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Chicago marks Sept. 11 with a wine-filled weekend



Drink and be merry for tomorrow….

Some people will be spending this weekend wallowing in memorials. If you’d rather drown your sorrows, Chicagoland offers plenty of options for wallowing in wine instead.

  • Windy City Wine Festival: The fifth annual festival, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 and 12, showcases 250 global wines with wine seminars, music and cooking demos from Lakeview’s The Hearty Boys and Markethouse restaurant in Streeterville. The fest takes place downtown on the lakefront at Daley Bicentennial Plaza. Tickets are $25 if purchased today, $30 at the door ($10 for designated drivers). Drinkers’ tickets buy admission to all events, a souvenir wine glass and 10 tasting coupons. Additional tastings run $5 for 10 coupons. Proceeds benefit the Grant Park Conservancy. Binny’s offers a 10-percent discount on wines you buy at the fest, too.
  • Lake Geneva Wine Festival: This third annual Wisconsin event, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 11 through 13, at Grand Geneva Resort and George Williams College, serves up a variety of tastings, seminars and meals, individually priced at $35 to $100, plus events for golfers. A highlight is a $50 Sunday wine reception with Chef Christina Machamer, 2008 winner of TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” who’ll demonstrate her culinary chops and provide samples.
  • Norwood Park Wine Fest: The Norwood Park Historical Society hosts its 2009 benefit from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, on the grounds of the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House on the Northwest Side. Tastings focus on 50 wines that sell for under $15 each — all available for sale. You can savor cheese and hors d’oeuvres, listen to speakers and live entertainment, and bid in a silent auction of items such as restaurant gift certificates, wine and theater tickets. Admission is $50, and tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • Randolph Wine Cellers’ Sippin’ Saturday: If the other events seem too much, Randolph Wine Cellars in the West Loop is pouring free wine during a tasting from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. You can buy the featured wines for 10 percent off.