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   entwine: Love your Food. Love your wine.

   Television mainstay Food Network and California winemakers Wente Vineyards are teaming up for the release of entwine. This new lineup puts an emphasis on pairing wine with food – an emphasis on entwining wine into your everyday life. entwine features four varietals, all from the California Appelation:

 

Cabernet Sauvignon
Chardonnay
Merlot
Pinot Grigio


   Along with complicated dishes like Farmhouse Baked Eggs with Cheddar & Potatoes, Cowboy Steak and Pepper Kebabs and Pan-Seared Tempeh in Peanut Sauce, suggested pairings for entwine also include everyday stuff such as potato chips, cheese and evenings on the porch. Hey! That’s versatility!

   You can pick up a bottle of this new lineup of wines at all Binny’s locations right now.

 


Toby Keith is Coming to South Loop Binny’s

Country Music superstar Toby Keith is coming to the South Loop Binny’s Beverage Depot this Saturday, September 24th, from 2-3:30 pm. He is offering to autograph bottles of Wild Shot – his new super premium Mezcal.

   What is Mezcal? Check out our Thoughts on Mezcal on the Binny’s Spirit Blog.

Wild Shot Silver Mezcal

Toby Keith on his new Wild Shot Mezcal:

The tradition and history of Mezcal is magical to me. Mezcal dates back to the 16th century warrior celebrating the defeat of their enemies…. You drink it like Tequila but I think it goes down a lot smoother.

We got our hands on a bottle of the Silver Wild Shot Mezcal, complete with a worm right in the bottle. The nose is oily and smoky, showing earthy complexity than we expected. Pleasantly surprised on that count. The mezcal is fresh and lively on the palate, with touches of cocoa, sweetness and breadth, along with a matchstick/earthy funk. It has a whole lot more funky complexity than the increasingly clean, modern styled super-premium tequila category, and as Toby Keith points out, it does finish a lot smoother.

Read more


Quick Flight, Small Pours

Chicago’s Best Beer, Wine and Spirits for Fall on Huffington Post
Props given to our friends at Koval, Lynfred, Half Acre, others.

 

Bordeaux 2011: ‘Back to Reality…’ on Decanter
2011 isn’t another vintage of the century, is viewed as a blessing.

 

Highlighting the recent meteoric rise of moscato, especially inexpensive.
We at Binny’s have certainly noticed this trend.

 

Chicago wine & social media star @RachelTaylorChi blogs South America
Plenty for the foodies, wine lovers. Also breathtaking landscape photography.

 

Excellent read on the often misunderstood concept of terroir
We try to avoid mentioning terroir until it has already been introduced into conversation by someone else.

 

 

Thoughts?


Big Events: The Ardbeg Choppers are Back!

Maybe we have a childish fascination with motorcycles, but we really think they’re neat. Do not miss this upcoming event that’s making two stops at Binny’s in October. It should be fun for motorcycle people and Scotch people alike:

 

The Ardbeg Choppers are Back!
Binny’s in Bloomingdale Tuesday Oct. 4th 5-8pm
Binny’s in Downer’s Grove Wednesday Oct. 5th 5-8pm

What do you get when one of the top Scotch producers gets together with one of the top motorcycle customization shops in the country?  You get the Arbeg Choppers “The Ultimate” Spirit of Islay  and “The Untamed” Beist customized by the legendary Orange County Motorcycle Shop!

Stop by and see these fantastic motorcycles, and be sure to sample Ardbeg 10 year oldUigeadail and the allocated Corryvreckan.

 

For more events, be sure to check out the Binny’s Big Events page.

 


Binny’s Mailbag: Niles Renovation

Here’s another question from the Binny’s Mailbag:

 

Please tell me that with the renovation the Niles store will have a tasting room like the South Loop.

Thanks,
M

 

The excitement is growing about the renovation of our Niles store. We’re cleaning everything up with new floors, new walls and a totally new exterior. Along with the beer cooler, we’re adding new features including a new wine cellar, new walk-in humidor, and new customer service and wine desks.

While the redesigned store won’t have a tasting room offering wines by the glass, full-service cocktails and sixteen beers on tap like the South Loop Tasting Room, we are adding a brand new, 1200 square foot seminar tasting space. We’re excited to use this new venue for top-notch consumer events (meaning great sit-down tastings for you) and extended internal staff training (meaning more knowledgeable Binny’s employees, also for you).

If everything goes according to schedule, the newly renovated Binny’s Beverage Depot in Niles should be complete in early November. Until then, our doors are open, and we’d love to have you stop by to check our progress and pick up some of your favorite beverages.

 


Keg FAQ’s

How much does a keg cost?
 
One of the first things we ask a customer when they ask for a keg price is which Binny’s is their local one.  The reason for this is because the Chicago area is broken up into territories that are controlled by distributorships who all sell their kegs to us for different prices, which in turn means that we have to sell our kegs to you for different prices.  Your best bet is to call or email your local Binny’s to inquire about keg pricing.

 

 
What size kegs do you have?

 
Most of the kegs available in our store will be in one of three sizes.  The first and most common is the 1/2 barrel, which is equal to 15.5 gallons.  A 1/4 barrel is exactly half the size of a ½ barrel, or 7.75 gallons.  Also becoming more common is the 1/6 barrel, which is a little over 5 gallons.

 
 
How many beers are in a keg?

