Bin 36 has become a downtown Chicago tradition, offering both resident and visiting wine lovers an opportunity to sample a wide array of bottlings at reasonable prices.
Located adjacent to the House of Blues and the Sax Hotel, the restaurant/wine bar/cheese bar/wine shop boasts a large oval bar where downtown workers congregate after a long day at the office and tourists meet before an evening at the theater or a concert at the “House.”
Patrons can order wines by the bottle, glass or flight, and it’s the flights that offer the greatest opportunity to discover something new and/or exciting. During one recent visit, a member of our tasting panel ordered a flight that included four wines, each accompanied by a small sheet with tasting notes and food pairing suggestions.
Always on the lookout for pairing ideas to share with the VinesseTODAY family, our panel member brought those sheets of paper back to our office. Here’s a look at what she drank that night, along with the food pairings suggested by the Bin 36 staff…
* Bin 36th 10th Anniversary Cuvee – A sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes grown in Monterey, Calif., with impressions of juicy cherries, cranberry and orange-scented tea.
Food pairings: antipasti, cured meats, seafood salads, grilled meats, roast pork and mildly spiced Asian food.
* Monte de Luz 2008 Tannat – This full-bodied wine from Uruguay is fully flavored with intensely brooding black minerals and inky black fruit.
Food pairings: hearty fare, including broiled and grilled meat, game and vegetables.
* Zantho 2008 Zweigelt – Bin 36 describes this wine from Burgenland, Austria, as “the liquid definition of balance.” It’s medium-bodied and richly flavored with dark fruit, berries and generous spice.
Food pairings: hearty grilled or roasted meat and game, burgers, and hard cheeses.
* Cote Jardin 2008 Grenache Blanc/Marsanne/Roussanne – This stylish wine from France’s Rhone Valley offers classy melon and apricot notes, dancing in concert with a long, juicy and seriously elegant finish.
Food pairings: grilled fish, lightly-sauced poultry, veal, and grilled or roasted vegetables.