Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery - World-Class Wines in Minnesota

One of the most exciting winery finds for me this year has been Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery.  Located in southwestern Minnesota near Mankato in the Southern Minnesota River Valley, this winery produces not just award-winning wines, but also spirits and dessert wines from both local grapes as well as sourced-in grapes from Napa and... Read more »

Domaine Bousquet - A Lovely Marriage of French Style in Argentina

Hearing a name like Domaine Bousquet conjures up a French chateau in one’s mind and you wouldn’t be far off, except this particular property is located in Argentina. Argentina is best known for Malbec, the Bordeaux transplant grape that found its natural home in the Uco Valley’s high-altitude and sunny climate near Mendoza.  In fact,... Read more »

Ten Tips for Planning a Successful Wine Trip

As spring finally arrives, vineyards across the world are bursting into green glory. This is the perfect time of year to go on a wine trip and experience all of spring’s exuberance in the vineyard.  One doesn’t have to go far to do that.  In Illinois and Michigan alone, there are multiple tasting rooms and... Read more »

Tre Bicchieri Visits Chicago

Chicago is lucky enough to be one of only 6 U.S. cities that the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri World Tour passes through.  This annual event features winners of the coveted Tre Bicchieri (meaning “three glasses”) award which are generally regarded as Italy’s best wines.  As a wine blogger, I have the additional benefit of entering... Read more »

Olympian Oyster Bay

Ice skating fans were recently treated to thrilling Olympic routines by several countries including U.S. skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu (both of whom missed the Olympics last time around and famously watched from home while eating In-N-Out burgers).  After his triumphant routine, Rippon said “I’m going to go to Target and I’m going to... Read more »

Santa's Sparklers

A long-time red wine fan, I’ve recently become infatuated with sparkling wines (which are the complete opposite of my beloved Barolos and Brunellos style-wise).  What’s not to love?  Sparkling wines are light, refreshing, easily paired with almost any food, and bring extra celebratory glitz to any occasion. They also come in a fascinating array of... Read more »

Escape to Sonoma Wine Country

Just two short weeks after the unprecedented California wine country fires, our traveling wine group headed out to Sonoma for our fall trip.  We debated going, of course, as some fires were still burning and every day seemed to bring a new situation.  But in the end, we went –and we couldn’t have made a... Read more »

Vol. 39 - A Chicago Oasis

I’ve worked downtown for 10 years and just stumbled across the coolest cocktail bar I’ve seen in a long time – yes, 2 blocks from my office.  Called Vol. 39, this rare gem is located on the second floor of the year-old Kimpton Gray Hotel.  I hesitate to write this in fear of overpopulating it…... Read more »

Windy City Wine Festival

This week’s Windy City Wine Festival (WCWF) may be a tad windier than usual thanks to all the hurricane activity in the Caribbean but rest assured, the show will go on!  This year’s festival highlights over 300 different wines and runs Friday September 8 from 5pm-10pm and Saturday September 9 from 3pm-8pm at Buckingham Fountain... Read more »

Francesca's Southern Italy Wine Dinner

Summer brings amazing sunrises like this one (which is unfortunately enhanced by smoke from California’s wildfires).  Summer also brings Francesca’s Bryn Mawr’s seasonal wine dinner which is Thursday, August 3.  Focused on Southern Italy, featured wines are from Campania, Sardinia, and Puglia. The first course of fried artichokes and crostini kicks off with Sardinia’s Pala... Read more »