It’s a Lady Gaga must stop when she visits Chicago. Kuma’s Corner and burgers. Wine Lifestyle host Jessica Altieri on site at Lollapalooza pairing wine with Kuma’s Corner Burgers. Visit www.winechanneltv for all your wine lifestyle trends around the world!
After the show ends on any given night, you can expect the rock and foodie fans in the know to be heading to Kuma’s Corner (2900 W. Belmont Ave.; 773-604-8769) in Chicago. Legendary rock stars such as Lady Gaga make this a must stop late night munchie destination.
Take at peek at our all-time favorite burger from Kuma’s in this video from Lollapalooza.
Jessica Altieri Visits The Capital Grille
Jessica Altieri, CEO and Certified Sommelier of Wine Channel TV had the opportunity in Chicago to experience this summer’s ultimate wine and food tasting experience, as The Capital Grille kicked off its ninth annual “The Generous Pour” wine event.
The tasting experience features seven acclaimed wines from California and Oregon. Selected to pair with the restaurant’s signature menu items, The Generous Pour wine experience is available for $28 when paired with dinner from July 10 through September 3, 2017.
The first wine I chose was what I call “summertime” in a glass. The WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2016 from the Willamette Valley, named for Oregon’s Willamette and Mckenzie rivers, is filled with bright pineapple, citrus and tropical aromas with a bright yet creamy finish. It was a perfect, bright pairing with the cold shellfish platter.
For the second dish, I went with one of my favorites, the bone in Kona crusted dry aged New York strip. I am a legendary steak eater, having grown up eating steak and eggs for breakfast before basketball practice in high school and college.
I paired it with two killer cabernets I chose from the #GenerousPour options- the big, bold and in your face Mt. Brave, Mt.Veeder, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with jammy blueberry and raspberry aromas. “At 1,800 feet atop Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley—where the sun is intense, the climate is cool, and the berries are small and flavorful—comes a big Cab consistently rated 90 and above from critics such as the famed Robert Parker”. – The Capital Grille
The second cabernet was the savory Arrowood “Sonoma Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon. “A bright, juicy blend of Bordeaux varietals from the valleys of Sonoma, Knights and Alexander, the historic Arrowood winery has set the bar for Sonoma County Cabernet with bright black cherry and black currant aromas.” – The Capital Grille
Both are two killer pairings, and the best part is you can order both wines and decide for yourself if you are more of a Napa or Sonoma Cabernet fan!
And for the finale, how could I pass up the decadent flourless chocolate espresso cake! I tuned into the live Capital Grille Facebook event recently where they suggested this cake with the Mt.Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a Perfect Pairing!
Here is a complete list of the wines and recommended pairings from The Generous Pour from The Capital Grille:
Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 (92 Points) – At 1,800 feet atop Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley – where the sun is intense, the climate is cool, and the berries are small and flavorful – comes a big Cab consistently rated 90 and above. Tasting Notes: Raspberry, blueberry and touch of vanilla with approachable tannins.
- Pairing Recommendation: Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged NY Strip with Shallot Butter
Arrowood “Sonoma Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (90 Points) – A bright, juicy blend of Bordeaux varietals from the valleys of Sonoma, Knights and Alexander, the historic Arrowood winery has set the bar for Sonoma County Cabernet. Tasting Notes: Black cherry and black currant preserves with undertones of chai tea and mocha.
- Pairing Recommendation: Seared Dry Aged Sirloin
Siduri Pinot Noir, 2015 (90 Points) – Willamette Valley is arguably the finest region in the country for Pinot Noir and Siduri’s 2015 vintage is perhaps the finest produced in Oregon in over 20 years.
Tasting Notes: Fresh red and blue fruit with allspice, a hint of white pepper and silky smooth texture.
- Pairing Recommendation: Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon with Marcona Almonds and Brown Butter
Edmeades Zinfandel, 2013 (91 Points) – From a pioneering winery with a sole focus on Zinfandel in the Mendocino Valley with vines planted over 60 years ago, this is the wine that helped put Mendocino, Calif. on the map. Tasting Notes: Ripe raspberries, cherries and red currants with notes of cinnamon and graham cracker.
- Pairing Recommendation: Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops
Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (92 Points) –
A balanced and savory ‘old world style’ of Sauvignon Blanc from the Bennett Valley in Sonoma, that delivers fresh brightness of fruit and lively acidity on the finish. Tasting Notes: Grapefruit, white nectarine, honeycrisp apples and dry lemon thyme.
- Pairing Recommendation: Jumbo Lump Crab Cocktail
Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay, 2015 (91 Points) – Long, sunny days and a cooler climate moderated by the Pacific Ocean of the Santa Maria Valley define this ripe but refreshing Chardonnay.
Tasting Notes: Fresh citrus, apple, and white peach with a hint of sweet oak.
- Pairing Recommendation: Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster Tails
Willakenzie Pinot Gris, 2016 (90 Points) – Named for Oregon’s Willamette and McKenzie Rivers to honor the mineral-rich sediment in which their vines are grown, it is understandable that Willakenzie’s motto is “dirt matters.” Tasting Notes: Pineapple, citrus, green melon and tropical fruits with a bright but creamy texture.
- Pairing Recommendation: Cold Shellfish Platter
Click here to learn more about the featured wines and the winemakers. Follow The Capital Grille on Twitter (@CapitalGrille), Facebook (www.facebook.com/thecapitalgrille) and Instagram (@TheCapitalGrille) and join the #GenerousPour conversation.
On June 29, 2017, wine drinkers and connoisseurs in Chicago were invited to join Wine Channel TV and Formento’s kickoff to its Sips of Summer wine tasting events with a Tastes of Sicily themed event.
