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Wine Shops: Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe

By Lisa Shames in Food on Jul 3, 2007 5:30PM

knights_store.jpgIf a wine shop has its own in-house chef — a Charlie Trotter-trained one at that — odds are it’s going to offer quite a different experience than those warehouse-sized ones you’re used to. And that’s just fine with the people behind Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe & Epicurean Centre. Open since 1986, this cozy Northbrook store takes buying a bottle of wine up a couple notches (the British spellings of its name and the fact that Knightsbridge, an area in London, is home to many of the world’s richest people are definite tip offs).

But just because Knightsbridge has lots of fancy-pants offerings — did we mention that the entire store is actually a giant climate-controlled cellar? — that doesn’t mean wine novices aren’t welcome. The store boasts a world-class selection of 4,000 bottles and prides itself on top-notch customer service, including helping customers find the perfect bottle at any price point. In fact, Knightsbridge is just one exit away from Ravinia, making it a great pre-concert pit stop for a bottle or two of vino — let them know what’s in your picnic basket, and they’ll be happy to pair a wine with it — or some cheeses from their deli counter.

For those winos who want to expand their grape knowledge, Knightsbridge can help there, too, with personal tutorials and in-store group wine-tasting seminars. New owner Kevin Mohalley, a long-time Knightsbridge employee, does his homework, attending hundreds of tastings around the world, including the annual barrel-sampling in Bordeaux and Burgundy which involves tasting over 1,000 wines within two weeks (sadly, our on-the-job training doesn’t have the same appeal). If you’ve got some bucks to burn, check out Knightsbridge in-store private dinners, which feature custom menus from chef Matthew Fearnbaugh — he’s well known for his braised short ribs and innovative foie gras preparations (hey, this is the suburbs, baby!) — complete with silk-draped chairs, candles and, natch, wines. If you’re in need of a chair-filler, we’re happy to oblige.

Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe & Epicurean Centre is located at 824 Sunset Ridge Road, Northbrook; 847-498-9300.