Corks & Forks
Hinsdale Wine Academy founder Lorenzo Muñoz wants to take the pretension out of wine classes. A certified sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and certified wine educator (CWE), he says he finds his “happy place” when sipping and slurping is done in the presence of convivial company. But if one of his six-week courses sounds like an intimidating commitment, consider a fun (and tasty) crash course as an alternative. On Friday, February 21, the Village of Hinsdale presents Corks & Forks: And a Little Education at The Lodge at Katherine Legge Memorial Park. The event will give guests the opportunity to taste 12 different wines selected by Muñoz—each paired with a tapas-style course from Taste of Home Catering. “My personal crusade is to do away with the snobbery behind wine,” he says. “People often ask what my favorite wine is, and I will tell them that it depends on what I’m eating, and that it’s whatever is best for under twenty bucks.” The basics of matching varietals to different dishes will be covered. “The philosophy is to think of wine as a condiment,” says Muñoz. “The drink should enhance the food and vice versa. I think people will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to do.” Tickets are $64 per person with reservations available for tables of up to eight guests. For more information, visit villageofhinsdale.org.
Beer Bottles that Burn Bright
Looking for a tasteful Valentine’s Day gift for your male partner? Consider a candle. We’re not talking about the overpowering, flowery kind that reminds you of grandma’s potpourri bowl. Dickens Candles, produced in Elmhurst, are made of hand-poured soy wax and packaged in upcycled beer bottles. Owner Adam Dickens describes his line as being inspired by, “beer, coffee, and Saturday mornings,” and his masculine-leaning scents include apple cider, white birch, and mahogany. The bottles are sourced from local bars and restaurants; soybeans for the wax are grown in the Midwest; and every candle is handcrafted in Illinois. And just like craft brews, special scents are released based on seasons. Available at Whisper Me Home, 48 South La Grange Road in La Grange, dickenscandles.com.
Flowers for Free Spirits
We have nothing against a classic bunch of long-stemmed red roses. But if you or your partner have more bohemian tastes, Vagabond Botanical is the perfect place to call. The bespoke plant studio, based in Western Springs, works with clients to design creative arrangements for any occasion. Owner Jenna Lee Fowler began the business after a successful career in fashion, so you can be confident that every creation has a tailor-made, stylish touch. And coming soon, Vagabond will launch a quarterly subscription service for stunning succulent container gardens—a brilliant gift that will outlive any bouquet. Free delivery is available in La Grange, Western Springs, and Hinsdale. For more information, visit shopvagabond.com.
A Taste of Hinsdale
After a successful inaugural year, Hinsdale Restaurant Week returns the first week of March, inviting local patrons to explore the village’s diverse dining scene. Prix fixe menus and special creations have been designed just for the occasion—and no passes or special reservation are required. The only prerequisite is a hearty appetite. Our personal recommendation? Vistro, which we raved about in our March 2019 issue. If last year’s four-course meal offers any clues (tip: save room for a slice of heavenly chess pie), guests will be grateful for the opportunity to experience—or perhaps revisit—chef Paul Virant’s honest approach to casual American cuisine. For more information, visit hinsdaledining.com.