Venue Spotlight: Cooper's Hawk Wine Tasting
COOPER'S HAWK WINE TASTING
I've now been to Cooper's Hawk winery on several occasions (it's one of my favorite places to enjoy a meal) and I even joined the wine club, but I had never experienced a full wine tasting at one of their locations before. So, hubby and I spend a recent weekday afternoon enjoying a long leisurely lunch preceded by a wine tasting at the newly-opened New Lenox location.
There are three different options on the wine tastings. I went with the sweet varieties and hubby picked the luxe. For your tasting you are able to try eight different wines and if there's one that really doesn't seem to be your cup of tea, you can swap it out and try something else.
One thing I really love about Cooper's Hawk is how knowledgable their employees are. I like wine, but I always kind of feel like a dummy when faced with wine decisions. I know that reds typically pair with red meats while the whites pair better with seafood. I know that I don't like extremely dry wines. And beyond that, I feel like I should know more, but I really don't. I've sat in on wine seminars where they talk extensively about varieties of grapes and DOCs and how the weather in regions in other countries affects the taste, but it all kinda goes over my head. I like that the employees can make the decisions for me and they have not steered me wrong yet.
A young man named Eassa led us through out wine tasting, explaining the details of each wine and what they'd pair with. He was also super entertaining, full of jokes and friendly conversation, which made for a really fun time.
We interrupted our tasting toward the end with one of their own truffles - the tiramisu one. I savored it as I finished off my fruit wines and ice wine. If you have never been there, they have a case of truffles and chocolate covered cherries that are made on-site that are magnificent. I can never go home without purchasing a couple for a treat later on at home. It was a great suggestion by Eassa to enjoy a truffle as we tasted wine. They also give you a basket of crackers during your wine tasting.
After our tasting we continued the afternoon with a meal from their delicious menu. I've never tried anything there that I wasn't absolutely crazy about. I often get a cheese board as an appetizer that has candied bacon on it - YES! candied bacon! - but I decided to try something new and went with the drunken shrimp.
For the entree, I had to go with my favorite - the pan-roasted barramundi that is served with blistered green beans, grape tomatoes and ginger rice with lemongrass sauce. For more info on the food and wine menu, visit chwinery.com. There are currently close to three dozen Cooper's Hawk locations in nine states. The winery, located in suburban Woodridge, produces over 570,000 cases of wine each year. The first Cooper's Hawk opened in Orland Park in 2005 and they since won 450 wine awards from various local, national and international wine competitions.
***I received a complimentary wine tasting and meal. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.