"Purveyors of Fine Wines, Brews and Spirits"

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We have been in business at this location since 1985, providing the best selection of wine in the western suburbs. Our store has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, and has been a past “Wine Store of the Year” selection. We pride ourselves on friendly and knowledgeable service, whether you are selecting an inexpensive wine for a simple dinner, purchasing select wine as an investment, or choosing wines for a special event.

Justin Beer Picks

We listen to Our Customers….

Our craft beer selection is bar none the best around in the Western Suburbs. Thanks for your comments on our ‘Yelp’ page…we appreciate your feedback and welcome your requests!

“This store has a great selection of beers.  The liquor and wine selection is great too.  You can pretty much find whatever your looking for and maybe something new if your feeling adventurous.”                  – Patrick from Chicago

“This place has everything I like, suitable for many price ranges! They get in beers that are hard to find. I was really impressed when I wanted PumKing beer, and they offered to call me when it actually came in, and reserve me some bottles until I was able to stop by— and they actually followed through on that!”                                    – Susanne from LaGrange

Our Events

Taste Wine with Winemakers-Virtually

Join us - Virtually as we discuss all aspects of California winemaking, hear live from three winemaking experts from Southern California's Coastal Santa Barbara County, as you learn about the region's next wave of wines and winemakers. Stop by the store and choose the bottles you're interested in, then join us as we discuss these glorious vineyards the wines originate from.

Featured wines:

Brewer Clifton, Sta. Rita Hills, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Daitom Bar M Vineyard, Chardonnay

Cambria Katherin's Vineyard, Chardonnay

Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir

Nielson Santa Barbara County Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Click on the link to join in the conversation!

https://qrco.de/bbikcK

 

Price: $0.00

Date: 10/29/2020

 

Nancy's Wine Picks

More than a marketing term: natural, organic, and biodynamic wines explained

First, let us look at a bit of history. At one time, vineyards were planted, fertilized, and protected by using manure and other animal byproducts. (Biodynamic practice) Following World War II, most agricultural processes focused on growing food and it was around this time that chemicals were introduced into farming. This change began the period of time in winemaking when the idea of creating a “perfect” wine started to take off. This practice was used until the realization that using a large amount of chemicals in the agricultural production process was not a good thing in general and more specifically for human health and the environment.

By the early 2000s, as you may have noticed, consumers’ tastes were changing, and organic products began entering the market. People shopped at farmers’ markets, looked for more farm-to-table restaurants, drank craft beer, and were concerned with the chemicals used on grapes. The natural wine movement connected nicely with an unquenched thirst for slower, more Earth-friendly production and process. 

So, what is natural wine? Natural wine has no “legal” definition and the term is not managed by any regulatory body; however France formally recognized natural wine and approved if for a three-year trial period. For natural winemaking, the grapes must be organically or biodynamically farmed, which requires adherence to a long list of rules and paying for costly certification. There is an expectation that when chemicals are not used the product is natural, pure and the end-product superior. This vagueness is part of what has allowed natural wine to become a cultural phenomenon. However, the product can be cloudy, fizzy and have volatile acidity (VA) along with other aromas due to using indigenous yeast for fermentation. In the end, we still want a delicious wine and these wines may not be as appealing.

The process to make organic wine is a little more complex. First, farming organically is regulated. Farmers must pay expensive annual fees to be organically certified, and work with various regulatory bodies around the world to produced a certified organic wine. The annual fees pose many challenges for the majority of winegrowers and results in few organic wines.

To be “organic” is not just a result of vineyard practices. These include a list of procedures regarding fermentation, water additions, no enzymes, no additives, no filtration or fining and the list goes on.

Organic wine is made from grapes grown according to the principles of organic farming. Having “certified organic” on a wine label only speaks to the farming process.  There is no organization that guarantees or oversees the actual winemaking function. 

You may have also come across the marketing concept of  “clean” and “unclean” wine, which is one of the latest additions to this special wine category styles. This is just another confusing way to refer to wine – are they claiming then that other wineries are putting harmful chemicals in their products? 

Winemaking is not an industrial process with a standard recipe that you can replicate every vintage, with every grape, from every wine producing area. Rather, winemaking decisions change each vintage and each label has to be approved by the government, which leads to continually changing and seeking approval for each vintage—a costly process. 

Some winemakers applaud the idea of an ingredient label. Paul Draper, chief winemaker for Ridge Vineyards, approached the BATF now the TTB, 40 years ago and said “we want an ingredient label” and they refused his request. He was trying to be transparent with his attempt to change the label.  Finally, about 12 years ago, Randall Grahm, winemaker and founder of Bonny Doon Vineyards, know for his pioneering work with Rhone varietals in California, was able to get the ingredient label on his wines and now Ridge Vineyards is including it on their back label. 

Natural, organic, clean, and biodynamic wines all mean that the winemaker and grape grower are doing the purest practices when creating a wine. But I think that all winemakers are working to produce the purest product with a passion to be enjoyed by consumers. With so much information at our fingertips, winemakers and wineries are being more transparent with their practices all in an effort to understand the demands of consumers for “good tasting” and “good for you” wines.

When wine is involved, nothing is difficult.

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