Why? M Cellars!

It’s no secret that I love visiting Ohio wine country, especially M Cellars. Not only are they a small business that is relentlessly committed to quality, they are also committed to supporting other local small businesses in the products they use in their tasting room. To put in simply, they’re doing it right and putting out tremendous wines in the process.

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I recently had a chance to talk with Matt and Tara Meineke about what makes M Cellars so special. First, if you have the chance to visit the winery and meet Matt and Tara, you’ll instantly see why I vibe so much with M Cellars. They’re a young couple who took on this passion project and are balancing the business along with raising two young girls, making time for each other, and just being charming, lovely people to talk to.

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The vision for M Cellars started on Matt and Tara’s trips to Niagara on the Lake. They fell in love not only with the wineries, but with the wine-making styles they discovered in that region. Matt started experimenting with making wine at home and in 2007, they were able to acquire the land to start M Cellars. They planted grapes with the guidance of the agriculture program at Ohio State University and, since 2015, M Cellars wines have been crafted entirely with grapes grown on site.

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M Cellars is truly a labor of love and a family business. You’ll find Matt down in the cellar making the wine or out and about talking to wholesale buyers to increase M Cellars footprint.

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And you’ll find Tara behind the counter at the tasting room or sharing M Cellars’ story on social media. They’ve taken their personalities, passions, and strengths and poured them into different aspects of the business to make it work.

Matt and Tara pride themselves on M Cellars offering something distinctive and different than the typical Ohio wines. Through their years in business, they have stayed true to that mission, not trying to overreach, but rather excelling in their niche.

One of the distinctive varieties of wines you can find at M Cellars are sparkling wines, which are not typical for Ohio vineyards. Sparkling wines are labor-intensive, but Matt and Tara have a passion for them and work to produce some amazing ones, including the Brut Rosé, which is my favorite of the wines that M Cellars offers (maybe…I really like the Meritage too…and the Pinot Noir.)

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There are many ways you can experience the distinctive difference of M Cellars wines. You can visit the tasting room, which is cozy and homey and gives you the opportunity to try and buy several varieties of M Cellars wine.

You can visit one of the several fabulous Cleveland-area restaurants and bars that carry M Cellars wine, including Urban Farmer, Quintana’s Speakeasy and Bar, Adega, Table 45, Lola, The Flying Fig, Toast, Spice Kitchen and Bar, Craft Collective, Beach Club Bistro, and Bistro 83.

Or you can join one of M Cellars’ wine clubs, which offer everything from bottles shipped to you monthly to more hands-on, tasting-room driven clubs with exclusive events and tastings.

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You’ve heard me mention M Cellars a lot on the blog and it’s because I’ve never failed to have a stellar experience whether in the tasting room or enjoying one of their wines at home. But getting to know Matt and Tara has only increased my love for the winery. There’s nothing better than supporting a small, local business that is committed to quality, to growing and strengthening the region, and to having fun while doing it.

Cheers to M Cellars!

***Disclosure: I was asked to tell M Cellars story. In exchange, I received complimentary wine. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

This weekend recap could also be titled “How I spent most of my weekend in Tremont…”

Great Big Home and Garden Show

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I checked out the opening day of the Great Big Home & Garden Show at the I-X Center.

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We especially enjoyed checking out the Garden Showcase and getting a breath of spring in January!

This year’s gardens are themed on One-Tank Trips and showed off a lot of creativity in imagining nearby destinations in gardens.

From model homes to ways to decorate both the inside and outside of your house, there’s something interesting for everyone to find at the Great Big Home & Garden Show!

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The show runs through Sunday, February 9. You can save $1 off your online ticket purchase with code CLE2020.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home & Garden Show. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the show.***

Prosperity Social Club and Literary Tavern

On Friday night, I was out and about in Tremont with friends for dinner and drinks. We started at Prosperity Social Club, which offers great food and drinks in a casual atmosphere.

 

I had the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned (yum) and the fried chicken (double yum.) The chicken was crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, and paired perfectly with the mashed potatoes.

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Simple, classic, delicious food in an easy-going setting. Sounds like the perfect place to end the week!

