Wine: Home (not-so) grown

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the spirit of ComFest, we’re taking a community approach to this week’s wine column. And while there are a good deal of local winemakers in Columbus (whether they’re growing their own grapes, buying grapes or buying grape juice), Quail Crossing Cellars is one of the more recent additions.

But that doesn’t mean it didn’t catch up fast.

Owner and winemaker Jackie Trexel, who works from grape juice, has amassed 28 wines on Quail Crossing’s list — although it fluctuates often, as the micro-winery’s small batches of wine are added or maintained.

There’s plenty of space to enjoy a glass at a table, the bar inside or on the newly christened patio. Plus, bottles of everything on the list are carefully arranged along the wall and ready for walk-in customers.

Reds, whites, blush wines and fruity wines are all included in the lineup — with “porch-friendly” sweet sips, like the aptly named “Porch Swing White,” especially bulked up at this time of year. There’s even a “Red Velvet” port and an ice wine! Bottles start at $12, and if you’re just stopping by to pick one out, consider doing a quick tasting flight beforehand — try three or five, and your choice is instantly made easier (or, maybe, harder).

Among them is Scarlet ($16), a red blend that Trexel deems one of her favorites — although with the labor of love that goes into making each of them in the adjoining room directly behind the bar, isn’t that a bit like choosing your favorite child?

It’s pleasantly tannic, with tastes of cherry and dark berries. It benefits from time to breathe, so break out the aerator if you don’t have time to decant it in advance. Then, try it with an aged-cheese-and-crackers course or alongside a pork tenderloin right off the grill.

Photo by Meghan Ralston