This spring, geography is even less of an obstacle to taking one of my classes!
In the new NYU/James Beard Foundation program, we’ll be looking at the hot-button issue of modern versus traditional winemaking styles. Our journey will take us to several New World wine regions including Napa, Barossa, Washington, Mendoza and South Africa. Starts 3/23 for 5 weekly sessions. (info and registration)
And at the University of Chicago, we’ll be looking at the conundrum facing French winemakers today through the historical and cultural lens of two regions, Bordeaux and Languedoc. This class runs on Saturday afternoon, 3/25. (info and registration)
And in Chicago again, we’ll taking a varietal approach as we examine the appeal, variation, and history of the finicky Pinot Noir. (info and registration)
I hope to see you there!
While not much wine is made in Illinois, lots of wine is consumed in Chicago. Thanks to one of the most competitive markets in the country, Chicago wine consumers enjoy low prices and a broad selection of imported and domestic wines.
I have put together an interactive map of Chicago wine shops to explore the variety of shops available. The informative pushpins provide brief descriptions of the shops as well as their hours, contact info and links to their web sites. You can view it on a map, satellite view or a hybrid–complete with driving directions to each store! Check it out and find a shop near you!
Thanks to the reference site googlemapsmania. Inspiration for all interested in mapping!
Well, it’s been a pleasure holding the fort these past days. Thanks again to Dr. Vino for the podium.
One parting observation: I’m writing this from Chicago, which has so much great wine (though not great vineyards…) So why aren’t there any wine bloggers in Chicago? (My current week’s stint excepted.) So much wine, and so many serious wine shops, but no blogging. (I’m excluding the cheesy self-promotional blogs that just try to sell stuff, like, say, this one…)
Notice the big gap on the western shore of Lake Michigan on the map. Are Chicagoans too busy drinking? No time to write?
After a brief hiatus, I am back in blogging action. I was in Chicago and didn’t even access my email for 48 hours! (Fortunately it wasn’t that long between glasses of wine.)
I taught a one-day course at the University of Chicago entitled “critiquing the wine critics.” The participation was terrific and the wines were controversial–we had the Tablas Creek, Esprit de Beaucastel, 2002 that the NYT tasting panel had dismissed on 11/2 as “off – not exactly corked, but with musty, unattractive aromas” but that Parker blessed with 92 points. (We generally liked this wine more than the NYT’s bottle though it was not a Parker-style hedonistic fruit bomb.)
The most bizarre wine of the day was the Connor Park, Shiraz, The Honour 2002, which was a disjointed, glycerin alcohol bomb that clocked in at a stunning 17% alcohol. (Parker all but calls you a “girlie man” if you don’t like the wine by bestowing it with 95 points and writing “Readers looking for restrained, Euro-styled wines should steer clear of this behemoth.”)
Perhaps the most popular wine of the day was something that, tasted blind, one participant said tasted “Northern Rhonish” and indeed turned out to be the Domaine de Colombier, Hermitage, 2000. But it may have been infanticide to drink it this young as it undoubtedly has many years ahead of it.
Different strokes for different folks. The Japanese baseball champs douse their star with Sapporo beer (I love the beer goggles–literally). The Major League Baseball champs Chicago White Sox douse themselves with
champagne sparkling wine.
After taking the division title the ChiSox reportedly doused themsevles with Korbel. Let’s hope owner Jerry Reinsdorf splurged for something a little better to celebrate the end of the nearly 90 year championship drought.
Take a class this fall with Dr. Vino! Thanks to courses in New York and Chicago, geography is even less of an obstacle! Registration deadlines are looming so sign up soon:
|NYU September 22|
|In Vino Veritas: The New International Culture and Politics of Wine. Register now|
|NYU November 3|
|Becoming a Wine Expert: The Essentials of Wine Tasting. (in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation) Register now|
|University of Chicago (October 1, 2:30-7:00)|
Vino latino: wines of Spain, Chile and Argentina Register now
|University of Chicago (November 12,|
Critiquing the Critics.
Last night I stopped by Chalet Wine and Spirits just off Chicago’s swanky Magnificent Mile for a bottle of vino. While I was rummaging around looking for a bargain in the Argentine section I heard a couple discussing some fine California cabs, young daughter in tow.
“This one is supposed to be good. I think somebody gave it 100,” the man said.
I thought nothing of it and continued my browsing. By the time I made it to the register in this small shop, I found that the couple had beat me there. I watched as bottles of fine wine got scanned and put in the shopping bag. Surely, I thought, the magnum of Joseph Phelps Insignia ($250?) on the counter was there for display? Nope. Scan. In the bag.
With a total bill of $605 for a bag of bottles, I wondered who was this couple?
After they left, the staff member working the register proudly told me that it was a member of the Chicago Cubs who had just played at Wrigley Field that afternoon (and had the next day off I later learned). It’s good to see that this player, who is having the best season of his career, has fine taste in wine!
The last time I saw a Cub in a store was at a 7-Eleven after a game about 10 years ago. He was the starting pitcher who had a 1-10 record as I recall and had just suffered another pounding. He bought a six-pack of Schlitz…
I wonder what the shop staff said after I left? “That was Dr. Vino!”