Monday, August 6, 2007

Chicago's Great Wine Selection

Living in the third largest city in the US has its perks. One of my favorites is the ready access to an enormous selection of quality wines. I was reminded of just how spoiled i am on a trip to Evansville IN this weekend.

I always like to bring wine to my host when I stay with friends. If someone is willing to put me up for a weekend, feed me, and show me a good time, the least I can do is share a good bottle of wine with them. Normally I would bring a bottle with me either from my "cellar" or from one of the local wine shops here in the north burbs. Faced with 100 degree heat and an overnight stopover on the way down south, I decided to take my chances with the local liquor store instead of bringing my host a bottle of cooked wine.

I took the recommendation of friends in town on where to find a good selection of wine in Evansville, but I came up short. There were 3 bottles of wine that fit my criteria, and 2 of them were way too expensive for even the best of friends. I was somewhat limited because my friends had asked for a cabernet to go with dinner. That left me with a single choice of Frogs Leap 2003 Napa Cabernet (see "What I'm Drinking" on the right sidebar for a review). I was very disappointed, as a trip to Sam's or Binny's would have revealed literally hundreds of cabernets in the $40 range from nearly a dozen countries or regions.

Fortunately I was able to redeem myself with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir from Benton Lane (see that in the sidebar too). Unfortunately my hosts were not big Pinot drinkers, so the enjoyment was somewhat lost on them, but I was celebrating inside.

I'm happy to be back in Chicago where I can hit up a good liquor store at the drop of a hat. I guess I'll have to figure out some way to transport wine safely in the future, because relying on small towns to get my wine just won't cut it.

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