In the past months, I have written a column on beer (Wadsworth Brewing Company) and on how to properly taste bourbon for my guest hosting gig at Corkscrew Saloon. Then came the Wild Game Dinner at Gandalf’s Pub with Great Lakes Beer pairings. In all those cases, I was very impressed at how much detail goes into the training of the teams surrounding these great establishments.

Now, it is time to circle back to wine. I do not really drink all that much, but I am starting to sense a theme here. Beer and spirits are certainly for many a part of an evening out, whether it is to celebrate, or just to relax with your family or friends.

But wine holds a special place when the evening out is for fine dining. Many people consider the wine an equal partner to the food when they are investing in a good meal. So much is written about wine, and there are so many choices, that you are often at the mercy of someone who really knows what they are talking about to give you good advice. This is exactly why quality locally-owned chef driven restaurants go the extra mile to have that person on staff and to invest in training of their staff.

One such restaurant in our area is Timber Lodge, located on Route 42 (Pearl Road) between Brunswick and Medina, just past Bunker Hill Golf Course. Owner Ron Levitt and his team are well known for fine hand cut steaks, daily rotisserie prime rib, and amazing seafood. But their wine game, which was always top-notch, has improved, thanks to Manager Lynsey Curren, who embarked on her first journey with the Court of Master Sommeliers and passed their introductory course and is enjoying the experience of finding new wines to pair with the fresh meat and seafood Timber Lodge has to offer.

This is good news for all of us diners. When a restaurant invests in training their team, we are the benefactors. I am one who certainly appreciates a fine wine, but I simply have not invested the time, or money, to know what to choose. I almost always rely on my server to steer me in a good direction. I have found, though, with wine tasting events like one I wrote about at Fireside Restaurant and Lounge at Rustic Hills Country Club a while back, a lot of knowledge can be acquired in a short amount of time. As a matter of fact, and I know this is short notice, they are having one tonight, April 14, at 6 p.m. You may still be able to get a reservation.

Timber Lodge has one coming up on Tuesday, May 1, featuring wines from the boutique wineries under the umbrella of Jackson Family Wines. A six-course dinner menu paired with wines by Ohio’s only Master Sommelier, Larry O’Brien.

O’Brien has been sharing his enthusiasm for wine for more than 25 years through positions at restaurants across the country, as well as roles as wine judge and board member of the Court of Master Sommeliers. A dynamic speaker and educator, O’Brien demystifies wine while showcasing the entire Jackson Family portfolio in his current role as Jackson Family Winery Champion. I personally love to be in a room with people like Larry, where you can ask your questions and get direct answers from someone really in “the know.”

Timber Lodge Chef Ray Gypp together with Curren, are excited about their third Wine Dinner at Timber Lodge. They promise to yet again impress regular customers and wine lovers with a unique menu and some fantastic wine finds that are not available in retail stores. Here is what is in store as far as the menu for the May 1 event.

First course is blackened jumbo prawn with mango glaze, paired with Kendall-Jackson’s Riesling Vintner Reserve from Monterey County, Calif. Second course is a classic caesar salad with shaved parmesan, paired with 2015 Galerie Sauvignon Blanc Naissance from Napa Valley. Third course is wild salmon slightly smoked with a fricassee of mushrooms, paired with 2014 Gran Moraine Pinot Noir from Willamette valley, Ore. Fourth course is a steak, paired with 2014 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Fifth course is English trifle, paired with 2015 Kendall-Jackson Late harvest Orange Muscat Grand Reserve from Monterrey County, Calif. Sixth course is a cheese selection, paired with 2015 Hartford Court Zinfandel Old Vines from Sonoma Valley, Calif.

Bon appetit!