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Class Is Now In Session at Bin 36

By Roger Kamholz in Food on May 30, 2012 7:00PM

On the heels of a recent food-menu reboot, the Bin 36 in River North is also breathing new life into its wine-education program with a series of informative new classes. We were invited to sit in on the most recent installment of Bin School, which focused on so-called emerging wine regions.

During the 90-minute seminar, entitled "far out grapes from far out places," Bin 36's Jan Henrichsen presented eight wines that either hailed from regions that hadn't yet "arrived" (i.e., gained any recognition or reputation) on the world stage, or were better known for turning out juice made from other grapes. Selections from Bin's new food menu accompanied the four whites and four reds.

An example of the former: a sparkling white wine from Michigan that blended Old and New World carbonation methods for a wonderfully effervescent texture (NV Extra-Sec, Vidal/Cayuga, M. Lawrence, "Green"); in the latter camp was a delicious Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina (2008 La Madrid, "Reserve", Agrelo Vineyard), an area that made a name for itself with Malbec. Henrichsen - a longtime Bin wine expert who has also bought wines for Pastoral - also clued us in to wineries that are drawing untapped potential from their familiar "hometown" grapes, such as a winery in Tokaji, Hungary, making a rare dry white from furmint (2009 Dobogo, Szent Tamas Betser Vineyard), a grape historically associated with sweet dessert wines.

Bin 36 Wine Director Brian Duncan will lead the next installment of Bin School, scheduled to take place on June 19th at 6:30 p.m. In a session entitled "Food and Wine Synergy" ($60), Duncan will discuss how to approach pairing wines with cheeses. (Some basic wine knowledge is recommended.)

Bin 36 is located at 339 North Dearborn Street.