Tag Archives: Wine

Chicago Gourmet 2013 September 27-29

Chicago Gourmet Logo

Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appétit, is a celebration of food and wine showcasing more than 100 of Chicago’s finest restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers, and premium breweries from around the world. Guests enjoy dozens of live cooking demonstrations, expert seminars, gourmet tastings, and book signings by internationally renowned chefs, master sommeliers, and winemakers.

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Ideal Date Night Cooking Classes at the Chopping Block: November

Again here I am STRONGLY encouraging you to try out one of the following Couple’s Nights at the Chopping Block. Two locations, one being in Lincoln Square and the other located in the Merchandise Mart, make it an easy date night to get to, no matter your location. Both are accessible via public transportation and we’ve never had issue finding near by parking in Lincoln Square.

Not only are you assured a delicious meal, you may:

  • Meet other couples.
  • Learn a new technique in the kitchen, or try a new food.
  • Challenge your partner with your knife skills and knowledge of all things culinary!
  • Impress, impress, impress.. both yourself and your date.

So here are your options for the month of November:

Couples Cooking: Fireside in Vermont

Bring a date and warm up with these cozy recipes.
Gruyere Cheese Fondue; Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Bacon Vinaigrette; Maple Glazed Salmon with Celery Root and Potato Hash; Pumpkin Donuts with Chocolate Sauce.

Date Night: Mambo Italiano

Authentic Italian cooking. Mamma mia!
White Bean and Sage Bruschetta; Porcini Mushroom and Herb Risotto; Eggplant Parmesan; Fresh Ricotta and Chocolate Filled Cannoli.

Wine and Dine

Have a blast learning fresh, new ways to make dinner fun!
Mushroom, Bacon and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tart; Herb Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Potatoes and Root Vegetables; Chocolate Ganache Tart with Fig Balsamic Glaze.
Two glasses of wine or beer per student are included in the price of the class. You must be 21 or over to attend.

As always take a look at their calendar and try something else that interests you as well. Make any cooking experience your ideal date night.

$5 Wine Tasting Open House at The Chopping Block

Join Wine Goddess Diana Hamann at The Chopping Block on Monday, October 11th at 6PM to bid a fond adieu to the stock left over from their last wine list.

Registration is only $5 and it is recommended that you sign up NOW as this event does sell-out.

Diana will be on hand to pour through the lot, dishing about which wines go with this and that, and which is the best value for the money.

Enjoy 30% off the regular retail price, which basically translates to not finding a better wine deal anywhere on the planet!

Fine Print: You must be 21 or over to attend this class. Please present valid ID at the time of check-in. 1-week cancellation policy.

Windy City Wine Festival: Buckingham Fountain – Sept 10-11

Windy City Wine FestivalThis will be a new one for us, but being self-proclaimed wine aficionados, we are excited to check out the Windy City Wine Festival coming up September 10th and 11th.

For $25 in advance, you receive an acrylic souvenir wine glass, ten tastings of your choice (each tasting is a one ounce sample), festival program, food & wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.

Ten additional tasting coupons may be purchased at the festival for $5.00. I can’t imagine either of us being able to get through more than 20 ounces of wine so we’ll probably pass on the additional coupons.

There will be some local restaurants selling their specialties at the festival (Aria, Caoba, Cyrano’s, Markethouse, Palermo’s, Sullivan’s, etc.) but we plan on ending Friday evening with a walk and picnic dinner, further north in Grant Park.

We’ve just decided personally to keep the evening within budget and a bit more on the private side. So we probably won’t be hitting the Wine Discount Center tent, but if you’re in the market there’s a 25% discount on cases.

Live music, good wine, beautiful surroundings for about $50; what could make for a better Date Night?

Details after the requisite Buckingham Fountain photo…

Buckingham Fountain by Anders Sandberg

Friday, September 10th from 4:00PM to 10:00PM
Ticket sales end at 8:30PM, alcohol sampling and sales end at 9:30PM.

Saturday, September 11th from 3:00PM to 9:00PM
Ticket sales end at 7:30PM, alcohol sampling and sales end at 8:30PM.

Tickets are $35 at the door so we recommend buying your tickets online in advance. Note that there is a $4 transaction fee on top.

Featuring wines from: Banfi Vintners, Black Box Wines, Constellation Wines, Constellation Wines, Easley Winery, Treasury Wine Estates, The Hess Collection Winery, Hope Family Wines, Mionetto USA, Old Bridge Cellars, Redwood Creek Winery, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Underdog Wine Merchants, Gekkeikan Sake, Michael-David Winery, The Naked Grape, Tenzing Wine & Spirits, Tenzing Wine & Spirits, Ironstone Estates, Shaw Ross Imports, ENYE Distribution Group, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Click Wine Group, and St. James Winery

Please be responsible, use public transportation, take a cab or use a sober driver.

Five Great “Date Day” Ideas

So you’ve worked your way up to no kids for a full day! What to do? Here are five semi-local date ideas for those of you that live in the Chicagoland area.

1. Southwest Michigan Wine Country – Our favorite stop is the Round Barn Winery for not only their wine but their vodkas and gourmet vinegars. Spend the day stopping by St. Julian’s, Tabor Hill, Lemon Creek and Round Barn. End your visit to Harbor County and have an upscale meal at Timothy’s or be a bit more casual at the Red Arrow Roadhouse. Mix up the wine tour with some apple picking as well!

Round Barn by Joe Marinaro

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July Date Night Cooking Classes at the Chopping Block

My husband and I can verify first hand that these classes make for the perfect date night. We’ve taken classes at both the Lincoln Square and the Merchandise Mart locations and we will again. We prefer Lincoln Square just due to its proximity to some great after class bars but the classes themselves were equal in instruction, uniqueness of the dishes and appreciation for the results.

Don’t eat before you go and buy a bottle of wine at the Chopping Block. You won’t regret your evening out. Reserve now, the classes fill up fast.

Couples Cooking: In the Heat of the Night

These recipes will help you cool down the hottest summer nights.
Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup with Cumin-Spiced Grilled Shrimp Skewers; Pepper-Crusted Flank Steak with Gazpacho Salad; Lemon and Whipped Cream Tartlets.

Date Night: Summer in Provence

Come learn how to prepare the sun-drenched food of this rustic yet sophisticated countryside cuisine.
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart with Arugula Salad; Pan Bagnat (Extra Virgin Olive Oil-Poached Tuna Sandwiches on a Baguette with Red Wine and Caper Vinaigrette); Haricots Verts and Potato Salad with Garlic Aioli; Apricot and Almond Cake.

View July’s Class Calendar Here