A Sleeping Giant or Living in the Past?

There’s a stirring Down Under. Earlier this month Wine Australia, a new division under the Australian Government, gathered 250 key retailers, restauranteurs, wine journalists and beverage directors in Adelaide to pick, poll, quiz and conference. The objective: find out from the “front lines” what Australia needs to do to re-engage the wine consumer. The conference schedule was full and each was packed with Australian winemakers, marketers, and importers eager for perspective.

 

 

Panels included a great mix of retail, press and trade representatives. Subjects didn’t pull any punches. I especially liked the one titled “Retailer – Friend or Foe” (what?). After three full days of talking, it was time for wine country immersion. That meant winery visits, vineyards tours and “master classes” by coalitions of the top winemakers of each region – Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale.

 

 

Oysters were great with these classy dry rieslings.

 

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Vibrant Rioja

 

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.

 

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Fall For Bordeaux

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.

 

Celebrate World Sake Day!

Kassai to World Sake Day!
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Sake. One of the worlds oldest and most intricate beverages to enjoy. Here are some Sake facts, Sake favorites and Sake cocktails to help make your #WorldSakeDay that much better!.
Three things you might not have known about Sake:
1. Sake is meant to be enjoyed, slowly. Typically in a wine or stemware glass. Of course, Sake bombs are only exception.
2. Serve your Sake chilled. Rarely is Sake served warm.
3. The key ingredients in Sake are rice, water, yeast and Koji-kin, which is what’s used to ferment the Sake. Without Koji, there is no Sake.

 

Ever have a hard time deciding what Sake to try? Bob Calamia, Binny’s Sake Buyer, shares his Sake favorites!

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Sparkling: Hana Awaka
Recommended for Sake beginners, sparkling Sake is the easiest way to open the door to the world of Sake. Sparkling sake are usually mildly sweet, but very refreshing!

 

Flavored: Banzai Bunny Yuzu
This slightly sweet Sake flavored with Yuzu- think grapefruit- is refreshing, light and has the right amount of citrus flavor to enjoy with a light meal such as fish tacos or a cobb salad.

 

Nigori: Tozai Snow Maiden
Nigori can be too sweet and low in acidity making them come off as heavy. Not this one. It has melon and orchard fruit aromas that create a great blend of freshness.

 

Sake: Ama No To Heavens Door
This is recommend for serious Sake drinkers. Sake at times can be overwhelming and this is a definite example of an over the top Sake. It’s wide range of subtle flavors create for an interesting Sake, never clashing but unfolding into each other. Look for pear, flowers and a slight minerality.
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Wine Staff Picks

This month, we turn to Binny’s Highland Park Wine Consultant Keith Akers for a few of his top recommendations. With his eye for value, he offers up five great selections from all over the world.

 

2011 Chateau de la Ragotiere Muscadet
Aromatic and mineral driven with seashells, crushed rocks, white fruits, and a touch of floral notes. Light bodied with crisp and refreshing medium/high acidity. Summer is over, but this is still perfect with lighter foods and is a pleasure to drink all the time.

 

Tissot Rose Tissot Rose jura-9-20-2013
Crisp and aromatic with a red fruit base of red berries, red fruits, warm dough, and a bit of mineral tones. Medium bodied with zippy high acidity, this is a great sparkling rose that competes with many Champagnes that are twice the price. Also, be sure to check out Tissot Indigene, a dead ringer for a Blanc de Blancs from Champagne at half the price. The sparkling wines of Tissot only at select Binny’s locations.

 

2011 Evening Land Blue Label Pinot Noir
The pretty and perfumed nose shows fresh picked red berries, cherries, spice tones, and roses. Medium bodied with nice and tart medium acidity. This beautiful pinot leans more towards the nuanced side instead of raw power.

 

2010 Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico rocca-9-20-2013
Tones of red cherries, berries and roasted herbs fill the glass and have a great savory quality. Medium bodied with medium acidity and silky tannins, this Chianti Classico is great to drink on its own and to have with food.

 

2009 Argyle Brut
The nose is lively and balanced with red apples, yeast, white fruits, and mineral tones. There is a real freshness on the palate as well, with a silkiness to the medium body and medium/high acidity. This is a great sparkling wine buy that is a real pleasure to drink.

