Update!

Wow, has it been a long time! I had full intentions of updating the site when I said I would (*cough cough* 2 years ago) but life kind of got in the way, as it’ll do.

I went from working my buns off at one full time job and 2 part time jobs, to a different full time job and 2 part time jobs. Whew.  THEN my world was flipped around when I got a job offer at home that I NEVER thought would ever happen to me.

So I went from a life of wine, books, and theatre to………..a different life of wine, books, and theatre.

And it’s been INSANE ever since.  I moved home and basically had no time to unwind, unpack, even pop open a celebratory bottle of bubbly, because I went pretty much straight to work.

Now that I’ve had a bit to think, relax, reflect, and SLEEP, I came up with some awesome ideas to blend my loves together, and the result of those you’ll get to see on this blog! How exciting, yes?

The main idea will still be wine-centered, but will combine some of my other loves, namely literature (since I’m now an English teacher), and a bit of other creative subjects.  Can’t wait to share all of that with you!

Stay thirsty and stay tuned!

Old pics 557

Wine days, Memorial Day, and the start of summer!

Whoa, we’ve been in for some major celebrations the last week or so.  With International Sauvignon Blanc Day, Chardonnay Day, and now Memorial Day weekend, I’m sure we’ve all been indulging maybe a bit more than usual.  It’s almost like the wine days were a preview of the summer wines ahead, and that has me super excited!

I don’t know what the weather’s like wherever you’re reading this, but in the Chicago area, it’s been HOT.  The lighter white wines and rosés have been perfect and refreshing when I needed a glass.  Now, for barbecuing though…that’s a different story.

red-white-blue-wine

Depending on what you’re cooking this holiday weekend, throwing in some reds might be a good way to go.  Pick something that’ll stand up to whatever you’re grilling.  You don’t want the smoky-ness of the grill and the spice of the meats (depending on how spicy you like things!) to overpower your wine.  And if what you really want to drink your favorite, and it doesn’t really go with dinner…save it for before or after, or disregard everything, and drink it whenever, wherever.  I’m not the boss of wine and you can do whatever you want! (That would be a cool title though, eh?  “Boss of Wine”…hmmmmmm.

Whatever you drink this holiday weekend, enjoy it with family and friends, and be safe!  More in store on the blog soon!

 

Wine of the Month: Blindfold

In an attempt to bring warmer thoughts to your minds in the midst of this unrelenting winter, we decided to feature a white wine for March’s wine of the month.  I don’t know about you, but I certainly needed something to help me keep in mind that yes, spring is coming, even when we’re still getting intermittent snow storms.

logoBlindfold is that wine.  Made in California by The Prisoner Wine Company, it fits in so well with it’s brother wines, one of which was also wine of the month awhile back- The Prisoner.  One taste of any of this company’s wines and you’ll understand the quality and complexity that goes into each of them.

Tasting notes:  This 2012 vintage is a gorgeous white blend, made with the intention of being able to stand up next to The Prisoner.  With a base of Chardonnay, and other varietals added for various reasons, we get a solid body with surprises hitting the senses with every sip.

I can’t get over how unique this wine is.  There are so many flavors for the tongue to wrap around, all while maintaining a definite class. The Rhone and aromatic varietals will have you slowly taking in every last bit Blindfold has to offer- they really add something special to this blend.

You’ll discover soft sweet citrus right away that leads into flavors of pear and slight slight spice.  It’s also toasty- which reads prominent, but not overbearing.  Just right.  The lingering nose at the bottom of the glass is like the first smells of fall.

hero-blindfold

The Specifics:

The blend:
35% Chardonnay
60% Rhone Whites
(Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache
Blanc)
5% Aromatics
(Semillon and Riesling)

The Vineyards:
Napa Valley-
Stagecoach, Rodgers, Somerston
Sonoma/Carneros-
Sangiacomo, La Prenda
Paso Robles- Derby
Santa Ynez- Camp 4

Aging:
Aged in 25% New oak (combination of
French and Hungarian), 60% neutral oak
and 15% stainless steel for 10 months

Stop in before the month is over- you don’t want to miss experiencing this delicious wine.  It’s one you most certainly won’t forget.

(And just so you know, we happen to have The Prisoner and Cuttings in our cellar also.  Just ask!)

 

It’s Our 1 Year Anniversary!

one-year

Flight 102 fans and fellow wine lovers- tomorrow, March 7, we’ll be celebrating one year since we opened our doors!  We’ve gone through wine list changes, food changes, all kinds of weather imaginable, and many holidays and special events.  We’re happy to have amazing memories from the last year!

We’ll be celebrating all night tomorrow, starting at 4p.m.  The first 50 customers in the door will receive a Flight 102 glass (they’re pretty spiffy),  we’ll have raffles and giveaways throughout the night, and we’ll be serenaded by Freddie Franken and Friends starting at 7p.m.  Kevin Blais, our wine representative from Heritage Cellars will be around, so be sure to say hello!

And wait for it…………………..Chef Basile has a little somethin’ up his sleeve for you all.  He’s bringing back his legendary toasted pound cake, with a new twist.  If you know Chef Basile at all, you’re going to want to try this.  Trust me.

Come out and celebrate with us- it’ll surely be an unforgettable night!  We can’t wait to see you!

CHEERS!

Oscar Wine Pairings

This weekend marks one of my favorite events of the year:  the Academy Awards.  A film buff for a long time, and a past entertainment editor, I try to keep up with as many films as I can throughout the year, and usually throw a rockin’ Oscars party.

This year, things are a bit different.   I’ll be forgoing my usual gown and lipstick, but I’ll still be making some delicious food, and popping some bubbly, of course.

