Courtesy of Balzac Communications, Laima and I got to the Chianti Classico Grand Tasting yesterday at the Allerton Hotel in downtown Chicago. This was our first time at this sort of tasting -- the wine reps (sometimes the owner) were arrayed around the edges of a ballroom, ready to pour wine for us. Several levels of wine were available, from the standard Chianti Classico (though they were hardly standard), through Riservas and then on to special bottlings. Alongside those several producers had sweet Vin Santos -- since some make only 1,000 bottles of those a year, we were pretty lucky to get to taste them. Many of the reps were very friendly, and we noticed a correlation between the people we liked and the wines we liked, pretty interesting. I was amazed at the high level of wine available and, with 18 wineries pouring from 2 to 5 wines each, it was a mellow way to spend a few hours. :)
Down the street (as if the Magnificent Mile is a typical street), Laima and I dined out at The Purple Pig, a Mediterranean restaurant with an amazing winelist and really great food. They were a 2011 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand winner, and it's clear to see why. For a full recap of the dinner, check out my post on 50 States of Wine.
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