Let me tell you a little bit about myself...I am not a wine aficionado. When tasting a wine, I can basically break it down into two categories with full certainity: 1. This one is good. or 2. This one is, like, so good. So obviously I don't consider myself to have a sophisticated palette by any means, but some things I do have...enthusiasm for learning new things, a desire to go to places I've never been before, and lastly, but possibly most importantly, a little bit of a crush on wine.
So this is what led me to the Short North's Camelot Cellars Wednesday night with Zach (the fiancé) for one of the best dates we've had in a while. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the space, dubbed an Urban Boutique Winery, was the atmosphere. It's cozy and rustic and modern and romantic and basically exactly what you want an Urban Boutique Winery to look and feel like. Look at these lights...
Beautiful, right? But I haven't even gotten to the best part yet. We chose this particular night to try out Camelot Cellars because there was a special event going on, Wine & Ice, featuring the shop's award-winning wines paired with local gourmet ice creams. And when you hear about something as perfect-sounding as that, you just say yes, am I right? At Wine & Ice, a mere $10 got us three wine samplings, each chosen to best complement their accompanying ice creams. First was a Piesporter (light and white) served with vanilla ice cream, then Port (a sweet red) paired with a peanut butter ice cream, and finally, a Spanish Rosé (light and fruity) with strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Now, you're going to think I'm crazy, but my favorite had to be the Piesporter with the vanilla- I know it's the "boring" choice, but it was sssooo refreshing. I was also very hot on this particular evening so I may be biased in terms of refreshment trumping all here...The Port with the peanut butter, as we were told by our gracious host of the evening, the winery's owner, Janine, was a nod to peanut butter and jelly, and the duo definitely had the same perfect rich/sweet balance of the classic combo. Finally, I really loved the Spanish Rosé. I wasn't able to try the strawberry cheesecake ice cream that came with it because I'm allergic to wheat, but Zach said this was definitely his favorite of the night.
Aside from just having a generally lovely visit, there are two things I learned about Camelot Cellars that make me really love them:
1. They are major supporters of local organizations and vendors. Ayars Family Farm, for example, provided the ice cream for Wine and Ice night, and I had not heard of the Mechanicsburg farm before this event, but now that I know about it, I will definitely look for them next time I'm at the grocery. If you want to try Ayars Family Farm ice cream (and trust me, you do), you can find them on the store list here, which includes Whole Foods, The Hills, and Weiland's, to name a few.
2. They're calendar is jam-packed with fun events like Wine and Ice. If you love a themed-event (and who the heck doesn't?) than you should definitely check out the full calendar of events here. Just tonight, Friday 8/16, they're hosting a Mini Spa Night with Square One Spa, featuring $15 mini spa treatments. Find out more about this event at Camelot Cellars' facebook page, here. Wine, manicures, and massages with a group of your best girlfriends? What could be more fun than that?
Thanks to Janine and the rest of the staff at Camelot Cellars! I had a great night and I will definitely be back!