Red White and Brew Trips, LLC has announced its Spring, 2017 trips, which include three beer trips and one epic wine trip.

The schedule begins on Saturday, April 1, with a brew bus heading to Pittsburgh, PA to visit four craft breweries.  The trip will begin at Full Pint, maker of Festivus, then move on to the Church Brew Works, where the group will have lunch.  Then we will move on to Brew Gentlemen, and then to East End Brewing, before returning home.  There will be east side and west side stops.  The price for this trip, including transportation, tastings, lunch, and more, will only be $110, including Ohio Sales Tax.

The second trip will be a two-night trip to Traverse City, Michigan’s wine country.  The trip will leave Friday evening, April 28 and drive to Lansing, MI for an overnight stay.  Wineries will include Chateau Grand Traverse, Black Star Farms, Boathouse, Hawthorne, Avalon, Bluestone, Bel Lago, and Chateau Chantal, and lunches (included in the price) will be at Jolly Pumpkin and Avalon.  We will stay Saturday night at the Comfort Inn in Traverse City.  The trip includes transportation, tastings, lodging (with breakfast included), and lunches, with west side and east side stops.  You get all of this, and the full RW&BT experience, for $425 double, $3 75 triple, and $350 quad, which includes Ohio Sales Tax.

On May 6, RW&BT will be venturing to Columbus, OH for a brew extravaganza.  We will have lunch and tastings at Columbus Brewing Company, and tastings at Lineage Brewing, Elevator, and Seventh Son.  There will be east side and south pickups on this trip.  The price including breakfast on the bus, lunch, tastings, transportation and the Red White and Brew Trips touch, will be $140, including Ohio Sales Tax.

Go see the American League Champion Cleveland Indians battle the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, May 23 and experience two unique breweries as well.  We will leave from east side and south side pickups to head down to Rivertown Brewing’s brand new establishment north of Cincinnati for a barbeque dinner and beer.  Then after checking in at the Radisson Hotel overlooking the Ohio River in Covington, KY, we will head to the ball park to root on the Tribe (we won’t kick you off the bus if you root for the Reds, just question your taste!).  On Wednesday, May 24 we will return to Cleveland after making a detour to visit Phoenix Brewing in Mansfield, OH.  The trip includes transportation, your ticket to the baseball game, lodging, tastings, and dinner at Rivertown, for only $275 double, which includes Ohio Sales Tax.  Other lodging options are available.

Of course, every trip will include a Designated Driver ticket, which does not include tastings.  Every trip also includes the services of a professional trip director, snacks on the bus, and the famous bus raffle.  These trips will be on sale on Groundhog Day, Thursday, February 2 on  All major credit cards are accepted as well as PayPal.

Other planned 2017 trips include overnight trips to Niagara-On-The-Lake Wine Country and the Finger Lakes, as well as an Eastern Ohio one-day wine trip and a Northwestern, PA beer trip.  Red White and Brew Trips, LLC’s trip planning services are available to fraternal and non-profit organizations as fund raisers or just to plan a day away.  You can reach Greg Schmid at or at 216-548-6170 to get started.

9/17 Trip to Showcase Four Distinct Wineries

Red White and Brew Trips, LLC’s maiden voyage on September 17, 2016 will showcase four wonderful, but distinct wineries on the Lake Erie Wine Trail.


Courtyard Wineries

The first stop will be at Courtyard Wineries.  Courtyard has been in existence since 2007 when Laura and Randy Graham, who moved to North East, PA from California, decided to commercialize their love of wine.  Randy’s grandparents grew grapes in North East for sale, so grapes are in his blood (pun intended).

The Graham’s built one of the finest tasting room facilities in the region.  They make wines under two labels: Le Courette (Small Yard), which have their drier wines including Noiret, Chardonnay, and dry Reisling, and Barjo Bons (Crazy Friends), which house their fruit and sweeter wines.  The tasting room is divided between the two brands, but you do not have to limit your sampling to one or the other.  The Beach Glass Red and White are excellent semi-sweet wines, and are at the Barjo Bons bar.

Make sure you take time to shop at the excellent gift shop.


21 Brix Winery

Even though 21 Brix opened in 2011, the winery has a strong reputation.  Kris Kane worked on his family’s grape farm growing up, and spent 10 years at Presque Isle Winery.  Along with his parents, Mike and Marion Jordan, the winery has gathered many award, and Kane was named one of the 100 most influential winemakers in the United States.

The winery has produced several distinctive wines, including Chardonnay, Noiret, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Enjoy the wonderful tasting bar and gift shop, but please do not climb on the elephant in the parking lot.


Mazza Chautauqua Cellars at Five & 20

Mazza’s name is synonymous with Lake Erie wine, as the family has two other locations in North East, PA (South Shore and Mazza).  We will be visiting its Five & 20 location, where you can sample the company’s beer and spirits as well as its wine.

