Current News: Juicy Wine Company, Drinks Over Dearborn

A whole lot going on with the Chicago wine scene right now (as always!) and here's the latest scoop on two places: Juicy Wine Company and Drinks Over Dearborn.

Juicy is supposedly close to being sold according to co-owner, Rodney Alex.  They've been in operation for about 3 years now on 694 N. Milwaukee Ave., and will be sold to current manager Chris Dunstatter and friend Chip Dudley.  A remodeling is in order, along with a new name, more selections, earlier retail sales (11am) and a parking lot patio.  They will also be applying for a 4am license.  Good luck to the prospective new owners and Rodney on his new venture: a Juicy wine project in Anderson Valley.

As for Drinks Over Dearborn, owner Kyle McHugh is starting his 500 Benjamins or Bust campaign.  The establishment has been open for about 1 year on 650 N. Dearborn, 2nd floor, and due to our current economic instability, is in a bit of their own.  McHugh is seeking 500 customers willing to open an account with at least $100 and is giving the following benefits:

  • 5% discount on merchandise

  • 10% off classes

  • special events/offers for the 500

On February 27th there will also be a live 24 hour webcast telethon featuring Kyle and his wife, along with friends and volunteers performing and manning the phones.  If this works, it will give Drinks Over Dearborn enough operating capital to operate for 6 months and have a real shot at making it past the economic woes.  If not, Kyle has vowed to return the "Benjamin" pledges and close shop on March 5th.  If you are a fan of entrepreneurs and see the value in supporting a small shop which features over 400 hand selected items and classes, then jump in on the fun, lend a hand and your Benjamins!

Client Spotlight: Catbridge Cellars Grand Opening

When: Friday, Nov. 20, 11am to 8pm.  Saturday, Nov. 21, 11am to 8pm.  Sunday, Nov. 22, 12am to 5pm.

Where: Catbridge CellarsAntioch.

If you live in or will be near the Antioch area, make sure to stop by Catbridge Cellars, where one of my favorite clients, Cathy Williams, has just opened shop.  It's a great combination wine bar and shop, which features wines made by environmentally conscious producers.  I recently selected and helped Cathy stock her venue with over 160 wines, almost all of them made with grapes grown organically and biodynamically, and all sustainably farmed.  There are fourteen wines available by the glass, like organic choices Pavi Pinot Grigio, St. Cosme "Little James Basket Press" Grenache, Clara Benegas Chardonnay, and Gouguenheim Malbec.  Cathy will also be opening special bottles and offering cheese for the event.

The shop is a small walk from the Metra North Central Service Antioch Station, and, if you are driving, is just off the Rosecrans Road (route 173) exit of I-94.

For more things to do nearby, there is also the PM&L Theatre, and David's Bistro, who's appetizer menu will be available in Catbridge Cellars wine bar as well.

Just Grapes

logo1I just recently made my first visit to Just Grapes, an excellent wine shop located in the west loop, at 560 W.Washington.  I looked around, and was helped out by friendly and knowledgeable staff.  There are many discounts and deals, and that day they were featuring 50 wines at 50% off.  I came for a couple of Spanish selections, the first of which was the 2002 Emilio Moro Malleolus.  It is a deep rich red from the Ribera del Duero made of Tinto Fino, local for Tempranillo.  It was a steal for $23.  I also came for the 2003 Celler Laurona, another rich red from Montsant, just outside of Priorat.  It is made from 60% Garnacha and 40% Mazuelo, local for Carignan.  Another great buy at $11. 

I highly recommend stopping in for the deals and numerous promotions they have.  The parking is a bit scarce in the area, but there is temporary "flashing light" parking in front.

Also, if you would like to come in and sample, there is an automated tasting machine- 24 wines are hooked up and you can purchase tastes with a rechargeable "smart card".  Excellent for those of us who like to taste the milk before we buy the cow!