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Our Favorite May Wine Events Coming Up Soon

By John Lenart in Food on Apr 29, 2016 6:37PM

Spring is finally here, and along with the great weather comes some fantastic wine events. Below, we've rounded up some of our favorites.


Mazzei Winery Dinner
Piccolo Sogno (464 N Halsted St.), 6 p.m.
$90 per person

This special wine dinner will feature a five-course menu by Chef Tony Priolo and Wine Director Ciro Longobardo, paired with tastings of Mazzei’s famous white and red wines. Special guest Francesco Mazzei, will lead guests through the wines.
The wines include Rosato Belguardo, Nero D’Avola “Zisola,” Chianti Classico Fonterutoli, and others. The menu includes Insalata di Sepia (poached cuttlefish with fennel, lemon, squid ink), Melanzane (Breaded eggplant, wood fired with tomato and mozzarella), Pappardelle con Cinghiale (Wide flat pasta, spiced wild boar ragu), plus other Italian specialties. 

For reservations call (312) 421-0077 or email

Sommelier for a Day
III Forks (180 N. Field Blvd.), 5-7 p.m.
$20 per person

III Forks Prime Steakhouse Sommelier Brian Speh will lead participants through a sampling of six different selections from California, paired with an array of small bites. Guests then vote on their favorite wines. The winner will then be featured for the month.

Wines will include:

Red Car 'Ritchie Vineyard' Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, California 2013
Sandhi, Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, California 2013
Krupp Brothers 'Black Bart's Bride' White Blend, Napa Valley, California 2014
Argot 'Madras', Steiner Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California 2012
Domaine de la Cote 'Estate', Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, California 2012
Neyers, 'Neyers Ranch', Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley-Conn Valley, California 2012

RSVP by calling (312) 938-4303


Butcher Demo & Dinner with Dario Cecchini
RPM Steak (66 W. Kinzie St.), 7 p.m.
$265 per person (plus tax; gratuity not included)

For the second year in a row, RPM Steak will host world-renowned, eighth-generation Italian butcher Dario Cecchini, who will make guests a meal paired with Tuscan wine. Cecchini will demonstrate the techniques of breaking down beef and pork, and present guests with a dinner including his famous classic Florentine steaks, paired with the fantastic wines of Gaja and Il Poggione.

Reserve by clicking here.

Australian Experience with Negociants Australia
Plum Market Old Town (1233 N. Wells St.), 6:30 to 8 p.m.
$20 per person

Australia's diverse wine regions turn out elegant, exceptional wines that defy the “jammy” stereotype. This tasting will spotlight Vasse Felix, located in the Margaret River appellation of Western Australia. Special guest Tom Begault, Vasse Felix Development Manager, will tell guests what’s going on “Down Unda.” Guests will also taste an assortment of other classic wines from Henschke, Pewsey Vale, and Yalumba in Eden Valley, as well as Langmeil in Barossa.

To reserve seats, call (312) 229-1400.


Old World vs New World Wine Tasting Class
Spiaggia (980 N. Michigan Ave.), 1 to 3 p.m.
$78 per person

This tasting centers on comparing wines from Europe, the United States and the Southern Hemisphere. Spiaggia's Sommelier Rachael Lowe will discuss the varying wine-making techniques as well as the flavor profiles that make these wines so different. Light appetizers will be paired with the wine.

For tickets click here.

Rites of Spring Tasting
Chevalier Fine Wines (1000 N. Milwaukee Ave.), 12 to 4 p.m.
$75 per person

Taste 40 highly sought after French wines available for purchase at an average of 40 percent below retail price. Here are just a few wines that will be opened: 2010 Volnay "Clos de la Chapelle" 1er Cru; 2009 Albert Bichot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Lavaux St. Jacques”.

To reserve seats, call (773) 661-6025 or email Only 100 tickets will be sold.

MAY 11

Calabrian Wine Dinner
Publican Quality Meats (825 W. Fulton Market), 7 p.m.
$75 per person

Did you know that all wines from Calabria in Southern Italy are made with the same grape varietal? It's called Gaglioppo. Wines made from this lesser known grape will be celebrated by Publican Quality Meats.

