Chicago Experience - Museums, Parks, Architecture and Smith & Wollensky LKunch with Private Reserve Wines
Last weekend we took advantage of living near the City of Chicago and all that it has to offer with world class museums, architecture, and restaurants - all things we love to explore and experience.
Saturday we toured the magnificent Art Institute of Chicago, attending the final weekend of the Cezanne special exhibit. We've been members for decades and frequent there often and take in all the major exhibits. The Art Institute was rated No. 1 in the world on their list of the World's Best Museums. It has 300,000 pieces of art from the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Rembrant, and many other famous artists. Among the most famous works is “American Gothic,” that famous 1930 farmer/pitchfork painting by Grant Wood, and my favorite, (shown below), Night Hawks by Edward Hopper.
|Linda and Cezanne's "Bathers"|
|Rick and my absolute favorite - |
NightHawks by Edward Hopper
We then walked through Millennium Park with its unique iconic CloudGate (aka the Bean), Lurie Gardens, and the Pritzker Pavilion which this weekend is hosting Jazz Fest. one of the many music festivals held in the park throughout the summer.
We then toured the new 6-acre
Lakeshore East Neighborhood Park with its urban botanic gardens and
fountains adjacent the spectacular architecture of the new neighborhood
development that includes the undulating 101 story 1,198 ft supertall skyscraper St Regis Tower Hotel and Residences designed by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang, originally known as the Wanda Vista Tower.
We capped off the afternoon with lunch on the esplanade overlooking the Chicago River Walk at Smith & Wollenksy steakhouse in Marina City, one of our favorite dining spots on a sunny summer afternoon downtown Chicago.
The River Walk was bustling with people and the river was full of boat traffic with the Water Taxi and the numerous tour boats filled with tourists and weekenders amidst the flotilla of private boats and hoards of kayaks.
With lunch we ordered two WBTG selections from the Smith & Wollensky winelist to go with my BBQ ribs and Linda's crispy battered shrimp in spicy lobster butter sauce and our side of creamed corn.
The Best of Award Wine Spectator winelist is presented on an electronic interactive tablet that showcases its 350 selections from the inventory of 5,500 bottles.
Smith & Wollensky Private Reserve Meritage Red Blend
This private label offering is sourced from some of the finest Napa vineyards select fruit from the best sites ranging from mountaintop to valley floor sources that reflect wines that are authentically Napa.
This Meritage, which is registered trademarked term for an American Bordeaux varietal blend, is a rich, aromatic cuvée (blend) comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
Winelists' notes: "Shades of plum and spice mingle with a hint of French oak to complement the intense flavor of our USDA Prime beef. The lengthy, warm finish lingers on the palate. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec."
This vastly exceeded our expectations for a 'house wine' - especially one offered BTG - by-the-glass! This is a testament to the wine team at Smith & Wollensky and shows the care and attention they give to their wine program.
Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, complex, nicely integrated, smooth polished blackberry, black raspberry and plum fruits with notes of leather, subtle oak, mocha chocolate, hints of vanilla and tobacco with a pleasant lingering finish.
RM 91 points.
GROTH Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville