• The Chopping Blog

I Can't Believe It's Not Champagne

  The year is almost over, and that means it's time for everyone in the food blogosphere to start talking to you about that Champagne, which you will presumably be drinking sometime in the very near ...

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Zinfandel + Meat = A Pairing You Can't Pass Up

Let me tell you a little story about a bottle from Sonoma County. It was a fine bottle, made of the best type of glass… the kind you put alcohol in. It shone with promise and purpose, excited about ...

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Pokémon GO for the Wine Enthusiast

What do Pokémon GO and wine have in common? Well, if you're like me, they're both subjects you know little about.

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Mastering Wine and Food Pairing with our New Guide

Pairing wine and food is not as simple as the old rule of white wine with fish and red wine with meat. It's much more complicated than that, but despite what some wine experts would have you believe, ...

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Raise a Glass with The Chopping Block

Last year around this time, I decided that I'd apply myself, use the resources The Chopping Block has in abundance, and start really learning about wine and liquor. What a year it's been. Between the ...

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New Summer Drink Trend: Frozé

As a native Chicagoan, I can attest that we complain about two things: the never ending construction and the weather. This summer is no exception— it’s hot! We need something to cool us down and make ...

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Escape the Wine Rut by Choosing Bubbly

  It’s been almost a month since I’ve embarked upon a great adventure in the study of wines. It began with a complimentary wine class for The Chopping Block staff called “What’s In A Sip?”, and now ...

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Travel the World in Each Bite and Sip

  I am a big lover of travel, especially when it involves food and wine. There is no better way to learn about a culture and what it holds dear than tasting its foods and wines and sharing them with ...

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Wine Spotlight : Mas de Gourgonnier

I recently took Fine Vintage, Ltd.'s WSET Level 1 course— so I’m learning about wine! Wine is about savoring the moment and paying attention to what we’re consuming.

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Wines to Make Friends With

Did the title get you wondering what this post is about? Great! Keep reading. Because the wines I talk about will most certainly help you make new friends. So, you should befriend them…

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Wines for a Perfect Valentine’s Day

  I don’t like to celebrate Valentine’s Day the traditional way: dining in packed restaurants and overpaying for food and wine are not my favorite things. But I do love to celebrate. So, I cook at ...

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Bubbly Cocktails Can Brighten Your January

  In the day and age of the fancy cocktail, I must admit: I am not a big cocktail person. I love the idea of a cocktail, a civilized way to end the day and ease into the evening, surrounded with ...

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After-party Wine Tips: Storing and Using Open Bottles

  It’s December. Surely, you will have a gathering of friends and open some bottles of wine. If you have ready my blog posts for the last couple of months, you know exactly what wines to choose for ...

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Warm Up with Gluehwein this Holiday Season

  As a German living in Chicago for a while now, I have embraced the American holidays, especially Thanksgiving. For me, Thanksgiving is basically a “friends-giving” holiday since I usually spend it ...

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Wine Tips for Parties 101

  Last month, I wrote about some great wines to take to a party. But what if you are hosting a party? What wines will please your guests and be budget-friendly? The wine tips from last month apply ...

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Mull this Perfect Spicy and Sweet Halloween Treat Over

Cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, apple and orange are all the classic scents and tastes of fall. Add to that candy, costumes, candy, pranks, candy, scary scenes, oh, did I mention CANDY – and you ...

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Fun and Food-Friendly Party Wines

The party season is upon us and that means one thing: fun wines. I love discovering wines that turn every party into a great experience. Often, we go to parties without knowing what food will be ...

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In Defense of Sweetness in Wine

Sweetness in wine is a funny thing. Take Riesling. Every time I mention it, I see facial expressions that tell me it’s not a favorite. When I ask why, the answer is “I don’t like sweet wines.” But ...

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Expanding the Palate: Teaching Yourself to Drink (Well)

Back in college, when my friends and I had just hit our 21st birthdays and had more free time and spare change than sense, we decided to figure out the drinking world through random selection. We'd ...

