Luxury Wine Gifts

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:

 

Gift Ideas

 
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Our New Favorite Value Bubbly

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 Blancsleblanc-12-12-2013

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.

Staff Picks from 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.
Thanksgiving Wines
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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

arboreto-9-20-2013

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.

Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Ribera del Duero

A small group from Binny’s visited Spain’s Ribera del Duero. Bill Newton reports from the road:

 

Ribera del Duero

 

Spain’s Ribera del Duero is beautiful and rustic. On one hand, the region is home to world-class wine producers such as Vega Sicilia, Pingus and Pesquera. On the other hand, nobody acted surprised when a herd of sheep blocked traffic to cross the road.

 

The guys at Vega Sicilia don’t leave room for surprises. They want complete control over every aspect of their wine making process, including making and toasting all of the barrels used at the winery at their own on-site cooperage. Coopers everywhere char the insides of their barrels, determining the flavors that barrels instill in the wines they hold (just like with spirits, or even beer).

 

Toasting Barrels

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Wine Hotline Updated

The Wine HotlineBe sure to check out the brand new update to the Wine Hotline. And goodness, this update is a big one, including hard-hitting issues:

 

exotic, but not too exotic ♦ what California chardonnay should be ♦ wine and food from Nantucket to Washington State a buyer’s vintage ♦ a bit of chantilly cream ♦ a wisp of creamy smoke ♦ spring flowers, crushed rocks, smoked game ♦ steamed buns ♦ what Oregon pinot is all about ♦ Walla Walla 

 

Yes! So for all that and more, be sure to check out the newly updated  Wine Hotline.

Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Walla Walla, Washington

A group of Binny’s wine staff visited Walla Walla, Washington. Jon Kaiser reports from the road:

 

Long Shadows Barrels

 

Most of the Walla Walla wineries we visited, with the exception of Woodward Canyon, source their grapes from the Columbia, Cascade, and Yakima Valleys. The vineyards in Walla Walla have to be in elevation above 600 feet to avoid damaging frost when the vines start to bud. A primary characteristic of these valleys that create such rich and full bodied Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs, and Cabernet Francs is that during the warmer months the valley floors get very warm but the vines enjoy drastically cooler nights. The sun warms the soil during the day so that it radiates heat throughout the night, keeping the vines active even when the temperature cools. Average rainfall in Walla Walla is only 17 inches per year, so most of the agriculture in the area is dry farmed wheat while vineyards utilize drip irrigation.

 

Several of the wineries we visited in Walla Walla are located on the property of the Walla Walla Regional Airport. It was an Army Air Base during World War II where pilots learned to fly B-17 bomber aircraft. While the airport still flies small commercial planes, The Port of Walla Walla overtook ownership of the property in 1989 and the older barracks, firehouse, hangars, and buildings associated with the base are now home to 20 plus wineries including three of the biggest. We got a chance to visit Tamarack Cellars, Buty, Dunham. The quality of product and volume of production coming out of these small facilities is astounding, with production on the scale of both very large and very small. From 100,000 case production wines to just a few thousand. We tasted barrel samples at many of the wineries we visited, and one of our favorites was at the Long Shadows vineyard. Customers will love Michel Rolland’s 2012 Pedestal Merlot when it finally hits the shelves at Binny’s – in a few years.

 

Long Shadows Fermentation Tanks

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Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Napa

 

Outside of a few small areas in Bordeaux, Napa is making the greatest cabernet sauvignon on the planet. We recently visited some of the greatest wineries in the country. For more info on some of our favorite wines from the region, check out the current edition of The Wine Hotline. We snapped these pics on our journey down Route 29 and the Silverado Trail.

 

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The Wine Hotline: November Update is Huge

Okay, the new WINE HOTLINE is freshly updated and live for your reading pleasure.

 

Of course, the big story is that Wine Spectator released their #1 wine of 2012 today, rounding out their Top Ten for the year. We list which of these coveted wines are still at Binny’s – meaning the info will be accurate for about three more hours. Watch for the full Spectator Top 100 early next week.

 

But there’s so much more! We highlight some of our favorite wines from the Binny’s November Wine Sale on Binny’s Best Buys, and of course they will all make perfect pairings for your big Thanksgiving dinner (By the way, somebody told us your house was the place to be next Thursday… Where’s our invite?). Then there’s our Small Batch Highlights, showcasing world-class wines available only in limited quantities. Des Plaines Binny’s Wine Manager Barb Steadman gave us her fave five for Thanksgiving in Staff Picks, and our cellarmaster gave us a couple Cellarmaster’s Selections from the Douro. Plus a there’s a Regional Spotlight on the Southern Rhone, and seriously, a whole bunch more stuff.

 

Like we said, it’s huge. Go check it out.