So apparently once you get things started for the spring in your vineyard, you've got a couple of months to go out and participate in wine dinners at your customers' restaurants before you have to get out there and start picking and crushing grapes. That, at least, is our conclusion from the plethora (a plethora, we tell you! a dad-blamed plethora) of wine dinners in our mailbox. Here are a few of them, offering different flavors of the same thing— a chance to meet some winemakers, taste and compare some fine wines, and eat some good stuff at some place you'd be happy to go to even without the wine. See our listings on the next page.
The Winemaker: Distributor Leo Ciminio of Rodinia Wines and winemaker Carmelo Camara Santos of Spain's Vintae wine group will present an evening of Spanish wines.
The Restaurant: Quince in Evanston
The Details: May 30, 7 p.m.; $75 including dinner and pairings. Call (847) 570-8419 for reservations.
The Winemaker: Argyle Winery in Oregon; a representative of the winery (TBD) will be present.
The Restaurant: Geja's Cafe
The Details: June 4, 7 p.m.; $55 prix-fixe menu with bottomless pours. Call 773-281-9101 for reservations.
The Winemaker: Joseph Drouhin from Burgundy; there will be samples of their premiere cru chablis and other fine wines at this farm dinner.
The Restaurant: Mon Ami Gabi in Oakbrook
The Details: June 5, 6 p.m.; $65 per person, reservations recommended at 630-472-1900.
The Winemaker: Karl D. Wente, fifth-generation California winemaker (and guitarist) at the winery named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast; makes chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah
The Restaurant: Bin 36
The Details: June 6, 5 to 9 p.m.; just show up for dinner and you can meet the winemaker. A flight of Wente wines will be available all month, four half glasses for $25.
The Winemaker: Wine writer and educator Tom Hyland, talking about Brunello di Montalcino
The Restaurant: Via Carducci
The Details: June 6, 6:30 p.m.; four courses paired with four Brunellos.
The Winemaker: Joel Gott, another fifth-generation California winemaker, and owner of Gott's Roadside, a Napa hamburger stand; makes chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, zinfandel, and cabernet sauvignon.
The Restaurant: Paris Club
The Details: June 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; the tasting is free.