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Love Wine Blends? Tell Me What You Really Like

Recently, several customers looking for wine have asked me for ‘blends’. It catches me by surprise. I don’t quite know what they mean. Sure, I know what wine blends are, but do they want a light, ...

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How to Choose Wines for Parties

Spring and summer are party seasons. But if you are hosting, party planning can be stressful.

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Craft Spirits are Here

It’s been a long time coming, but we are pleased to welcome craft spirits to The Chopping Block's beverage program. Staying along the same lines as our wine program, we are focusing on small batch ...

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Wines for Grilling and BBQ Season

Every day the temperature reaches at least 50 degrees, I see people grilling out. And that makes me think about the delicious wines I will enjoy with grilled foods this spring and summer. Let’s face ...

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A Most Romantic Wine

Let’s face it, February is tough. Winter is in full swing, the skies are dark, the cold fierce. Then, there is the pressure of Valentine’s Day. If you are single, all that Valentine’s Day talk is not ...

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3 Wine Myths Uncorked

No topic is burdened with more myths and fear than wine. We love it, but it scares us, and we have a million questions we’re afraid to ask for fear of sounding ignorant. The critics bombard us with ...

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Out with the Old, In with the New

As we roll into a new year at The Chopping Block, we have lots of exciting changes planned. Granted some are a little more exciting than others (stay tuned for a big announcement in the coming week), ...

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It's One of a Kind Show Time

I live for the One of a Kind Show. For four days, I get a break from traditional retail as I wander through booths showcasing over 600 talented artists work. Each year I treat myself to one special ...

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Food and Wine Pairings: The Gobble-Gobble Version

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is around the corner. The time has come to start placing orders for Heritage birds and testing favorite recipes for all of the accompaniments. In addition to that, it’s ...

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Culinary Evolution

I don’t know about you, but I find the evolution of the culinary world to be completely fascinating. These days, everything from the groceries that we buy to the to the cocktails that we consume are ...

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You Benefit by Giving the Gift of Cooking

You may have heard we're planning a party tomorrow. DNAinfo Chicago even put out a freebie alert this week (be sure to listen to the interview) about The Chopping Block Classic. This free food and ...

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Shh! Our Wine List is a Best Kept Chicago Secret

Big news! My half case of wine from Tuscany recently arrived. What does this mean for me? Well, it means that I’m going to be the happiest girl for the next few weeks.

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WSET Level 1: Understanding & Tasting Wine

You are at a new restaurant, and you want to order a bottle of Chardonnay. But you look at the wine list, and you've never heard of any of the wines on the list. The server is fast approaching, and ...

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Pairing Perfection: Why Beer Pairs Better than Wine

The Chopping Block is celebrating Chicago Craft Beer Week with different beer-focused classes, including last Friday's "He Said, She Said: Food & Beer Pairing Dinner". The evening featured five ...

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Lincoln Square's Good Eats & Drinks

One of the biggest perks of working at The Chopping Block is that I get to be in Lincoln Square every day. Nestled in the armpit of Lawrence, Western and Lincoln, this neighborhood is host to lovely ...

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Wine Certification Courses Come to Chicago

You may have noticed an absence of wine classes on our calendars lately, but all that changes next month. The Chopping Block is partnering with Fine Vintage to offer the prestigious Wine & Spirit ...

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It’s a Wine-o Blog-A-Thon

The sun is shining, it didn’t snow at all this week, Hillary Clinton just had a shoe thrown at her head and your great grandma wasn’t born yet when the Cubs won their last World Series. Do you know ...

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The Arrival of Summer Wines

Summer is so close I can almost taste it and by taste it, I mean the glorious flavors of strawberry, bing cherry and minerality of Rose. Our first delivery of Bieler Rose is arriving right now, which ...

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Tuscan Invasion

I’m about to make you all jealous. And when I say that I’m going to make you all jealous, I mean that you might, in fact, hate me a little bit after reading this blog.

