With Halloween around the corner, now is the perfect time to pair wine and chocolate! Chocolate is one of the best sweets with wine. Maybe that’s because the production of chocolate is so similar to wine: both are fermented with yeast. Despite their versatility, wine and chocolate pairings sometimes conflict. It only takes a little sugar to make even the softest wine seem bitter, so start with wines with sweet and salinic qualities – dessert wines, Port and sherries are a great start! When they work together, it can be divine. Enjoy year round, not just for Halloween! Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:
Because it lacks cocoa solids, white chocolate isn’t isn’t necessarily considered chocolate. But it does contain cocoa fat, making it a versatile wine pairing option.
Try white chocolate with:
Softer sweet wines: Brachetto, Ice Wine, Lambrusco, Moscato d’Asti and Muscat, Tokaji, vintage Port.
This past weekend, a couple thousand handsome and enthusiastic wine fans joined us for some amazing weather that we’re totally taking credit for, delicious foods provided by Bar Toma, Jake Melnick’s, Fulton’s and Cafe Spiaggia. And as always, attendees enjoyed the heart-pumping thrill of live horse racing and even some newly added beer samples. Thanks to everyone who came out!
Check out these pics of the event – there’s a bunch more after the jump, plus a whole album of pics from the afternoon on this Facebook album. Check it out, and tag all your friends! Continue reading
Blind Tasting: Chardonnay & Cabernet
Recently, a bunch of Binny’s wine consultants got together to do a blind tasting of chardonnay and cabernet. No, we didn’t blindfold our employees. We put a bunch of wines in brown paper bags and let the chips fall where they may. Wine education comes in many forms, but one of the most humbling is to asses a wine without knowing the name, region or price. Here are six of our favorites after the jump, all chosen blind.
This month, our “wine guy” is actually Barbara Hermann, Binny’s fine wine buyer. Barbara has traveled all over the globe and has decades of experience under her belt. She is an eight-time winner of Geja’s blind wine tasting. So we went to her with this month’s Ask the Wine Guy question. Check out Barb’s answers after the jump.
“I sometimes hear wine drinkers use words like ‘jammy’ or ‘buttery.’ Are these typical wine descriptions?
Do they literally mean what they sound like?”
Binny’s Wine Buyer, Bob Calamia traveled to Jerez to seek out Spain’s top sherry and learn a thing or two about this timeless region. Bob reports from the field:
World headquarters for sherry is Jerez in Southwestern Spain. Two things make sherry unique – its proximity to the Mediterranean and the high level of chalk in the soil. The chalk gives sherry some of its characteristic mineral flavors, but the soil’s biggest contribution is its ability to retain moisture. Jerez gets most of its rain in the fall and winter, and the chalk sustains the vines in the dry spring and summer. The climate is warm enough to ripen palomino fino – the primary grape of the region – and when grown in the chalky soil, it achieves a quality found nowhere else.
More photos and info after the jump!
BINNY’S LINCOLN PARK PRESENTS
Ch. Angelus and Ch. Daugay
Open House Tasting
Tuesday, January 14th, 5-7pm
Join us on January 14th from 5-7pm to meet Jean-Bernard Grenie, owner of the legendary Bordeaux estate Chateau Angelus and Chateau Daugay. Mr. Grenie will treat you to several vintages of Daugay and Angelus (recently promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classe “A”), including Daugay 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 as well as Angelus 2006 and the 99-point 2009, which Robert Parker called “a candidate for one of the finest Angelus produced to date.” Don’t miss out on this special opportunity.
Whether you’re impressing the boss, giving the perfect gift to your loving significant other, or just finding a special bottle for the holidays, Binny’s has the answer. Sure, we have hundreds of high end wines. But our friendly, knowledgeable and good looking wine consultants will help you find the perfect wine gifts without the dreaded stress. A few ideas to get you going:
It’s called Henri Leblanc, and we think it’s the best thing going for under ten bucks.
See, sometimes, we feel like real consumer advocates.
We weren’t happy with inexpensive bubbly in general. We wanted to offer a value – something clean, fresh and easy to drink. We already have a good product in Cuvee Tradition, but we wanted to offer a step up in quality that’s still a great value. Something wine nerds would drink, and something they wouldn’t mind popping on a Wednesday. So we went to work.
It took five months. Five months of combing catalogs, tasting samples, beating up suppliers. We narrowed it down to just a few possibilities, then tasted them blind against the best of the category. That’s when we found our bottle:
Henri Leblanc Brut Blanc de Blancs
Orchard fruit on the nose, with citrus over granny smith apple and some cream. Creamy on the palate, with bright green apple and mineral undertones. Warm and inviting, vibrant and energetic. Drink it on its own, but we won’t mind if you mix it in a mimosa or bellini. – Binny’s Tasting Note
For more wine news any time, check out the Wine Hotline.
What makes Binny’s Beverage Depot the best place to find your new favorite wine? Is it our low prices? Our breathtaking selection? We like to think it’s because we have the friendliest, most knowledgeable wine staff around. So for this month’s Wine Hotline Staff Picks, we turned to our Downers Grove wine department for their favorite holiday recommendations.