What we're about

Dear Members:

This group is for people who love wine but are not wine snobs. We are always looking for people who enjoy tastings at wine shops, restaurants, members home's (backyards!), BYOW-tailgates, festivals, etc. Anything to do with wine is fair game!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUR PAST EVENTS for a good idea of "who" we are.

We try to do events of some sort virtually every month. Indoor events in the winter and outdoor events in the summer>>> our summer key-note events are our four BYOW wine tasting events at Ravinia Park. I target for events with low admission fee's (usually $10) so we can enjoy wine & each others company. We set-up (BYO-lawn chair) in a giant wine-circle, drink wine and yap! What's not to like?

Because there are so many wine groups out there, I prefer to keep our North Shore Wine Group tastings to those suburbs that actually have.. a shore! (i.e.: on Lake Michigan).

After some tastings, but not all, we take a "field-vote" and some of us may go somewhere local (to our tasting location ) for a lite dinner/after snack. If you think you might like to do this, I suggest you bring some small bills so we don't drive the waiter crazy with a half-dozen plus different charge's.


Looking for tips on pairing wines with cheese's? I "picked & patched" the below from Vinepair.com. A Cheese & Fruit plate works for just about any event. [Be sure to invite me!!!] Jim

· Port... and Bleu Cheese.

· Prosecco... and Parmesan.

· Sauternes... and Fondue.

· Cabernet Sauvignon... and Aged Gouda.

· Chardonnay... and Gruyere.

· Rioja... and Manchego.

· Riesling... and Ricotta.

· Malbec... and Aged Cheddar.

· Pinot Noir... and Brie

· Pinot Grigio... and Mozzerella

· Beaujolais... and Feta

· Viognier... and Jarlsberg

· Merlot... and Monterey Jack

· Sauvugnon Blanc... and Goat Cheese

Compliments of Vinepair.com

Your Organizer Team:

Organizer & Faithful K'nave: My name is Jim McCarthy. I like Wine. And food. That's mostly it. Compliments of Uncle Sam I spent a few years in the Rhine River Valley, Germany, and still love Riesling's and German whites to this day.

Founder: "My name is Debra Gordon - my husband and I are long-time wine lovers who moved to Highland Park from Virginia. Looking forward to making new friends and there's no better way than over a glass (or two) of good wine! Maybe with a side plate of cheese & fruit?"

[Note: Debra Gordon & her husband, Keith Gordon also wrote "Wine on Tuesdays: Be A Serious Wine Drinker Without Taking Wine Too Seriously". Published by Thomas Nelson (2008) and available at finer bookstore's and, of course, Amazon. jim]

Our dress code is jeans and shorts and casual's! Oh my.

jim mccarthy

Ps: I am regularly asked about the other groups I organize - I do three... they are:

1. (ART) Chicago Art Gallery, Museum & Fair Openings +
2. (WINE) North Shore Wine Group https://www.meetup.com/Highland-Park-Wine-Group/
3. (DOG’S) Dog Trekker's - Wilmette/North Shore Pack

Upcoming events (5+)

MAR 30: Our Third 2019 "Wine & Dine" will be BYOW at Backyard Grill! Be hungry!

NOTE: I have changed the cuisine only. (I was striking out on North Shore Asian BYOW places's). Everything else is the same. As TV's Batman would say: "Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel". Dear Members: 1. This will be our third BYOW* Wine & Dine of the year and it will be at the Backyard Grill in Highland Park. We had a great time there on our last... invasion! I was very impressed when they blocked out a whole, private section for us. And near the bathrooms! 2. As on our last visit, we will sit in the upper, right-rear section where polite people will not be offended by our presence. Or smells. 3. More info, if needed, will follow as we get closer. Their Menu: https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/71ac417f/files/uploaded/BYG%20HP%20Menu%205-28-2018.pdf Their Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/backyard-grill-highland-park jim, fearless leader and cat herder [second class] * Don't show off! Bring a wine you like and under $15-20! Come hungry too. Backyard Grill sends no-one home hungry!

MAY 7: Ravinia Tickets Go On Sale

Needs a location

Dear Members: If you intend to attend (heehee) any of our Ravinia BYOW's, the tickets go on sale May 7th. I picked a few good one's this year and they may sell-out early. Hope to see everyone. jim

JUN 15: Our SUMMER Wilmette Wine Cellar Tasting - $5! Cheap! W/After dinner?

