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24 07, 2020

Back to (Wine) School: One Woman’s Journey

By |2020-07-24T11:50:42-04:00July 24th, 2020|Wine Blog|

If there’s anything I’ve learned about wine since starting my journey two years ago, it’s that this learning and absorbing all there is to know about it is a marathon, not a sprint. As a former runner, I’m familiar with the many aspects of training that comes with preparing for a race: sticking to a running schedule with short and long runs, eating a healthy diet in the months and weeks leading up to the big day, and of [...]

24 03, 2020

Flyover: Portugal

By |2020-03-25T10:26:47-04:00March 24th, 2020|Wine Blog|

Wines from Portugal are making wine lists and magazine covers as of late, but how much do you know about this European nation and its winemaking history? Most of us can likely name some of the top producing regions in neighboring Spain, and certainly in nearby France, but how many regions outside of Porto can you name in Portugal? Let’s take a brief birds’ eye look at this 350-mile long country on the southwestern coast of Europe. Who Throughout much [...]

9 02, 2020

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Wine Geek in Your Life

By |2020-02-09T19:24:02-05:00February 9th, 2020|Wine Blog|

  Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you’re looking for a gift for that favorite wino in your life, here are a few suggestions: WSET Levels I & II and Food & Wine Pairings Classes *Advanced classes also available. Chicago WSET® Level 1 Wine – Binny’s – March 16 & 18th, 2020 at 6pm. Exam on March 23, 2020 WSET® Level 2 Wine – Binny’s - Feb 11, 18, 25th & March 3, 10, 17, 24 at 6pm. [...]

9 12, 2019

The Superiore Side of Prosecco

By |2019-12-13T13:53:14-05:00December 9th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Let’s chat about Prosecco. Most of us are familiar with the popular Italian sparkling wine. Here in the States it’s synonymous with cocktail parties as an aperitif or as the fizz in those weekend brunch mimosas. However, there is a lot more to understanding the popular sparkler than one might think. From production method to classification, understanding the differences may just shed a new light on Prosecco – and may have you drinking it without the OJ and even with [...]

3 12, 2019

Quick Facts: Languedoc-Roussillon

By |2019-12-03T13:43:11-05:00December 3rd, 2019|Wine Blog|

The Languedoc-Roussillon region is France’s largest wine producing region and vineyard area (300,000 ha), with roughly one-third of all French wines produced here, including 11% of the world’s rosé wine production. To get our arms around this vast region, let’s start by taking a brief look at just the Languedoc wine region. Who The Languedoc AOP is home to more than 2,000 wine producers, 80 co-ops and 450 private winemakers. Arguably, the most notable producer in the region, and the [...]

14 11, 2019

Alsace Rocks

By |2019-11-14T17:28:59-05:00November 14th, 2019|Wine Blog|

by Kristy Wenz Several months ago, Wines of Alsace held their annual “Alsace Rocks” Grand Tasting in Chicago, and next month they’ll be returning for the Chicago Wine Fest. So, in preparation of the event, let’s do a quick review of this unique French wine region. Quick Facts: Alsace, France Who Wine making in Alsace spans centuries, with many wine-making families dating back 20 generations. Today, nearly 4,000 winegrowers can be found in Alsace with more than 38,000 acres of [...]

8 11, 2019

Sommelier for Hire

By |2019-11-08T15:35:53-05:00November 8th, 2019|Wine Blog|

We talk a lot about wine education here for obvious reasons, but there’s also wine for entertainment. Corporate wine dinners, pairing parties, birthday and holiday events, or even at-home dinner parties – each a great opportunity to share a variety of wines among friends and colleagues. But how do you pick the wines? You can do the research yourself, work with your caterer, or to kick it up a notch, and engage the services of a sommelier. Both sourcing and [...]

29 10, 2019

A Cultural Journey with One of Italy’s Winemaking Families

By |2019-10-29T16:26:05-04:00October 29th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Francesco Zonin of Zonin1821 Fine Wine & Spirits held a “Sommeliers’ Themed Lunch” in Chicago this month, but this was not an ordinary producer’s tasting. This was an experience. Francesco, a seventh generation Zonin, led a small number of industry professionals on a cultural journey of the senses through a blind tasting and multi-course lunch. “To understand the wine, you must understand the culture,” Zonin said. “Wine is an experience.” Having traveled through and spent extensive time in Italy, I [...]

16 10, 2019

Bringing Out the Wine Expert in You

By |2019-10-16T18:03:00-04:00October 16th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Kristy Wenz Last month at Bon Appetit’s Chicago Gourmet, the wine seminars hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and the American Wine School featured several sessions on tasting and blind tasting. Wine is often perceived as intimidating, particularly when ordering wine from an extensive list in a restaurant, shopping at the local wine store, and especially when tasting with those viewed as more “in the know.” How many times has selecting a bottle of wine for a friend that [...]

9 10, 2019

Chicago Gourmet Top 10 Takeaways

By |2019-10-09T16:18:12-04:00October 9th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Top 10 Takeaways from the Wine Experts at Chicago Gourmet 2019 Kristy Wenz The interest in wine knowledge and wine education is on the rise. In fact, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), now in its 50th year, has seen year-over-year increases in candidates every academic school year in the past nine-year period, with a near 200% increase between 2010/2011 academic school year and the 2018/2019 academic school year. Here at the American Wine School, one of the oldest [...]

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