January 10, 2006 - Jack

Chicago Wine & Food Festival

This event was put on by Sam's Wines

October 21-23, 2005
(My visit was on October 23, 2005)

Chicago Food & Wine FestivalChicago Food & Wine FestivalChicago Food & Wine Festival

Grand Tasting
This is just a sampling of the hundreds of wine available for tasting.
I focused on the foreign wines. (The previous day there a large Reserve tasting.)
I was particularly impressed with Lucien Albrecht's wines.



2004
Bodegas Agapito Rico Carchelo Monastrell Jumilla I like.
$13
1-3
NV
Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace   Ok.
$16
2?
2003
Lucien Albrecht Pinot Blanc Cuvée Balthazar Well done for Pinot Blanc.
$12
2?
2004
Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris Cuvée Romanus Med-long finish.
$16
3+
2003
Lucien Albrecht Gewϋrtztraminer Reserve Smooth. Very Gewurtz-like
$17
4+
2001
Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris Cuvée Cécile 100% estate Old Vines. Nice tartness. A winner. Super food-friendly.
$23
4+
2001
Finca Allende   Rioja Good acids, good flavor.
$27
1-2
2001
Anura Vineyards Pinotage    
 
0-1
2004
Bodegas Borsao Tres Pios Campa de Borja Appealing.
$11
3
2002
Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune du Chateau  1er Cru  
$30
 
2003
Candelaria Selection de Terroirs Estate Carmenere Colchagua Valley Nice!
 
 
Achaval Ferrer Quimera Mendoza (Cab/Malbec/Merlot)
$30
 
2003
Clos Saint-Georges La Sanglarde Châteauneuf-du-Pape   
$65
3
2003
Jean Gagnerot Chablis 1er Cru Vallons Nice.
$80
2-3+
2003
Guelbenzu Azul Ribera del Duero  
$16
1-2?
2004
Hermanos Lurton Viuro Verdejo Rueda  
 
1+
2001
Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin Okanagan Very appealing.
 
3
2001
Le Macchiole Rosso Tuscany Good Acids
$31
2-3+
1998
Massolino Margheria Barolo Very good value.
$45
4-6
2003
Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Alpha - Alpata Vyd Colchagua Vly Good. Need to Try at home.
$18
2+
2003
Montes Syrah Alpha - Alpata Vyd Colchagua Vly Stinky nose.
$18
2+
2003
Bodegas Emilio Moro   Ribera del Duero Very good now. Great acids. $30
 
3-4+
2004
Mount Riley Pinot Noir South Island Lots of acids. Next to no Pinot taste.
$16
0
2003
Movia Ribolla Brda Good, but hard to judge as it needed more opening time.
$25
?
2000
Bodegas Muga Reserve – Seleccion Especial Rioja Serious acids.
$35
3-4
2002
Pasanau Ceps Nous Priorat Acids dominate.
$25
0
2004
Planeta Le Segreta Rosso Okay.
 
 
2002
Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon Medalla Real   Great nose. Complex, good finish. Will buy.
$20
4+
2004
Paolo Sarocco   Moscato D’Asti Good
 
1-2
2003
Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Yamhill Yum. Smooth. Acids. Showing so well!
$30
4-6


In addition, there were 35(!) seminars you could attend, each lasting an hour or so.
Here's my notes on the three I was able to get to...




Italian Wine Merchants
Revival of Classic Italian Wines

October 23, 2005
Hosted by Sergio Esposito
(The quotes below are his...he's a great speaker, too. These wines were great, too!)

