News & Events


FEATURED: Winter White Party on 12/12/2022

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HOSTS: Cream + Olé & Obrigado

FEATURING: Winter White Wines & Sparkling Wine

TUNES: DJ Audio Jack

WHERE: The Charleston Chicago

WHEN: Monday 12/12 from 5-9pm

PLEASE RSVP: Industry Only Event

WHITE ATTIRE ENCOURAGED


FEATURED: New Cream Imports: Barone di Villagrande

We have a brand new Cream Imports producer: Barone di Villagrande. We love introducing Chicagoland to some of our favorite finds and buying directly from the source—it takes lots and lots of tasting, but bringing you the good juice / cream of the crop / is our mission.

The story of Barone di Villagrande started 300 years ago. It is the oldest cultivation story on Etna, fundamental to Etna’s wine history, and remarkably continues today with 10th generation Marco Nicolosi at the helm. Located on the eastern side of Mt. Etna, Barone di Villagrande has been growing grapes in some of Earth’s best volcanic soils since 1727, using a minimal intervention approach in winemaking, and letting the soil be the driving force for their wines. Today, this family estate with 10th generation Marco Nicolosi at the helm has 18 hectares of certified organic vineyards.

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We are passionate about Etna wines, as many know, and are thrilled to start with their Etna Bianco & Etna Rosso. Contradas are coming next year!

We tasted their Etna Bianco (90% Carricante) recently, and the scent of Granny Smith apples brought back memories of making caramel apples with grandma. Nothing like the first fall apple or rather just drink this! The wine finishes with white fruit, bright acidity, and wonderful minerality with hints of the Mediterranean.

Their Etna Rosso (80% Nerello Mascalese, 20% Nerello Cappuccio) elicits memories of another favorite fall tradition; making soup…do you also crack so much pepper that your wrist gets tired? This wine smells like cracked black pepper and a bouquet of raspberries and blackberries. Herbs and berries show on the smooth palate…the fruit softened from the wine resting in chestnut barrels for one year.

Wines that evoke memories—Fall in Chicago; Active Mt. Etna with a land of Black Basalt; the Ionian Sea Breeze—is there anything better?


FEATURED: Green & Red Vineyard - Welcome to Cream!

I have been a longtime fan of this unsung Napa estate located in secluded Chiles Valley. This is way before I first visited and failed to convince Jay Heminway to join our portfolio in the early days of cream circa 2001. We are talking way way back, when Mark and I were selling wine for Vintage in the 1990s. The days of wine and roses, unlimited Kermit burgs and cult Cali.

Then and now Green & Red just hits different. Old vines with rustic soul and singularity. High elevation fruit that balances concentration and finesse. These were the wines I would buy personally in shops and restaurants or trade open bottles with friends and colleagues post big retail tastings.

The wine world is a small one and things usually come full circle. I was thrilled when Jay’s daughter Tobin, now proprietor, reached out and wanted Cream to represent her family business and father’s legacy in Illinois. What a huge honor. We just received the first shipment. Our team and I are excited to show you these wines and represent this Napa Valley treasure alongside other fellow heritage vine heroes Joel Peterson (Once & Future) and Morgan Peterson (Bedrock). Ain’t no school like the old school. When can we taste?

~ Andy Pates

Green & Red Vineyard Wines In Stock


FEATURED: Have you had Triticale?

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In the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, in the middle of thousands of grapevines, is Branch Point Distillery, a whiskey house that is dedicated to working with Oregon farmers to use local grains to make a totally unique whiskey. They use traditional methods in production like using a low barrel entry proof and no chill filter to maintain the flavors that developed out in the field and in the barrel.

Branch Point’s Trit Whiskey uses Triticale grain, which is a rye-wheat hybrid. This type of grain brings the spice and complexity of rye and the sweeter notes of wheat. By itself, it has notes of caramel corn, vanilla, and green almond with a hint of spice. These notes lend themselves to be used in a stirred cocktail in which this whiskey would shine or even in a Gold Rush to accentuate the honey tones in the whiskey.

Branch Point is named after the moment in your life when you decide to take a new path. A moment that changes your life, and this whiskey may be that moment.