 
A 1/2 barrel has roughly 165 12oz beers, a 1/4 barrel has 82 12oz beers, and a 1/6 barrel has about 56 12oz beers.

 
 
How many kegs will I need for a party of this size for this long?

 
Generally we will recommend 2 beers per person per hour for the average beer drinker.  Again this is just a rough estimate, the bottom line is that you will know how much your crowd likes to drink better than we will.

 
 
Do you have a list of kegs?

 
Check our website for a partial list of available kegs.  The easiest way to obtain a price is to email or call your local Binny’s.

 
 
Do I need to pre-order a keg or can I just come in and pick it up?

 
Also available at the top of our kegs page is a list of kegs that a majority of our stores will have on hand.  This doesn’t mean that the store will always have these kegs in though.  Your best bet is to reserve a keg at least 5 days in advance by calling or emailing your local Binny’s; this will insure that we have time to order it for you.

 
 
Are there deposits on kegs?

 
Yes, refundable deposits are required on kegs and taps.  We also have tubs available to rent.


Italian Night in Downer’s Grove

Last Friday was Italian Night here at our Downer’s Grove store. We had four awesome Ducati motorcycles on display, great food, and of course, nearly 150 great Italian wines.

The food was delicious. We partnered with Carlucci, an Italian restaurant near our store. Carlucci set up a three course menu for attendees of our tasting so people could go across the street for dinner after the tasting. Even better, tasters could take a bottle of wine they purchased from us and enjoy it with dinner with no corkage fee.

We also featured pizza from Roundhead’s, Angelo’s, Skuddlebutts, and Barone’s. Amici Italian Deli served up cubed cheese, and Laurie Lu’s provided dessert with mini cupcakes and other sweets.

And of course, the Ducati motorcycles. These fine-tuned machines were on loan from Motor Cycle Center of Villa Park. How better to admire Italian craftsmanship than with their performance bikes? Well, there is the wine…

– Dan Culen is Operations Manager at the Downer’s Grove Binny’s Beverage Depot

Did you miss out on this Binny’s tasting? Be sure to check out our Big Events page for tons of upcoming tastings, seminars, appearances and more!

 

  Read more


Binny’s Mailbag: Scotch Question

Binny's Mailbag   How would you like to peek behind the curtain here at Binny’s Beverage Depot? We’re opening up this new mailbag feature to offer an insider view at the kinds of questions we are asked every day. Hopefully we can offer some insight into how things run around here, and maybe shine some light on the workings of the industry in general.

   As always, if you have a question for us at Binnys, stop by a store, give us a call, or email us at one of these addresses: 

beer@binnys.com
spirits@binnys.com
cellarmaster@binnys.com

 

Let’s open up the mailbag.

 

Scotch Question

   I am looking for a gift for my brother, for being the best man at my wedding. He likes both blends and single malts, but I think he leans blends. Usually drinks Dewars, Johnny Walker (black or blue), sometimes Glenfiddich or Glenlivet.  Any suggestions?  Probably looking to cap it around $250 for the bottle.

Thanks,
 – J

 

Hi J,

   First of all, you sound like a great brother and heck of a groom. Congrats on your nuptuals!

   For amazing and underrated blended Scotch, give the Black Bull 40 Year or 30 Year Old blends a try. The Black Bull blended Scotch whiskies are from respected independent Scotch bottler Duncan Taylor. Both of these bottles are amazing because they contain way more malted whisky than the typical blend, and less grain whisky. Some folks don’t realize that blended Scotch includes a percentage of grain whisky – if the blend includes no grain whisky, it carries the label “vatted malt” or “blended malt” instead of “blended Scotch.”

   Of course, with less grain whisky comes more malt whisky, which means The Black Bull blends offer more flavor and intensity.

   If this sounds good to you, give us a call at The Whiskey Hotline – 888 817-5898 so we can get some whisky headed your way.

   Thanks!

 – Binny’s Mailbag


Pictures from Taste at the Track

 

Thanks to everybody who came out to the Binny’s Taste at the Track event at Arlington Park on Saturday. We had over 1600 guests and received a ton of compliments. The event featured over 200 wines, several restaurants, wine and food seminars, live music, and of course a bunch of horses. The weather was gorgeous, if a bit warm, and we couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon to pair wine and horse racing.

Be sure to watch for more at Arlington Park things went so well that we’re now organizing an even bigger tasting coming next spring!

Read more


Chicago Tribune Beer of the Month: Ommegang Aphrodite

The Chicago Tribune has made their selection for their September beer of the month, and it is a dandy. Ommegang Aphrodite is arguably one of the most complex beers on our shelves, but at the same time could easily please the novice beer drinker in addition to the most seasoned beer expert.  Aphrodite’s complexity stems from the natural pear and raspberry juices and grains of paradise used during the brewing process.  Further adding to the complexity and imparting a tantalizing dryness on the brew is the use of not only Ommegang house yeast but Brettanomyces yeast.  Beer lovers know the levels of complexity Brett can bestow upon a brew, in this case a mild funk and tartness.

 

Aphrodite is currently available at most Binny’s, but probably won’t be around for long since it is a limited edition beer that Ommegang likely won’t be brew again.  Aphrodite is drinking splendidly right now, but will also hold up in the cellar for years to come.

 

Previous Chicago Tribune beer of the month selections have included Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweiss and Victory’s Prima Pils. Kellerweiss is arguably the best domestically produced hefeweizen, while many view Prima Pils as the primo domestically brewed pilsner. Would you agree?

 


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