Hot and Cold Running Wine


Now THAT is living!

If even for just a couple of hours.

The town of Marino has a tradition of hosting a grape festival (Sagra del’Uva) to celebrate the source of their local wine, Frascati. As part of the festival they drain the Fontana dei Mori (Fountain of the Four Moors) and pump wine through it (piped straight from the vineyard). Locals can dip their glasses or have them filled using hoses. Sounds heavenly to me as I have long enjoyed Frascati wines made from Trebbiano, Greco and Malvasia grapes and produce a pale straw colored, fruity and slightly effervescent wine.

Except this year one nearby woman reported a ‘miracolo’. The wine accidently ran through her plumbing.

Never fear! Residents rescued with wine by pouring it into bottles and containers. Still for a moment doesn’t it sound heavenly?

I thought so too.

Windy City Wine Fest

The Windy City Wine Fest was held this last weekend at Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park. The event, sponsored by Binny’s Beverage Depot was largely aimed at the so-called “Millennials” who are beginning to be interested in and learn about wine.

The weather held out although it did look omenous at times. Kevin and I eventually found the “Will Call” entrance (I think someone was reading the map wrong… I have a degree in Geography, so you can do the math). One thing that we both noticed were the number of people buying tickets at the event. There were two lines both with hundreds of people in them.

After we got our wristbands, tickets and tasting glass we started out. The criteria used by Kevin is to taste at any booth without a line. Scientific? Absolutely not.. but we got to taste without the hassle waiting to long… and for our ten taste tickets we got to sample a nice selection of wines that are all readily available at Binny’s.

Among our favorites? The French country wines… including those available from Stoller. These wines represent less recognized regions or wines that have been traditionally used for other purposes (i.e. Pineau des Charentes made up of Ugni Blanc or Folle Blanche used to make cognac). Another interesting beverage (I can’t say that I would call it a wine) was a mixture of peach nectar, yogurt and sparkling wine. It sounds like it would be awful, but really it was kind of nice and I can even see trying to use it at a brunch (if I hosted that kind of event ever).

That being said, most of the wines available at the Wine Fest were those readily available at local liquor stores and was designed mostly to expand the horizons of those just learning about wine. For my $25 entry fee, I got tickets for 10 1 oz tastes. As a friend of mine (name withheld to maintain the Mommy Code) remarked to me later, “That’s just one glass of wine!” to which I replied, “Well, yeah, if you are doing it right!” On the other hand, we have teenage daughters. That might make the difference. Its enough to make me want to be a young adult again, so I could relive the exploration.

I guess I will just have to continue to explore my own way.