News & Events


FEATURED: Unpasteurized Cream 2020: Pizza and Natural Wine

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Mark your calendars! On Saturday, March 14th we’ll be firing up the ovens at Superkhana International for our annual Off-Soif trade tasting. Working brunch on Third Coast? Simply can’t wait the weekend? Come grab a slice and taste with the lovely producers & friends themselves.

Idlewild
La Clarine Farm
Populis & Les Lunes
Ruth Lewandowski
Zev Rovine Selections
Clos Lentiscus
Laurent Cazottes
Los Pilares
Cream Imports

Saturday, March 14th
11am to 2:30pm
Superkhana International
3059 W Diversey Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Trade only please! RSVP requested to clara@creamwine.com

Invite artwork by our friend Catie Olson: http://www.catieolson.com/


#lovepotion: A Dozen Rosés

If you’re like us, we’d prefer a dozen rosés to a dozen roses any day. We’ve singled out (no pun intended!) several rosés that make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Looking for a list of all our rosés? Click here.

Domaine Montrose 1701 & Domaine Montrose Prestige
These are the top rosé wines by our favorite rosé producer Domaine Montrose, established in 1701 and family-owned since. Not only are the bottles simply beautiful, the wines can technically be a 3-in-1 gift!
1. A bottle of delicious rosé
2. Glass stopper turns the bottle into a reusable pitcher
3. Peel the label off and that’s one fine looking vase

Zorzal 2018 Terroir Unico Pinot Noir Rose, Tupungato
Is it too soon to start our countdown to spring? Probably, but at least this rosé from Zorzal tastes just as good in the snow. Crisp and vibrant with notes of strawberries, raspberries and fresh cut watermelon.

Le Fraghe 2018 ‘Rodon’ Bardolino Chiaretto: Le Fraghe means strawberries and is named after the wild strawberries that grow among the vines on this organic estate. Cue “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles. Not a Beatles fan? What about Shakespeare? This estate is only 29 minutes from Verona “the city of love” where the story of Romeo and Juliet unfolds.

Summer Water 2018 Rosé in both 750ml AND 187ml

How does a rosé with the name “Summer Water” tie into a cold, Chicago Valentine’s Day? This is where the idea of a love potion really comes into play. Perhaps if you give a bottle of this, that winter relationship just might make it to summer…#rawrr

Benanti 2018 Etna Rosato & Azores 2018 Rosé Vulcanico:
About to ASH the question? Does he/she MAGMA you crazy? Is it a relationship of great MAGMATUDE? We could go on and on, but seriously these volcanic wines are delicious and unique and perfect for that special someone

Villa Creek 2018 Rosé, Paso Robles
Grow with love. We’re not sure if those are vines or tree branches on the label. We are sure that the label is soothing to look at. This organic GMS blend showcases strawberries, melons and spring flowers.

Lammidia 2017 ‘Miscela’ Rosé, Abruzzo: Dame más gasolina! As the name of the wine anticipates (Miscela means blend in Italian), we are faced with a super blend of white, rosé and red wines intended to create an explosive mixture for enjoyability and drinkability. It’s the fuel to light that fire on V-day.

Absentee 2018 ‘I Love You My Dear’ Rosé & Chateau de Beru 2018 ‘Love Joy’ Rosé
Obvious choices for Valentine’s Day as they’re basically greeting cards wrapped on a bottle.

Domaine Isle Saint Pierre 2018 Rose, Mediterranee IGP
Can’t get away to an island this winter? Isle Saint Pierre rosé isn’t a bad place to start. This rosé is produced as a blend of saignée and direct pressed wine made from 100% free run juice. It has a lively and fruity nose, with hints of red fruit, dried fig and fresh notes of raspberry and gooseberry.


Cream Cocktails: Cupid's Salty Dog

CocktailFormatCupid.jpg Ingredients
- 1.5 oz Valentine White Blossom Vodka
- 1.5 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
- .5 oz Bordiga Vermouth Rosso di Torino
- .5 oz lime juice
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- pinch of salt

Directions: Shake and double strain into coupe glass that has been rimmed with a mix of kosher salt and crushed pink peppercorn.


