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.
Free Rioja Tastings at all Binny’s Locations
Saturday, November 23rd 1-4pm
What other world-class region releases its wines only when they are ready to drink? Rioja represents exceptional value, especially in times when both quality and value are more important than ever.
Wines from Rioja are considered the best food wines by top chefs. They provide the best of both new and old world styles: balanced and elegant with lower alcohol levels you find in top European wines together with fruit-forward roundness of more modern wines.
Wines for every occasion, every food, every palate and price, Rioja offers robust reds, crisp whites and refreshing roses – all ready to drink when purchased. Join us to try some of our favorites and discover how versatile and value driven the wines of Rioja really are!
WINE TYPES: CLASSIFICATIONS AND SEALS OF AUTHENTICITY
Rioja wines are easily identifiable as every bottle has a DOCa seal. What is a DOCa seal?
The “Denominación de Origen Calificada” seal ensures that the wine you enjoy meets the requirements needed to be a true Rioja wine. Think of it as a seal of quality and authenticity. Rioja wines are classified based on aging in oak barrels and bottles.
Join Binny’s October 12th & 26th to
Fall In Love with Bordeaux
Binny’s is hosting free tastings at all Binny’s locations on
Saturday, October 12th and 26th from 1-4pm.
Bordeaux Wines, Your Style!
Bordeaux is the epicenter of the wine world, renowned for its large production of high quality wines. While the press and the attention most often go to the highest profile estates in the most famous regions, Robert Parker says in his 2009 book, Parker’s Wine Bargains, “The bargains will emerge from the lesser-known appellations that border the…famous regions.”
The newest vintages from Bordeaux will inspire you with their quality and value!
Bordeaux is about enjoying the moment with a wine that suits your palate and setting. Today’s Bordeaux is perfect for both a special occasion or just enjoying with friends out on the patio. From the crisp whites made primarily with sauvignon blanc and semillon, to the satisfying, lush merlot based wines of the Right Bank, to the full, firm cabernet based wines of the Left Bank – you’ll find out why they are… Bordeaux wines, your style.
Introducing Arboreto, the new Italian pinot grigio exclusively at Binny’s.
Sometimes it seems that all a pinot grigio has to be is clear and wet…. What makes Arboreto stand out?
“It’s vibrant, with lots of tart green apple,” says Binny’s Wine Buyer Barbara Hermann. “It drinks like a pinot grigio that might usually cost you 18.99, only it costs half that price.”
Hermann is excited to bring in this exclusive new product. “We’re working with a hometown, Chicago-based importer. But she was originally from Verona, in the Veneto. She’s from the same region as this wine.”
What should you expect when you pour a glass of Arboreto? Light bodied and full flavored, it shows notes of orange zest, fresh melon and spiced pear. The finish is dry, tangy and delicious, with the spicy flavors lingering.
For more wine news any time, check out the Wine Hotline.