The menu includes:

N'duja toast (crab, English pea, spring onion, fennel)
Paired with Rosso Classico, Superior 
Swordfish meatballs (fava bean, basil pesto, pecorino, spaghetti)
Paired with Macalla 
Pork collar (crispy potato, pistachio, asparagus, peperonata)
Paired with Classico Rosso

To reserve email

MAY 12

Spanish Wines Round Table Tasting
Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe (824 Sunset Ridge Road in Northbrook), 6 to 8 p.m.

Knightsbridge, known for an extensive Burgundy selection, offers its first Spanish focused Round Table Tasting of 2016 with Dominik Huber, owner and winemaker at Terroir al Limit in Priorat.  In the decade since the winery’s founding Dominik has pursued a philosophy that promotes wines of complexity and balance—not simply power. Guests can taste the following, which will also be available for purchase:

2012 Dits del Terra — 94 WA
2012 L’Arbossar — 95 WA
2012 Les Maynes — 98 WA
2012 Les Tosses — 98 WA
2012 Pedra de Guix — 94 WA
2012 Terra Cuques — NYR (2013 is 92 WA)
2012 Torroja — NYR (2013 is 93 WA)

To reserve seats, call 847-498-9300

MAY 13

Oregon Wine Tasting Party
City Winery (1200 W. Randolph St.), 7-9 p.m.
$45 per person
Guests will taste through some of the best wines from Oregon in this walkabout tasting party held, weather permitting, in City Winery's otudoor wine garden. Enjoy an evening of tasting wines from various Oregon wineries. Oregon thrives as an Old World-influenced wine area that produces varietals with great history and tradition. Savor the terroir, fruit and body influenced by climate and the technique of each winemaker.

For tickets click here.

Boisset presents "Sommelier’s Secrets: What Not to Pair"
Salero (621 W. Randolph St.), 6 to 9 p.m.
$75 per person

At this event, wine author Marnie Old will present an interactive tasting experience featuring six wines paired with a menu from Chef Ashlee Aubin. This wine and food pairing experience will draw from the pages of Old’s new book, Wine: A Tasting Course, and will allow guests to sample a range of wines with a diverse array of flavors. Guests will explore the principles of matching, too, from basic chemistry to sensory science.  Discover how and why a recipe’s seasoning can be more important than whether you’re serving fish or meat.

To reserve seats, click here.

MAY 15

2016 Andersonville Wine Walk
Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark St.), 3 to 6 p.m.
$35 per person until May 8, then $40

Co-sponsored by In Fine Spirits, the Wine Walk transforms Andersonville’s shops and offices into wine tasting rooms with more than wines to sample. The event will feature two routes, each with stops at 12 local businesses. Both routes (North and South) will feature 36 wines.

The Andersonville Wine Walk will begin with check-in at the Swedish American Museum.

North Route:

Andersonville Antiques
Athletico Physical Therapy North
City Olive
Jameson Loves Danger
Mercantile M
Murray & White
Norcross and Scott
RE: Chiropractic + Wellness
Room Service Chicago
Sparkles Fine Jewelry
Allstate Insurance

South Route:

Andersonville Galleria
Athletico Physical Therapy South
Early to Bed
Foursided Framing* Card* Gift*
Milk Handmade
Notice: Accessories for Living
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
The Guesthouse Hotel
The Runner's Edge
The Wooden Spoon
Women & Children First Bookstore

For tickets call (773) 728-2998 or click here.

MAY 18

Summer Wine Series: Island Wine
City Winery (1200 W. Randolph St.), 7-9 p.m.
$60 per person

This part of the series focuses on Greece, whose winemaking tradition dates back 6,500 years. (It's one of the first regions showing evidence of crushed grapes.) Guests will explore wines from various regions like Crete, Macedonia and the Aegean Islands. Learn about the rich history of the Grecian culture and its influences on some of the most exotic wines today.

For tickets click here.

