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New Wine Lover’s Spot in Mequon
A country club for a night out? It might not be as strange as you think.

Kohler Food & Wine Experience, our event of the week.

A country club might not be the first venue you consider for a night out drinking wine, mostly because of the exclusivity factor, but the brand-new Nines at River Club of Mequon throws that theory out the window. After Nov. 6, you can walk right into the contemporary space and, in the upscale sports bar, order a flight of wines poured from a beautiful, gorgeous machine with 44 taps that the club says is the largest in the state. (For the record, this satin stainless-steel beauty of a machine is called Cruvinet, which even sounds lavish, no?) Executive chef Justin Disbrow is keen on those wines and has developed a smart, forward-thinking food menu of flights (one-third-size portions in a trio, almost all featuring Wisconsin-grown ingredients) – all designed to be paired with wine.

WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK
We’re in a rare window of time when Brewers, Badgers and Packers games collide on the television set, maybe not on the same night but certainly the same week. At 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill, which opened earlier this year on Bluemound Road in Brookfield, from SURG Restaurant Group, you can sip some wine while you tap into your sports-y side. A special menu of $6 glasses of wine features these five: Lucci Pinot Grigio, JJ Muller Riesling, Lucky Star Pinot Noir, Hayes Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon and Glass Mountain Chardonnay. While the deal is valid during happy-hour times (Monday through Thursday, 4-6:30 p.m., and Friday, 3-6:30 p.m.), it’s also available during all Badgers, Packers and Brewers games.

WINE EVENT OF THE WEEK
Every fall it’s time to head up to Kohler, Wis. – and not just for a round of golf or hot-stone massage at Kohler Waters Spa. The 12th annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience is top-notch, with four days of programming that revolves around a mix of local and celebrity chefs, wine seminars and a food marketplace packed with some of the state’s best goods (like cheeses and cooking oils). This year it’s Oct. 18-21 at the American Club Resort in Kohler. You won’t want to miss the penultimate event of the weekend for wine aficionados: Taste of the Vine, a grand tasting held on Oct. 19 from 8-10 p.m. in the swank Kohler Design Center. The $94.50 cost includes opportunity to taste hundreds of wines as well as hors d’oeuvres while you ooh and aah at the toilets (no, seriously, you will: they’re that chic) and listen to live music. In terms of wine tastings and seminars (which each carry a fee of $33.60, and must be reserved), there are two Port-pairing classes (one with chocolate, the other with cookies) and others include sessions about the Howell Mountain Cabernet Cooperative (led by Marc Mondavi of Charles Krug Winery), Australian estate wines (with Taltarni Vineyards’ winemaker Robert Heywood) and Zinfandels (with St. Francis Winery president Chris Silva). A few are already sold out, including one on the prized Stags Leap District in Napa Valley. There’s even a Riedel Vinum Glass Seminar & Tasting on Saturday; the $89.25 fee includes a set of four glasses, which is a serious steal if you ask me. To order tickets either call 800-344-2838 or visit the event’s webs.

WINE OF THE WEEK
Stay with me here. Box wines carry that “ugh” factor, this I know, but when I brought The Big Green Box Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel (California, $20) to a back-yard gathering a few weekends ago, heads turned. And I wasn’t asked to leave the party (whew). Surprisingly, the wine (which is 3 liters, the equivalent of four bottles) is quite good and would rival many mid-priced California Zinfandels. With fruit-forward notes of red raspberry, paired with vanilla and cinnamon, it’s a crowd pleaser. Still don’t believe me? Real Simple Magazine plugged this wine in a story about best boxed wines. (www.donandsons.com)





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