Partnered with and located at Formento’s, an Italian restaurant within Chicago’s Fulton Market District, guests were treated to taste eight unique Sicilian wines- Alessandro di Camporeale Catarratro, Donnafugata Lighea, Mandrarossa Grillo, Morgante Nero d’Avola, Planeta Rose, Tasca Regaleali Bianco, Valle dell’Acate Frappato, Villa Pozzi Grillo, featured by Wines of Sicilia DOC.
A representative of Wines of Sicilia DOC said they were excited to partner with Jessica Altieri, wine expert and CEO of Wine Channel TV, who they said has a great, authentic voice with regards to wine. The two-hour event featured a Facebook live streaming where online viewers were treated to wine tastings and overviews by Altieri, a signature dish pairing by Todd Stein, executive chef of Formento’s, as well as interactions with WCTV’s partnered lifestyle brands for the night.
Todd Stein of Formento’s, whose restaurant is wine focused, agreed the event was great, citing the great synergy. “[It was a] lovely event, couldn’t get any better,” said Stein.
Enjoy the Tastes of Sicily featured wines video with Wine Channel TV host Jessica Altieri from Formento’s in Chicago.
Here are some fun facts about each of the Tastes of Sicily featured wines from Wines of Sicilia DOC:
Alessandro di Camporeale Catarratro
“Catarratto” is one of the oldest native grape variety in Sicily. Widely cultivated in the western region of the island, it is one of the leading Sicilian white grape varieties today.”
“From the disheveled tresses the color of the sun, seawater flowed over the green, wide-open eyes.” Thus Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa describes Lighea, the bewitching siren and principal figure in his novel. She has inspired the creation of a complex and innovative wine and an equally original label. “It was not easy to print this label”, Gabriella (founder of Donnafugata, with her husband Giacomo) recalled, “and preserve the thousand shadings of colors of Pantelleria Island, painted in the original drawing.”
Morgante Nero d’Avola
The Morgante winery is located in the pristine countryside of southern Sicily, a hilly region located about 1200-1800 feet above sea level and just 45 miles from the splendid Valley of the Temples of Agrigento. The property comprises 500 acres of vineyards and almond trees, and the region is ideal for viticulture, with a Mediterranean climate and soil that ranges from clay and calcareous to marl.
Founded in 1959, MandraRossa is the creation of Cantine Settesoli, one of the world’s largest wine producers. Boasting a premium range of estate-bottled wines, MandraRossa is part of Sicily’s largest wine producer and co-operative formed by 2,000 members.
Our Rosè, fresh and fruity, represents all the feelings of a Sicilian summer. Its colour is that of a summer sunset. The fresh aromas of strawberry make it a marvellously friendly wine, and easy to drink. Enjoy Planeta’s Rosè in good company, as an aperitif with tapas, raw fish, fresh salads or alone with seasonal fruit.
Tasca Regaleali Bianco
This was the first wine produced by Count Tasca d’Almerita on the Regaleali estate. Primarily a blend of three Sicilian grapes: Inzolia, Catarratto, and Grecanico, with some Chardonnay, this wine is cool-fermented in stainless steel to create a versatile, refreshing, and delicious white of true Sicilian character.
Valle dell’Acate Frappato
A dry red made from Frappato, a very Sicilian grape variety. Pretty from the start, this scrumptious wine is ruby red in color, with firm raspberry fruit and lively acidity. This is an easy-drinking wine to enjoy every day with Italian red-sauce dishes.
Villa Pozzi Grillo
Our Grillo is night-harvested and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness. With a straw yellow color, it exhibits aromas of exotic and white flowers with fresh and fruity notes of mango and pineapple on the palate. It is medium bodied and well balanced with delicate acidity and a persistent finish.
Be sure to join us on July 27, 2017 at Formento’s for the next event featuring the “Tastes of Greece”. Get your tickets here: formentos.tocktix.com/
2017 Riesling Summer Wine Picks
Jessica Altieri | CEO | Wine Channel TV Media
You’ll love the fragrant fresh sips I suggest, not that I don’t have a few reds to spring on you too! Wine Channel TV Editor Jessica Altieri shares some of her favorite Summer Wines for you to enjoy! Watch the video for a “Cheeky Riesling from New Zealand.
Germany, Austria, New Zealand, the U.S.—it seems vintners everywhere are getting into the Riesling rage these days, and for good reason. This funky varietal boasts a stunning range, from rich and sweet to ultra crisp, zippy and dry. Yes, I said dry. Wine lovers around the globe have expanded their taste buds to embrace this chic native of Germany’s Rhine Valley.
Rot is rot, you say? Noble Rot begs to differ. Take the Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling for starters. Those crafty Germans let the grapes age and rot and wrinkle like raisins, intensifying the sugars and the caramel and honey bouquet. At the other extreme, Kabinett Rieslings are like late spring in Death Valley—nearly bone dry.
Millennials—the biggest, boldest wine consumers today—seek out the new and aren’t afraid of change, but they also demand to be informed. Which is why the Riesling Taste Profile scales (on the sides of many wine bottles now) are, in a word, genius! 26,000,000 bottles in the U.S. market now help you predict the taste in a particular bottle of Riesling.
This is sweet Riesling music to my ears!
