Ask Alpana: 9/25

The weather is cooling but the drinks are getting warm. Check Please! Host and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm with tailgating drink recommendations and answers to your beverage questions.

Fall Drinks
Virtue Brands RedStreak Apple Cider: available on draft at restaurants around Chicago

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“Virtue Brands founder Gregory Hall served as the Brewmaster of Goose Island Beer Company from 1991 to 2011. In his two decades of brewing, Hall developed a host of award-winning beers and is hailed as an innovator in the craft beer movement. Hall first fell in love with cider during a tour of English breweries in 2000. Upon leaving Goose Island, Hall embarked on a pilgrimage of cider study, including a stage at Dupont in Normandy. RedStreak (named after an old variety of cider apple formerly commonly planted in England) is a proper English style draft cider. Dry, tart, tangy and carbonated with aromas of red apples, and a crisp and refreshing finish. It is more akin to Champagne or dry white wine than any beer.”


Pumpkin Beer: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, $10 for 4-pack of 12-oz bottles: “A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. Brewed with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.”

Oktoberfest style: Three Floyds Munsterfest, $9 for 22-oz bottle: “A Bavarian-style Oktoberfest bier brewed with the finest Bavarian malted barley, aromatic German noble hops and traditional yeast brewed in strict accordance with the German bier purity law of 1516, the Reinheitsgebot. This rich malty lager is one of the few that remain true to the tradition of fest beers, originally brewed to honor the marriage of Prince Ludwig in 1810.”

White Wine: 

2011 Mas des Bressades Blanc, Vin de Pays du Gard, France $18: “Mas des Bressades is considered by many as the top estate in Costières de Nîmes, located 35 miles southwest of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, on the western side of the Rhône. It is run by Cyril Marès and his lovely wife Natalie Blanc, who owns the adjacent estate, Mas Carlot. This wine is made from roughly 55% Viognier and 45% Roussanne which is aged completely in barrel; 80% new oak and 20% 1 year old. Pale gold color. Aromas of candied ginger, pineapple and nutmeg. Moderate acidity on the palate with brown spices, quince, baked apples, ginger and pears. Very nice pairing for fish prepared with a brown butter or cream sauce.”

Red Wine:

2010 Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero Tinto, $18: “Made from 100% Tempranillo aged 7 months in 2-year-old American oak barrels. Ruby-violet color with flavors of cacao, spices, and ripe fruit that wrap around a rich, powerful, and dense palate. A versatile style to transition into the cooler autumn months.”

Tailgating Wines: 

Sean Minor Four Bears Chardonnay, Central Coast, $12: “Full-bodied style with notes of baked apples, pears and a slight butter finish. Perfect match for game-time snacks.”

Sean Minor Four Bears Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, $18 – “Flavors of blackberries and raspberries combined with hints of savory spices coat the palate. The soft tannins and sweet oak balance lead to a long and lingering finish. Enjoy with burgers and sausages.”

Events Around Town:

Oktoberfest Chicago 
Sept. 28 – Sept. 30
St. Alphonsus Church
Lincoln, Wellington and Southport, Chicago, IL
Cost: $5

Galena Cellars Fall Harvest & Art Festival 
September 29 – Sept. 30
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Galena Cellars Vineyard
4746 North Ford Road, Galena, IL
Cost: $10

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