Pictured is a Manhattan. If you like yours with a high rye bourbon, then this is like the best of both worlds.


FEATURED: Oliver McCrum Spirits Tour 2022

The Oliver McCrum botanical bus is in Chicago!

On, Wednesday, September 14, Cream and Oliver McCrum are hosting an Amaro + Italian Spirits education salon and tasting at Billy Sunday from 12-3pm. This is a trade only event.

Visiting Producers:

  • BORDIGA @bordiga1888
    Vermouth, amari, gin and liqueurs from the Piedmontese Alps since 1888. Bordiga makes all their own individual infusions, and many of the wild plants used, such as gentian, juniper and chamomile, are still picked by hand in the Alps nearby. Everything they do is made in-house using old recipes written by founder Pietro Bordiga himself.

  • FRED JERBIS @opificiofred
    Fred, aka Federico Cremasco, is a bartender who studied profumeria (the distilling of herbs) and is an avid herbalist. His family grows classic cooking herbs, and for his spirits he farms most herbs himself and either purchases or forages the rest from within a 50km radius. Because he purchases everything fresh, and dries them himself, the herbs can change a bit from year to year and each harvest and batch yields a slightly different result.

  • IL MALLO @ilmallo_official
    Il Mallo is a small producer of Nocino, an Italian walnut liqueur, dating back three generations and now passed from mother to daughter. They are recognized in Emilia Romagna, a region famous for its Nocino, as the creme de la creme. Making the best Nocino requires generations of knowledge, at least 11 months infusion followed by a further 18 months of aging, and the right blend of botanicals to bring the final product into harmony.

  • LIQUORE DELLE SIRENE @liquoridellesirene
    The name Sirene is a tribute to one of the most beautiful bays in Lake Garda, Baia delle Sirene (Bay of the Sirens), where Elisa Carta crafts her unique bitter herbal liqueurs and where she grew up learning to grow herbs with her grandmother. Elisa has masterfully reworked old family recipes, sourcing almost all the botanicals locally from nearby organic farmers, infusing all her botanicals separately, and using strictly natural ingredients.

Seating for the salon portion (12-1pm) is limited. Please contact your Cream sales rep to reserve your seat and RSVP to the event.


FEATURED: What is Maduro?

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Mi Casa is one of the only Tequila producers you’ll find in Chicago that grow/produce in Michoacán and have glass-aged (maduro) Tequilas. Such a rarity in mezcal production and even more so for Tequila. Once our stock is sold out, we will never see these estate grown 10-year+ maduros again.

Mi Casa Tequila Anejo 10-Year Maduro
Mi Casa Tequila Reposado 10-Year Maduro

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Puntamanguera mezcals are from Guerrero, a very hard to find mezcal region to enjoy in the U.S. Puntamanguera is women-owned and represents several producers in Guerrero that not only use the capón* method but also age in the classic maduro tradition. These mezcals are something to behold; made only in small batches.

Puntamanguera Mezcal Cupreata 3-Year Maduro (Pink Label)
Puntamanguera Mezcal Espadin 3-Year Maduro (Gold Label)
Puntamanguera Mezcal Cupreata Capón 6-Year Maduro (Aqua Label)
Puntamanguera Mezcal Cupreata Capón 6-Year Maduro (Silver Label)
Puntamanguera Mezcal Cupreata Capón 7-Year Maduro (Dark Blue Label)

*Capón: It is normal practice for mezcal agave farmers to cut off an emerging quiote (flowering stalk) in order to keep all the energy in the piñas. Once cut, the plant can be harvested. Capón agaves are left in the ground months or even years after the quiote has been cut. They acquire loads of sugar and complexity; when finally harvested, they’re at their ripest.

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La Venenosa Azul (Blue Weber) is a 20-year glass-rested, single distilled raicilla made from Blue Weber agave. It is truly a rare opportunity and very limited.