- Mud House Riesling Waipara Valley New Zealand 2014
- Chateau Grand Traverse Riesling Semi Dry Riesling 2011
- Dr. Frank Dry Riesling 2012
- Jim Barry ‘The Lodge Hill’ Dry Riesling 2013
- Spy Valley Envoy Riesling 2009
- Tierce Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2009
- J.J. Prum 2010 Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese
If you go the sweet route, Asian fare, Indian food, spicy sausage and charcuterie perfectly contrast that Riesling sugar kick that cools down spicy grub. If you grabbed a dry Riesling, choose crisp seafood, shellfish or grilled chicken to complement the crisp mineral, zesty lemon/lime and tropical stylings of this favorite spring varietal.
The Unforgettable Kiss
Tierce Dry Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, gained rock star status in 2013 when President Obama served it at his second inaugural luncheon. When I judged the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition—created by winemakers Peter Bell of Fox Run Vineyards, Johannes Reinhardt of Anthony Road Winery, and David Whiting of Red Newt Cellars—my taste buds were ravished by this amazing white. Wine genius Dan Berger recently dubbed a 2008 Tierce “the best dry Riesling ever made in the United States.” Enough said!
Happy Summer Sips and stay tuned to Wine Channel TV for more summer sips coming next month!
Chicago’s Fulton Market District Takes Center Stage for
Summer Wine Events with Wine Channel TV and Formento’s
CHICAGO, IL (June 12, 2017) — Wine Channel TV and Formento’s are giving Chicago area wine drinkers a reason to celebrate with the launch of Sips of Summer wine events in the dynamic Fulton Market District of Chicago. The series of 6 themed wine events from June through September, kicks off on June 29, 2017 featuring a “Tastes of Sicily” theme.
“This is such an exciting time for wine and food enthusiasts here in Chicago, and around the world,” said Jessica Altieri, CEO-Certified Sommelier, Wine Channel TV. “We are creating a fun and interactive evening with fantastic bites from Formento’s and bringing to life some of the world’s great wine brands.”
“Formento’s is very excited to partner with Wine Channel TV, and to host this unique program throughout the summer,” said Todd Stein, Executive Chef of Formento’s. “We look forward to supporting wine and lifestyle brands and bringing in enthusiasts from Chicago and beyond!”
These 2 hour “live experience” events will feature a wine tasting led by Jessica Altieri, a signature food pairing by Chef Todd Stein, bites from Formento’s and beverages by the sponsor wine brand, interaction with lifestyle brands, Facebook Live streaming with special guests and a raffle.
Formento’s and Wine Channel TV will continue to announce the upcoming themes, dates and sponsors for the remaining Sips of Summer events in the coming weeks.
Located in the Fulton Market District in Chicago’s bustling West Loop, Formento’s is a true Italian restaurant focused on hospitality. Created as a nod to the co-owner’s grandmother, guests will enjoy traditional Italian family recipes, alongside modern Italian-American favorites. Formento’s menu highlights cherished cuisine in an elevated dining establishment. In addition, Formento’s features a comprehensive wine and beverage program. The wine program is a beautifully curated list, predominantly highlighting wines from Italian regions. Formento’s also features the West Loop’s largest private dining space for a variety of events.
About Wine Channel TV: Founded by award winning CEO – Certified Sommelier, Jessica Altieri, Wine Channel TV ( www.winechanneltv.tv ) and Wine Channel TV Media(www.wctvmedia.com) is the leading digital video network in the wine lifestyle and entertainment market, educating and entertaining millennial and tech savvy wine enthusiasts around the world.
Online link to the press release for Sips of Summer is here:
What goes better than sipping a glass of wine and shopping? Chicago offers a lot for visitors and residents who enjoy the finer things in life. Summer is here, and you will find many fun activities to enjoy in Chicago. Take a look at these top 5 picks for sipping wine and shopping.
Browse a selection of over 90 artist’s works over the 385 acres. This festival boasts a variety of local food options to choose from. It is a celebration of art and nature that focuses on a botanical motif. It is an annual event that has a lot going on.
The Pitchfork Music Festival happens in Union Park. Enjoy live music, shop vendors, and participate in all of the fun. There are plenty of eating and drinking options to choose from. This year, the Pitchfork Music Festival will occur between July 14- July 16.
Taste of Chicago is the world’s largest food festival and it takes place every year. Along with a variety of foods from all over the world, there is music and activities for everyone. Taste of Chicago has happened every year since 1980 at Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park.
The Friday Art Markets take place in Daley Plaza. Drink wine from one of the many restaurants and walk through displays of local art and vendors. It’s located in the Loop in Downtown Chicago. It’s a busy area with a famous sculpture named “Picasso,” and with more than 500,000 people visiting it every day.
Enjoy food and wine from local vendors. A huge selection of handmade goods such as clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, and art make this a fun destination for shopping and wine in Chicago. Renegade Craft Fair is the world’s largest curated showcase for art and design.
Ramsey Lewis has recorded over 80 albums and has received seven gold records and three Grammy Awards so far in his career. His perfect pairing includes his award winning wife, Jan Lewis, who has designed custom jewelry for the Oscars. His inspiration for music and passion for life, comes in many forms, but usually includes a glass of wine while relaxing at home. His secret sauce for success; “really, really, love what you do”.
Besides winning 3 Grammys, and carrying the Olympic torch, it’s safe to say Ramsey Lewis enjoys life. What’s his recipe for life and success? What wine is he sipping these days? Who’s behind the inspiration of his legendary album, “Sun Goddess”? Grab a bottle and start searching the internet. Or watch this video…..
Stay tuned to Wine Channel TV for more “sips of summer”!
It's not a night out in Chicago without a taste of one of these local elixirs. The wine selection in this town is impeccable, but these particular pours are worth a special celebration.
Try a bottle (or two, or three) of these angelic whites for your next indulgent night out.
1. Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar: Michel Gahier "Les Crets" Chardonnay (Arbois, Jura, France)
That's right. This knockout bottle spent the past decade primping and polishing for your tasting pleasure.
2. D.O.C. Wine Bar: King Estate Pinos Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
From the luscious forests of western Oregon comes this juicy favorite.
3. Vera Restaurant & Wine Bar: Pierre Bonnet Val De Loire Chenin Blanc (Saumur, France)
Crisp, refreshing, and perfect for pairing with your favorite vegetable dish.
4. Bin 36: Weinkellerei H. Lun "Albertus Cantina Vini" Gewurztraminer (Sudtirol-Alto Adige, Italy)
Come and savor one of the most poignant flavors you'll ever experience.
5. Ampersand Wine Bar: Fernlands Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand)
Got a taste for island life? Known for its impeccable Sauvignon Blancs, this region of New Zealand is a hidden treasure for winos everywhere.
6. Enolo Wine Cafe: Nautilas, Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
Another gem from the Southern Hemisphere, this Sauv. Blanc is a people-pleaser.
7. DiSotto Enoteca: Nuevo Mundo Sauvignon Blanc (Maipo Valley, Chile)
Chilean wines are the unsung heroes of vino and this delicacy from Maipo Valley never disappoints.
8. Boarding House: Balthasar Ress Riesling (Rheingau, Germany)
A Riesling is a Riesling is a Riesling. If you're looking for a sweet escape with a little kick to it, this one is for you.
9. J9 Wine Bar: Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (Napa Valley, California)
Of course, it's not a white wine list without a splendid Chardonnay. Ordering without a menu never tasted so good.
10. 404 Wine Bar: Biohof Pratsch Grüner Veltliner (Austria)
Truly, this Grüner Veltliner is a mouthful to say and to sip.
In this segment, we learn about Robert Mondavi’s vision back in the 1960’s and how he coined the term, Fumé Blanc. Jessica and Joe talk about the wine and wonderful pairing options for summer or time any time of year.
2015 Robert Mondavi Winery 2015 Fumé Blanc Tasting Notes:
“As with Robert Mondavi’s very first vintage of this innovative style of sauvignon blanc, our 2015 Fumé Blanc adds rich layers of fruit to sauvignon blanc’s mouthwatering freshness. Lemon crème, vine-ripened white peach, and guava are joined by a subtle yet intriguing hint of ginger on a creamy wave of flavor. 96 % Sauvignon Blanc, 4 % Semillon”. (from Robert Mondavi)
Stay tuned for more segments featuring Robert Mondavi winemaker Joe Harden on Wine Channel TV.
Visit Robert Mondavi Winery
Visit Formento’s Chicago
Jessica Altieri, CEO and Founder of Wine Channel TV, curated the wine program for Chicago’s high-end VIP charity event, Once Upon a Stage – Piven Theatre Workshop Gala 2017, honoring Joyce Piven. Over 18 wines from around the world were featured for the 350+ VIP guests in attendance.
Enjoy this brief overview of the wine sponsors’ brands who generously supported our recent Piven Gala Event:
Bodegas Borsao Syrah Spanish in origin, this wine features flavors of dark berries, dried plums, with notes of espresso coffee, pepper and black olives. Its rich and full body complements roast leg of lamb, venison steak and souvlaki.
Bodegas Borsao -Tres Picos Grenache Another favorite, it boasts a very intense cherry red color with tones of purple and offers a great concentration of aromas of ripe red fruit with floral nuances. This well-structured, rich wine evokes hints of blackberry and plum and tones of leather and vanilla.
Bodegas Borsao – Rose A clear, bright raspberry-tinged wine produced from the best Garnacha grapes. Fruity, enchanting aromas evoke flavors of banana strawberry custard, macadamia cookie, and spiced cherries with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body. A very attractive rose for everyday enjoyment best paired with fish or turkey.
Concrete – Cabernet Sauvignon This cab is lush and firm in the style of the vintage made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry jam, currants and cassis notes are well-balanced with firm tannins. The big and bold entry from Lodi, California is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy steak or pasta bolognese.
Donnafugata – Lighea The first thing you notice about this Sicilian entry is its striking straw yellow color with green undertones. It offers a rich and fragrant bouquet with classic notes of orange blossom combined with scents of saturn peaches and Mediterranean scrub which can even hold up to fried fish.
Cantine San Marzano – Tramari Rosé di Primitivo Salento A fresh and elegant wine, it is softly rosé-colored, yet intense at the same time with cherry and raspberry notes. Originating from Puglia, Italy (“the heel” of the Italian boot), it is best served with Italian-style starters like antipasti or slightly-aged cheeses.
Cantine San Marzano – Sessantanni Primitivo di Manduria Intense ruby-red color, wide and complex to the nose, fruity, with a prune and cherry jam aroma, with notes of tobacco, even slightly spicy. Look for the notes of cocoa, vanilla and coffee at the end. Try this one with savory first courses or alone for your evening meditation.
Gloria Ferrer – Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc Its lively acidity comes from using only Chardonnay, hence “the white of whites” reference in its name. Aromas of crisp green apple and Asian pear come through with just a hint of toasty brioche. The finish features hints of creme brulee. Yum!
Laurent-Perrier – Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut NV It features a pale, golden hue and tiny effervescent bubbles. A delicate yet complex nose, fresh and well-balanced with hints of citrus and white fruits. It is a perfect aperitif drink, and it paired most suitably with fish, poultry and pork.
Lenz Moser – Grüner Veltliner Get ready for summer with this entry! Fresh and friendly green pear notes. This crisp grüner pairs well with a variety of foods.
