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Cooper's Hawk combines winery experience with a restaurant

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant opened its 13th location yesterday in the Kenwood area. Cooper’s Hawk was founded in 2005 by Tim McEnery, who wanted to take the brewpub concept and expand it to wineries.
 
The 10,500-square-foot space offers a tasting room, bar, patio, main dining room and two private dining areas. Cooper’s Hawk has the feel of a winery, but it’s in the city.
 
“We want to bring Napa to Cincinnati, and give people who can’t get to Napa the experience of it,” says Emily Dock, general manager of the Cincinnati location.
 
Cooper’s Hawk produces more than 40 different types of wine, and offers them by the glass, by the bottle and for retail sale. Glasses range from $8-$13, and bottles range from $14-$35.
 
The tasting room offers three different tastings: sweet, luxe and monthly, which features the wine of the month and is only available to Wine Club members. Cooper’s Hawk’s Wine Club is one of the largest in the nation, and guests can join for $18.99 per month. The club includes a wine of the month offering, points, a birthday coupon and special Wine Club dinners that include a four- to six-course meal and wine pairings.
 
Staff members take wine education courses and know what grapes are used in each wine, the sugar content and how to tell different flavors when tasting. “We aim to make wine approachable, and take the fear out of silly questions,” McEnery says.
 
The menu is full of from-scratch dishes, many of which are made with Cooper’s Hawk’s wines. The menu contains everything from sandwiches to steak, with dishes ranging from $10-$35. Each dish is paired with a wine, which takes the guesswork away from guests, Dock says.
 
Aside from wine, Cooper’s Hawk has a full bar with craft beer and specialty cocktails. Rivertown and Moerlein beers are available at the Kenwood location. Cooper’s Hawk also has a barrel reserve wine that is served out of the barrel with a wine thief, and it’s only sold by the glass. The barrel reserve is a blend of the five Bordeaux grapes—it’s filled nightly, so the flavors constantly change.
 
Cooper’s Hawk wine is produced at the main countryside facility in Illinois, and in the Chicago area restaurants.
 
“We hope to bring great wine, great food and a unique experience to Cincinnati,” McEnery says. “We strive to introduce wine to a broad audience, from starter to connoisseur.”
 
Cooper’s Hawk has earned more than 200 wine awards in the past eight years; it was named “Hot Concept 2010” by Nations Restaurant News and MenuMasters Winner in the “Menu Trendsetter” category for its Asian BBQ Pork Belly Nachos in 2013. It was also named one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies.
 
The Cincinnati location will be open Monday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The tasting room opens daily at 11 a.m. and closes with the restaurant.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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