FEATURED: New Producer Alert! Idlewild Wines

SamBilbroGrapes.jpgThe youngest son of Marietta Cellars’ Chris Bilbro, Sam Bilbro grew up tending vineyards and hanging out in his father’s old cow barn-turned winery. While Sonoma would always be home, it was through working in the restaurant industry that Sam garnered a passion for Piedmont-grown varieties. Inspired to bring the spirit of Northwest Italy to the rugged hills of Mendocino County, Sam founded Idlewild in 2012 as a side project while working for a local biodynamic winery. He quickly found his stride, quitting his 9-5 two years later to focus entirely on Idlewild.

Sam practices minimalist intervention in both the vineyard and the cellar. Fruit is sourced from Wild Ruth Ranch and Fox Hill Vineyard, both managed by the collaborative venture between Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski Wines, Wild Ruth Farming. These small vineyards are progressively-farmed with a holistic approach, ensuring that both the site and vintage are allowed to speak. While not dogmatic in practice, this honest and sustainable approach is fundamental to the winemaking at Idlewild. In the cellar, wines are made naturally, with nothing added other than minimal sulfur additions.

As in Italy, where wine is an intrinsic part of culture and dining, Sam’s elegant and gulpable Piedmontese varietal blends strike that sought after balance of joy and depth. Uniquely fresh and focused, with notable vibrancy in fruit and savory qualities, Idlewild’s single varietal and vineyard wines have gained a following for their varietal typicity, energy, and balance.

Sam has also been instrumental in the organization of the “Seven % Solution,” a coalition of like minded small North Coast producers dedicated to celebrating and encouraging the cultivation of varieties other than the 93% of vineyards planted to the eight mainstream grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Encouraging the diversification and progression in New World wine, these wineries defy the divide between old world and new world wine making and embody the spirit of the movement defined in Jon Bonne’s book “The New California Wine.”

Idlewild 2018 ‘Flora & Fauna’ White, North Coast
The explosive aromatics of Muscat Canelli fill the cellar, but upon tasting the juice, the balance of the early take of Arneis shows the structural bones. The wine is highlighted by honey, wildflowers, wet stones, salty air, jasmine, and orange blossoms. The mouth feel is shaped like a diamond: lean on the front, a touch of oiliness and richness through the mid, and then racy and driving through the finish.

Idlewild 2018 ‘Flora & Fauna’ Rosé, Mendocino
This vintage of Idlewild’s rosé shows all the bright and fresh sides of rosé we all love with an added depth to pair with food. There is a play between savory versus fresh and subtlety versus power that make this wine very intriguing. The aromas are wound up around orange peel, celery salt, grapefruit, alpine herbs, wildflowers, blood orange, and sea spray. The three varieties can all be seen in the structure: Nebbiolo lends the crunchy minerality, Dolcetto lends a delicate softness, and Barbera lends firm acidity.


FEATURED: New Producer Alert! Cacique Maravilla

MaravillaBottles.jpgManuel Moraga Gutierrez is the owner and winemaker of Cacique Maravilla, a winery focused on traditional and non-interventionist Chilean wines in Yumbel in the Bio-Bio Valley of Chile’s Southern Regions. Manuel is the seventh generation of the Gutierrez family to call Yumbel home, and at least the fourth generation to tend vines. His great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Francisco Gutierrez Gutierrez, arrived in Chile in 1750 from the Canary Islands in search of gold and eventually amassed enough treasure to acquire land in Yumbel, some of which has remained in the family and is still owned by Manuel Moraga today. Francisco Gutierrez earned the respect of the local indigenous Mapuche people and was given the nickname ‘Cacique Maravilla’ (roughly translating to ‘Magnificent Chief’).

Although the Gutierrez family has been tending vines in Yumbel for generations, Manuel is the first to bottle and sell the wine under his own label, instead of selling grapes and bulk wine to other larger producers as his predecessors did. The 16-hectare estate consists of old, pre-phylloxera vines (some well over 100 years old) of País, Moscatel de Alejandria, Torontel, and Corinto. The volcanic vineyards are completely dry-farmed with no irrigation, no chemical intervention, and minimal pruning. In the winery, Manuel is similarly hands off. Fermentation is always spontaneous, the wines are never filtered, and no sulfur is added.

Tragically, Manuel’s first vintage coincided with the February 27, 2010 earthquake in Chile, one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history. The winery and much of their machinery were completely destroyed in the earthquake. Manuel still managed to make wine that year with practically no means at all. Content with the outcome of that first year, he realized not much was needed to make wine and this has been their philosophy ever since. He has spent the last ten years slowly rebuilding while making honest, rustic wines that evoke a crystal clear sense of place. As Manuel says, “One day I want good, trained sommeliers to taste my wine and say ‘This wine is from Yumbel, Chile.’”

