Tag Archive for: wine bars

Wine Places: City Winery Chicago

27 Jan
January 27, 2013

A Taste of Napa in My Own Backyard

One of my new favorite haunts recently opened 10 miles from my home and has quickly become my go-to spot for dinner or drinks with friends. Living Napa CabulousWithin the past two months, I’ve been to City Winery Chicago (located along the Randolph Street corridor) four times; it certainly helps support my desire to live Napa “Cabulously” wherever I am.

City Winery Chicago Events

I first visited City Winery in late November after reading a few promotions for a wine tasting seminar with renowned glassmaker, Maximilian Riedel. Having debated the topic of varietal-specific glassware at various points throughout my wine-drinking tenure, I embraced the opportunity to hear an argument for its benefits from the master himself. We tasted three wines in three different glasses and the character did, in fact, change with each. Attendees were even sent away with a set from Riedel’s Vinum XL collection. You can read about my experience in my past post, “Does the Shape of Your Wine Glass Really Affect the Taste?” Their large event space frequently hosts wine tastings, comedy shows and concerts.

City Winery Chicago: Food & Wine

It wasn’t long before I returned three subsequent times for dinner; I keep going because I appreciate City Winery for what it is – a casual place to enjoy good food and wine in an atmosphere that feels just like I’m in a Napa tasting roLiving Napa Cabulousom.  The beautiful rustic bar and restaurant area overlook the venue’s working winery. I was told they aren’t serving their own just yet, but they are offering several wines from City Winery New York made with high-quality grapes from the likes of California, Oregon and Argentina. Each time I’ve visited, the tap wine list features many new renditions of their popular red and white varietals – they seem to procure fruit from many different vineyards. I’ve been particularly impressed with the Cabernets, while my husband has a soft spot for their Cab Francs. Read more →

Wine Places: Las Vegas Wine Bars and Shops

26 Jan
January 26, 2013

Living Napa Cabulous on The Strip

Living Napa Cabulous is about finding ways to enjoy Napa and its world-class wines no matter your location. Last weekend, I took a quick jaunt to Las Vegas with family and made it a priority to scope out the best wine bars and specialty shops. Yes, I needed something to help keep me busy and away from the roulette and blackjack tables… With its proximity to California and demands of its wine-aficionado visitors to meet, Las Vegas didn’t disappoint. Let me tell you about some of the Las Vegas wine bars and shops I found – some classic, some new – for your next visit to Sin City.

  • EATDRINK at The Cosmopolitan – First off, this hotel is a scene! After wandering through its uber-modern lobby and crystal-draped Las Vegas Winelounge, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this shop. As the name suggests, EATDRINK is devoted to highlighting the cuisine and wine served by chefs and sommeliers at The Cosmopolitan. A portion of the space is devoted to its walk-in wine cellar and tasting room, which features one of the many enotech/enomatic wine machines I saw throughout the city. Coincidentally, we arrived during happy hour and were offered as many tastes of their 10+ wines as we wanted for $20. They also sold wine by the bottle and the 100 milliliter “test tube” in addition to unique wine gifts. EATDRINK is best for a quick stop to taste if you need a break from gambling or shopping because there were only four chairs in the room.
  • The Wine Cellar at The Rio – Known as the best wine bar in Las Vegas, The Wine Cellar certainly lived up to its reputation. (Pictured in header image.) Accessible by a winding staircase down below the casino floor, we instantlyThe Wine Cellar at The Rio felt like we were walking into a Napa Valley tasting room or otherwise magnificent cellar. An impressive collection of wine lined the walls, including an 1855-1989 vertical of Chateau d’Yquem. There were several tables and leather couches to choose from, but we opted for seats at the bar. The wine educator/bartender presented us with expansive menus that profiled at least a dozen flights and even more wines by the glass and bottle. (They are willing to create custom flights, too.) We decided to share oaky-white and hearty reds flights and were really pleased with the line-up. The whites were Far Niente 2010 Chardonnay, Camelot Highlands 2009 Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (we loved this!) and a third wine I can’t remember for the life of me. We think it might have been a Beringer. Reds included Caymus 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver Oak 2010 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Shafer 2009 One Point Five and a French Barons de Rothschild 2010 Pauillac. The service was wonderful and we also had a great time talking wine with a few of the fellow patrons; the atmosphere was more our style than the swanky lounges. The Wine Cellar is a great, cozy place to start your evening before heading out or to end the night. Read more →