Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants runs a wine club that takes a unique approach to the concept. It invites wine club members to parties several times a year to introduce the company’s newly released wines and refresh members’ appreciation of other available wines. One such recent party, held in the lovely outdoor-and-indoor event space at Ignite Glass Studios, 401 N. Armour St., and entitled “An Evening with Tyler Florence and Cooper’s Hawk,” got members together for a gourmet dinner and to introduce a new rosé wine from Cooper’s Hawk.
The star of the event and the evening was Tyler Florence, one of the top chefs on the Food Network. He demonstrated his unique recipe for fried chicken – a multi-step affair that features buttermilk and lots of chopped fresh herbs. Three hundred and fifty guests enjoyed hors d’ouevres and dinner, sipping Cooper’s Hawk wines while they watched the man himself on stage and an overhead video screen showing his work surface. The recipe is here, but be forewarned. This recipe is a labor of love, so don’t take it on unless you have the time and patience. Wine club members received a cookbook with more of his really fattening but scrumptious-sounding Southern recipes. Entitled “Family, Friends and Weekends – Volume II” it’s a small hardbound square book with mouth-watering photographs and just a couple dozen recipes, all of which are guaranteed to put on at least 3 pounds.
Cooper’s Hawk is known for making excellent wines and operating a series of restaurants that serve really good food, and which are the only places you can buy their proprietary wine varietals and blends. In the Chicago area they have locations in . We wrote last year about an incredible wine they made called, Collaboration, a fabulous red blend made in collaboration with Buena Vista Winery. The president of Cooper’s Hawk says their keyword is always collaboration.
The roomful of Cooper’s Hawk wine club members seemed like a cheerful, eclectic group. The wine club just might be a good place to make friends with people who love food and wine as much as you do. The cost of the wine club varies depending on how many bottles you want a month, whether you want to pick them up or get them shipped, etc., and includes a newsletter and invitations to the several member events that go on each year. Details here.
In this day and age of wireless connecting – and electronic distancing – this wine club seems like a brilliant idea. The company’s regular collaborations with other winemakers, restaurateurs, media, and lots of ordinary people, bring people together in face-to-face encounters that provide a refreshing alternative to the status quo. What a concept. Visit one of the ten Cooper’s Hawk winery/restaurants around the Chicago area and see if this makes sense for you.