From there, we headed over to Literary Tavern. This cozy bar serves up craft cocktails and small plates in an intimate environment.

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I enjoyed the Blood Fountain, with OYO Bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and red wine. Both the taste and presentation of this drink are spot on!

Game of Thrones Bar Crawl

On Saturday, it was back to Tremont for the Game of Thrones Bar Crawl to benefit A Special Wish Cleveland. When you registered for the crawl, you picked a house (Targaryen for us) and then went from bar to bar with your house.

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From The Treehouse to Post 58 to Crust to the South Side to Dante, we covered a lot of ground on the Tremont bar scene.

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And it was all for a good cause! What a fun way to spend the afternoon!

Children’s Theater Series

Before the bar crawl, Jeffrey, my mom, and I attended another of the Children’s Theater Series shows at Playhouse Square.

This show was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites,” presented by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. This puppet-based theater company did a lovely job presenting these classic stories in a bright, engaging way.

The Children’s Theatre Series is a great way to introduce your child to live theater in a friendly way, with shows that speak directly to them.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Chocolate Fest Cleveland!

As Valentine’s Day approaches, thoughts naturally turn to flowers and date nights and…CHOCOLATE! No matter what your status, you’re probably in a committed relationship with this decadent sweet.

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Which is why Chocolate Fest Cleveland is happening at the perfect time to extend the celebration of this sweet season. Put on by Taste CLE, the event takes place on Saturday, March 14 at Lago Custom Events.

Chocolate Fest Cleveland includes chocolate samples, wine and chocolate pairings, classes including truffle-making and more, a chocolate martini bar, craft beer, wine, and food.

General admission price for the first 100 tickets is only $35 and includes 14 sample tickets, 2 alcohol tickets, a sample bag, pizza, and snacks. The price increases to $40 after the first 100 tickets are sold through March 8.

Tickets are on sale online. You won’t want to miss this decadently delicious event!

***Disclosure: I have a partnership with Taste CLE, for which I receive a portion of ticket sales from the link in this post. I will also receive two complimentary tickets to Chocolate Fest Cleveland if I reach a certain number of ticket sales. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Monster Jam Triple Threat Series Giveaway!

Being the mom of a boy has brought with it some new interests for me. I am better versed on superheroes and more adept at LEGOs than I ever thought I’d be. One of those new interests is, of course, large vehicles.

Which brings me to the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series, coming to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse with four shows on Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16.

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Monster Jam events feature larger-than-life trucks driven by world-class athletes. Monster Jam has some of the most loyal fans in motor sports, who come back time again for unscripted, adrenaline-packed action.

Plus, at the end of every event, there is a fan vote to determine the champions. You truly become part of the action at an event that is fun for the whole family.

 

Scheduled trucks for the Cleveland shows include Grave Digger, MAX-D, El Toro Loco, and more.

Monster Jam Triple Threat Series tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win 4 tickets to the show on Sunday, February 16 at 6:30pm. Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me who you’d take to the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series.

2. Visit Monster Jam and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both page.

3. Hop over to my Instagram page for additional entries.

4. Follow @MonsterJam and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win #MonsterJamCleveland tickets from @MonsterJam and @WhyCLE #giveaway #mjcle https://whycle.com/2020/01/29/why-monster-jam-triple-threat-series-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, February 2 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun and busy weekend, so let’s get right to it…

Quintana’s Speakeasy

On Friday afternoon, Mariah and I slipped away for an afternoon cocktail at Quintana’s Speakeasy.

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Tucked upstairs from Quintana’s Barber Shop, the speakeasy has all the atmosphere of stepping back in time, including a secret entrance (nope, you have to figure it out for yourself.)

I had the What Do Wine Know?, with house mulled wine, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and soda. I love mulled wine and this was a refreshing twist on it!

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I can’t wait to go back and try more delicious drinks in this super intimate location!

Upward Basketball League

On Saturday morning, Jeffrey had his first game with his Lil Cowboys team as part of the Upward Sports basketball league.

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From the announcement of each player, complete with a tunnel to run through…

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…to the fun of the actual game…

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Jeffrey loved every minute!

I’ve been really impressed with the Upward league’s focus not only on skills, but also sportsmanship and character building. It’s going to be a great season for the Lil Cowboys!

