I had a super exciting weekend! It started with a wine tasting at Vin Chicago in Naperville. It's such a cool place and concept that I spent more than two hours there, and could have stayed longer. What I learned is that Vin Chicago makes it easy to be the life of a party by bringing a cool wine with an interesting story. Instead of picking up some random $15 bottle of wine at Costco while also securing a pallet of peanut butter, wipes and Tide, Vin Chicago's staff will get you in and out with a story and a unique bottle that's competitively priced.
Every single person who works there has a passion for wine. What's more, Vin Chicago is at its core a value-based retailer. The staff collects interesting wines with exceptional tasting notes, but only if the price point rings true. The wine buyer said that there are some great wines they taste, but if the price point isn't compelling, they don't make it onto the shelves at Vin Chicago. And they're not interested in the stuff you can get at Target. They want new, novel, exciting and unique.
The story of Vin itself is pretty interesting. It was the first seller to get a license after prohibition, and started as Wine Discount Center in quite an interesting area of Chicago. Even now, the Elston store is the only retailer in an industrial area featuring tanners and welding shops. The initial concept was the retailer would buy incredible wines and sell them very cheaply, skipping over the banner discount brands to something that's worth talking about.
In addition to advice, Vin Chicago has samples. Every Saturday each location offers quite an expansive array of sampling, which changes seasonally and based upon what the staff is geeked out about. But if you can't make it into the store, they've got an option for you - a newsletter shares the expansive and rotating menu of wines that are coming in or particularly special that week.
The final step that ensured Vin Chicago secured a very special place in my heart is that they'll e-mail you all the notes for the wines you purchase, which means you can actually recall all the stories and buzzwords that will make you sound smarter at parties. I also found their website to be useful for party planning, especially the section with 90 point wines for less than $10. The holidays are right around the corner, and I like having a few bottles of wine on hand for gatherings or hostess gifts that won't break the bank but I know are solid choices.
Want to visit and learn for yourself? Stay tuned, I MIGHT be able to help you out with that ...