We’re ready for Summer at The Chopping Block with new wines and new wine classes. Here are a few favorites coming right up!
Spanish Wine and Tapas Pairing
How lucky was I, back in the 1990’s, that Food & Wines from Spain hired me as their Midwest representative just in time for America’s tapas explosion? I worked with brand-new tapas spots like Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! and Café Iberico, as well as international restaurants, ensuring that Chicagoans caught the tapas and Spanish wine craze. My work was not in vain! Both Spanish wine and tapas are now favorites throughout Chicagoland, including at The Chopping Block.
Our new Spanish Wine and Tapas class takes the guesswork out of pairing wine with Spain’s little bites. In a mix-and-match of four courses and five wines, we’ll test easy guidelines to make your tapas feast - and any meal - a taste sensation! I can’t wait to try Sautéed Beef Tenderloin paired with Rioja Reserva, La Antigua Clasico, beautifully-matured since 2012.
Along with other classic Spanish wines, we’ll taste a discuss our new wine list addition:
Cava "Pink", Parés Baltà NV, Catalonia, Spain: Dry, but with rich berry flavor and ample finish. This family-owned winery has devoted three generations to organic and biodynamic farming, bringing vitality to their soil and their wines. Make any day a celebration with this rich bubbly, to serve on its own or with the richest tapas - even light red meats - breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Join us for Spanish Wine & Tapas Pairing on Wednesday, July 22 at 6pm at Lincoln Square.
For the ultimate tapas experience, join our small group of foodie travelers on a culinary immersion tour to Basque Country, Spain in September. You'll eat your fill of pintxos, which are Basque-style tapas.
Summery Wine Cocktails
The Farmers’ Almanac (with its 80% accuracy rate) predicts a warm, thundery Midwest Summer, with “sizzling” and “broiling” temps to our west and south. Good thing, then, that alcohol lowers body temperature! At TCB, we’ve planned for the heat with a tasting of the world’s classic internal air-conditioners, wine cocktails!
We’ll sip the standards, including the Spritzer and Sangria, tick off your daily ration of Rosè with Frosè and honor France’s heroes with the Kir Royale and French 75. And, if your cocktailing has been impoverished by major brand vermouths, you’re in for a treat with the Half and Half - equal parts of artisanal Mata Tinto and Blanco Vermouths, aged for 18 months to allow exotic flavors of 100’s of herbs and spices to fully complex. You’ve tasted the rest, join us to taste the best!
Join us for Summery Wine Cocktails on Wednesday, July 6 at 6pm at Lincoln Square.
Get to Know Your Grapes
Our Get to Know Your Grapes class has been so well received, we’re adding a second section!
Wine appreciation depends on an understanding of grapes and - with 6,000 identified varieties - there’s plenty to learn! In June, we focus on current darlings Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Malbec, tasting two examples of each. Watch for part two, tasting Riesling (with bone-dry and sweet examples), Sauvignon Blanc and two of the original Rhone Rangers (wines based on the Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre). To prepare for class, we've added these beauties to our wine list:
Sancerre, Langlois-Chateau: Taste this 100% Sauvignon Blanc that was classic centuries before New Zealand! Grown in northern France’s cool climate and chalky soil for bone-dry, bright flavors of fresh herbs with damp stone and lime accents, with firm acidity. Serve as an elegant cocktail and to enhance dishes with herbs, vegetables and olive oil, including seafood (sushi!), pasta, poultry and vegetarian cuisine.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Saintes Pierres de Nalys by E. Guigal: Expansive flavors of ripe berries with black pepper and smoky accents. This south-of-France blend including Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre is matured in stainless steel (not wood), for sturdy structure but plush tannin, a classic accompaniment to grilled and roasted vegetables, rich poultry and meats.
Watch for part two of Get to Know your Grapes in coming months, and if you want to be spontaneous, join us for tonight's Get to Know your Grapes class at 6pm at Lincoln Square.
At TCB, we build our wine list by working with locally owned distributors, who bring us family owned producers and their hand-craft wines from around the world. Wines are chosen specifically to enhance food, both the food you prepare during classes and at home. If you want to place an order while our retail store at Lincoln Square is closed for a refresh, just give us a call at 773-472-6700, and we'll hook you up!