MAY 19

Sailing & Wine Tasting at Belmont Harbor
Presented by Lynfred Wines at Belmont Harbor, 5-9:30 p.m.
$70 per person

Whether you’re an avid sailor or a boating novice, this is the perfect way to enjoy a night out on Lake Michigan.  The boats take off from Belmont Harbor at 5:30pm and after two hours of sailing, guests will be treated to dockside wine tasting featuring Lynfred wines.  No sailing experience necessary.

To reserve seats, click here.

MAY 21 AND 22

Lincoln Park Wine Festival
Jonquil Park (1001 W. Wrightwood Ave.), 1 to 6 p.m.
General admission is $50 per person, VIP $75, both days $90

Spring officially starts with the Lincoln Park Wine Fest which will transform the tranquil Northside park into an open-air market featuring wine and food pavilions.
Within the park's two acres, sample wine and mingle with sommeliers. The fest also features a live music lineup, food-wine pairings, fine artists and the products/services of wine-related vendors.

For tickets click here.

MAY 25

Sabering Lesson and Champagne Tasting
The Bristol (2152 N. Damen Ave.), 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
$40 per person

You've seen all the somms do it. Now it's you're turn to wield the saber and pop open a bottle of bubbly. Wine Director Charles Ford will lead this class in the art of sabering, safety tips and all. The class includes a tasting of three champagnes. .

For tickets click here.


Three Liter Thursdays
Acanto (18 S. Michigan Ave.)

Each Thursday, Acanto pulls the cork on a three liter bottle and pours it by the glass.

May 5: 'Cinco Litros de Mayo'—Piaggia Carmignano Riserva DOCG 2001 & 2007—Toscana
One of the top “Super Tuscan” bottlings from this classic area of Tuscany.
Both from 5 Liter bottles in honor of Cinco de Mayo!

May 12—Bastianich 'Vespa Bianco' 2009—Friuli
A "Super Friulian" blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Picolit.

May 19—Gonet-Medeville Blanc de Noirs—Champagne  
Popping some champagne to toast sister restaurant Beacon Tavern opening in Mid-May.

May 26—Cascina Chicco Barbera d'Alba 'Bric Loira' 2005—Piemonte
A rare producer's bottling of Barbera that is showing incredible development with 11 years of age!

Terroir Tuesdays
Table, Donkey and Stick
2728 W. Armitage Ave.

Each Tuesday, Table, Donkey and Stick features glass pours of rare and older vintage wines poured at their cost.

May 3rd—Grower Champagne to celebrate the James Beard Awards featuring Tarlant, Chartogne-Taillet and Gimonnet.
Tarlant ‘Brut Zero’ Rose
Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Brut
2009 Gimonnet ‘Cuvee Gastronome’ Brut
May 10th—Hot dogs and Sherry with Liz Mendez of Vera. Liz has long been convinced that a good Amontillado Sherry is the perfect match for a classic Chicago-style hot dog. Combining the “Terroir Tuesday” wine series with the kitchen’s reputation for house-made charcuterie and sausages presented an opportunity to prove to the world how good this pairing really is.

The menu includes:

Inocente Fino Sherry served with Marcona Almonds & Olives $8
Tio Diego Amontillado Sherry served with house-made Classic Chicago Dog $10
Viejo CP Palo Cortado Sherry served with house-made Weisswurst $14
Cardenal Palo Cortado VORS $15/oz

May 17th—Vietti Barbera Scarrone Vigna Vecchia Vertical. Possibly the greatest Barbera around, Luca Currado’s Scarrone from old vines shows how fascinating and age-worthy this grape can be.

Wines will include:

Scarrone VV 2005 Scarrone VV 2010 Scarrone VV 2013 Scarrone (regular) 2013
  May 24—Ultramarine and Cruse Wine Co. with Michael Cruse. A range of wines (including the coveted sparkling Ultramarine) from this exciting producer who will be in attendance for the evening.

May 31—Chateau Musar Vertical. We are digging deep with this iconic producer.

Chateau Musar Blanc 1992
Chateau Musar Rouge 2004
Chateau Musar Rouge 2002
Chateau Musar Rouge 1993
Chateau Musar Rouge 1985