We came, we saw, we juiced

juicy2 The Friday meetup at Juicy Wine Co in Chicago was a good time. Former participants in my U of C classes, some site readers that I had never met including a sommelier and a leading econoblogger were there. As was the inimitable team from Upgrade: Travel Better.

Juicy offers a compact but cool environment that even made this New Yorker jealous. Why? The wine bar/wine shop is not legally an option in New York thanks to silly laws prohibit wine consumers from buying a bottle to go or to stay. Juicy charges a $15 corkage, or in their parlance, “chill out” fee over the retail prices, which makes it the cheapest place to sit down and enjoy a bottle of Krug in the city.

I stuck with the wines by the glass enjoying a Kerner from Alto-Adige and a plate of American artisanal cheeses. Charcuterie is also available but no hot food. The wine list is not enormous but the selections are well-chosen with many selections I wanted to try. Oddly, for being a wine destination, the wine list has no vintages.

We were served by the wildly knowledgeable and personable Linda Violago who has served many a fine wine at Charlie Trotter’s, her main gig, for the past few years. She is leaving Chicago in ten days to assume the chief wine duties at Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain. If readers of this blog go to that restaurant in the near future (and I am envious, yes), then give her a shout!

Juicy Wine Company
694 N. Milwaukee Ave.
(312) 492-6620

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2 Responses to “We came, we saw, we juiced”


  1. Great to see you, Doc. Our first visit to Juicy and we’ll likely go back. But I don’t understand any place that is about wine that doesn’t list vintages on their list. I can’t fully accept the server’s response that its because most of their customers don’t know the difference. I like to think that the knowledge and experience that I have (gained, in part in your classes) should come in to play in making a wise selection. For example, I would not pay the same price for a 2002 Rhone as I would for an ’01 or ’03. I always “mark down” my rating of a wine list that does not show the vintage.


  2. The response is late, but I had to say something. I stand by my remarks that I made that day about vintages on that particular wine list. It is not how I would write a wine list. So he wants to get a clearer answer, he should direct his comments and questions to the owner. I stand by the wine list at Juicy – it’s a fun place to enjoy wine. The team there is knowledgeable and the wine selection hits all points in terms of region, variety and price points. And if people who are just starting to get introduced to wines choose to come to a wine bar like Juicy, where there is no pretense, then Rodney and Aracely have done their job right. And if those people, after speaking with the server, choose to drink a Red Rhone and enjoy it, then I do think that at that moment in time the vintage is irrelevant.

    I know that the first wine that I drank that turned me on to wine – Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer – was really amazing (at that time). Full stop. Nothing else mattered, because I was hooked. (It was 1997, by the way)

    Linda

    PS Spain is awesome, come and visit!


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