Masottina – Extra Dry, Prosecco di Conegliano A fresh green apple nose and palate offering a lovely balance between sweet and refreshing. The fruit undertones in this wine include a hint of pear and lemon zest. Best when served with pork dishes.
Masottina – Le Rive di Ogliano Millesimato Extra Dry, Prosecco di Conegliano Another striking straw-yellow entry with suggestions of hay, mint, pear and fruit stone notes backed by eucalyptus (surprise!) on the nose. Be prepared for a peppery palate with a clean, well-structured attack yet short-lived finish. This friendly wine pairs well with soft goat cheeses.
Opolo Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles A rich, full choice with a ruby color. One taster notes “flavors of beeswax candle, vanilla nougat, and berry pie crust with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and an engaging finish with notes of mocha cream and spiced berries with firm tannins.” Very versatile; try it with meat or vegetarian dishes.
Opolo Vineyards – Albariño Edna Valley An extremely well-balanced and well-integrated wine. Classic Albariño taste aromas of honeysuckle, tangerine, and grapefruit. Creaminess and depth pair well with crisp acidity in this popular entry.
Opolo Vineyards – Viognier Central Coast California This Viognier possesses notes of mango, peach, and orange blossom with a hint of rose. Barrel aging in French Oak results in this complex, fragrant wine with a toasty finish. A great alternative to Chardonnay.
Raymond Vineyards – 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Forty never looked better on this release, right down to its elegant, velvet label making the anniversary of the first vintage made by the winery. The special wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauv, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah and Malbec. The grapes were sourced from Raymond’s certified organic and Biodynamic® vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, California.
Robert Mondavi Winery Maestro Red Blend Napa Valley A dark, deeply-colored Bordeaux with Merlot leading the orchestra. Juicy plum and cassis fruit notes play effortlessly with violet, cinnamon, and unsweetened cocoa in sumptuous sips full of vibrant flavor. The red blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot varietals ends with a crescendo of peppery spice.
Vivanco Viura -Tempranillo Blanco-Maturana Blanca Rioja The first wine in Rioja, and in the whole world, to be made with this unique blend. Using traditional Viura as the base and main variety (50%), the wine includes, for the first time, two grapes which are exclusive to Rioja: Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana Blanca. It features a fruity, intense aroma of bananas, citrus fruit and tropical fruit with underlying floral notes.
Go For The Wine: 5 Chicago Hotels Worth Visiting For Their World-Class Wine Bars
We know that Chicago is blessed with a solid and still burgeoning wine scene, but how is the wine situation at some of the city’s favorite hotels, you ask? For tourists and locals alike, there is an impressive collection of wine bars and lounges connected to just as lovely hotels and make for a memorable night out, lunch, dinner or happy hour. The exotic atmosphere of sitting in a luxe lounge, sipping on a sassy new Shiraz that you’ve discovered, and being surrounded by an interesting international crowd is something that’s hard to beat and hard to find elsewhere. We’ve rounded up five hits below that should definitely be up top on your to-sip list.
The Peninsula Chicago
Two worthy wine watering holes can be found inside the lavish definition of luxury, The Peninsula Chicago. Pierrot Gourmet is the true blue wine bar (and bistro) of the two, where a Parisian-esque outdoor area blends beautifully with their bright, friendly interior made of light wood. Sample seasonal, festive fair paired with complimenting European wines and flights, to the sounds of traditional music for special occasions. Later, mosey into another one of their drinking establishments,The Bar, for a more lounge-like vibe with their darker lighting and cozy armchairs to relax in.
Virgin Hotel Chicago
Two Zero Three is a casual spot adjacent to Virgin Hotels’ Chicago property in the Loop, where you can find a creative approach to wine drinking at this coffee and wine bar combo. Listen to old records spin and grab a book from their collection, as you nibble on cheese or other light fare with your Moscato...the perfect scene. If you get sleepy part way through your wine date, try one of their clever coffee concoctions to perk you back up. One thing to make note of is, as it’s also a coffee shop, their 7pm closing time - you’ll just have to get started drinking earlier in the day, in this case!
Cambria Hotel & Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile
52Eighty Rooftop Lounge at Cambria Hotel & Suites has a lot going for it, starting with of course its prime location boasting rooftop views while you taste the latest trendy wine to sweep the city off its feet. Sit inside or out and get the vistas either way, without having to worry about what kind of weather the predictably Windy City has cooked up. Enjoy fine charcuterie joined with an equally fine wine from their long yet carefully curated list, and to continue on the wine trail the hotel itself regularly hosts international wine events; it even has an on-site wine shop.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago
Right next to the hotel, South Water Kitchen is technically a full-service restaurant, but their wine list is also full enough to satisfy even the most stuffy of wine aficionados. Supporting mainly American west coast wineries, they cover all types while bringing these same flavors gracefully into their food offerings. Try the vegetarian-friendly zucchini with white wine garlic sauce, or alternatively, the Midwestern star walleye with red wine veal demi. Their moody, dark wood-finished interior with simple mosaic-adorned floor is comfortable and inviting, coaxing you to stay for hours savoring the homey goodness.
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
Another winner along the truly Magnificent Mile comes at Sofitel’s Le Bar, where their massive windows and roaring fireplace are only the beginning of the classy, comfy outing you’ll have here. Cutting-edge fiber optic lighting is sure to wow you and any company you bring, so suggest this for a future outing and get mega style points. Champagne is in abundance on the menu, and you can nibble on wine-centric tapas to exquisitely complement the bubbly, including generous servings of fresh bread, cured meats and selected cheeses. Don’t miss the chance to try many options at once in their tempting combination of wine flight and cheese flight together.