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Fantastic Cooking vs Glorious Fails

It’s not what you do, but how you do it.

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Weightier Winter Wines

Winter weight. No, I’m not talking about the inevitable expansion of your waistline from being stuck inside during this brutal Chicago weather. I’m talking about the natural trend of drinking fuller ...

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Good Times in Low Country

When opportunity knocks, you answer. A recent series of events like an extra plane ticket, a few days of vacation and a hotel special was the perfect opportunity to take a quick weekend getaway to ...

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Pouring Port and Sherry this Season

If you follow my blog (so basically, if you’re my aunt), you’ll notice that I tend to write about two things fairly often: wine and cold weather. This is not only because I am deeply uncreative and ...

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A Very Unconventional Gobble Gobble

My family has really mastered the art of the conventionally unconventional holiday season. We’ve more or less embraced the idea of going back to the basics – and we really focus on being together and ...

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The Wine for Food Fall Challenge

There’s something about the cooler months that just makes me want to share. It could be that there’s a day coming in November entirely devoted to giving thanks. Or it could be that I realize, as I ...

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How to Pull Off a Dinner Party in One Hour

Months ago, a dear friend of mine asked me to host a dinner party for his upcoming birthday. Seeing as how I love to entertain, I enthusiastically agreed! And then, I forgot.

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Summer Sippers for Red Wine Drinkers

Here’s something you ought to know about me: I am a red wine drinker, first and foremost. I like my wines full-bodied, earthy and smelly. If wines were human beings, the kind I prefer would be ...

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Gluten Free Drinking in the Summertime

I’ve gotta tell you, I’m very thankful that wine is gluten free. As well as most cocktails. Fortunately for me I’ve never been much of a beer drinker, so giving up beer when I went gluten free wasn’t ...

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It's Time for Summer Drinks

I like a cocktail now and again. I don’t know about you, but this is the time of year when my palette is ready for new fresh tastes... a shift from the juicy, comforting ripe fruit and warming ...

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Summer Drinks are On Me (Not Literally)

The month of May is almost over, and you all know what that means: The insane supercomputer that controls Chicago’s weather (Code Name: Big Windy) has finally gone into hibernation. This leads to ...

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Derby Dinin'

Oh, the Kentucky Derby. It’s perhaps the coolest, fastest, most hoity-toity and expensive two minutes in all of May. It’s the one day a year that you can wear a peacock on your head, drink minty ...

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Summer Wine and Dine

Once again, Midwest weather has thrown us for a loop this week. It might be warm one day and cold the next, but I refuse to be discouraged in welcoming grilling season. Not only do we need to ...

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Food & Wine Extravaganza

I had dinner with an old friend last week... along with 22 students of The Chopping Block. Scott Noorman and I had the luxury and pleasure of entertaining our guests with a lovely five-course meal ...

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Why Wine?

If you ask me whether I would prefer a great entrée or some light appetizers with a glass of wine, I would normally go for the entrée every time. But recently, I have been taking the time to look at ...

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TV & Wine Night

I have a confession to make. I have the absolute worst taste in TV in the history of all viewers. I'm actually a Real Housewives fanatic! BH and NYC all the way (but retro NYC because I miss ...

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Posner Family Values

For the past five years, I have lived 300 miles away from my parents. I set off to the big city of Chicago, as young people filled with wanderlust so often do, and my parents stayed behind in our ...

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Valentine’s Day Gift

It’s the thought that counts. This Valentine’s Day go above and beyond the typical gift ideas and do something that will last a lifetime. Instead of making 9:30pm dinner reservations at some one-word ...

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Worst Spill Ever

Every day is an adventure, friends! Don’t you forget it. I was reminded of this fact a few days ago when the absolute worst series of spills graced my kitchen. Gather ‘round...

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Wine Snobbery for the Profoundly Lazy

If you’re like me (and you are), you want to be a major hit at dinner parties, dazzling others with your bon mots and displaying extensive knowledge of both food and wine. But learning a lot about ...

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