Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team
Four of Chicago’s top sommeliers competed Sunday in a blind taste testing to see who has Chicago’s Best Palate. They tasted a white and two red wines and attempted to narrow down the region, the varietal, the vintage, and the producer for the chance to win the title.
Alain Njike of Park 52, Lucas Henning of C-House, Michael Taylor of Italian Village, and Scott Tyree of Tyree Wine Consulting were given 20 minutes to check the color, the nose, and the taste. Guests at the event each had their own tasting sheets so they could also participate.
My co-host Michael Bottigliero, Windy City Wine Guy, scored the experts and I tallied up the amateurs. While everyone waited for the results, the sommeliers went through the processes they used, including the different sights, smells, and tastes that helped them choose one option over another. They’ve gone through hours and hours of training to hone these senses, but they also used deductive reasoning. For example, if they know it’s old world, and it’s from this particular region, and only two grapes are grown in that area, then it’s got to be one of those two. For oeniphiles and casual wine lovers, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn from these experts.
Michael then announced the winner. By a close margin, Scott Tyree has Chicago’s Best Palate! Congratulations! He was presented with a gift pack of wines from Terlato Wines International, who also provided the wines for the tasting.
Congratulations also go to Addie Braun for winning the amateur tasting. She took home two special bottles of wine from Eno. Another guest was awarded with a $50 certificate to the wine, cheese, and chocolate lounge on Michigan Avenue for choosing Mr. Tyree as the winner.
Thanks to all of the sommeliers for participating and to our guests for enjoying this wonderful evening with us! Hope to see you next year for Chicago’s Best Palate!