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

From there, it was off to a birthday party at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.

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The museum has really grown since it’s opening, adding new exhibits like Meadow (for little ones), Playlist, Theater, and Brick Works.

If you saw a group of crazed almost six-year-old boys tearing through the museum, that was our group!

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Jeffrey and I rounded out our Saturday with a Cavs game with the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter.

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We had a reception in one of the new banquet rooms at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, complete with awesome views of downtown and delicious food.

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And while we only made it until halftime (it was a long, busy day), we loved watching all the NBA action!

Catholic Schools Week

On Sunday, we kicked off Catholic Schools Week with a Mass and open house at Gesu Catholic School.

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I can’t believe just last year, Jeffrey went to the open house as a prospective student and now he’s showing off his Kindergarten classroom and projects.

His teachers are just wonderful and I’ve been so happy with his progress this year! I also just love being part of such a warm, caring community.

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So, that was the weekend. Lots of good time with my favorite kiddo (and a little mom break too!) How was your weekend?

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Why? Masthead Brewing!

Last night, Alicia and I grabbed a casual and yummy dinner at Masthead Brewing before heading over to the Hanna Theatre for a show. While you wouldn’t necessarily think of Masthead for a pre-show meal, it’s within a short walk or an inexpensive Uber ride to the theaters.

While I know I like Masthead’s craft beers (the Single Origin Coffee Stout and Falling Fruit are my favorites currently on tap there), I opted for a cocktail last night. I had the Bourbon Jam, with Watershed Bourbon, Grand Marnier, orange bitters, orange juice and raspberry preserves.

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Sweet, but not too sweet, this cocktail was right up my alley!

Alicia and I shared the new-to-the-menu Meatball Pizza, with crushed red pepper, red sauce, and fresh basil.

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I love Masthead’s thin-crust pies and this one is packed with traditional Italian goodness!

We also shared the Brussel Sprouts, with Ohio apples, roasted shallots, bacon, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Because we felt better about devouring the pizza with some vegetables nearby.

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Actual footage of me devouring the pizza

We also shared the Everything Pretzel, with pimento cheese, stadium mustard, and IPA honey mustard (my favorite of the dips.)

Then it was off to see “The Office! A Musical Parody” at the Hanna Theatre. The show was funny and light and a great tribute to the sitcom we loved.

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Masthead made the perfect casual stop before this casual show. Next time you’re in the area, grab a pizza and a beer and enjoy! And Masthead is celebrating their Third Anniversary Party tomorrow, so drop in and celebrate!

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Why? Great Big Home and Garden Show Giveaway!

Does this weather have you dreaming of spring? Nothing gets you more in the mood for spring than seeing some beautiful gardens and starting to think about home projects to complete when the weather warms up. Which is where the annual Great Big Home and Garden Show comes in!

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Click here for tickets

 

From January 31-February 9, the I-X Center will be filled with exhibitors ready to inspire and help complete any home or garden project. You can find professionals to hire, buy products, or just get some inspiration.

There are feature homes that focus on tiny footprints and outdoor living.

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There is the Garden Showcase, which is sure to be creative and fun, with this year’s theme of “One Tank Trips.” Not only will you get inspiration for your garden, you’ll get travel inspiration. Plus, you can dine amidst the gardens at the full-service I-X Bistro.

Garden Showcase Ohio Landscape Association

There are also local and national celebrity guests on both the Main Stage and the Loretta Paganini Cooking Stage, including Laura Leboutillier from “Garden Answer” and local blogger Kristin Gambaccini of “Perfectly Distressed.”

There’s something for all ages at the Great Big Home and Garden Show, with the Playground World KidZone and Home Depot Kids’ Workshops to engage even the youngest home improvement enthusiast.

Tickets are on sale now online. Adult tickets (ages 13+) are $13 online and child tickets (ages 6-12) are $5 online. You can also save $3 on your ticket order with code CLE2020.

Or, you can enter to win two general admission tickets to the Great Big Home and Garden Show, good for any day of the show, right here!

