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Vino à la Illinois
Vino à la Illinois
Fine wine and cuisine in harmony at Cooper’s Hawk
Cornfields, corrupt politicians and crazy sports fans have earned Illinois and the Chicago area an unduly bad rap. But, thanks to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, we can finally add something positive to the list: innovative winemaking.
Each fall, refrigerated trucks bring grapes from California, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan to Countryside, Illinois, where winemaker Robb Warren produces over 175,000 gallons of wine per year for six Midwest locations. With a standing list of over 40 wines and seasonal menu offerings designed to complement each and every bottle, Cooper’s Hawk takes food and wine pairing to a new level.
If you’re just thirsty, head to the wine bar and shop for a $7 tasting that covers eight different wines. Whether you sit down for a meal, taste, buy a few bottles, or join the wine club, here are some wines that are not to be missed:
• Blanc de Blancs ($13.99): Michelle Obama toasted her husband’s election with this sparkling wine at the Illinois Inaugural Gala. Definitely tastes like victory.
• Sparkling Almond Wine ($14.99): It smells like fresh almond cookies, drinks smooth and dry, and tastes like nothing you’ve ever had before.
• Viognier Sauvignon Blanc ($18.99): 65% viognier and 35% sauvignon blanc, this finely tuned blend opens with a mix of citrus and stone fruits, and closes with a long, spicy finish.
• Barbera ($19.99): Cooper’s Hawk does wonders with this Italian grape. The bold, dark fruits can hold up to any beef or game dish.
• Meritage Barrel Reserve: Pray that Cooper’s Hawk bottles this one—or still has some left in the barrel. If not, do try the Lux Meritage ($39.99). Both the reserve and the Lux take your palate on a well-layered adventure.
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