Wine, Cheese and Chocolate: ENO Wine Bar Chicago

Good things come in threes, right? It didn’t take much convincing to get me to check out ENO Wine Bar when I visited Chicago earlier this month. Not only do they serve award-winning wines, handmade truffles and international cheeses, but this unpretentious wine bar was also conveniently located in our hotel - bonus!

ENO is a great place to try new wines, learn a thing or two about them and explore comfortably. It’s the kind of wine bar that everyone (from novice to expert) can appreciate. Don’t let their playful menu fool you (with cleverly named flights and descriptions), the wine director and staff are knowledgeable and profile some truly exceptional wines. We tasted two flights on our visit:

Fifty Shades of Gris flight: 2010 Jacky Preys Fie Gris (Touraine, France), 2011 JK Carriere ‘Glass’ White Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon) and 2010 Pergola Pinot Grigio (Santa Barbara, California)

I absolutely loved the Jacky Preys Fie Gris and found it had more dimension and depth than the average sauvignon blanc, but it was still light and fresh: the perfect patio wine. There really wasn’t a wine that we didn’t like, but the Bodega Carmela Rose (bright and juicy) and the Inama Carmenere Piu (complex with sharp tannins) knocked my socks off!

Who_What_Where? flight: 2012 Paul Cluver Gewurztraminer (Elgin, South Africa), 2011 Bodega Carmela Benegas Rose of Cabernet Franc (Mendoza, Argentina), 2009 Inama Carmenere Piu (Veneto, Italy)

They also sent out bruschetta for us to taste (a new addition to their menu). It was a colourful and tasty dish. Each piece was loaded with different toppings: ricotta with pistachio and honey, roasted tomatoes, prosciutto with blue cheese and fig jam, and roasted peppers with cheese. All four were mouthwatering; I really couldn’t pick a fave! I highly recommend ordering this dish…

Really, look how happy I look:

The cheese flight was also great and paired well with our wine selection. The fruit mostarda was the standout: fresh and delicious! And the Marcona almonds were a nice touch.

We also loved the elk and finocchiona (Tuscan salami with fennel) on the charcuterie plate.

Oh, and there is plenty of chocolate to choose from at ENO – from s’mores to French orange sticks. We had a great chat with Michael (the chocolate educator – sounds like a dream job!). He spoke to us about where he sources all of his chocolates and the inspiration behind his selections.

After devouring a few too many chocolates, we decided our favourite was the lavender infused caramel (drool)…

Overall, we loved our pre-dinner date at ENO. We’d be regulars if we lived in Chicago! Here are a few things we loved about this wine bar:

  • It has a beautiful patio on the Magnificent Mile.
  • Each wine and cheese flight comes with a card that has all the info you need about what you’re eating/drinking. This is super helpful for those who get lost when the server is rhyming off the descriptions (and for those who need a little help remembering their faves).
  • If you’re in love with the wine you’re tasting, you can buy it onsite! Best idea ever.

Hope you get a chance to visit them soon! Oh, and they have wine lounges across the US.

Special thanks to ENO Wine Bar for hosting us. As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely our own.

ENO at The InterContinental Chicago on Urbanspoon

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