FEATURED: Partida Creus

photos and words by Oscar Salinas of Los Naturales

I was in Spain sitting at the counter of a bar drinking wine alone. It wasn’t long ‘til two American backpackers also sat down. They were traveling across Europe, working on farms and vineyards along their route in exchange for housing and food. It was then that one of them told me, “Whenever you see the bottles with stencil-logo labels, order them. Try ‘em all, that stuff is really, really good.” Thanks for the sound advice, Adam from Kansas City.

partidacreus_owners.jpgIt’s easy to get hooked on Massimo and Antonella’s wines. It’s a labor of love, something that began when the former architects packed their bags and left their home in Piedmont to create a new one in Spain. After some time in Barcelona, they fled to the countryside of Baix Penedès. The wine they were drinking at the time wasn’t up to par, already farming food of their own they decided to try their hand at wine too. This spurred a passion for reviving old vines of local varietals, the result was the birth of Partida Creus as we know it.

VN - The epitome of easy drinking. Young, light, fresh, and crunchy the VN Blanco is everything you’d want in a daily sipper. Lightly aromatic, its floral notes are reminiscent of being in someone’s backyard once spring has fully sprung. The wine has an element of salinity that feels familiar in most of their wines, something that Partida Creus gets right time and time again.

SK - A cloudy Muscat Blanc from Catalonia, this aromatic wine transports you to Hawaiian beaches via the countryside of Spain. Pineapple rind announces itself as you take the first whiff and sip, followed by orange peel and grapefruit - immediately taking you on a tropical vacation. Flowers from a rainforest garden fill each pour with love.

SP - Clean, crisp, yellow hues captivate the eyes before your nose is treated to fruits from the tropics. A welcomed mix of citrus lead by lemon and orange that meet juicy grapefruit. Sharp minerality presents itself with a tinge of yeast, making this a wine that packs much more complexity than you’d initially expect.

MUZ - Right off the bat, whoa - holy botanicals! This natural vermouth oozes with herbal notes and spice. It’s the alcoholic equivalent to a traditional Mexican Ponche Navideño. Packed with depth and complexity, yet still light with lingering citrus. Sip it chilled, over ice, or use it in your favorite vermouth-based cocktail. Someone said you could make a boozy olive-oil milkshake with this, the possibilities endless.

GT Ancestral - Twins aren’t always identical, sometimes one is more mischievous than the other. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Such is the case with GT Ancestral. Sharing the same Garrut grape base as its sibling, this pet-nat has loads of character. The effervescence starts off strong, creating purple bubbles and an equally ruby foam. Eventually the bubbles subside, and tannins appear - evolving into a bolder wine, with earthy notes of candied mushroom and red fruits screaming for something spicy. Good for day drinking and even better for a hip dinner party.

GT - The more classic of the two siblings, but by no means any less fun. Boasting similar notes to GT Ancestral, yet still different in their respective ways. The wine expresses earthy, red fruit notes with soulful depth. The purple-ruby color is deep and ripe, with candy berries inviting your senses to some sweetness. If its mischievous sibling begs to be taken to a hip dinner party, you can find this one eating out at a respected bistro likely smoking a cigar after dinner.

XL Ancestral - Another prime example of why bubbles rock. Imagine combining lemons, pears and apples in a bottle with salt and minerals, then adding palate-tickling effervescence and some ginger right before mixing everything together… you know what you’re gonna get? A wine that is extremely drinkable. Chill this down to the bone and enjoy every drop.

XL - Much like its bubbly counterpart, this bottle is packed with minerality, salinity and citrus. There’s a soft, creamy texture that accompanies every sip, singing at a volume that brings forth a vibrant freshness you can’t help but want more of. The kind of wine you want to share with friends over laughs and a home cooked meal as the sun sets next to the Mediterranean Sea. Or in a bustling city patio, it’s really your choice.

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FEATURED: Gin & Elephants

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New Spirits Alert! Elephant Gin, Don Ciccio & Figli and Porter's Gin

We couldn’t be more excited to announce our partnership with Trinity Beverage Group. Trinity Beverage Group works with passionate producers crafting the highest quality wines and spirits from around the world. Check out these three new distillers available now in Chicago!

ElephantGin_Brand2.jpeg Elephant Gin:
Elephant Gin produces award-winning handcrafted premium gin products made with rare African botanicals. While its story started in South Africa, Elephant Gin is handmade in Germany with a focus on the highest quality production standards. All ingredients are hand-selected, bottles custom-made, labels hand-written and production-controlled by small batches.