Join Jessica Altieri, Chicago Wine Tasting Expert and CEO of Wine Channel TV for the Summer of Sips on Wine Channel TV
Wine Channel TV and host Jessica Altieri present 10 GREAT CHICAGO WINE BARS for your sipping pleasure here in the Windy City. And yes there are many more to visit, but these 10 are a great start to getting your Chicago Wine Bar tour going for 1017
The Chicago wine scene has gained some serious street credit recently due to the explosion of wine bars showing up in every corner of the city, so if you're in the area and looking for a great atmosphere in which to enjoy a glass of your favorite vino, take a look at 10 of the best wine bars in the Chicago area.
Webster's Wine Bar: One of the most acclaimed wine bars in Chicago, Webster's Wine Bar is a great stomping ground for wine newbies and seasoned connoisseurs alike. Listed by The Wall Street Journal as "one of the 5 best wine bars in the country", Webster's boasts a massive wine list of over 500 labels, and offers delicious small plates for any peckish patrons.
The Lunatic, The Lover, and The Poet: Located inside of an old hardware store, this rustic-chic spot has three levels to explore, including a main floor eatery and wine bar, a lounge, and a basement wine room.
Vera: If you find yourself with a strong appetite while on your search for the perfect wine bar, stop by Vera and experience their Spanish influenced dining menu. Located just under the train tracks in the West Loop Neighborhood, the atmosphere is intimate and inviting, and Vera boasts a hearty selection of wine and spirits.
Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar: Founded by three former Webster Wine Bar employees in the Humboldt Park area, Rootstock has a wine list to end all other wine lists. If the offerings prove to be too overwhelming for you to choose from, they also offer wine flights to allow you to sample several wines at once.
Bar Pastoral: Bar Pastoral, a spin off of the artisan cheese and wine shop, Pastoral, is an intimate and relaxed neighborhood bistro celebrating local and global wine, meat, and cheese offerings.
Appellation: Like Bar Pastoral, Appellation is another wine bar and restaurant branching off from the wine and cheese shop, Pastoral. Specializing in modern American fare and delicious wines, the menu is simple and satisfying, and the atmosphere is rustic-chic and approachable.
Ampersand: Offering a warm atmosphere and delicious desserts, small plates, and comfort foods, Ampersand is a great spot to visit for fantastic happy hour specials. Ampersand also offers a monthly wine subscription club that includes bottles of their favorite wines, private dinners to preview new menus, and private after-hours tastings.
J9 Wine Bar: Touted as "an upscale neighborhood wine bar" with a relaxed atmosphere, J9 is truly the place for neighbors and friends to casually mingle and partake in global wines, cocktails, and small plates while enjoying each other's company.
Eno: Eno is a delightfully cozy and inviting take on the conventional wine tasting room, and the staff is incredibly passionate about what they do, insisting that they are "committed to your education in wine, cheese, and chocolate". Be sure to try one of their blind wine flights to test your wine knowledge and even find some new favorites to add to your wine rack at home.
The Twisted Vine: Initially started as a wine and gift retailer called The Gourmet Grape, The Twisted Vine is a wine and whiskey bar with a super laid back atmosphere. They offer very light snacks, but encourage guests to bring along their own food to enjoy on the premises as well. This bar is a great place to socialize with friends, and they provide a whole host of board games to challenge friends and strangers alike.
Butterscotch Budino and Ca'Momi Chardonnay
Join Wine Channel TV host Jessica Altieri for a Killer Pairing with Ca'Momi Chardonnay and a Butterscotch Budino pairing from Pisolino Chicago. Chef James David De Mart prepares an all-time perfect pairing with this buttery chardonnay from Ca' Momi Winery. #heartcrafted #camomi #winechanneltv
Malbec World Day is held on April 17 of each year as a salute to president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina, who declared it his mission to transform the Argentinian wine industry on this day. The year was 1853, and Sarmiento asked French soil expert Michel Aime Pouget to bring over some new wines – one of them was Malbec.
Malbec subsequently flourished in Argentina until 1956, when a freeze destroyed most Malbec vineyards. Over the years since, more than 10,000 acres of Malbec have been planted. Now, Argentinian Malbec is back as strong as ever.
Among these Malbecs is Zolo Malbec, an award-winning wine designed by winemakers Fabian Valenzuela and Jean Claude Berrouet.
Zolo is made with grapes only from the Mendoza River Valley’s first zone. According to Zolo President and CEO Patricia Ortiz, these grapes are known for their exceptional fruitiness. Crafted using sustainable methods, the wines spend 8 months in oak and include fresh red fruits and ripe tannins.
Zolo has become known as one of Argentina’s most high-tech wineries, and it’s been around since 2004. The estate-grown brand is committed to creating high craft wines with “aromatic complexity”.
Recently, Wine Channel TV and host Jessica Altieri sat down with Patricia Ortiz in an interview in which Zolo was specifically on the table. Since 2003, she has worked to further instill elegance and identity into her brand, and she’s excited to promote this special brand.
This Malbec World Day, #malbecworldday, you can enjoy a variety of Malbecs available around the world. No matter where you are, you can celebrate the heritage of rich Malbec! You might even find a Zolo near you.
2008 Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé
Spring means the holidays are over, but who says you can’t find a reason to celebrate every single weekend with some great bubbly? When I say great I mean put on your high heels and dance great. This Brut Rosé won best of class in the Los Angeles International Wine Competition. So only your classiest heels will do!
