Hand-picking the right wines

  • February 28th, 2011
  • Comments Off on Hand-picking the right wines

Might come as a surprise to some, but we carry wine. Yeah, you know that big dark wood thing near the check out? It’s packed full of tasty wine that is hunted by a few great folks; people who know us, lovers of Southport Grocery themselves they dine at Secret Supper, and fill our shelves with great tasting great value wines.


From Cream Wines, the original small batch wine company in Illinois, we’ve got Dan. A sharp dresser, even for a wine rep, and a laid back reportage that we can appreciate. He makes sure everything he shows us is a “great value under $20.” Not only that but that they are “obvious off the cork… meaning the wines are immediately enjoyable or interesting.” Dan also understands that “just like in food, some wines are an ‘acquired taste’,” which translates to super tasty wines that needn’t to ‘breathe‘ for a long time or are overcomplicated. We even get our favorite patio-season-wine from Dan, the Perfum de vi Blanc from Raventos. It’s great with food, great with friends; it isn’t just a favorite of staff, it’s one of our best sellers, it really a fantastic wine. Cream wine is also the only distributors that we have seen that has info on every single one of their wines – an incredible resource for anyone to use. Speaking to resources, Dan says he’s “tasted almost everything in the portfolio,” and we’re lucky enough to be able to have someone like him at our disposal. Dan likes to bring in wine from “places, estates” and wine “made by people who want to make great wine as an expression of that estate.” Dan knows his stuff and almost always bring a couple of bottles we love, sometimes more than what we have room for.


There is Jim, our rep from Glunz Wine. A wall of a man and an understanding of what we expect from the wines on our shelf. He says that “taste is always the most important thing,” which we notice. Jim does a great job at finding the right wine for the right time of year too; smooth reds for summer, robust for winter – but one tried and true wine we get from Jim is the Fleur Pint Noir. It is a wine we carried when we first opened and it’s come and gone but it really is a favorite, approachable red with flavor and interest, perfect with almost any meal. The wines he brings in is almost always flush with interest even those a bit more ‘accessible,’ which Jim says that he makes sure to show us –  approachable, great tasting and not over complicated. He also says that Glunz” is always looking for new wines to represent.” Jim brings us little surprises each time, from old forgotten loves to new exciting bottles.

We do a fair amount of homework to get the ‘just right’ wines on our shelf and in the secret supper, but it pales in comparison to the work Jim and Dan put in. We feel pretty lucky to have two great wine reps that keep us in the loop and let us bring our customers such great flavor coupled with value. Thanks guys!

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