Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another Treasure Threatened

Less than a month ago, I wrote about how I thought that the citizens of Northeast Ohio lost a culinary treasure with the closing of Chef's Choice Meats in Berea, Ohio.  The store had closed just three days prior to my post, and, unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done.  However, Berea and the rest of Northeast, Ohio stand to lose another treasure, VinoMatique Wine Market, a rather unique wine bar and market that I have relied upon for bottles of wine to pair with the dishes that I make or create.

Vinomatique derives its name from the Enomatic wine serving system, which allows customers to sample wine in different amounts up to a glass.  There are usually six reds and six whites to sample, with the bottles being available in the market for purchase.  The market also has many other bottles, some from well known wine regions, like Italy or France, and others from lesser known, less explored regions like South Africa.  Whenever I am in Cleveland, I always try to stop by for a glass (or two) and to purchase bottles for pairing with future culinary endeavors or to simply enjoy on their own.

Personally, I can always count on VinoMatique to have wines that I had not seen before or wines that I have a difficulty finding in Washington, D.C.  I can also count on VinoMatique's owner, Cindy Good, to help me find a good wine to try, whether by the glass or through the purchase of a bottle.  Case in point, just yesterday, I was able to purchase wines that I have a hard time finding -- I Perazzi and Aragone -- two wines produced by the vineyards of Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich in the Maremma region of Tuscany.  I also purchased a couple of other wines that reminded me of good times, such as a pinot noir from Dobbes in Oregon, which sparked great memories of visiting the Dobbes tasting room in Willamette Valley.

Just yesterday, I learned that VinoMatique is suffering through hard times because there are not enough customers coming through the doors to either drink or purchase wine. Unlike Chef's Choice, Vinomatique is still open to customers, even though the "For Rent" sign is now hanging in the window.  Everyone, both residents and non-residents of Northeast Ohio, need to do our best to help small businesses grow and thrive, regardless of the economy.   Rather than buy a wine from a supermarket (or worse, Walmart or a gas station), we should make the effort to go around the corner and peruse the aisles at small wine markets -- like VinoMatique -- and buy our wine there.  By supporting these small businesses, we will be able to preserve important culinary and, in this case, a vinious resource for anyone who enjoys good food and wine.

There is still time to save this treasure. I personally ask that, if you are looking for a wine, please make an effort to help the small businesses, like VinoMatique.  Its website can be found at:

or check out its Facebook presence at either the group page or the fan page.  You don't need to say that I sent you, just go and experience VinoMatique for yourself.

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