A Tasty Concert Souvenir

Check out the cool label on the wine bottle in the accompanying photo. The bottle is now resting comfortably in my personal wine cabinet, waiting for the next time I grill shrimp or assemble some tasty fish tacos.

And, sorry, it’s not available through the Vinesse website. In fact, only a few dozen bottles of the wine were made. (Actually, that’s not an entirely accurate statement, but I’ll explain that part in a moment…)

Looking at the label, one would logically assume that the name of the winery is “Calexico”… and you know what happens when we assume.

Actually, Calexico is the name of a band that I like a lot, and went to see perform recently in Chicago. The venue: City Winery, a wonderful slice of “wine country” plopped right in the heart of Chicago’s Randolph Street “restaurant row.”

For certain acts that perform there, one of the made-on-site “house wines” is selected, a special band- or performer-branded label is designed, and the commemorative bottling is made available for purchase to concert-goers.

The “Calexico” wine is a Sauvignon Blanc from California’s Lake County, north of the Napa Valley. I had a glass with my pre-concert meal, and that’s what prompted me to buy the bottle.

Once the wine is consumed with those grilled shrimp or fish tacos, the bottle will be given a prominent place of honor on my wine rack, alongside other “souvenir” bottles.

City Winery does not offer commemorative bottles for all concerts, but it does make its house wines available at all shows, complemented by well-selected bottle and by-the-glass lists, as well as wine flights.

You can check out the concert schedule, view the wine list and peruse the food menu here. The link will take you to a site devoted to both City Winery locations—Chicago, and the original in New York.

Oh, and about the number of bottles produced for any given show: If a specific wine doesn’t sell out, its label can be removed easily and replaced by one featuring another band’s artwork.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a run to the fish market…

Posted in Editor's Journal
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