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Friday, July 30, 2010

Acquaviva Winery - Maple Park, IL - 7/30/10

Maple Park...not quite Chicago suburb, not quite rural outpost. It's an interesting sort of cusp where McMansions line one side of the road and cornfields the other. This is where Acquaviva resides. We stopped in for lunch and had a couple different wines with our meal instead of doing a tasting of the bar.

A tasting of six wines at the bar is six bucks. Glasses ranged from about five to seven dollars. Full bottles are available for five bucks over retail with your meal.

Here's what we had:

Prairie Star: The term 'clean' is difficult to describe, but it's fit for the nose here - peach, nectarine and slate. On the palate I get a mild golden apple quality, pear, stone fruit, it's fruity enough that one may easily call it sweet, but it's fairly dry. The finish brings out a Gewurzy kinda feel. Very nice.

Bianco Bello: Don't know what varietal in this is, but I'd guess Catawba. Catawba is frequently found in Illinois wineries, it's sweet and juicy, you rarely get anything interesting from their wines but it would be tough not to call them tasty. This is a bit better than average because it has some acid to give it a bit of balance. Cantaloupe, muskmelon, a bit of honeydew, and green grape.

Frontenac: Italian in style. Raspberry, strawberry, dirt, brown spice, kind of a trashy quality, and way in the background an interesting sort of melon quality.

Piacere: Plum on the nose. Another funky, Italian-ish wine, lighter in body with more acid. Dry green spices, anise especially, raspberry for fruit, and an odd kind of caramel quality.

The white wines are tough to argue with, the reds are some of the better 'acquired taste' style wines that you often get in Illinois. If you haven't ventured into hybrid wines, this would be a fine start. The trick to Illinois reds is to eat them with food.

Speaking of food....

Italian style crab cakes (forgive me, a few bites were taken before this photo was taken). These were quite good - loads of crab, little filler, all in a delicious sauce.


Sausage pizza from the wood burning oven. Pretty solid.


I'm beyond sold. The food was outstanding and worked nicely with the wine. Well worth a visit.

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