South Loop Wine Cellar: Amy Garman, owner, offers both a white and red from Nine North Wines. Their 2006 10 Mile Proprietary White "Lost Horizons" is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, and Chenin Blanc. Tropical fruit and floral notes accompany crisp acidity. The 2004 10 Mile California Red "The Broken Road" is mainly made up of Petit Sirah with some Malbec, Zinfandel, Barbera, and Carignane. A medium+ bodied wine with flavors of black fruits and pepper. Each of these wines are offered for $10.99.
Binny's: The South Loop location is on Jefferson, just north of Roosevelt. Manager Juan Torres recommends two old world selections. His red is 2005 Venta Mazzaron, 100% Tinto de Toro, which is the name of the Tempranillo varietal from Zamora, Spain. Only $12.99. A rich red with smoke, black fruit, and a touch of sweetness. His favorite white is 2006 Le Prieuré St. Sever In Optimis Chardonnay. Stainless steel fermented varietal $9.99 with a clean style for the "unoaked crowd". Get it for $9.99.
Sam's: I met with Shadla Cycholl, Wine Consultant, who specializes in Italian wines. Her white pick was Italian, 2007 Domenico Armani "Io" Sauvignon Blanc, which has lush fruit and minerality for $12.99. For red, go to Chile for Chono Carmenere 2006. A soft, silky medium bodied autumn wine for $11.99.
Whole Foods: I spoke with Kristen who steered me over to 2007 Domaine de Regusse Pinot Noir. This red from Provence has an oaky, herbal quality with ripe red fruits- $10.99. A white bargain is the 2008 Crios Torrontes- fruity and dry for $12.99. Kristen also suggested the Optimis Chardonnay. Must be a bargain!
Dominick's: Herbie Reyes, General Merchandise Manager, brought me to a white he likes to share with his wife, 2006 Bella Sera Pinot Grigio. A crisp, clean choice for $7.48. His favorite red is 2007 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir for $10.98.
Jewel, on Roosevelt and Wabash, was noncommittal in regard to favorites, but does have a few of the Windy City Wine Guy's Best Buys onhand. I am also awaiting word from Warehouse Liquors on Wabash between Balbo and Harrison. They do have a number of fine wines onhand and helpful staff.
(Image courtesy of Flickr)