The founders were inspired to create Elephant Gin following their own adventures in Africa. They strongly believe that this generation has a responsibility to support the African wildlife today, so others can continue to enjoy it in the future. With every bottle sold, Elephant Gin contributes 15% of bottle profits to Big Life Foundation and Space For Elephants Foundation that are devoted to the conservation of the African elephant.

The Gins:
Elephant Strength
German Sloe
London Dry

DonCiccio_Francesco-Amodeo.jpeg Don Ciccio & Figli:
The tale of Don Ciccio began in the late 1800s on the Amalfi Coast, when Vincenzo Amodeo began crafting liqueurs. The family business thrived until WW1, when they had to halt production in the great effort to rebuild. In 1951, Francesco Amodeo, aka Don Ciccio, revived the family legacy and got production flowing again until a crippling earthquake in 1980 brought the distillery to rubbles.

Jump forward to 2012 and about 5,000 miles from Italy, Francesco “Don Ciccio Jr” Amodeo has brought family tradition back to life at his distillery in Washington DC. Francesco uses his family’s treasured recipes and intentionally sourced ingredients to craft his liqueurs - passion fruit from local farmers in DC, prickly pears from the southwest, cherries from Michigan and barrels from Italian winemakers.

The Bitters (listed from sweet to driest:
Ambrosia
Amaro della Sirene
Donna Rossa Rabarbaro
C3 Carciofo
Luna Aperitivo
Amaro Tonico Ferro-Kina

The Cordials:
Limoncello
Finocchietto
Fico d’India Prickly Pear
Nocino



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Alex, Ben and Josh met while working together in Aberdeen, Scotland. Wanting to create light, refined gin recipes, they worked with scientists from Aberdeen University to create a cold vacuum still in the basement of a cocktail bar.

By distilling gently at cold temperatures, botanicals avoid getting “cooked.” It also means they could rapidly create distillates from anything - experimenting with traditional gin botanicals like juniper, to battered Mars bars, Harris tweed and leeks.

Their Modern Classic Gin is made using Buddha’s Hand, a citrus mostly grown in China. Half lemon, half squid with no juice, but with heaps of aromatic floral and citrus oils.

Modern Classic Gin
Tropical Old Tom Gin


El Camino del Albariño
is happening the whole month of JUNE in Chicago!

Olé & Obrigado and Cream invite the Chicagoland wine community to participate in El Camino del Albariño this June.

Founded by Olé & Obrigado and Yannick Benjamin in 2019, El Camino is a month-long celebration of the diversity and versatility of the Albariño grape which also raises awareness and funds for Wheeling Forward, whose mission is to help people with disabilities experience life to the fullest. This year is the first time cities outside of NYC can participate; Chicago will join Boston, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, and NYC in El Camino del Albariño 2021.

VIEW OUR ALBARINO STOCK

Restaurants and retailers can participate in El Camino del Albariño by featuring any Albariño in a special way. That said, Olé & Obrigado will be donating 10% of all its Albariño sales during the month of June to Wheeling Forward.

PARTICIPATION IDEAS:
Albariño BTG: Choose 1, 2, or more for the month or a rotating selection
Special Menu Section: Design menu with a special box around the Albariños that informs patrons about raising funds for Wheeling Forward
Albariño Flight: Feature an Albariño flight
Food Pairing: Highlight or feature an Albariño pairing
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Olé & Obrigado Paella & Albariño Experience Wine Package: Sunday, June 13th, Chef Marcos Campos (Bonhomme Group, Chicago) is hosting a zoom webinar at 12pm CST on how to make paella. The paella is being paired with 3 Albariños (Leirana, Nortico and Columna). 100% of ticket sales go to Wheeling Forward. Tickets are $10. Wine packages can include one, two, or all three of the event Albariños.

PROMOTION: Olé & Obrigado has planned a large marketing campaign to encourage consumers to imbibe Albariño in the participating cities. They want consumers to follow the road to Albariño! They will feature all account participants on the event landing page. They are also working with some of the best chefs in the world on an Albariño pairing cookbook that will be released on August 2nd, International Albariño Day. This cookbook will thank all participants by name. @Albarino_Alvarinho #CaminoAlbarino

VIEW OUR ALBARINO STOCK