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A Star is Born….or Discovered?

On a small side street in Chicago you’ll find a wine bar that really deserves a standing ovation. Let me introduce you all to Blue Star Wine Bar located at 1209 N. Noble Street. I will admit I always passed by their giant sign that promoted their existence. Finally my partner in wine crime, Dana, suggested that we tried this wine bar. Well thank you Dana! We went on a Friday night (we made reservations) and enjoyed all the wine and food they had to offer.

You walk in and this place looks very old world, small, and dare I say it sweet. This is the kind of place you go to enjoy the best of life: friends, wine, and food. The staff was outstanding…they really helped us feel at home. They wine suggestions were on point and I didn’t second guess what they had to offer.

First I tired the Torresella Nero D’Avola. Its an Old World Red that has a great soft taste at the beginning and ends with big flavor. Just a hint of spicy. The price was $8 dollars. Not bad for such great taste. Then I move on to one of my favorites, Meomi Pinot Noir. Anyone who has read this blogs knows that Pinots are my favorite and I haven’t really found one I didn’t like (its happened but not often).

On to the food…to start Dana and I with the Goat Cheese Croquettes with Blueberry Honey Emulsion. If you eat ANYTHING this is the dish you want. We loved it so much we had to order another. For dinner we enjoyed Espresso Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Madeira Caramelized Shallots, Blackberry Frutta Cotta, Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach and a special that you won’t find in the menu: NY Strip Steak. I can not say how much Dana, our friend Bridget (who joined us) and I loved our main dishes. We shared it and trust me the portions are big so you may want to split it with the people in your group.

Finally, dessert. The reason we eat is to have something sweet. A piece of heaven on a plate, Graham Cracker Crusted Fried Nutella with Blackberry Coulis and Grand Marnier Marshmallow Sauce. Sounds good right? That’s because it is amazing!

Thank you Blue Star Wine Bar for really taking time to cook great food and selecting amazing outstanding wines.

For more information on Blue Star Wine Bar.

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Hosting a Wine Party-Happy Hour

It doesn’t matter if you are throwing a party in the summer or winter as long as you have the right drinks and food to nibble on your guest will be happy. Recently a couple of our friends (Dana and I) have been throwing some fun happy hours on Friday evenings and inviting friends over. Its a great time to unwind and relax with friends after a long work week. This inspired me to write a post for our readers who want to have a happy hour of their own or perhaps just a causal get together.

Here is the beauty of throwing a happy hour or just a quick get together you don’t actually have to cook anything. All items can be purchased at the store, wine shop, or cheese shop.

Tip #1-This isn’t a dinner party. Set a time for your friends on the invite if you must. If you are hosting a happy hour its important to note that the party will happen between 5pm-7pm, you know before dinner time.

Tip #2-Get a nice combo of high end and not so high end wine. Lets face it not all of your friends know good wine. However if they don’t tell them to read this blog we can help! But don’t feel obligated to supply the party with all of the beverage options tell your friends to bring some wine over too.

Tip #3-Have some food to nibble on for your guest. This doesn’t mean go out and get them food but snacks only. Dana has already given you the skinny on cheese and wine pairings. If you haven’t read it now is a good time..click here. But I’ll make it easier for you by providing a list

  • Cheese
  • Olives
  • Hummus
  • Veggies
  • Crackers-Water Cracker, Whole Grain
  • Fruit

Totally optional but I love a nice plate of Prosciutto. If you’re feeling a little fancier cut up a nice melon and wrap the Prosciutto around it. Its tasty.

Tip #4-Have fun! The beauty of wine is that you sip it and enjoy the company of your friends. Remember to relax and enjoy yourself.

If you want to make your party/happy hour a little fancier light some candles around. It’ll look beautiful.

Enjoy your happy hour or casual get together!

Cheers!

Cheese Please: A Guide to Pairing Wine and Cheese

 

Wine and Cheese

Last Friday, Lissette and I went to In Fine Spirits to use a Groupon I had. We got a bottle of 2010 Chateau Mourgues Du Gres Les Galets Rose, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and a cheese flight that consisted of Fresh Ricotta with Truffle & Honey,Chatham Camembert (a sheep and cow blend) and aged Manchego Gran Valle. The dates and the cheese were amazing with the wine and it got me thinking about wine and cheese pairings.

A good wine paired with the perfect cheese is amazing, but with so many options, how do you choose the right kind of cheese to go with your wine? When it comes down to it, it is all about your own personal preference, but here are a few suggestions: Read the rest of this entry

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