A lot of wonderful things are happening at Kent State University these days. One of the things that caught my eye: the wines made by enology students at Kent State Ashtabula.

The KSU enology program has a unique partnership with Laurello Vineyards in Geneva. I was pleasantly surprised after sampling their $19.99 Sunset red blend and $12.99 Sunburst dry riesling.

I decided to have a little fun. Isn't wine supposed to be fun? Why not have a glass of their wine with a sandwich from Twisted Meltz, the cool little sandwich shop in Acorn Alley that names its tasty bites after Kent heroes and celebrities.

A taste of the riesling and a glance at the menu had me thinking Joe Walsh. I picked out white peach flavors and aromas of Granny Smith Apple and lemon zest. This isn’t your “Ordinary Average” wine I thought.

I had a glass of the Sunburst riesling with the sandwich named after the famous Kent State rocker. It’s a zippy (oops, wrong school) combination of fried turkey, hickory bacon, spicy mayo, jalapeño, diced tomato, avocado and white American cheese. Together, the wine and sandwich rocked. A few more sips of the wine had me thinking that I could do this “All Night Long.”

But, of course, the Sunset red blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon needed a sandwich too. I couldn’t be more impressed with the wine. A nice easy drinker with elderberry and blackberry flavors.

The sandwich options were many: Mark Mothersbaugh, Nick Saban, Ben Curtis, Josh Cribbs.

Ultimately, it was the shaved rib-eye, roasted red peppers, horseradish chive cheddar cheese, mozzarella and ale mustard on the Michael Keaton that worked best. A dynamic duo everyone can enjoy.

Swing by Twisted Meltz, pick out your favorite Kent sandwich, then head a few steps down Acorn Alley to the Kent Cheesemonger where all three Kent State wines are sold.

If your sweet tooth is aching, check out the 17 degrees ice wine. The $29.99 sweet sipper is a great way to finish off any meal. The peach and apricot flavors make it quite easy to pair with an almond biscotti.

KSU wines are also sold at Campus Wine Cellar. So Flash some local pride and give these wines a try. I bet you'll be surprised how good they are.

 

Read more of Phil Masturzo's wine stories at www.ohio.com/akron/writers/phil-masturzo. Contact him at philyourglass@gmail.com.