suntimes
TOUGH 
Weather Updates

Three Chicago sommeliers give best wine picks for summertime activities

storyidforme: 48626187
tmspicid: 18069644
fileheaderid: 8130216

picnic on the Ravinia Festival lawN

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: May 3, 2013 9:49AM



Beer may be the bevvie of choice come summer, but there’s no reason you can’t pair warm weather fun with seriously good wine. Wine Spectator magazine brings more than 200 bottles of the finest grapes to Navy Pier Friday for its Grand Tour Chicago tasting event. While the $200 ticket may seem steep, oenophiles can sip glasses that all rank 90 points and higher for three hours.

We asked three sommeliers — Jason Wagner at Henri and The Gage, Paul Finkelmeyer of mk and Jen Winterburn of ENO — to match some of the offerings with warm weather plans.

1. June wedding

Krug Champagne Grande Cuvee NV: “The perfect way to celebrate!” — Jason Wagner

Acacia Chardonnay Carneros Sangiacomo Vineyard 2010: Perfect complex, but refreshing, wine for the occasion and the season. — Paul Finkelmeyer

Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 2008: Although it will be a bit hot, you will still enjoy this lovely, complex and full Barolo as you celebrate. It will go well with a variety of entrees your host will have chosen for you. — Jen Winterburn

2. Roasted chicken dinner at Ravinia

Acacia Chardonnay Carneros Sangiacomo Vineyard 2010: A rich white to complement the chicken. — Jason Wagner

Louis Latour Corton Chateau Corton Grancey 2009: Classic, except for the performance not mentioned. I’ll save my bottle for Perlman’s Tchaikovsky show in August. — Paul Finkelmeyer

Vina Montes Alpha M Santa Cruz 2010: The smoky quality of your chicken and the great vibe of friends and music will only enhance this already stellar wine. Classic Chicago. — Jen Winterburn

3. A day on the water (boating)

Chateau d’Esclans Cotes de Provence Rose Garrus 2010: Nothing pairs with sunshine quite like rose! — Jason Wagner

Chateau d’Esclans Cotes de Provence Rose Garrus 2010: Cold refreshing rose in vast quantities is the perfect ration for any pirate. ­ Paul Finkelmeyer

Acacia Chardonnay Carneros Sangiacomo Vineyard 2010 : This is a summer stunner. Light, floral and bright, this Chardonnay is lovely on its own or with food. — Jen Winterburn

4. Friday night steak on the grill

Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac 2010: Something classy for the steak, and one of my favorite Bordeaux properties. — Jason Wagner

Vina Montes Alpha M Santa Cruz 2010: I’d recommend opening this big boy on Thursday.­ ­— Paul Finkelmeyer

Who doesn’t think home-grilled steak and a handsome Bordeaux should happen every Friday night? I certainly do. Fire up the grill! — Jen Winterburn

5. Rooftop party with antipasti

Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 2008: Aromas of roses on the rooftop. — Jason Wagner

Planeta Chardonnay Sicilia 2010: Can you say, ‘I-talian’? Antipasti and the outdoors. No-brainer. — Paul Finkelmeyer

Krug Champagne Grande Cuvee NV: Now this is my idea of a good time! I envision a city skyline with lots of twinkling lights and Krug. Doesn’t get any better than that. — Jen Winterburn

6. After a winning round at Medina

Louis Latour Corton Chateau Corton Grancey 2009: If you’re going to celebrate at a country club, you better bring Grand Cru! — Jason Wagner

Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac 2010: If you’re golfing at Medina in the first place you most likely won’t be burdened with the financial guilt of popping this piece of history. ­— Paul Finkelmeyer

Louis Latour Corton Chateau Corton Grancey 2009: Need a great way to cap off that tough win? A lovely Burgundy with just a touch of age will definitely do the trick! — Jen Winterburn

7. A grown-up garden party with smoked salmon

Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Five Mountain 2010: It’s a classic pairing: Oregon Pinot with salmon. — Jason Wagner

Krug Champagne Grande Cuvee NV: Classic pairing of smoked salmon and bubbles. Not sure what is more “grown up” than Krug. — Paul Finkelmeyer

Chateau d’Esclans Cotes de Provence Rose Garrus 2010: Salmon and rose is pretty much a no-brainer, and this is such a great pairing you might forget about the salmon and focus on just the rose! — Jen Winterburn

8. A ride in a hot air balloon

Planeta Chardonnay Sicilia 2010: A wine that you can pay attention to, or ignore, as you take in the views. — Jason Wagner

Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Five Mountain 2010: In the Willamette Valley I understand you can get a balloon ride. I picture something with the chill of dusk and the amazing views of the rows below and the coast to the west — Paul Finkelmeyer

Planeta Chardonnay Sicilia 2010: Flying high and sipping on Sicilian Chardonnay is a truly special way to spend a summer afternoon. Just remember to not look down … too much! — Jen Winterburn

9. Enjoying the rewards of a day of strawberry picking

Disznoko Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2005: Something sweet to go with freshly picked strawberries. — Jason Wagner

Disznoko Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2005. Hopefully your berries will be ripe but this nectar shouldn’t hurt in addition — Paul Finkelmeyer

Disznoko Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2005: Now this is decadence. Picking beautiful ripe strawberries and sipping on Disznoko in the sunshine. — Jen Winterburn

10. Fourth of July burger and brats

Vina Montes Alpha M Santa Cruz 2010. A wine that has the stuffing to match burgers and brats! — Jason Wagner

Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 2008. Going to need quite a bit of richness (fat in this case) to compete with the adolescent monster. — Paul Finkelmeyer

Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Five Mountain 2010 Domestic Pinot, fireworks and a good old-fashioned cookout. There’s just no better way to say Happy Independence Day! Jen Winterburn



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.