WindVane Breezes into Chicago

What do you get when a historically famous sparkling wine company tries their hand at releasing the still wines that go into their sparkling wines?  Enter WindVane which is the brainchild of Steven Urberg who is the long-time winemaker for Gloria Ferrer. Sparkling wines are typically produced from grapes which are more neutral in aromas,... Read more »

Santa Barbara's Scintillating Wines

California is rich with special wine destinations but Santa Barbara County (SBC) might just be the most exciting one at the present time.  With the Pacific Ocean to the west and an unusual east-to-west mountain configuration, SBC’s wine growing regions are rife with varying microclimates.  SBC currently has 6 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) which produce... Read more »

The Magic of Oak

Have you ever heard a wine drinker say “there’s too much oak in this wine” or conversely “I love oaky Chardonnays” and wondered what that means? Oak can play a major role in the taste of many wines, particularly reds and some heavier-bodied whites.  When used properly, the oak flavors themselves blend seamlessly into a... Read more »

Spring Break Wine Destinations

With Spring Break fast approaching, everyone is scrambling to make the most of their vacation from Chicago’s turbulent March weather.  It is a lesser known fact that every state in the U.S. now has wineries so chances are (if you’re traveling in the U.S.), there is also a wine visit opportunity in your future. If... Read more »

6 Wines for Groundhog Day

Remember the movie “Groundhog Day” where Bill Murray lived the same day over and over again (and each day kept getting better)? Sometimes we too fall into the same trap with wine by drinking the same things repeatedly.  In honor of the hog, here are 6 different wines to try so that you can bust... Read more »

Chicago's Own Flying Winemakers

Mike and Jenn Kush (and now 1-year old Austin) are Chicago’s own flying winemakers with one of the coolest jobs I can imagine.  A flying winemaker is a winemaker who travels between the northern and southern hemispheres to take advantage of doing two harvests a year.  The beauty and curse of wine is that grapes... Read more »

Shakespeare's Sophisticated Soave

If you haven’t tried Soave recently, you are missing out on one of the most versatile and esteemed white wines of Italy.  Soave is a white wine from the Veneto area of northeast Italy (near Shakespeare’s Verona) and made predominantly from the little-known Garganega grape.  Soave is pronounced “SWA-VAY” and Garganega is pronounced “Gar-GAH-nega”.  While... Read more »

Celebrate Autumn in Abruzzo at Francesca’s Bryn Mawr Wine Dinner

Abruzzo is an underappreciated mountainous wine region in central Italy.  With borders of the Adriatic Sea to the east, Lazio to the west, and Marche and Molise to the north and south, Abruzzo is blessed with sea breezes and storm protection due to the Apennine Hills to the west.  A Mediterranean climate, ancient clay soils,... Read more »

What Wine Goes With Kangaroo?

What Wine Goes With Kangaroo? Many as it turns out.  But before you think I’m a cold-hearted diner, the truth is I had only one bite of kangaroo on a recent trip to Australia.  I couldn’t actually eat it after getting to pet and feed kangaroos in the local Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne.  Their big... Read more »

The Wines That Got Away

I’m not sure who coined the phrase “the one that got away” but it occurred to me lately when thinking of some great wines I’ve had and will never taste again for whatever reason.  These are the illustrious wines that, when you think of them, cause a wistfulness or yearning to well up inside. These... Read more »