Wine in Chicago?

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Wine in Chicago?

Postby Joel Sprague » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:50 pm

I recently(July) moved back to the Chicago suburbs after several years in Oklahoma City. Before I left, I wasn't a wine drinker, but have come to love good wine while I was there. I had my regular shops there, and homebrew store (was making my own wine and beer for a year or so), but am just slowly finding shops here.

So I'm looking for help/suggestions on wine bars, wine shops/liquor stores, and good small bars in general(Not technically wine there, but I enjoy a good beerin a small quiet setting too), or anything else in area I might find interesting.

I live in Arlington Heights, and work down in the Loop. Spend most of my time in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Libertyville, Mundelein, Vernon Hills, and immediately surrounding areas, but am willing to drive a bit. Work down on Madison and Dearborn. So you know the two areas I'm looking at.

So far I've found and been happy with Viva la Vine in Libertyville and DiCarlo's in Mundelein as shops to buy at. Fine Liquors in Mundelein is an interesting stop too for Russian/Georgian wines, none of which have reached my top list yet, but several of which have been interesting enough to convince me to continue experimenting. I also found Binny's online, and plan on stopping by their Buffalo Grove store today after work, if I have time.

So that's what I've found so far, but I know there's a lot more out there. Looking for any input. Only other place I've found that I plan on visiting is the little winery on Aptakisic Road just off of Buffalo Grove Road. Name slips my mind right now.

So as someone who grew up in area, and has now moved back, give me some help. I know there have to be members here from Chicago.
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Re: Wine in Chicago?

Postby Carl Eppig » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:04 pm

As one who has visited frequently, recommend Convito Italiano in Wilmette. Great source for Italian Wine, EVOO, and other vittles.
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Re: Wine in Chicago?

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:12 pm

Joel Sprague wrote:So I'm looking for help/suggestions on wine bars, wine shops/liquor stores, and good small bars in general(Not technically wine there, but I enjoy a good beerin a small quiet setting too), or anything else in area I might find interesting.


The big dog wine retailers are Sam's and Binny's. I'm only familiar with the Sam's location on Marcey St., but there's now another one in Downer's Grove?

For wine bars, the only one I can personally recommend is Avec in the West Loop. I've heard decent things about Stained Glass in Evanston, but haven't been there myself.

Cheers from the outer, outer suburbs!

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Re: Wine in Chicago?

Postby David Creighton » Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:32 pm

as was said, the big players are sams and binnys. there is a binny's downtown near grand and erie i believe. i like them for bordeaux and champagne as well as some misc. stuff here and there. sams has a good cross section and slightly larger selection. both hold tastings.
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Re: Wine in Chicago?

Postby Brad Wood » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:22 pm

Hi! I probably live too far south to help you. I do know of a little wine bar in Orland Park at a place called the Twisted Vine on Wolf Road. It is really just a place to taste wine and talk to the owners but it has a really nice atmosphere. Good luck with your searches.
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Re: Wine in Chicago?

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:03 am

If our old friend Patchen is anywhere to be found, he can probably give superb advice. Barring that, some in-town spots I really liked were The Tasting Room at Randolph Wine Cellars (a wine bar with lovely food attached to a fine wine retail shop), Avec (from the folks that run the more upscale restaurant Blackbird next door), and Bin 36. The first two are in the West Loop, the last very close to downtown (is River West the name of the neighborhood?). All take their wine programs seriously but not at all stuffily. I've heard good things about but haven't personally visited Cru and Quartino, both downtown.
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Re: Wine in Chicago?

Postby Joel Sprague » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:21 pm

Thanks for the tips everyone. I made it by Binny's in Buffalo Grove last tuesday. Went in just to look, but of course that didn't happen, ended up joining their wine club and spending $200+. Going to their wine tasting this weekend, unless something comes up. Still looking forward to chance can check out some of the other shops/wine bars on the list. Thanks again to everyone who replied. :)
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