I made the trip down to Ottawa, IL to meet with some friends for the weekend. I was told by one of my friends that there was a great wine tasting place that I had to try that was in the North Utica area right next to Ottawa. The name of this fantastic spot is Clarks Run Creek Wine and Gifts in North Utica, IL.
I want to make one thing clear I am not a wine aficionado by any stretch of the word. I did not have high hopes of going to a wine tasting. Little did I know this would be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a bar.
The moment that I walked into this extremely unique establishment with my friends I knew it was going to be something special.
There is a standing-only bar in the center of the room where you order five different wine tastings for $7. It is an absolute steal.
The bargain of the wine tasting is usually enough for someone to come into this establishment, but the real star of the show was one of the workers behind the bar named Cindy and her sidekick Caleb.
I have never had so much fun in a bar then the fun we had with Cindy. She has a hilarious, no BS attitude with a personality that you just want to hang around.
As myself and my friends drank delicious wines we never laughed so hard while talking with Cindy and the other patrons in the room. The entire experience almost felt like improv and everyone was having a blast.
It really does not hurt either that the wines are delicious. They have some really unique wines infused with all different types of fruit. The wines will satisfy any pallet for those who like extremely sweet wines or traditional flavors. My favorite wines of the ones I tasted were Marionberry and Drunken Apple.
I was already starting to feel a slight buzz from the wine and decided to try a whiskey tasting with my friend. The whiskey tasting was delicious and gave me an excuse to stay longer in this “Cheers” like atmosphere.
I was fully expecting my bill to be massive from all that we had to drink. I was in total shock to see that the pricing was so fair.
We walked around the Utica downtown area checking out some other establishments and ended up coming back to Clarks Run Creek for a second round because it was so much fun. Another aspect worth mentioning about the downtown Utica area is there is seating set up on the closed-off street, making it a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the weather with friends.
I cannot emphasize enough for anyone that is in the Utica, IL area to check them out. You will have a complete blast.
The wine is delicious, but the real draw is the atmosphere with the fun patrons and Cindy and Caleb.
I give Clarks Run Creek an extremely rare 9 out of 10. I wholeheartedly recommend everyone to go check them out.
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