One of the reasons Chicago is a true destination city is that it has an abundance of top-notch restaurants. Whether it’s an eclectic spot for Millennials, or a cozy local steak house, every culinary offering is available in the Windy City.
The sommeliers and wine directors at Chicago’s restaurants have a tough job: Create wine lists that work with a vast array of entrees, and select wines that will please the most demanding clientele.
These experts in their field are purveyors of the finest wines in the world. But, they also have a driving curiosity about little-known varietals and brands, which are often easier on the wallet. Value Wine Chicago has asked the city’s professional oenophiles and foodies about their preferences in the wine industry’s value sector. (Click here for the full article.) Here are some of their suggestions:
Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky, Principal/Director of Operations, Custom House: “For a white, I like the Big Fire Pinot Gris, from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Pinot Gris is my go-to wine to pair with anything from salads with tart vinaigrettes, to spicy foods. It’s really versatile and about $12 a bottle.”
Michael Taylor, Wine Director, Italian Village: “A wine that I purchased more than a few times during the summer was Susana Balbo’s ‘Crios’ Torrontés, from Argentina. For $12 a bottle, this fun little white offers a lot of bang for the buck. It reminds me of viognier crossed with a gewürztraminer: beautiful floral notes on the nose, with lots of white peach on the palate and a touch of honey and wax. You can serve it with many salads or fish dishes, but I enjoy it with grilled bratwurst and spicy mustard. Fun and tasty, it’s the perfect Sunday wine.”
Nia Asimis, Wine Buyer, Nia Mediterranean Tapas Restaurant: “One of my favorite red wines is the Skouras Saint George/Cabernet Sauvignon Peloponnese. Made mostly from the Agiorgitiko, or St. George grape, it has red fruit, plum and spice aromas. It has light to medium weight and possesses cherry/berry flavors with nice freshness and pairs well with calamari, red meats and hearty salads.”