While perusing some dinner ideas, I ran across this post of Oscar movie and wine pairings on http://www.vinepair.com.  They list each movie up for the Best Picture category, and the appropriate wine you should drink if you’re rooting for it.

oscars-wine-pairings-preview

 

I thought this was so cool, and had to share.  If you have any great Oscars ideas, leave a comment below and let us know!  Either way, tune into ABC this Sunday, March 2, to see who takes home the big award!  And be sure to stop by Flight 102 to grab your favorite wine before then!

Read the full Vine Pair article with additional wine info here:

http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/wine-pairings-9-best-picture-nominees-oscars-2014-infographic/

And p.s. – I’ll be drinking champagne all night, no pressure from The Wolf of Wall Street!

Wine of the Month: Xinomavro

XinomavroThis month, we welcome the first Greek wine to grace our cellar: Alpha Estate’s Xinomavro.

Founded in 1997, this estate was named Winery of the Year for 2013 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, an honor well deserved.  The winemaker’s philosophy is “absolute respect to the ecosystem, the vinegrower, and the winelover”, a philosophy seen throughout his work.  Careful consideration is given to each task in the vineyard, from distance the grapes travel from vine to cask, to utmost respect of the grape’s characteristics for a better wine, and close attention to detail throughout the entire process of grape to bottle.

The technical bits:

Variety Composition: Xinomavro 100%.

Region / Location / Vineyard:
Amyndeon plateau. Amyndeon viticulture zone. North-western Macedonia. “Hedgehog” sub-region. 690m altitude, with northern exposure, facing lake Petron and mount Voras. 69ha of Linear, privately owned vineyard situated at an altitude of 620-710 m.

images

Vinification Method & Ageing:
Destemming, no crushing, cold soak – skin contact, alcoholic fermentation at gradual increasing temperatures, maintenance of wine “sur lies” for eight months with regular stirring. Twelve months in French oak barrel medium grain, white toasting and twelve months in the bottle.

Tasting Characteristics:
Bright purple-red color. Complex, typical bouquet of small berries red fruits, leather and spices (vanilla, pepper, clove), with hints of ripe blackberry. Full mouth, rounded tannins, balanced acidity and well integrated wood tones. Long aftertaste with intense quince aroma.

Harmony:
Perfect match with juicy red barbecued meats, spicy sausages, red baked peppers in olive oil, stew rabbit, light spicy full body cheeses.

Best served at 60-64 degrees Fahrenheit.

This one’s truly a beauty and has been flying off our shelves.  Perfectly balanced and wonderful with many, many of Chef Basile’s menu items, or by itself.  Fabulous as a transition wine for the month of February as we’re starting to get a taste of slightly less brutal weather and looking ahead to spring.  The first of hopefully many Greek wines at Flight 102.

After Show Tidbits from Cutthroat Kitchen

cutthroat-kitchenIf you watched Cutthroat Kitchen like all of us this past Sunday, you either groaned, screamed, or threw something at the tv (maybe all 3) when judge Jet Tila eliminated Chef David Basile after round 2.  Dealt possibly “the worst sabotage”, Chef David was targeted from the get-go, and was made to shop without a basket in the first challenge, and had to completely start over his dish at the halfway point in the second, (which included shopping for and prepping ingredients again) dealing him a blow that was extremely difficult to recover from.

Chef David showed immense competitiveness, talent, and creativity during the show, and was praised by Alton for his inventive thinking.  Even though he didn’t make it to the final rounds, know that this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of our Flight 102 chef.

KT0208_Chefs.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide

If you didn’t catch his show, or want to watch all the sabotage play out in the kitchen again, you can watch it on the Food Network Thursday, February 13 at 9p.m. Central Time, and Friday, February 14 at 12 Central Time.  Here’s the network description (2 of the 3 are Chef David’s sabotages!):

A Crepe-y Situation
One chef has their arms full when they’re forced to do all of their ingredient shopping without the use of a basket. Then, someone needs to think fast when they have to start their huevos rancheros over from scratch. And one chef attempts not to get bent out of shape even though their crepe pan is.

You can watch Alton Brown’s after show with judge Jet Tila at:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/cutthroat-kitchen/food-network-cutthroat-kitchen.cb0d4b5e-b734-4a39-a73d-3450d1af68af.html

Chef David Basile to be on Food Network This Sunday

1234849_502492579844231_1404455498_n

The day is almost here! Take a break from the Superbowl and tune in to Food Network on Sunday, February 2nd at 9 p.m. to watch your favorite Chef David Basile compete on Cutthroat Kitchen!

You can read the article published earlier by the Daily Journal here:

http://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/bourbonnais-wine-bar-chef-to-appear-on-food-network-s/article_a05dcb23-1c09-5273-bd33-ef8371a1877b.html

Wine of the Month: Raymond Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Five generations in winemaking starts a great story for our January wine of the month.NVReserve_CabSauv_Individual

This month, we’re featuring Raymond Vineyards’ Reserve Selection 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon.  With an elegant and solid history, this wine will quickly become a favorite as well as a go-to for delicious Cabernet.

A Napa gem with class and finesse, Raymond is also proud to have you know that they are a sustainable and biodynamic operation.  Also cool is the fact that 100% of the winery’s power comes from solar energy.  So they’re doing good for the earth and making spectacular wines?  They just gained a few more points from me.

Owned by the Boisset family, and honed with the expertise of Stephanie Putnam, Director of Winemaking for Raymond, we have an all-around standout for Flight 102.

You’ll dive into a relaxing, utterly silky smooth Cabernet that you won’t want to put down.  And why would you?  Wine this good should be enjoyed to the fullest.  I’ve even converted some non-cabernet-drinking people in private tastings to come over to our side.  They weren’t too upset about it!

And if the smoothness alone won’t win you over, maybe the taste of black cherry, hint of chocolate, and subtle, earthy spice will…