Oct 31 2008

4-year-old celebrates with national wine honor

It’s not every day that a 4-year-old celebrates a birthday with wine.

But running a thriving wine shop in the heart of Chicago for four years is something to toast. And as icing on the cake, Just Grapes learned today that the Wall Street Journal’s wine pros chose assistant manager Maggie Smith’s pick as their favorite in a secret-shopper test.

The Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher and their associates visited 10 top wine stores in six cities unknown and unannounced to ask for recommendations on what paired best with lamb-chops. Then they made the meal and tasted each pick. Maggie’s suggestion, the 2002 Consilience Syrah Santa Barbara County, turned out to be their favorite. Its body and structure, with notes of pepper and coffee, supported the lamb chops perfectly and made the challenging side dishes–peppers and asparagus–seem sweeter, they said.

Clearly, just like a fine wine, Just Grapes is improving with age. Come celebrate this honor and four great years by tasting 50 wines 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 5. Today is the last day to get tickets at the discounted $30 preregistration members’ price. Tickets after today are just $40, still a bargain to taste so many wines and to toast such fantastic achievements.

Congratulations, Maggie, and cheers to Just Grapes’ next four years!

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