Mazza was founded in 1973, and has been making high quality wines for a long time.  It is the largest producing winery in Pennsylvania.  Their Merlot is the standard for the region, and they also make outstanding Reislings, b.  lends, and other varietals, including ice wine, sherry and port.  The current winemaker is from Uruguay.


Liberty Vineyards and Winery

Liberty was named New York’s Winery of the Year in 2016 by the New York Grape and Wine Foundation.  Some of the still-producing vineyards have been in the family of owners Gary and Pam Burmaster since the 1860s.  Despite the history and tradition, the Burmasters have been highly advanced in their winemaking techniques, and grape selection.

Liberty was an early importer of Carmenere’ stock from South America, and have been making wines from Cornell University’s hybrids Noiret and Traminette for almost 10 years.  They have a wide variety of wines from sweet to bone dry.

We will get to taste some of the finest wines being made along the Lake Erie Wine Trail, and will visit four outstanding facilities.  If you haven’t signed up for this trip yet, what are you waiting for?  The bus leaves Saturday morning, September 17, with or without you.  Don’t regret missing this bus.

Wine Warriors – Michigan Wine

For those of you who are interested in Michigan wine, a new show, Wine Warriors, debuts today, Saturday, August 20, on FYI.  Today they will be discussing caring for the vineyard, next week they will discuss bottling.  It is channel 272 on UVerse; check your listings for your cable setup.

9/17/16 Trip to Lake Erie Wine Trail Is Available For Sale

The first trip for Red White and Brew Trips, LLC on September 17, 2016 is now available on  The trip will be going to the Lake Erie Wine Trail in Pennsylvania and New York.  The price is only $90 (including sales tax), and only $77 for Designated Drivers.

There will be two stops, one West of Cleveland and one East of Cleveland (to be determined).  Trip participants will get a continental breakfast on the deluxe motor coach from Precious Cargo, tastings at Courtyard Wineries, 21 Brix Winery, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars, and Liberty Vineyards.  In addition, they will get lunch at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, NY.  Dinner will be at Cloud 9 in Erie, PA (to be paid by participant).  There will be snacks and refreshments on the bus, plus a raffle for some great wine-related prizes.

Greg Schmid will be your tour guide.  Greg has run a number of wine trips for his ski club, and is very familiar with the wineries we will be visiting.

Space is limited so sign up soon.  Click on the menu item to the right that describes your tour option.  Designated Drivers will not be served at the four tastings.  You can pay using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover, or Pay Pal. Don’t miss the maiden voyage of Red White and Brew Trips, LLC.  See Flyer for more details. Red White and Brew Trips Flyer 9-17-16


Drink Local Continues to Get Better

When the Spanish and French brought winemaking to North America, they used native grapes like Muscadine, Concord, and Niagara, all sweet varieties.  Only when science caught up to winemaking did vitus vinafera grapes such as Cabernet Franc (and its child, Cabernet Sauvignon), Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, make their way to North America.

Wine experts stayed focused on Europe until 1977 and the Judgment of Paris, when California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon beat “the best” the French could offer.  This began the expansion of the U.S. Wine Industry to Oregon and Washington, and led to the planting of vitus vinafera grapes in the Mid Atlantic states including Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio.

For the last 15 years, I have maintained that you needn’t buy wines made outside of California as California wine is the equal of wine anywhere in the world.  The only reason I would buy wine made outside of California is when I looked for a varietal that is not grown in California, such as Sangiovese, Tempranillo, or Alicante.

However, over the last five years or so, the quality of wine made in New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ontario has improved substantially, with world class Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Chardonnay being made within five hours of downtown Cleveland.  In addition, Cornell University hybrids Traminette (a white hybrid of Gewurstraminer and Riesling) and Noiret (a hybrid of Steuben and a previous red hybrid which could have included Chambourcin) have matured into unique varietals.  Winemakers in the region have also been able to produce extremely high quality lesser known varietals such as Marquette, Vignoles, Gamay, Seyval Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Carmenere, Chancellor, Norton, Aligote, and Chambourcin.   About the only grape these wineries have not had any success in growing is Zinfandel.  They are also experimenting with unique blends, and producing ice wines, sparkling wines, and rose’s using unusual varietals,

Several years ago, I took a group from Hi Rise Ski Club to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.   One of the visitors bought her first ever bottle of Chardonnay on this trip, as she said she had never liked a Chardonnay before this trip.   On a recent trip to the Finger Lakes, I bought my first ever bottle of Chambourcin, which tasted to me more like a Bordeaux blend than a single varietal made with a local grape.  I have also recently been impressed with four Northeastern Ohio wineries.  As a matter of fact, two Ohio wineries won awards at the 2016 Finger Lakes Wine Festival, with Ferrante Winery taking the prize for best Riesling for their 2013 Dry Riesling.  This victory feels to me much like the Judgment of Paris might have felt to the California wineries who produced the winning wines.

I am not ready to say you don’t need to buy any wines outside of New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario, but if this trend continues, that day may come.   Watch out world.