 

Keith has been a fixture in the Highland Park Binny’s wine department for six years. He especially loves the wines of Italy, Champagne and Burgundy, having graduated from beer to wine after falling for wine’s sense of place. Email Keith at kakers@binnys.com or stop by Binny’s Highland Park.

 

For more wine news any time, check out the Wine Hotline.

Our New Favorite Pinot Grigio

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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.

Hartford Court Wine Dinner at Shaw’s Crab House

Shaw's Crab HouseHere’s a great opportunity to enjoy a specially curated dinner paired with world-class wines. It’s at Shaw’s Crab House. I ate there once. It was nice, and I would recommend it. I learned to stop worrying and love oysters.

 

This dinner features Certified Wine Educator and Hartford Family Winery’s Senior Vice President Thomas Rozner, plus the cooking of Shaw’s Chef Arnulfo Tellez. Binny’s guys will be on hand to talk wine, and of course, collect your wine orders. The full menu:

 

 

Hartford Court Wine Dinner

$75 per person

Thursday, September 19 6:30 pm

Reservations 312.527.2722

 

Reception

Watch Hill Oysters on the Half Shell
2011 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Chardonnay

 

Course One

Sweet Corn and Maine Lobster Potage
2010 Hartford Court Stone Cote Chardonnay

 

Course Two

Spiced Almond Crusted Wild King Salmon
Comarative Pinot Noir Tasting
2009 Hartford Court Court MacLeans Block Pinot Noir
2011 Hartford Court Land’s Edge Pinot Noir

 

Course Three

New York Strip Steak
2011 Hartford Court Highwire Single Vineyard Zinfandel

 

Course Four

Michigan Apple Crumble
Shaw’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

 

Pics from September 2013 Taste at the Track

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This past weekend, a couple thousand handsome and enthusiastic wine fans joined us for prerecorded music played by a live DJ, amazing weather that we’re totally taking credit for, delicious foods provided by top area restaurants, and of course, the heart-pumping thrill of live horse racing. 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!

 

We’re looking forward to another great Taste at the Track event in the spring – hope to see you there! By the way, we’re always trying to make this event even better, and we’d love your feedback! Leave a comment here on the Binny’s Blog, or send us an email at wine@binnys.com.
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Cupcake Vineyards Truck Tour At Binny’s!

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Calling all Cupcake Vineyard fans: The Cupcake Truck Tour will host events at a few Binny’s locations. Enjoy complimentary cupcake treats, wine tastings and more on the following dates and times:

 

Binny’s Lincoln Park
Wednesday, September 4th, 5:30-7:30 pm

 

Binny’s Glen Ellyn
Wednesday, September 18th, 2:00-4:00pm

 

Binny’s Naperville
Saturday, September 28th, 12:00-2:00pm

 

Share your Cupcake Vineyard Truck Tour photos with us via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the #CupcakeTruckTour hashtag!

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Binny’s Mailbag: Sweet Reds

Here is a question we are asked frequently at the Binny’s Mailbag:

Binny's Mailbag

 

I like sweet wines. I’ve had had Sauternes, ice wine and moscato that I like a lot. Are there any sweet red wines you can suggest?

Thanks
- PS

Hi P, thanks for the question.

 

We have a ton that you’ll enjoy. Here are just a few.

 

Marenco Pineto is from the Brachetto grape of Northern Italy. It shows sweet red berry fruit, and remains floral and balanced – not cloyingly sweet. The style is increasing in popularity and has earned its reputation as the “Red Moscato.”

 

For something similar but a little less expensive, give Serena a try. This Italian blend is a little lighter, fresher and very easy to drink.

 

For a fuller bodied red, check out Adesso. It’s one of our top sellers in the sweet red category. 100% Refosco from Emilia Romagna, just south of Venice, Italy. It has an inviting character of red berry, black raspberry and touch of spice. Food-friendly or great by itself.

 

Of course, that’s just the start. You’ll find tons more sweet red wines at your favorite Binny’s location. Stop by, check out what’s on hand, and ask your local wine consultant about their favorite sweet reds, too.