Chicago Gourmet Food Festival 2009

Chicago GourmetChicago Gourmet is on the way- a food and wine festival taking place on September 26 & 27 in Millenium Park.  This is just its second annual occurrence, and it will be a celebration of our city's culinary culture and history, highlighted by Chicago's best chefs and restaurants.  Also, hundreds of wines, local sommeliers, and wine experts will be onhand for tastings and seminars.

Many Chicago personalities like Mayor Daley will be in attendance, along with Chicago's favorite chefs: Rick Bayless (winner of Top Chef Masters) of Frontera Grill, Jose Garces of Mercat a la Planxa, John Coletta of Quartino, Dirk Flanigan of The Gage, Marcus Samuelsson of C-House, Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno, Stephanie Izard (Top Chef winner) of The Drunken Goat, and lots of other local greats.

Awesome food is not the only think on the menu, as wines from Robert Mondavi, Mionetto (one of my favorite sparkling wine producers), and Gaja Wines presented by Gaia Gaja, will be there for tasting, along with famed importer and producer, Anthony Terlato of Terlato Wines International, and his amazing portfolio featured at the Festival's largest tent.

Tickets can be purchased beforehand for $150 for a single day, or $250 for the two day weekend.  There are also upgrades for those who don't mind spending extra, such as Grand Cru tastings for $175 featuring some of the finest wines in the world presented by Master Sommeliers.  Here is a little hint to avoid the ticket price, which may be worth your while: Chicago Dine Around.  Starting now through September 27, if you dine at five different restaurants using their special prix-fixe menu, and attach each receipt to the Chicago Gourmet Dine Around Passport (available at all participating restaurants), you will be eligible for a free one day pass to the Festival.

Make sure to plan ahead and get in on Chicago's greatest food and wine event!

Father's Day in the Wine Biz


There is not much I like better than to see a success story come from an immigrant family, especially an Italian one.  After all, that's what the USA is all about!  It is also great to see that success flourish into a family business, run by a father and his children.  That is what I am featuring this Father's Day with the Terlato family.This is a three generation operation which was started by Tony's father in Chicago 50 years ago.  Tony's father was born in Italy and came to the US with his parents, and lived in Brooklyn before their business endeavors brought them to Chicago.  Since then, The Terlato family, through patriarch Anthony Terlato, has grown into one of the largest wine importers, as well as creating and owning many of their own labels such as Tangley Oaks, Chimney Rock, Sanford, Alderbrook, and Rutherford Hill, to name a few.  The company is now run by president Bill Terlato, and brother John, with much help from their father Tony. 

Tony trusts his children to build on a tradition of excellence, bringing quality wines from around the globe to the US.  They have commitment and loyalty to eachother, as well as to the business.  The love is evident, as John routinely gives his father a kiss each morning and night.  This family devotion reminds me of the relationship my brother and I had for our father, while growing up in an Italian American family.  The love of your family helps translate to an overall enthusiasm in life and business.  My love of life, family, and heritage helps me strive to bring quality wines and reviews to all through my website, as well as through my recommendations as a sommelier.

I hope everyone can enjoy this story and find a way to relate it to yourselves on this joyous day, celebrating fathers everywhere!