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May Wine Events: From Rioja Week To The Great Chicago Chardonnay Showdown

By John Lenart in Food on May 1, 2015 6:05PM

(Photo from Formentos)

If you love wine, here's some great events to attend this month, from Rioja Week to the Roscoe Village Wine Stroll. Grab a glass and enjoy.

May 02, 2015

Rioja Week
Union Station
500 W Jackson Blvd
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
$65 Ticket (plus 3.95 service fee)

If you dig Spanish wines, this is the event for you. Over 40 Rioja winemakers pour their wines alongside tapas from some of the most notable chefs in the U.S. all set in Union Station.

Dinner with Dario Cecchini & RPM Steak
RPM Steak
66 W. Kinzie St.
7:00 p.m.
$225 per person (excluding tax and gratuity)

The world's first "rockstar butcher" along with his team of cooks comes from Italy to RPM Steak for an evening of butchery demonstration, fine wine and dining. Guests will enjoy a dinner of Italian classics beef dishes made from Slagel Farms beef paired with wines from Gaja and Il Poggione.

Credit: Bascule's Facebook Page

May 5th

Beckham Estate Wine Dinner
Bascule Wine Bar
1421 W Taylor St
7:00 p.m.
$75 per person
To book your seat call (312) 763-6912

Bascule presents a five course dinner paired with very small production wines from Beckham Estate. Wines featured will be pinot noir rose, amphorae pinot gris, two vintages of estate Pinot Noir and Dow's pinot noir.

Meet & Greet with Carlos Ruivo of Darei and Tiago Teles
Perman Wine Selections
802 W Washington Blvd
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
$15 Per Person (non-refundable ticket)
RSVP by calling 312-666-4417, all tickets must be secured with a credit card

An informal walk-around tasting of the full range of wines from Lagar de Darei in the Dão and Tiago Teles from Bairrada. Only eight spots will be available per half hour.

Celebrate Osteria Langhe's 1st Anniversary
Free wine tasting with La Ganghija

Osteria Langhe
2824 W. Armitage
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
For reservations call (773) 661-1582
Wines will be available for purchase by the glass, flight or bottle.

Producer Enzo Rapalino will talk to guests about his wines and Chef Cameron Grant will create specials of traditional dishes to match the wines.

May 6th

Unexpected Pairings - Re-thinking the Traditional Pairing
City Winery
1200 W. Ransolph St.
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
$60 Ticket

Learn how to enhance the flavors of your favorite dish by pairing it with the perfect wine. This class will teach you how to flip the standards and approach pairing from an unexpected, daring angle.

May 7, 2015 

Great Chicago Chardonnay Showdown Gala Celebration in Chicago
The Signature Room at the 95th Floor
John Hancock Center
6:30 - 7:30 Reception    
7:30 Dinner Seating
$250 per person

In 1980 "The Great Chicago Chardonnay Showdown” brought together 221 of the best Chardonnays from around the world for a historic first: the largest blind tasting of that time of one single varietal. The 1977 Grgich chardonnay triumphed over the best chardonnays from around the world.

This event celebrates the anniversary of that historic event. Violet Grgich will be in Chicago to celebrate this success at the Signature Room at the 95th. This evening features a five -course meal paired with Grgich Hills Estate wines.

May 12th

Free wine tasting with Deltetto Canale
Osteria Langhe
2824 W. Armitage
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
For reservations call (773) 661-1582
Wines will be available for purchase by the glass, flight or bottle.

Producer Carlo Deltetto will talk to guests about his wines and Chef Cameron Grant will create specials of traditional dishes to match the wines.

May 19th

Peay Wine Dinner
RPM Italian
52 W. Illinois
8:00 p.m.
$120 per person
To reserve a seat call 312.955.1413.

Guests enjoy a special 4-course dinner with Peay Vineyards from the West Sonoma Coast.

Banshee Wine Dinner
Summer House Santa Monica
1954 North Halsted St
6:00pm - 8:00pm
$75 per guest + tax (gratuity not included).
Please call 773-634-4100 or email Katie at for reservations.