House Keeping Stuff: > We do this wine dinner/after party combo twice a year - Winter and Summer. It's almost summer! Or close enough. So there > Depending on the size of our "After Party" party we may need to sit in groups of 6 to 8. We'll see. Dear Members: 1. We have been to the Wilmette Wine Cellar more than a few times for their evening wine tastings and "regular regulars" of our group know how friendly and informative the staff are. We have always had a great time there. Best of all - PARKING IS GREAT - IT'S FREE! Note: Even though we "start" at 5pm please feel free to arrive at any time that works for you. Come early, come late... just come! As your fearless leader I will make a point to be there early @ 4:45-ish. Look for a guy with a blaze orange baseball hat. (I hate hats... it comes off as soon as I get permission!) Dress code is totally casual. Most wear jeans. Sometimes they are even clean. 2. After Party/Dinner: For those wishing to go, we will vote/decide at the end (7pm-ish). More often then not, we have tended to go to Valley Lodge Tavern* (Wilmette) which is a short half-block away. Their food is excellent, prices are more than fair and you won't have to move your car. They are also fine with individual checks. But, as mentioned, we will decide then & there. Your Evenings Agenda: Wine Tasting: 5pm to 7pm Optional After Party/Dinner: 7pm to 9pm-ish. Go home: 9pm-ish! 3. Metra peeps: The Wilmette Wine Cellar is about two blocks from the Wilmette train station stop. [FROM THE WILMETTE STOP: Walk south-east, to the south end of the Metra parking lot to Central Ave. Then east (yes, east again) to 1100 Central. Don't worry... its not as confooozing as it sounds. 4. Links (none are missing... heehee); Wilmette Wine Cellar: http://www.wilmettewine.com/ Valley Lodge Tavern: https://www.valleylodgetavern.com/ *VLT's Calamari is outstanding ($8.99). If you like burger's, their Old Fashion Burger WILL make you a regular ($10.99). They also sell rabbit food. As with any place that allows separate checks, I would suggest you bring some small bills. This way you will be able to leave "exact payment" and not have to wait for the server to close out the Visa peeps. jim, fearless leader & cat herder (second class).

JUL 20 Ravinia-BYOW: Leonard Bernstein's MASS by the CSO! $10 adm.

I know this is a early posting - but the summer comes and goes so fast. NOTE'S: 1. This CSO+ concert starts at 8:00 pm. I strongly suggest you try to be there by 7:00 pm. I will target to be there by 6:30 pm. Like always, I will be wearing my stoopid BLAZE ORANGE BASEBALL HAT and sitting toward the rear. I will be the one with the stoopid expression too! 2. Methinks this event could easily sell-out. I suggest you get your tickets earlier than later. (They go on sale May7th-ish). 3. I have also invited peeps from my dog-walking group and my art gallery group. It should be quite a mix of peeps. Dear Members: It's high time we added some culture to our organization. The feds are getting a little suspicious! Let's go to MASS! It'll freak 'em out. Leonard Bernstein's MASS is one of the modern era's MASS classic's. And "we" get to enjoy the CSO's rendition for $10 bucks! Sitting on the lawn, drinking BYOW wine while renewing old friendships and making new ones. Da plug from our friends, the Ravinia family: "By popular demand, Ravinia’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, named one of the best concerts of 2018 by the Chicago Tribune, will be given an encore performance featuring conductor Marin Alsop and baritone Paulo Szot, who once again heads up the hundreds of artists onstage, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Highland Park High School Marching Band. Announcing the Chicago-area professional premiere of the work last summer, Ravinia president and CEO Welz Kauffman called Mass “a giant, exhilarating work that was misunderstood in its day, and audiences need to hear it”—the Tribune ’s Howard Reich agreed in his review, proclaiming it “simply quintessential, stylistically unbound, anything-goes Bernstein, presented on the grandest scale possible.” Don’t let the title fool you; this exciting musical theater piece is more like Hair than church! "Simply quintessential, stylistically unbound, anything—goes Bernstein, presented on the grandest scale possible."—Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune The Plan: Gates Open: 5:00pm Suggest Arrival Time: <7:00 pm Concert Begins: 8:00 pm Ravinia/Tickets Link. Be sure to get lawn tickets @ $10! https://www.ravinia.org/ShowDetails/1574/cso-mass NOTE: Ravinia Tickets go on sale May 7th. The Wikipedia Link to Bernstein's MASS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_(Bernstein) Conductor - Marin Alsop (She has quite a bio. When she was 28, she founded a 50 piece orchestra!). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_Alsop Park Map: We will en- camp near the Bernbaum Sculpture Walk: https://www.ravinia.org/Page/ParkMap More info will follow as we get closer. jim mccarthy, fearless leader & cat herder (second class)

Past events (52)

Photos (69)