Any wine shop suggestions for Chicago area? - Printable Version

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- dananne - 11-30-2002

I'm traveling to Chicago later this week, and I'd like to pick up some wine while I'm there. Anyone have any suggestions for shops? Though I'll be mainly in the NW 'burbs, I know the city well, so location isn't important.

Thanks in advance.

- Innkeeper - 11-30-2002

If you like Italian, my fav is Convito Italiano in Wilmette where you also get one of the best sandwiches in town custom made:

- wondersofwine - 12-02-2002

Binny's Beverages is a big name on the Internet. I have never visited the shops but if you look at, they have several locations including one on Grand Avenue in the city.

- joeyz6 - 12-02-2002

Dananne, I'm from Chicago. Binny's has a better-than-average selection, but I've found their service to be unsatisfactory. Maybe they treat those with more money with more respect.

Schaefer's on Gross Point Road on the border of Skokie and Evanston is a nice family place with a decent selection.

But Chicago's claim to wine fame is the Sam's. It is an enormous warehouse, kind of like a wine supermarket. You won't get as much personal attention, but the prices are great and the selection is phenomenal. If you need help just flag someone down, don't be shy. The employees tend to be pretty nice, even to poor 22-year-olds who ask basic questions, like me. It's just north of the intersection of North and Clybourn.

Also, there's an old thread about Chicago stores:

You might scout out that Wine Discount Center that Bucko recommends. I haven't had the chance yet. I doubt that the prices or selection are better than at Sam's but you never know.

[This message has been edited by joeyz6 (edited 12-02-2002).]

- dananne - 12-02-2002

Thanks for the great suggestions! A Binny's is a block from my brother's, and we'll head downtown to each of the other places on Saturday! I've got an agenda now, and now all I need is my wife's credit card [img][/img]

I'll let you all know my thoughts about each place when I return. Again, thanks!

- dananne - 12-11-2002

Well, I'm back from Chicago. Thanks to all for the shopping suggestions. Due to time constraints, I only managed to visit a Binny's close to where I was staying. Overall, the selection was decent, but not amazing. Good Oregon pinot section. Some purchase highlights include the '99 Clos de L'Oratoire des Papes CdP for $27, the '99 Finca Allende Calvario Rioja for $44 (seen for around $60 elsewhere), and the big finish: a Ken Wright 2001 Guadalupe Vineyard Pinot Noir that should have cost $36, but was erroneously rung up as a '98 Kendall Jackson Zin for $15 (being the honest sort, I would have mentioned it at time of purchase if I had noticed, but didn't realize it until I was back home).

A few other observations: no enthusiastic help from sales folks and no mixed case discount. However, I can find my way around a wine store, so I wasn't upset about the former. And, seeing as that I can't find anything I bought in Atlanta, I'll suffer the latter.

Another note: Delta lost my wine (I checked it on the plane) on the way home, and it wasn't located until the following day. Glad it's not mid summer! Any ideas how long I should let it rest from the trip before I pop a bottle?

- joeyz6 - 12-14-2002

Too bad you didn't get the chance to check out Sam's, dananne, but I'm glad you found some good stuff in Chi-town! As you witnessed, Binny's isn't exactly known for its service. I won't ever go there because of that. So the KJ Pinot Noir mixup serves them right. [img][/img]

- joeyz6 - 12-28-2002

It just occurred to me that there might be some confusion about which "Sam's" I refer to occasionally on this board -- it has nothing to do with Sam's CLUB, the bulk grocery store. The store I frequent here in Chicago is just a wine warehouse that also happens to be called Sam's. Not the same thing as the grocery store.