Michael Dorf stood with his brother Josh, smiling over the barrel filled with wine from grapes they'd just crushed, fermented, and pressed. He claims that despite tastings and classes, he'd never begun to understand wine until this moment. As his understanding grew, he laid the foundations for City Winery: a full winery facility, restaurant, and concert venue inside urban New York City then expanded to build his flagship in Chicago. He now watches over more than 400 international wines and 20 house wines. Inside the winery, these wines—made from nine US and international varietals—age inside stainless steel tanks and American and French oak barrels. Here, winemakers lead winemaking classes, letting visitors join the crushing and fermenting process, and showing them how make private barrels with labels of their own design.
These monolithic tanks and barrels can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows from most of the restaurant's rooms, where servers ferry Executive Chef Andres Barrera's dishes, each globally influenced, wine-focused, and locally sourced. The culinary team crafts small and large plates of artisanal cheeses, seafood, and flatbreads—which they make using the winery's own wine lees as yeast. In the restaurant and Barrel Room tasting bar, winemakers pour housemade wines piped fresh from the cellar through 19 taps, while visitors bask in the glow from hard wood and floor to ceiling windows. Private dining rooms gather guests around long communal tables, stretched between exposed brick walls. In the concert venue, they host more than 300 concerts with world class musicians such as David Crosby, Sinéad O'Connor, and Bebel Gilberto to entertain audiences under the glow of tabletop candles.
Bev Art Brewer & Winemaker Supply helps brewmasters and vintners around Chicago take their concoctions from plan to reality with wine- and-beer-making gear. Industrious hobbyists can grab their own malt extracts and carboys here, and beginners can get started with wine and beer kits. The shop also stocks brains with the skills to needed to bottle new masterpieces, hosting classes taught by brewers, winemakers, cheese-crafters, and mead-makers. The experts also contribute to some of the shop's own potions; their Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery produces barrels of honey wine made by bees who spend years squashing grapes with their tiny feet.
Need to make a grocery store run? The shelves at Trader Joe's in Oak Park are stocked full of grocery staples and specialties.
Shop for tasty and hearty canned goods here and stock up on all of your favorite side dishes and main courses, such as soups and canned fruit.
If you like to use the oven, you're going to want to pick up some sweet ingredients in your next masterpiece. They adds that extra bit of flavor that makes your food delicious!
At Trader Joe's, you can grab some fresh noodles, channel your inner chef and get your cook on.
These tasty and nutritious snacks will help you push through your long workday.
For a sampling of the best meats, you'll want to head here directly without delay.
When you're trying to upgrade your cooking, adding flavor is essential. Create supple and tarter flavors by exploring the wonders vinegar and oil can add to your cuisine by shopping for them here.
Skip the hassle of baking your own bread and pick up a freshly-baked loaf from Trader Joe's.
If you're a lover of all things dairy, help yourself to some great products at Trader Joe's for all your protein and calcium needs.
If cooking isn't your strong point, dig into a TV dinner! Microwave cooking has never tasted so good.
Why spend time cooking from scratch when you can have a great meal in minutes? Frozen food is simple to make and even easier to eat.
For cool, refreshing H20, Trader Joe's' got you covered.
Sip on the caffeinated treats offered by Trader Joe's' impressive coffee and tea connection.
A staple in every household, cereal is sure to please every palate in the family.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
The produce available here is a great side to any meal in need of some fresh nutrients.
Feeling hungry? Make your breakfast, lunch, or dinner even better with some great seasonings and spices from here.
Not only is fish great for your heart, but it also packs a punch in the flavor department, so get to grilling!
If driving doesn't appeal, you can take public transportation, with a nearby stop at Harlem-Green (Green).
Don't spend time searching for parking — visitors are welcome to use the adjoining lot.
So when you're making your weekly grocery trip, make sure to stop by Trader Joe's in Oak Park for everything that you need.
Surrounded by yellow walls and gleaming bottles of fine wines and craft beers, patrons test new additions to the store's inventory during tasting classes. At sessions accompanied by light appetizers, knowledgeable staff members pour samples of six select wines and explain what makes each wine unique and how its flavor profile will pair with entrees or desserts. In addition to libations, the store's wooden racks hold wine accessories such as aerators and bottle decorations and gift baskets filled with chocolates. Custom label creations are also available to personalize bottles for weddings, anniversary celebrations, or protection inside the office refrigerator.
If you're looking for a great place to disconnect from your daily tasks and get your vacation on, Evanston Cellars in Evanston is a prime choice.
Looking for easily accessible parking? Try the street parking options near Evanston Cellars.
For those who travel by bike, Evanston Cellars offers bike racks for diners.
With its massive selection of varietals and styles, Lynfred Winery seems determined to make something for almost any wine drinker. The cellar brims with everything from bold, spicy reds to crisp and refreshing whites, as well as fruit wines made from apples, cherries, rhubarb, and pears. The grapes arrive from vineyards throughout California and Washington state, although the rest of the fruit typically comes from a bit closer to home, including growers throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. Despite this variety, the staff's commitment to approachable, fruit-forward flavors characterizes virtually everything that the winery makes.
This dedication to easy drinking seems only natural given the winery's origins in a home basement. In 1975, Fred Koehler, along with his wife Lynn, decided to try to re-create the family wines his father and grandfather had made throughout the 1920s. The batches grew larger with each passing vintage, and, in 1979, Fred and Lynn chose to upgrade their homespun hobby into a commercial venture. Within six years, Lynfred Winery's creations began to appear in the national spotlight as they garnered awards and medals from wine competitions across the country. This attention allowed Fred to swell production even more, eventually expanding to a larger location in 1990.
Fred and Lynn's legacy continues to inspire the staff as they operate a facility that creates more than 100,000 gallons of wine each year using as many as 80 varietals. These wines appear on restaurant menus, on retail shelves, and inside fish tanks throughout the Chicagoland area.