Spanish winegrowing traditions abound at the Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma, California. I would grab my overnight bag, lasso a few BFFs and head to their 335-acre estate for any springtime occasion. Why not get a head start on your tan, a quick introduction to sparkling-wine making, a peek at their vast caves, and then treat yourselves to one of the many bubblies they produce? These are wines of “earth and opulence.”
If you can’t spring a trip to sunny California, plunk down $45.00 for this shining pale salmon-hued Brut Rosé, to compliment brunch, a girls’ night out, or just lounging with friends in silk PJs.
A match made in heaven with fresh fruit, bright seafood dishes, oysters, grilled salmon and mussels. Or just simply sip it on its own on your front porch till the sun comes up.
The Unforgettable Kiss
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards launched in 1986, the first sparkling wine house in California’s Sonoma Carneros region. They’ve amassed 125+ awards and medals over the years, so I was eager to taste their bubblies. Ferrer knows how to set the scene. The view from their patio is to die for, sun drenching the cascading hills and vineyards.
I can really only describe that afternoon as a flight of sparkling wines. And the 2008 Brut Rosé simply flew me to the moon. Filled with delicious strawberry and rose petal aromas, hints of toasty vanilla, cherry and raspberry notes on the palate, and a crisp finish with just the right amount of effervescence. With every sip, I loosened my jewelry, kicked off my shoes, and breathed in the elegance.
That elegance comes from one tough-as-nails year when Ferrer’s Vineyards had record frost damage, high heat and wind, followed by June drought. Stress produced this gold medal winner.
So I raise my gorgeous glass of Brut Rosé to all of you. Cheers! Salud! Santé! Drink up! Whatever tough seasons may come your way, it is just life kissing your glass.
Creamy and buttery to steely and crisp, there is a Chardonnay for everyone! That’s the blessing of the Chardonnay grape: it’s so neutral, winemakers and their soils can bend it like Gumby. Or Pokey. Chardonnay is one flexible wine.
Diversity. Versatility. Here in the U.S., we defend and protect those traits. Well, the New World Chardonnays grown on U.S. soils defend and protect them, too. U.S. Chards are NOT like those grown throughout the world. There’s more to a great Chard than just big, bold and buttery. Put crisp white Burgundy on your divine-wine radar!
There’s Chard (wine) and chard (leafy green). And actually, when the greens are lightly sautéed in garlic, the two go well together. What food to pair with your Chard depends on the particular style of the wine. But you can’t go wrong serving creamy pastas, roasted chicken or fresh fish.
The Unforgettable Kiss
I have two great Chardonnay memories. The first came from a live-streamed interview with Master of Wine Michael Brackovich. As host of New Zealand Wine Day, I’m used to wine bigwigs talking the talk. But when I praised his stellar Chardonnay, Michael— with an international audience watching—leaned right in to the camera to promote the International Screwcap Initiative he helped launch Down Under. The screwcaps vs. corks debate riles up all wine lovers. It’s a saucy debate. That day Brackovich proclaimed, “the future is screw caps.” And you surely cannot fault his award-winning wines!
My second eye-opening memory came at a Landmark Vineyards wine dinner, where I got to create my own “blend” and play winemaker for a day. A few weeks later, when I received my very own Chardonnay blend in the mail, that not so noble wine shouted to the rafters, you are NOT a winemaker!
- Kumeu River Chardonnay
- Mirrasou Chardonnay 2011
- Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay 2011
- Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay Sonoma County 2011
- Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2009
A Little History Lesson
Almost everyone on the planet has heard of Chardonnay, in fact it is so popular that some people even name their children after it.
Chardonnay is commonly ordered as a type of wine from bars and restaurants but it is in fact the name of the most popular and possibly the most versatile grape in the world.
Almost all white Burgundy from Bourgogne Blanc to Chablis is made from 100% chardonnay grapes. The Chardonnay grape is also the mainstay in many types of champagne and is now even being used in Spain to make Cava.
The Chardonnay grape is so popular because it is easy to grow – that is probably why it is championed by so many grape producers. It can also be crafted into many different types of wines. Perhaps it is also so popular because it has little indigenous character of its own and instead displays the characteristics of the soil and climate where it is grown. Chardonnay has a propensity for acid and glycerine which is responsible for giving it a velvety texture – this is what is important in this type of grape. It is this texture which makes it so versatile when it comes to producing wine. It can be crafted into fresh lemony unoaked wine or aged in barrels to produce wine for a much richer palate. It is often seen as a cheap wine that is not worth trying but remember these grapes are used in top quality Chablis and Champagne, so don’t dismiss this grape and wine out of hand.
Chardonnay now comes in a host of different styles – gone are the days when all the bottles were heavily oaked, there is a chardonnay suitable for every palate and pocket and because of the versatility of the grape from almost every wine producing country in the world.
So which are the types of Chardonnay to look out for? What do they taste like? Here are a couple of generalisations to get you on your way. Of course the best way to find out which one is your favourite is to get your glass out and start tasting your way around a few of the bottles!
France produces a ream of different Chardonnays. For pure unoaked Chardonnay look for a Chablis labelled unoaked. This is great with fish as it is delicate and unobtrusive. For a clean flavoured wine with a subtle fruit aroma look to the Meursault and Montrachet regions
California produces wines that work well with grilled seasoned foods. The Napa valley produces great oaky fruity wines which are ideal for outdoor eating and drinking. For an even fruitier riper flavour try something from the Santa Barbara region, these highly flavoured wines will even taste great with grilled meats.
For a Chardonnay that is intensely flavoured and almost best drunk without food head to Australia and try something from the Hunter Valley. This tropically flavoured wine is great chilled and shared with a friend.
