My first visit to Chicago-based Winestyr was in 2013. I was invited to meet the powers behind the business, taste a few wines, and learn more about their concept to offer authentic, small-production wines at an affordable price to every winelover. I was impressed with the idea, the wines I tasted, their interactive website (there’s a just-for-fun quiz to find your winestyle), and the people:  Bob Wilson, CEO/Co-Founder and a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), John Wilson, COO/Co-Founder and an attorney who knows his wine law, and Scott Washburn, Director of Sales and Business Development. Honestly, these are just some of the reasons Winestyr remains successful today.

A few weeks ago (and four years since that first introduction) I was asked to revisit Winestyr at their new location (648 West Randolph) and explore a few changes.

Just. Wow.

As soon as I entered the airy, light filled Chicago Lounge boasting a stunning bar, walls of original brick, and comfy seating, I wanted to stay for hours. (I think I also remarked that I wanted to live there…) I was greeted by Amanda, my “wine consultant”, who explained that the lounge, just opened for about a year, is for wine club members only and their guests.

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A wine club? This was a new-to-me addition to the already stellar lineup of offerings. I quickly learned that Winestyr has the most flexible and cost-effective wine club yet. Aficionados throughout the United States can choose to be members of Winestyr’s Mixed Club (3 bottles at $75/shipment or 6 bottles at $135/shipment) or the All Reds Club (3 bottles at $99/shipment or 6 bottles at $179/shipment) with a shipping frequency of every month, every other month, or quarterly…the choice is yours. Amanda shared that it’s easy to skip shipments or cancel the membership altogether (but once you’re in, you won’t want to do that – the wines are exceptional). Other benefits include members only pricing on hundreds of wines, regular members only events, and (are you ready?) …NO SHIPPING CHARGES on any wine orders! SHOCKING! And if that’s not enough, enter the discount code AMANDA25 when you join online. Cheers to that!

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But what about that unique Chicago Lounge in which I wanted to live forever? The location is superb: in Chicago’s West Loop and steps away from notable restaurants Avec, Grace, and Blackbird. Once you’re a wine club member, you have access to the Lounge from 4pm-9pm each Wednesday through Saturday and your guests are encouraged to join you for a reservations-only complimentary consultation for you or your small group.

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As I relaxed with hors d’oeuvres, Amanda poured tastings of six notable wines (see list below) from that evening’s wine menu; the menu changes weekly depending on the wines available. Trust me, when you take your friends to Winestyr’s Chicago Lounge, they’ll understand why you’re a wine club member. The space provides a perfect venue for them to learn more about the best boutique, difficult-to-find wines unavailable elsewhere and it’s perfect for pre-gaming before a night on the town. I’m guessing that they’ll become members, too.

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Winestyr is mastering the art of bringing outstanding wines to the wine lover who craves those that are distinctive. And with their own wine lounge in a glorious location, it’s perfect for club members (even those who don’t live in Chicago) to have a fabulous place to relax and tipple when they’re in the city. I can’t wait to return to the Chicago Lounge – perhaps I’ll see you there.

Cheers~ Cindy

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NOTE: The following wines are those I tasted during my visit to Winestyr’s Chicago Lounge several weeks ago. Should you visit, the wines poured will be different, but just as exceptional.

 2014 Viluko Sauvignon Blanc – Mayacamas Mountains AVA, California $26 (members pricing $21/bottle) – Silky, refreshing, bursting with citrus notes

2014 Guthrie Bellbird Chardonnay – Sonoma Mountain AVA, California $32 (members pricing $27/bottle) – Crisp, balanced, just delightful

2013 Waits-Mast Oppenlander Pinot Noir – Mendocino County AVA, California $44 (members pricing $40/bottle) – Pure, elegant, mouthwatering

2011 Rocky Hill Proprietary Red Blend – Sonoma Mountain AVA, California $39 (members pricing $28/bottle) – Rich, structured, incredibly food friendly

2013 White Oak Vineyards Reserve Cabernet – Napa Valley AVA, California $35 (proprietary production) – Bold, sophisticated, what a value!

 

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