Cacique Maravilla 2019 ‘Gutiflower’ White Pet Nat, Bio-Bio Valley
Sparkling wine is not traditionally made in Chile, but Manuel’s father stumbled upon the Pet Nat method that the winery continues to use to this day. This wine is best served very cold! Before serving, chill wine with the bottle resting upright so sediment settles to the bottom of the bottle.

Cacique Maravilla 2019 ‘Chacoli’ Rose Pet Nat, Bio-Bio Valley
The name chacolí is a reference to the process in which the wine is made, very much like the txakolis of old in the Basque Country. Serve very cold with apertifs and desserts.

Cacique Maravilla 2019 Vino Naranja (Orange Wine), Bio-Bio Valley
An orange wine of 100% Moscatel de Alejandria. Skin contact lasts 2 months in open vats of Raulí (native Chilean pink oak) without any punchdowns or pump overs.

Cacique Maravilla (1 L) 2019 Pipeno, Bio-Bio Valley
Pipeño is an old style of Chilean wine that was produced in a simple manner and meant to be enjoyed by farmers straight from the “Pip” or pipe. Cacique Maravilla makes this 100% País Pipeño that honors traditional winemaking in the Bio-Bio Valley from which it comes. This light-bodied wine shows red fruits with great acidity and balanced tannins. Serve slightly chilled. Anything less than a liter is not enough!


Cream Cocktails: Lower A-Bee-V's Knees

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Ingredients
- 1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
- 2 oz Cirelli NV ‘A + Bees’ Mead
- 1 oz Lemon juice
- 1 oz Honey

Directions: Add all ingredients besides the A+ Mead (for topping later) with ice to tin, give it a quick shake and strain over a large cube in a Collins glass. Top with about 2 ounces of ‘A + Bees’ Mead. Garnish with a fresh cut piece of raw honey comb.



Cream Cocktails: Jambe de Bois

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Ingredients
- 1.5 oz Pineapple-Tepache and Banana infused Bounty Spiced Rum (see below)
- .75 oz Bordiga Aperitivo
- .75 oz Mata Sweet Vermouth

Directions: Add all ingredients to mixing glass, stir, julep strain to a coupe or over large ice cube in rocks glass.

Bounty Spiced Infusion:
Using the spent pineapples from the Pineapple Tepache Honey Syrup and 3-4 super ripe bananas, muddle together in a cambro and pour a liter of Bounty Spiced Rum over it. Cover, let sit for 2-3 days, fine strain through cheesecloth, and poured back into the bottle.


Cream Cocktails: The Coffee Martinez



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Martini drinkers lean in, we’ve got a different type of birth story for you this holiday season. Before all the gold got dug up and Californian’s started making wine instead, a miner en route to the East Bay city of Martinez made a pit stop at San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel. Perhaps he was looking to celebrate his newfound fortune, or maybe he was trying to soften the woes of an unlucky 49er. Either way, legend has it that he asked the bartender to serve his Vermouth with Old Tom Gin (or, a Manhattan with Gin instead of Whiskey). What would eventually become the town’s namesake cocktail, the Martinez was officially transcribed in 1884’s O.H. Byron’s Modern Bartender’s Guide. Part Manhattan and part Martini, the Martinez is a 50-50 ratio of Gin and Sweet Vermouth with a few dashes of orange bitters and often Maraschino Liqueur. Malty, simple and a little bit sweet, the vintage Martinez is a classic.

For our riff on the Martini’s sweeter forerunner, we added a coffee bean infusion, adding a darker, more masculine quality to deepen the cocktail for winter.

Ingredients
- 1.5 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
- 1.5 oz Mata Tinto Vermouth infused with coffee beans (see below for details)
- .25 oz Bordiga Maraschino Liqueur
- 2 dashes bitters

Directions: Combine all ingredients into your favorite mixer. Add ice, stir 40 revolutions with a bar spoon. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with orange rind.

Infusion:
Pour 150ml of Mata Tinto Vermouth into a small mason jar. Measure out 30ml of dark roast coffee for a 1 to 5 part coffee to liquid ratio (we used Collectivo Coffee). Let sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Yields approximately 3 servings


Viognier - It's What's for Winter!