Wine Director and Sommelier Ryan Arnold and Executive Chef Ben Goodnick create a four-course wine pairing dinner featuring Banshee Wines. The menu includes: Tomales Bay Oysters, Gougères and Fava Bean ‘Brandade,’ Warm Yellow Buck Camembert with Petit Greens, Duo of California King Salmon, and Santa Maria BBQ Grilled Tri-Tip with Rancho Gordo Pinto Beans and Pico de Gallo, all paired with Banshee Wines.

Zepaltas Wines and Gros Ventre Cellars Wine Dinner
925 W. Randolph
6:30 p.m.
$125 plus tax and gratuity
Please email for info or reservations

Zepaltas Wines and Gros Ventre Cellars wine dinner with Ryan Zepaltas and Chris Pittenger - 4 courses from Chef Tony Quartaro paired with seven wines from Zapaltas and Gros Ventre Cellars

May 20th

West Coast Sonoma Vintners Presents West of West Wine Festival
City Winery
1200 W. Randolph
6:00-9:00 p.m.
$75 per ticket

The Grand Tasting offers a stellar line up of more than 30 producers and growers pouring some of their most coveted and hard-to-find gems.
"West Sonoma Coast Vintners (WSCV) Members:
32 Winds Wine, Baker Lane Vineyards, Banshee Wines, Benovia, Benziner, Boheme Wines, Ceritas Wines, Charles Heintz Vineyard & Winery, Cobb Wines, Failla, Flowers Vineyard & Winery, Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, Freeman Vineyard & Winery, Gros Ventre Cellars, Halleck Vineyard, Hartford Family Winery, Hirsch Vineyards, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, LaRue Wines, LIOCO Wines, Littorai, MacPhail Family Wines, Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery, Martinelli Winery, Patz & Hall Wine Co., Paul Hobbs Winery, Peay Vineyards, Ramey Wine Cellars, Red Car Vineyards, Siduri, Small Vines Wines, Sojourn Cellars, Sonoma Coast Vineyards, Wayfarer."

Littorai Wines Wine Dinner
925 W. Randolph
6:30 p.m.
$185 inclusive

Chef Tony Quartaro and Beverage Director Steve Morgan create a menu paired with the wines of Littorai. The menu includes:


Passed Hors d'Oeuvres

2013 Thieriot Vineyard Chardonnay

~1st Course~

Lobster Panzanella, Straciatella and Asparagus, Tomato Vinaigrette

2012 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay

~2nd Course~

Fava Bean and Black Truffle Ravioli

2010 Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir

~3rd Course~

Quail al Mattone, Rhubarb Jus, Carrot and Celery Root Caponata

2009 Mays Canyon Pinot Noir

~Cheese Course~

2009 The Haven Pinot Noir

May 28th

Roscoe Village Wine Stroll

Lush Wine and Spirits and The Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce
2232 W. Roscoe St.
Tickets are $45 per person online or $60 per person at the door (if still available).
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Stroll through quaint Roscoe Village during the second Annual Roscoe Village Wine Stroll. Taste over 40 wines and enjoy hors d’oeuvres in Roscoe Village's shops, boutiques and businesses. Staff from Lush will be on hand at each stop to pour wines and answer any questions about them. A complimentary trolley will also circle the route

Following the stroll, Lush invites attendees to an after-party for the opportunity to continue tasting and to purchase favorite wines from the stroll. The after party takes place at Lush Roscoe Village (2232 W. Roscoe St.) from 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Weekly Events

Terroir Tuesdays
Table, Donkey and Stick
728 W Armitage Ave
5:00 p.m.
Prices vary

Every Tuesday Table, Donkey and Stick presents Terroir Tueday's, a rotating tasting of rare and exciting wines poured by the glass at wholesale cost. May's tastings include:

May 5: Highlights from Robert Kacher Selections

May 12: Introducing Peter Lauer and Karthauserhof to Chicago

May 19: Celebration of the Sonoma Coast and West of West

May 26: The wines of Ar.Pe.Pe

Chef Somm Series
1023 W Lake
$35 plus tax and gratuity
(312) 243-9770

Every Tuesday in May Vera features the wines of the Willamette Valley. Somm Patti Robbison and Sous Chef Gabriel Villalobos present a $35 plus tax and gratuity, three course, food and wine pairing.