"Hosted by Master Sommeliers and boutique wineries, the exclusive Grand Cru provides the ultimate in culinary indulgence with elite wines from vineyards from around the world paired with decadent bites from James Beard award winning chefs from Chicago and the Midwest."
Going into today's post I am going to be upfront and honest: I am by no means a wine connoisseur or sommelier. My knowledge of this beverage is very surface level and elementary, hence the Introduction to Wine post a few weeks back. I was lucky enough to be granted media credentials for Sunday's event which extended access to the Grand Cru. It was an experience that I would have been foolish to pass up. While I was not well versed in the subtle nuances of wines, vineyards, grapes, etc, I chose to use the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the atmosphere. And of course try a few phenomenal wines along the way.
40 wine estates, brands, or spirits were represented at this years events, including Francis Ford Coppola Winery, CAMPARI, Terlato Wines, and Mionetto. As both a bystander and taster, it was incredible to witness the intense knowledge that these vendors had. They were able to speak so elegantly and directly about the products that had for tasting. Not only were they able to speak of their flavors, backgrounds, and notes, but they were able to discuss individuals' likes and preferences and help give suggestions.
My absolute favorite wine of Grand Cru 2014 was the 2009 Cheval des Andes from Argentina. It was created as a joint venture between Chateau Cheval Blanc and Terrazas De Los Andes.
In addition to great wines, there was great food to accompany the beverages. Top notch chefs from around Chicago took part in the event to help elevate the overall experience. With names like Jimmy Bannos Jr., Rohini Dey, Jonathan Sawyer and Stephanie Izard, it was difficult to find a dish that wasn't beyond expectations.
I hope someday to be able to speak a little more knowledgeably about the wines that I take at events like these. If there are any wine masters, or sommeliers even, out there who would like to give me a lesson, I'd be more than willing to learn.