December Events at City Winery

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The holiday season itself is a reason to look forward to the winter months, and our exciting schedule of events this December is sure to encourage you to brave the freezing temperatures to head over to City Winery to enjoy great food, wine, music, and company!

Fear No Art’s monthly Dinner Party kicks off December on 12/1 featuring Author Rebecca Skloot, Briston & Balena Chef Chris Pandel, and more as guests. Aside from great conversation and company, a variety of food & drink tastings are included! Other notable wine & food events are our Bordeaux Around the World With Pasternak wine dinner and our sparkling wine class!

Several holiday shows are on the line up during the month as well. Suzy Bogguss performs “A Swingin’ Little Christmas Show”, The Blind Boys of Alabama put their own spin Christmas, and Michael McDermott has two special nights of his Mischief & Mistletoe Christmas Show. Blues queen Shemekia Copeland is also performing two shows on New Years Eve! For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, the Jewmongous comedy concert would make for an entertaining night out this season!

While many concerts are sold out, such as three nights with Los Lobos and another four nights with Poi Dog Pondering, there are plenty of other acts worth checking out! They include, but are not limited to an acoustic evening with Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, impressive Piano-drum-bass jazz trio The Bad Plus, and an all-star evening with The Chicago Soul Revue, a 10-piece 60s & 70s soul band.

Take a look at our full December Lineup below:

12/1- Fear No Art Presents The Dinner Party
12/3- Lisa Loeb w/ Zachary Scot Johnson
12/4- Suzy Bogguss “A Swingin’ Little Christmas Show”
12/7-Chicago Philharmonic Sunday Series
12/7- Griffin House w/ Clarence Bucaro
12/8- Lisa Fischer (6:30p & 9p shows)
12/9- Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes w/ Guthrie Brown
12/10- Toh Kay (of Streetlight Manifesto) (Late show added)
12/11- The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show
12/14- The Bad Plus (5p & 8p shows)
12/16- Delbert McClinton
12/17- Los Lobos (Sold Out)
12/18- Los Lobos (Sold Out)
12/19- Los Lobos (Sold Out)
12/20- Tab Benoit (2 shows)
12/21- The Westies Record Release Party w/ Nicholas Tremulis
12/22- Michael McDermott Mischief & Mistletoe Christmas Show w/ Anne Heaton
12/23- Michael McDermott Mischief & Mistletoe Christmas Show w/ The Canterbury Carollers
12/25- Jewmongous: Unkosher Comedy Song Concert
12/26- Poi Dog Pondering (Sold Out)
12/27- Poi Dog Pondering (Sold Out)
12/28- Poi Dog Pondering (Sold Out)
12/29- Poi Dog Pondering (Sold Out)
12/30- The Chicago Soul Revue
12/31- Shemekia Copeland NYE 2015 (2 shows)

All tickets can be purchased on our website.

5 Wine Recommendations for Your Holiday Dinner

Holiday wine pairings

Rachel Speckan, our amazing beverage director & wine educator, compiled a list of five wine suggestions sure to be a hit at your dinner table this holiday season! Read on…

Wine is key to assuredly winning your holiday dinner. The ingredients are varied, the guests are a compilation of personalities, and the wild cards are ample. Balance this precarious situation with a striking assortment of wine!

The menu is forgiving and wine friendly, so choose wines to highlight the food and the company, rather than commanding attention on the table. I recommend throwing a mashed up array of wines on the table and encouraging guests to sip and share tastes of many different bottles without having to commit to just one wine.

Utilize a trusty wine shop to make of the moment recommendations, or stick to your favorites, play it safe or be adventurous. Festive bottles need not be expensive bottles!

For the best pairing, utilize wines without a large dose of oak or overly aggressive tannin, instead opting for wines with a touch of residual sweetness or high acidity to increase your versatility factor. Sparkling wine is nearly always an amazing option for the holiday table! Not only are the bubbles spirited, but the high acid and prickly mouthfeel are a lovely pairing with nearly any dish. An off-dry Riesling is also an excellent choice, as the slight sweetness juxtaposed next to the high acidity create a mouthwatering balanced that yearns for food. Gamay is a ringer, with similar characteristics to Pinot Noir, but not so serious a hit to the wallet, and an aptitude for pairing. For those that prefer more hefty wine options, snagging a lighter bodied (lower alcohol) Zinfandel can be a wonderful, very American food and wine pairing experience. And, to wrap up the meal and the wine pairing, pop open a dessert wine with bright fruit, honeycomb and an unctuous texture, or fortified wine with notes of dried fruit, nuttiness, and chocolate. For certain, you will be the researched, poised, and elegant host(ess). Cheers!

1. NV Moncuit Champagne Blanc de Blanc, Champagne, France – Chardonnay
2. 2012 Zind Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain Grand Cru, Alsace, France – Riesling
3. 2010 Jean Foillard Cote du Py, Morgon, Beaujolais, France – Gamay
4. 2012 Bedrock Heritage, Evangelho Vineyard, Sonoma, California – Zinfandel
5. 2013 Vignalta Fior d’Arancio, Veneto, Italy – Orange Muscat

City Winery represented at Cahors Malbec Days

Hannah, one of our wine captains, had the opportunity to represent City Winery on a week-long trip to Cahors, France for ‘Cahors Malbec Days’!  Read all about her incredible trip below!

