To make unfine wine, simply place grapes beneath a silk pillow, repeatedly mash your head against it, and then wring the pillowcase into a nearby mouth. Taste traditionally produced fine wines with today’s Groupon: for $19, you get a wine tasting, vineyard tour, and wine-appreciation seminar at Valentino Vineyards & Winery, located in Long Grove, about a 50-minute drive from Chicago (a $48 total value).
Valentino Vineyards & Winery's wines go from vine—grown from 20 different varietals on 20 verdant acres—to bottle on the estate's premises, encompassing top-tier wines aged in the oaken bosom of French and American barrels. Track the baby steps in the ultimately tragic but noble life cycle of the grape with a tour of the vineyard (an $8 value), along with a tasting of five of Valentino's finest wines (a $10 value). Medal winners and reserves set aside for sniffing, swigging, and sipping may include luxurious libations such as the 2005 Cabernet Franc (sold by the bottle for $59) or a 2003 Chianti reserve (sold by the bottle for $64).
To ensure that tasters don't leave Valentino Vineyards making statements such as "Ah, this wine tastes like crushed grapes," guests also get a wine-appreciation seminar (a $30 value) and can symbolically fill a wine goblet with their new knowledge. The entire wine experience lasts about 60–90 minutes.
Valentino Vineyards & Winery
Rudolph Valentino DiTommaso has thousands of growing vines to look after at his 20-acre estate vineyard of ripening grapes in Long Grove. Rudolph and his team harvest their fruits and age their elixirs in barrels made of French and American oak to yield more than 20 types of wines, all of which are produced completely on-site. And they take just as much delight in showing off their libations as they do in making them. The vineyard regularly hosts seminars and tastings, which guests can pair with tours of the vineyard.
5175 Aptakisic Rd.
Long Grove, Illinois 60047