There are so many different types of Chardonnay from so many different countries that you are bound to find something to suit your palate. So what are you waiting for?
You’re barefoot. Your cell phone’s silenced and the waves are crashing on the beach. The only other sound? Sauvignon Blanc slithering out of a bottle, calling for fresh sea- food, a late night bonfire and great friends. This luscious white wine is summer in a glass!
I love drinking this crisp, light-to medium-bodied wine wherever I go. New Zealand Sauv Blancs slay me with their grapefruit, jalapeno & gooseberry aromas. The Loire Valley of France infuses its mellow Sauv Blancs with green apple, citrus and mineral notes. And right here in the U.S., California pampers us with the rich stylings of their Sauv Blancs, many with a hint of oak.
Pass your glass. There’s a Sauvignon Blanc for everyone’s palate!
- St. Supery Estate Sauvignon Blanc
- Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2012
- Frog’s Leap Rutherford Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Fresh seafood, oysters, grilled whitefish and grilled chicken are perfect pairings for this food-friendly wine that is stomped from green grapes.
The Unforgettable Kiss
I have such fond memories of sipping Sauv Blanc in the Marlborough Sounds after flying in a helicopter all day above vineyards! Row upon mesmerizing row of sunstruck green flew below me and the Mudhouse wine team in New Zealand. Their summer, which hap- pens to be our winter, warmed this Chicago gal’s heart forever. We landed on the pristine beach and ate the freshest oysters & green lipped mussels. In January! With the campfire glinting in our glasses, we toasted the long New Zealand summer.
My mouth still waters thinking about it.
It’s always great to tell a wine story that comes from the heart. And there is no better story to tell than the wine from Ca’ Momi, ROSSO. What’s Rosso all about? Rosso is a red wine with purpose, celebrating life’s simple pleasures, community, authenticity, enjoying life. It’s a wine that we would love to have with a great big pizza pie!
Let’s talk about the people and passion behind the wine- the 3 Italians. Founders Valentina Guolo-Migotto, Dario De Conti and Stefano Migotto all grew up in Italy, where community comes together around the table. Rosso is the wine that embodies their philosophy – passion, integrity, soulful intention. It’s a wine made by friends, to be enjoyed with friends, a wine that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle.
Here is how CA’ Momi describes Rosso from their website:
88 Points-Wine Enthusiast and Silver Medal Winner of the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition!
“This freestyle red blend rocks its own style without pretension or snobbishness. Aromas of ripe blueberries, subtle campfire smoke, and that blackberry patch down the road put summer vacation in your glass. Intense plum, blackberry pie, and toasty spice mingle on the palate, with moderate tannins providing structure through the finish.
This wine is rich but not soft, bold but not arrogant. Pair with whatever you want, and bring California attitude back to California wine.”
Stay tuned to Wine Channel TV over the next few months as we take you on a #heartcrafted tour with CA’ Momi and Rosso with Wine Channel TV host Jessica Altieri
4 Wines Under $20 for March Madness
Jessica Altieri - Chicago Wine Tasting
St. Patricks Day is all about the green. Wine Channel TV loves to save some "green" during March Madness Week.
These are great wines for the value! When you’re looking for a wine for everyday of the week while you’re just relaxing at home or hanging with friends, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good bottle of wine.These are four great spring time sippers and all are under $20 dollars each!
Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough New Zealand
- Crisp White Wine - Spring time in a bottle!
- The Grassy aromas reminds me of springtime and being back in New Zealand…a must visit where they’re known for their bright Sauv Blancs!
- Filled with juicy grapefruit, passion fruit, gooseberry and tropical notes on the palate with a crisp finish!
- Perfect beach, salad and seafood wine…bring on the oysters, white fish, and grilled chicken salads!
Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2013
- Reminds me of a bright juicy watermelon you’d eat in warmer weather!
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon rosé from the Central Coast of South Africa- perfect aperitif, picnic and porch sipper wine!
- This wine is perfect for when you want that white wine refreshing crisp feeling... but with the slight muscle of a red wine.
- Mulderbosch Rosé was one of the very first of its kind from South Africa. Most people think of France with Rosé, but you should put South Africa on your radar!
- Upon arrival at the cellar, these early picked, specially selected grapes are vinified in the same manner in which an aromatic white wine would be, with the aim of producing a fresh, aromatic style of Rosé.
- Bright watermelon pink hue makes you instantly think of spring! Ripe blood orange, cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors, with citrus and white pepper notes on the vibrant finish.
- Salmon, salads, turkey, Thai, sushi and fresh fruit are winning pairings!
Ravenswood Vintners Blend Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
- Zesty California Zin- your go to BBQ & Burger wine!
- Made by the Godfather of Zin, Joel Peterson who’s not only smart being the son of two chemists, but definitely knows his zins! Produces many high and low end zins, but this is a perfect everyday wine sipping on the couch!
-This Robust Zin is filled with spicy raspberry, boysenberry and black cherry notes with a long mouthwatering finish!
- Ribs, Burgers, and other spicy meats, along with hearty pastas with tomato sauce make killer pairings!
Jam Jar Sweet White 2011
- Sweet dessert wine; heaven at the end of the meal & ladies night out!
- 100% Muscat from Western Cape, South Africa. Many great, wallet friendly wines from there that you should check out!
- It’s filled with sweet peach, apricot, mango and even pineapple aromas and flavors, with a crispness to it that gives the wine a perfect juicy finish!
- Great on its own…but even better poured over some fresh fruit with a dollop of whipped cream! Or a tasty, refreshing contrast to spicy Thai food!
Cheers to spring!