Greek and Mediterranean Wine Fest

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Van Buren and Halsted

Chicago, IL 60661

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Think of it as a pairing of grapes and gyros. Or grapes and moussaka. When Greektown Mediterranean Wine Fest makes its alluring debut this spring in Chicago's West Loop, scores of European wines will be celebrated along with tasty dishes from the neighborhood's iconic Greek restaurants.

This classy Hellenic-themed happening is designed for wine and food connoisseurs be they newbies or those with more discriminating tastes. A cornerstone of the fest will be daily afternoon wine tastings (from 2:00-6:00 p.m.) where ticket holders can sample up to 15 varietals with the purchase of a $40 tasting pass.

Enhancing this inaugural West Loop gala will be deejay beats (plus Greek bands and dancers), food-wine pairings, artisans, and the products/services of wine-related vendors.

The event benefits the Greektown Chamber of Commerce. For group sales please contact Laura Wilke at lwilke@chicagoevents.com

About a Wine Tasting

A Wine tasting allows you to extend your experience in the adventure of expanding your scope of wine varietals. It offers you the freedom to expand your knowledge. The following are a few simple tasting tips:

1. Look

Check out the color, opacity and viscosity (wine legs). You don’t really need to spend more than 5 seconds on this step. A lot of clues about a wine are buried in its appearance, but unless you’re tasting blind, most of the answers that those clues provide will be found on the bottle (i.e. vintage, alcohol %, grape variety).

2. Smell

When you first start smelling wine, think big to small. Are there fruits? Think of broad categories first, i.e. citrus, orchard, or tropical fruits in whites or, when tasting reds, red fruits, blue fruits, or black fruits. Getting too specific or looking for one particular note can lead to frustration. Broadly, you can divide the nose of a wine into three primary categories:

  • Primary Aromas are grape-derivative and include fruit-driven, herbal, and floral notes.
  • Secondary Aromas come from winemaking practices. The most common aromas are yeast-derivative and are most easy to spot in white wines: cheese rind, nut husk (almond, peanut), or stale beer.
  • Tertiary Aromas come from aging, usually in bottle, or possibly in oak. These aromas are mostly savory: roasted nuts, baking spice, vanilla, autumn leaves, old tobacco, cured leather, or mushroom.

3. Taste

Taste is how we use our tongues to observe the wine, but also, once you swallow the wine, the aromas may change because you’re receiving them retro-nasally.

  • Taste: Our tongues can detect salty, sour, sweet, or bitter. All wines are going to have some sour, because grapes all inherently have some acid, but this varies with climate and grape type. Some varieties are known for their bitterness (i.e. Pinot Grigio), and it manifests as a sort of light, pleasant tonic-water-type flavor. Some white table wines have a small portion of their grape sugars retained, and this adds natural sweetness. You can’t ever smell sweetness though, since only your tongue can detect it. Lastly, very few wines have a salty quality, but in some rare instances salty reds and whites exist.
  • Texture: Your tongue can “touch” the wine and perceive its texture. Texture in wine is related to a few factors, but an increase in texture is almost always happens in a higher-alcohol, riper wine. Ethanol gives a wine texture because we perceive it as “richer” than water. We also can detect tannins with our tongue, which are that sand-paper or tongue-depressor drying sensation in red wines.
  • Length: The taste of wine is also time-based, there is a beginning, middle (mid-palate) and end (finish). How long does it take before the flavor of the wine isn’t with you anymore?

4. Conclude

Did the wine taste balanced or out of balance (i.e. too acidic, too alcoholic, too tannic)? Did you like the wine? Was this wine unique or unmemorable? Were there any characteristics that shined through and impressed you?

Featured Wines


Parparoussis, Oenofilos
Biblia Chora, Red Blend
Parparoussis, Mavrodaphne dessert wine 2003
Amethystos, Cabernet/Merlot/Agiorgitiko
Oenodea, Cab/Agiorgitiko/Syrah
Greek Wine Cellars, Agiorgitiko
Greek Wine Cellars, Moshofilero
Ktima Voyatzi, Xinomavro
Ktima Voyatzi, Estate Red

Tselepos, Mantinia Moschofilero
Tselepos, Santorini Assyrtiko
Gerovassiliou, Malagousia
Rhous Estate White, Crete
Parparoussis, Sideritis
Amethystos, Sauvignon Blanc, Assyrtiko
Chateau Julia, Chardonnay
Kourtaki, Mavrodaphne
Greek Wine Cellars, Assyrtiko
Ktima Voyatzi, Estate White

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Van Buren and Halsted

Chicago, IL 60661

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