“Vino en Hiver” (Wine in Winter)

This winter, I had occasion to work in the Windy City of Chicago again before the Holidays.  My next lobbying mission was to audit a few of Chicago’s oldest wine bars like a presidential candidate’s community organizer on precinct data.  Just like in marketing communications, what someone calls a wine bar can scurry around about as wide as Johnnie Football at the Cotton Bowl (another story).

Anyone in a hard core city lobbying to keep the title as the “oldest & finest wine  bar” received our attention for our group that night.  The owners’ story about being burned out lawyers also intrigued me a bit on our journey north of downtown.

Where are we?  Webster’s wine bar, of course, where there is always Music Mondays.  Their neighborhood location was matted to the North Chicago streets like a cocklebur on a collie’s back.

From the moment that you set foot into this community watering hole, it is clear that wine-friendly personalities drive it.  The folks are very willing to fit your personality like Johnnie Cochran trying on a glove.

Recently, they unveiled their top 10 aha wines of 2012 in a blog.  For a lobbyist with discriminating taste, their extensive wine list across many unusual regions of the world was like finding that your hard-fought legislation was just signed into law.

Their Riesling list – outstanding.  Pinot Noir and chardonnay – very diverse.  But this time around, what struck me were their Spanish Red wines off the coast of various islands.

When a wine list is carrying small case products from the Canary Islands, and moving it as a decent price, you know that you’ve left the backroom brokers, distributors, and dealmakers behind.

We tried a 2005 Bodegas Buten “Crater,” from the Canary Islands, and it drink similar to a rustic Chateauneuf-de-Pape with an Atlantic twist.  For the company involved, we opted for the higher price point, and it was worth it at $85.

With the atmosphere in this place, I could see myself returning for more entertainment.  However, in the Bears town, I might have to bring my own “G-Force” wine glass.