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each entry):

1. Leave a comment here telling me what home project you’re hoping to undertake this spring.

2. Visit the Great Big Home and Garden Show and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hop over to my Instagram page and complete an entry on the Great Big Home and Garden Show image.

4. Follow @GreatBigShow and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win tickets to the @GreatBigShow from @WhyCLE #giveaway #clevelandhomeshow #greatbighomeandgardenshow https://whycle.com/2020/01/22/why-great-big-home-and-garden-show-giveaway-9

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Saturday, January 25 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home and Garden Show. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary tickets for myself, as well as 2 tickets to give away and a discount code to share. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend around here, which was much needed after a busy week and an aversion to going out in the blustery winter weather…

Salted Dough

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I met up with my parents to check out the newly-opened Salted Dough in Broadview Heights.

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From the same owner as Crust in Tremont, Salted Dough serves up pizzas and a handful of other Italian dishes in a warm, casual setting.

I started with a Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, because who can resist a drink with both bourbon AND bacon?!

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We all shared the Brussel Sprouts, with Dijon aioli, balsamic, and crispy shallots…

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…and the Meatballs, packed with traditional Italian flavors. Pro tip: order the Salted Dough appetizer to dip in the sauce.

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Salted Dough has a wide variety of pizzas, as well as build-your-own options. Jeffrey had the cheese pizza, which made him a very happy camper!

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Mom chose the gnocchi with rosemary and mushroom cream sauce…decadent and delicious!

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Salted Dough offers daily beef, chicken, and fish specials, as well as a daily ravioli special. I had the chicken special.

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The chicken was lightly breaded and served on top of fried eggplant and salted dough. It was covered in red sauce with capers and olives. It was rustic and satisfying!

I couldn’t pass up the tiramisu for dessert. Salted Dough offers several varieties daily, but I stuck with the traditional.

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Jeffrey enjoyed the chocolate gelato.

Salted Dough is a great addition to the south side of town and I can’t wait to go back to try some more of the pizzas!

Vault

On Saturday night, I stopped in at Vault at The 9 to research my next piece for Ohio. Find It Here.

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That’s all I can say for now, but I’ll share the link to the full post on all the craft cocktail and Cleveland history fun I had once it’s done…

The rest of the weekend was spent keeping warm on what felt like our first real winter weekend of the season! How did you stay warm this weekend?

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Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

On Wednesday, I got to spend the evening pretending it was summer with putt-putt, margaritas, and tacos at Playhouse Square Partners‘ Putt-Putt Night.

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The event was held in the lobby of the KeyBank State Theatre, which not only provided a unique setting for miniature golf, but also let us start daydreaming about Jump Back Ball, which will be held there in just over a month!

We had a great time playing putt-putt and I even got two holes in one! There were also some great prizes of loge seats to various shows at Playhouse Square for those with the lowest score, as well as those who could get a hole in one on a particularly tricky hole.

Playhouse Square Partners plans lots of fun evenings like the putt-putt event, as well as our gala Jump Back Ball. We also assist Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement and Education initiatives through both fundraising and hands-on volunteering. And we get to do a lot of it in the absolutely beautiful theaters of Playhouse Square!

If that sounds like you’re speed, check out joining Playhouse Square Partners and/or join us for Jump Back Ball on Saturday, February 29. This will be my ninth Jump Back Ball and I swear they get better every year! This year’s theme is “From Jukebox to Boombox” and it’s sure to be a rockin’ evening!

***Disclosure: I am the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? NCJW Winter Meeting: Headlines and Hemlines!

Spend a fun and fashionable morning with NCJW Cleveland at their 125th annual Winter Meeting on Wednesday, February 5 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven.

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The theme of this year’s Winter Meeting is Headlines and Hemlines. The morning will include a presentation from Sarah Rogers and Sara Hume from Kent State University Fashion Museum, exploring how the tenor of the times has impacted both fashion and the activities of NCJW Cleveland.

You can start your morning perusing pop-up shops starting at 10am, enjoying a curated shopping experience with unique retailers. Brunch and the presentation begin at 11:30am.

Cost to attend is $40 for NCJW Cleveland members and $45 for non-members. Click here to purchase a ticket and enjoy a morning of fashionable fun!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the NCJW Cleveland Winter Meeting. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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