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Valentine's day in Chicago: oenophile edition

Start the Valentine's celebration early by making more than two dozen bottles of your own wine.
Start the Valentine's celebration early by making more than two dozen bottles of your own wine.
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

In recent weeks certain men may have noticed that classical symbols of love, benign images that blend into the scenery of society most of the year, have begun to appear before them with an alarming ghoulishness. Arrow-wielding cherubs appear poised to deliver mortal wounds; red roses brandish their thorns menacingly; in short, any connotation of romance leaves them stricken and filled with a vague but unshakable dread. These men, afflicted en masse all across the country, are suffering from acute Valentine anxiety, and we’ll tell you something: Most of them are right to be afraid.

Alert Chicagoans, on the other hand, have nothing to worry about. This Valentine’s day, like most holidays, is being celebrated around the city in museums, restaurants, parks and just about any other place you might find two people holding hands, and from that universe of possibilities we’ve made a list of some of the most promising events taking place downtown. As a public service to the amorously challenged, we’ll be sharing that list, bit by bit, over the next couple days. In the end, it’ll be enough to make planning a romantic excursion a perfectly attainable goal for even the most oafish among us, so just take some notes and a few deep breaths, and repeat to yourself that everything’s going to be just fine.

Feb 13: In Vino, Valentine

Giving her a gift is mandatory. Giving her a gift you made yourself is probably enough to earn you a few brownie points. But giving her a gift you made together? Friend, that’s a gesture capable of absolving some of your deepest relationship sins. The fact that, in this case, that gift happens to be six gallons of wine is just gravy as far as we’re concerned.

At 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 13, Bev Art Brewer and Winemaker Supply (a close cousin of Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery) will be hosting a couples winemaking class at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Along with making their own vat of wine (the equivalent of 25 to 30 bottles), which will be stored at the winery for 10 weeks until it’s ready to bottle, participants will have the opportunity to blend a bottle of wine to take home that evening, plus stomp grapes and take part in a wine tasting. The $199/couple class fee also includes a special dinner prepared by the hotel’s Harvest restaurant. Certain materials — including wine juice, bottles (clean ones can also be brought from home) and corks — cost extra, however, so call (773) 233-7579 or click here for more details on what’s included, what’s not, and what your options are when it comes to bottling.


  • Bj 5 years ago

    I especially enjoyed your ironic wit. :)

    Bonnie Jean Adams
    Chicago Culture & Events Examiner

  • Hal 5 years ago

    Jeff's wit and writing style are impressive!

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