Once upon a time there were only a few big-time, high-quality wine events around the country, and they tended to cluster heavily on the two coasts. These days, however, we are in in the midst of a gold rush of sorts, as people figure out that there’s both good money to be made in putting on large scale wine tastings, and plenty of people who love to go to them. Both of which are essentially the same thing. This means that wine lovers have more opportunities than ever to learn about wine and to enjoy their passion.
And now, thanks to the same phenomenon, wine lovers in Chicago are getting a taste of California Pinot Noir like they never have before. What started a couple of years ago as a San Francisco wine lover’s answer to the long running ZAP Zinfandel Festival has now become a multi-city Pinot Noir tasting extravaganza that is exposing more wine lovers to more good Pinot than you can shake a stick at.
So on Saturday November 15th at 1:00 PM, if you call yourself a wine lover and have fifty bucks to your name, you should probably be standing on Navy Pier with a ticket in hand for Chicago Pinot Days. While the event is not as large as the one put on in San Francisco, it represents an opportunity for Illinois wine lovers to taste a lot of wines that they may not ordinarily have access to.
Of course, if you’re a hardcore wine lover, you may want to participate in more than the Saturday Grand Tasting. Friday night features a winemakers’ dinner at Bin36. Check out the event web site for more information on the dinner and other activities.
Chicago Pinot Days 2008 Grand Tasting
Saturday, November 15, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Tickets are $50 per person and should be purchased online in advance. Vinography readers can get a 10% discount by entering the promo code “VINOGRAPHY” during purchase.
My usual tips for large public tastings apply: get a good night’s sleep; wear dark colors; drink lots of water; go with a full stomach; and spit so you can taste more than 5 or 10 wines and actually remember them.