2002 Movia Sauvignon (Blanc) Brda

“(A group of) Chicago sommeliers picked this wine as the one (out of 25 wines) which paired best with asparagus." "Movia cultivates natural yeasts.""Bottled by gravitational pull of the moon, so wines are clear even though they are unfined/unfiltered." The wine warmed up a bit and showed very nicely. Was great at the end of the tasting, which continues to tell me that Movia wines always need at least one hour of opening time. $25

3-6
(3 for now,
3 to age)
2001 Montevertine Rosso Toscano Has a nice purity. Hmmm. Sangiovese and Canaiolo. $38
3?
2000 Paolo Bea Sagrantino Umbria Pronounced “Be-ah.” This a great wine. Balanced. Smooth acids. Drink 5-25 years? $76
6+
2000 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo Piemonte Young. Tight. Nebbiolo. $85.
2-3?
1997 Quintarelli Ca’del Merlo Veneto Sergio described it as “leaps out of the glass.” Appealing nose. This is good juice! Big. "Quintarelli waits for natural fermentation to stop." $72
12
2001 Sartarelli Verdicchio Balciana La Marche Wow! Has more of everything. Big taste, acidic finish. I want to try this in 3-6 years. $28
3?
1959 Ferrari Solaria Jonica Puglia Smooth. Balanced. Nothing not to like. Not too alcoholic. Primitivo. (Only 400 cases made.) I definitely want a bottle! $140
1



Louis/Dressner Selections Tasting
Real Wine with Joe Dressner

Authenticity, Terroir, Vigneron & Pleasure
October 23, 2005
(Joe is great speaker - try to get to a talk of his some time!)

2004
Domaine de la Pépière (Marc Ollivier) Muscadet-sur-Lie   In granite soil. Great nose. Clean, refreshing, lemony.
 
1-2
2002 Domaine de Roally
Mâcon Montbellet 2 years fermentation. Unoaked.
$20
2-3
2002 Domaine du Closel Savennières Jalouise The Chenin Blanc vines soil is mostly schist.
$25
2+
2004 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Gamay This is a clean, nice, food wine. Small not big. It has a delicacy to it and smooth acids. 
$15
3+
2003 Pierre & Catherine Breton Bourgeuil Les Galichets (“1947 was the great vintage.”) Biodynamic. “Will age forever.” Big - not appealing now.
 
 
2000 Mayr-Nusser Alto Adige - Südtirol Lagrein Riserva Big taste. I like! Very different – need a bottle to evaluate better.
$20
 



Artisanal Cheese & Wine Tasting
Hosted by Max McCalman

Evaluating Two wines with Six cheeses
This was a very good talk except for too much on cheese safety
(which had nothing to do with the topic).

Wines (both I was familar with - excellent food wines):
1. 2004 Dr Loosen  Riesling Kabinet  Graacher Himmelreich   Bin 36 Cuvee
2. 2003 Telmo Rodríguez  Toro  Dehesa Gago 'G' (Tempranillo)

Unfortunately, there was so little wine in my glasses, that it was next to impossible to perform the tasting comparisons. Too many people, way too little wine! (1-2 oz of Tempranillo, less than an oz of Riesling.)

Cheeses
1. Ibores: Dry. Chalky feeling. Spicy, tongue burning, acidic finish, like I find Appenzeller to be - a good match with the Rielsing, not so with these Tempranillo.
2. Aseitao: Semi-soft. Pleasant.  The Tempranillo was okay with it.
3. Roncal: Yum! Dry flakey. Get Some! Good with the Tempranillo.
4. Grayson: Good. Very good with the Tempranillo.
5. Piave: Wow! Really Yum! Okay with the Temrpranillo.
6. Fourme D’ambert: Not for me.

Max made some generalities for Cheese & Wine pairings:
  •  Soft Cheeses – Try with sparkling wines
  •  Sheep Cheese – Red or Sauvignon Blanc
  •  Goat Cheese – Usually best with white wines

Max suggested when creating a cheese course, serve/eat in the following order:
  •  Mild to Strong
  •  Young to Old
  •  Soft to Hard
  •  Alternate Types
  •  Contrast
  •  End with Blues

When doing a cheese and wine tasting, Max said to:
  1.   Assess the wine first - start to finish
  2.   Assess the cheese alone
  3.   Taste the two together but wait for the finish

He also addressed three main considerations for choosing cheeses:
  •  Terroir
  •  Organoleptic Profile
  •  Sapidity

One last note: The more umami in a wine the more successful it is with cheese.




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