Contact Page on my website. These events are sorted by date so please make sure your event has not already been included when you email me. Thanks!