Viognier.jpgTextural, aromatic and singing of stone fruit and citrus, Viognier is a no-brainer for cold weather pairings. Like many of our favorite grapes, Viognier came quite close to obsoletion during the mid-20th century. Traditionally grown in the northern Rhône Valley, where it can be found co-fermented into Syrah-based wines, plantings of the grape dwindled during the mid-1900s. Grown on the region’s extremely steep terraces, the low-yielding, late ripening fruit proved difficult to cultivate and prone to mildew. While at its heart a delicate and dry wine, when produced on the cheap, Viognier wines can be intensely aromatic - near cosmetic - and overly sweet. By the late 1960s, just under 40 acres of Viognier plantings remained.

Over the past few decades, however, Viognier has been on a major comeback kick. During the late 20th century, the white Rhône variety made its way out of France and over to the sunny regions of Australia, Italy and California. Somms, winemakers and consumers alike caught on. Over in the Sunshine State, plantings increased from 100 to over 2,000 acres today.

This newfound love for the fruit comes as no surprise - when made well, Viognier wines are complex, vibrant and light on their feet. While a bit more difficult to pronounce (it’s vee-own-yay), Viognier is a solid sell to convince that die hard Chardonnay and Sauv Blanc BTG drinker to live it up a little bit. Ranging in taste and profile, Viognier is a fantastic pairing for creamy cheese plates, seafood and spicier curries (it can take some heat!). If aged in new oak, the wines are creamier and less acidic, with notes of baking spice and vanilla (think Moroccan chicken). When aged in neutral oak or stainless steel, the wines are instead floral and fruit driven, with flavors of peaches, apricots and tropical fruit and a bit more acidity (butternut squash gnocchi with sage brown anyone?).

We’ve got enough Viognier to last the winter (and that annual surprise snow in May). Check out some of our favorites below!

Montrose 2018 Viognier, Cotes de Thongue
The Domaine Montrose Viognier is purposely atypical; it is livelier and less exuberant than those produced in the region. We like it for its freshness and most importantly for its balance. The nose shows exotic fruits, mango, and cut hay. Enjoy chilled on its own or with fish, shellfish, Asian food, Indian food, and cheeses.

La Clarine Farm 2018 Viognier, Sierra Foothills
Every once in a while, the stars align, the vintage is (nearly) perfect, and the Viognier is flat-out spectacular on its own. Hank saw this immediately as the wine started to ferment. The 2018 vintage has amazing aromatics and the perfect balance of exuberance and subtlety. This is an awesome, delicious white for Fall drinking!

Yves Cuilleron 2018 ‘Les Vignes d’a Cote’ Viognier, Collines Rhodaniennes IGP
The Cuilleron family domaine, located in the hamlet of Verlieu (part of the town of Chavanay) was founded in 1920. Yves assumed full ownership and direction of the domaine in 1987 and, since that time, has built an entirely new facility while at the same time acquiring additional vineyard property. This Viognier features intense floral, fruity and vegetal notes on the nose. Dry, smooth and broad on the palate.

Rostaing 2017 ‘Les Lezardes’ Viognier, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
Jeb Dunnuck, 89 pts (12/20/2018)
“Starting with the 2017 Les Lézardes Blanc, it has terrific Viognier character in its floral, peach, and apricot aromas and flavors. This medium-bodied, light, elegant white just begs to be drunk, and it should keep for a year or three.”


FEATURED: BUBBLE BRUNCH

Illinois Trade! You’re invited for Bubbles, Fried Chicken & Waffles!

Corks popping from 10am to 12:30pm.
A wide array of sparkling wines will be open for tasting:

  • Cream Imports (Bereche, Laherte Freres, Vadin-Plateau, Raventos i Blanc, and more)
  • Rosenthal Wine Merchant (Rosenthal Wine Merchant imports authentic, terroir-centric sparkling wines from France, Italy and Spain. These prestigious producers walk the line between tradition and idiosyncrasy. John Paine will be showcasing a large selection of terroir-centric sparkling wines from the Rosenthal book that is available for special order this fall.)
  • Champagne Lanson (Founded 16 years before the USA, Champagne Lanson is one of the oldest, family-run Champagne houses. Over the years, the winemakers behind this famous label have carefully perfected their art, passing down the secrets of their craft from one generation to the next. Thibault Marronnier will have the whole Lanson line open along with some special order items available this fall.)

711 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60642
(3 minutes from Chicago Blue Line, 7 minutes from Grand Blue Line)

Trade Only Please; RSVP requested to Tori@creamwine.com

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