Pairing Wine With ‘Junk Food’ Favorites at Chicago’s Volo

Volo-Fried-ChickenVolo Restaurant and Wine Bar is one of the most popular destinations in Chicago for wine lovers.

Located in a boutique storefront, with both street parking and easy access to public transportation, the space combines cozy and chic design elements with urban vintage charm. An innovative approach to ordering sets Volo apart, and makes enjoying wine easy, accessible and unintimidating — all in a relaxed neighborhood atmosphere.

In addition to a stellar wine list, small plates menu and artisan cheeses, Volo schedules an array of special events that can be counted on to be creative, informative and fun.

Last year, for instance, the restaurant hosted a wine-and-food pairing event based on junk food. Well, in the interest of full disclosure, the food was house made and emulated various junk food favorites. Then those items were paired with appropriate wines.

Attendees were blown away by how well the junk food and wine went together. So, Volo is going to do it all over again in 2016.

The date: Sunday, Jan. 17. The time: 2-4 p.m. Chef/partner Stephen Dunne and wine director Meghan Vandette promise some eye-opening pairings and a fun time for all.

To get an idea of what might be in store, take a look at last year’s junk food and wine pairings, which followed an aperitif of NV Flama d’Or, Cava Brut, Spain…

  • Onion Ring, Spicy Brown Mustard — NV Ca di Rajo, “Le Moss,” Glera Frizzante, Veneto, Italy.
  • Fish & Chip, Malt Aioli — 2013 Chateau Grand Traverse, Ship of Fools, Michigan

(Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir).

  • House-made Cracker Jacks — 2011 Michel Briday, Cuvee Axelle, Bouzeron, Burgundy, France (Aligoté).
  • Italian Beef Sandwich — 2013 Field Recordings, Dead End Ranch, Tempranillo, Paso Robles, Calif.
  • Seven Layer Taco — NV Candor, Zinfandel, Paso Robles and Lodi, Calif.
  • Cookie Dough Pops — Gutierrez Colosia, Moscatel Soleado, Jerez, Spain.
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches — Cossart Gordon, 5-Year Madeira, Portugal.

Dunne was drawn to cooking during high school in suburban Detroit. After working in family-style eateries, he earned a job in the kitchen at the Townsend Hotel, where he was introduced to classic structure and cooking techniques, planting a seed of desire to dive headfirst into cooking.

His journey eventually brought him back to the Midwest. Upon arriving in Chicago, he took on Chef de Cuisine positions at both Spago Chicago and Michael Kornick’s MK prior to joining Jon Young in opening two ventures, Volo Restaurant & Wine Bar, and The Paramount Room.

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Tomorrow: Since we’re on the subject of Chicago, I’ll take you to my favorite pizzeria in the Windy City.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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