My name is Hannah Grossman. I have been at City Winery since its opening, and works as a wine captain, server, and event lead. On behalf of the European Union, the UIVC (Union Interprofessionnelle du Vin de Cahors), and a representative of the City Winery wine captain team, I recently spent a week in Cahors, France for “Cahors Malbec Days.”

Cahors is in the Southwest part of France, just north of the Languedoc. This is home of the Malbec grape. Many other countries and regions have made a (more famous) name for Malbec, helping it become quite the trend in the wine world. Some of these places include Argentina, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Chile, Australia, South Africa, and the United States, and more. While the Malbec grape is quite adaptable, its roots lie here in Cahors.

Cahors is about 21,000 hectares in total, and only 4,000 hectares is being used for vinification purposes, 90% of which is Malbec. It is red wine production only here, apart from some winemaking experimentation with other grapes. But the the AOC, France’s wine law, at least 70% of a wine must be Malbec and only Merlot and Tannat are permitted within a blend. Merlot will soften the wine and Tannat will mature the blends to be palatable at a younger age.

So as you can imagine, I drank red wine for 5 days straight. They call Malbec the “black grape,” so I dubbed our group the “black teeth.”

With rich soils ranging from alluvial and gravel to clay and limestone, Malbec from Cahors has a rustic, terrior-driven quality. The region is full of floral notes itself with so many kinds of flowers from honeysuckle to lavender to roses. A Cahors Malbec profile is typical of black currants, black cherry, violets, licorice, with remnants of truffles, mint and oak. They are full-bodied with firm fruity tannins and high acidity.

Getting the opportunity to go on an enrichment trip gives you something that the books and the bottles alone can’t give you. I was fully immersed within the region, where I heard firsthand from the winemakers what it takes for success, what soils and climates they’re working with, the equipment and style in which they each individually produce what has given Cahors its name. There is no better way to learn than to go to the site itself. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of one place’s culture, getting to feel as one with the wine’s source of identity.

We were given a structured itinerary for every day. I would wake up early and have a traditional countryside breakfast of fresh breads, a soft-boiled egg, fresh orange juice, and good strong coffee. From there we were off to a vineyard that would host a seminar to begin the morning. History and terrior were major foci throughout the trip. After a daily tasting, we chose two vineyards to see and learn about each day. Before embarking throughout Cahors’ countryside, we had a lunch typically featuring duck in some preparation from foie gras to confit to terrine. This region is especially known for their game products, truffes, and mustards, and I can back them up on that one! To get from vineyard to vineyard, the program sponsored vintage cars from about the 1930-1960s to drive us around! After a long afternoon outside, we would get ready for a dinner, again, hosted by a chateau or vineyard. We truly got the 360 degree Cahors experience.

 

View of CahorsHannah, our wine captain, in Cahors!

Vineyard in CahorsWine glass in Cahors

Top 3 Reasons to Host Your Next Private Event at City Winery

We obviously love wine, music, and food here at City Winery Chicago, but we also pride ourselves on our large venue and numerous private event options that we offer! Here are our top 3 reasons why City Winery is a unique and wonderful place to host your private event. 

1. We accommodate a variety of occasions and party sizes.

From weddings, to board meetings, to birthday parties, to fundraisers, you name it- we can accommodate you! Summer weekends are always a popular time for weddings, and our patio and concert venue have definitely been put to good use! In fact, we welcomed over 30 newlyweds in 2014 alone! City Winery parties range anywhere from 10-1,000 people.

I_1608credit Gerber + Scarpelli Weddings I_1651credit Gerber + Scarpelli Weddings

 2. We have flexible rooms within our 35,000 sq. ft. space

The variety of spaces in our 35,000 square foot establishment allow us to work with our clients to understand their desires and needs, and find a perfect fit for nearly any occasion. Amongst our beautiful outdoor patio, restaurant, the landing overlooking the restaurant, the 300-person seated concert venue, our upper level loft-style mezzanine, or our barrel room, where wine is actually aging in oak barrels, there is an aesthetically appealing space to entertain virtually any gathering! Check out our full gallery here!

CW_barrel_room CW_patioCW_mezzanine CW_concert_space

3. We bring the essence of Wine Country to the West Loop

The unique thing about hosting an event at City Winery is that our clients may access our fully functioning urban winery- right here in the restaurant! We provide the essence of Napa Valley, right in the heart of the trendy West Loop! Since we make our own wine, we’re able to work with clients to make custom-labeled bottled wine and host tasting parties! We’re happy and willing to collaborate with any event and offer our unique resources to fit our clients’ needs!

City Winery Chicago Winery_Maggie Wangler © Document the Day

 If we have piqued your interest, we invite you to stop in for a complimentary walk-through of our facility. Please fill out our Private Events Inquiry Form or email Todd@CityWinery.com. In the mean time, we encourage you to experience our space –  join us for a concert in our 300 seat intimate venue or come in for a bite to eat – we’re open for lunch and dinner!  Make a reservation here.