Top 5 Wine Tastings This Week: Aug 15-21

Say goodbye forever to underwhelming grocery store wine: Cincinnati has plenty of locally owned, specialized wine shops that offer friendly help, great selection, and a full calendar of standing tasting dates—so you can have your wine and taste it too.

1. Oakley Wines
The best part about this no-frills shop—besides knowledgeable owners Joe and Lois Santangelo—is its price policy: No bottle goes for more than $19.99. Oakley Wines hosts a tasting with a generous new list of wines each week. Bonus trivia: You may recognize Joe’s name—he produces the Macy’s Music Festival. $5. Fri, 5–8 pm, 4027 Allston St. (at the corner of Minot), (513) 351-4392,

2. Market Wines
Market Wines is Findlay Market’s full-service wine shop, with more than 500 wines and wine accessories packed into its storefront space. Visit for one of their weekend tastings and then ramble over to Findlay for a snack. Sat and Sun, 11 am–3 pm; through summer: Tues 5–7 pm. 128 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, (513) 744-9888,

3. Ludlow Wines
Since the early 1960s, this shop has been a fixture in Clifton’s historic Gaslight District. They’ve recently expanded their sideline craft beer selection to include more than 150 labels and added a beer night to their weekly tasting schedule—whether this move is due to their love of all good drink or their proximity to a college campus, the world may never know. Wine tasting: Fri and Sat, 5 pm–8 pm; beer tasting: Sat 5 pm–8 pm. 339 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, (513) 751-3727,

4. The Wine List
This West Chester shop has two levels of wine tastings to choose from: weekend events with a per-pour price and monthly in-depth meetings with local industry professionals. You’ll also find plenty of specialty beers, gourmet foods, coffees, and sweets. Fri 4–8 pm and Sat noon–6 pm, $2 per 2oz. pour (limit 4) or a flight of four pours starting at $8. Monthly tasting: Last Wed of each month. $25. 7659 Cox Ln., West Chester, (513) 755-3300,

5. City Cellars
City Cellars’ weekly “Thank Grapes It’s Tuesday” event adds a little festivity to the average tasting itinerary. The standard cheese-and-crackers combo will be on hand, pizza is available for purchase, and live music rounds out the evening. $8 for four selections. Tues 5:30 pm–7:30 pm. 908 Race St., downtown, (513) 621-9463,

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