As CRU wine club enters our fifth month,  we couldn’t be more thrilled about the excitement our members seem to have for our club!  We have had some great events and very much enjoyed getting acquainted with everyone who has joined our journey.  Winter has arrived in Chicago and the holiday season is upon us.  There is no better time to create lifetime memories while sharing a great bottle of wine and the spirit of the season.  Over the next couple months, we’ll be presenting you with wines that are great for gift giving and holiday entertaining.  CRU wine club is a great gift for any wine lover on your gift list this season. 



CRU wine club

A Note From CRU

Nov. 16, 2014

Solo Restaurant & Wine Bar Preview Event 

solo restaurant & wine bar, Elgin, IL


Nov. 25, 2014

Opening Day of Solo Restaurant & Wine Bar

Open for Dinner only  |  Lunch coming soon


Nov. 29, 2014

Elgin Symphony Family Day 

(Magical Disney Experience  |  Photos with Santa)

solo restaurant & wine bar, Elgin, IL


Dec. 13-14, 2014

Elgin Symphony Orchestra Holiday Event

(Magical Holiday Concerts)

solo restaurant & wine bar, Elgin, IL


Jan 7, 2015

Launch of Wednesday Wine Down at Solo

CRU wine club hosts weekly wine tasting and wine specials.


Champagne & Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine is a beverage that brings to mind several thoughts - celebration, success, luxury, love and romance. These pleasant associations seem to be as strong now as they ever were. And because the wine is offered with different levels of sweetness, menu planners use the wine as an aperitif or a versatile accompaniment to a variety of foods such as salty nuts and cheese, lightly-spiced fish and Asian dishes, fried foods, strawberries and more. 
Several U.S. producers label their sparkling wines “champagne,” and the U.S. government allows the use of the champagne term on existing brands but not on new brands as long as the geographic origin accompanies the champagne term on the label. Traditional wine grape varieties used in California sparkling wine/champagne production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, though many other varieties are used, depending upon the style, production process and price point. 

Major Production Processes
Following are the two most common methods used for sparkling wine/champagne production:


Méthode champenoise--Still wine is used as a base wine in the process. A blend of base wine, yeast nutrient and a sugar source is added to the base wine. The mixture is sealed, fermented a second time and aged in the bottle, which captures the carbon dioxide released in the fermenting process producing the bubbles.


Charmat process--Still wines are fermented in a pressurized tank. Sugar and yeast are added for a second fermentation, but the wine remains in the tank for this stage of the process and is not fermented in individual bottles.


Industry News



Since wine tasting is essentially wine smelling, woman tend to be better wine testers because women, particularly of reproductive ages, have a better sense of smell than men.

the REDS

 2011 Malbec, Ruca Malen, Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza | Argentina




Full body 


Winery: "Intense ruby with violet hues. In the nose it shows red and black fruit such as cherries and ripe plums, a floral character brings violets into the scene. When drinking it is lush, concentrated and juicy yet very elegant with sweet velvety tannins and a pleasant acidity making it very fresh.


Drink now or hold until 2016  |  64F to 68F


grilled steak | spicy lamb | harder cheeses


Argentina’s leading wine region is Mendoza, where vineyards cover the valleys and foothills that lie at the base of the Andes. The region’s top grape is Malbec, and while its roots are in southwest France most notably in the Cahors region—it is in Mendoza that it reaches its apex. 91 points Wine Spectator.

2013 Chenin Blanc-Viognier, Terra D’Oro, Clarksburg


US | California | California | Central Vale | Amador | Clarksburg


83% Chenin Blanc | 17% Viognier 

Medium body  

 The Terra d’Oro 2013 Chenin Blanc and Viognier Blend is vibrant and inviting with tropical fruit notes. This wine enchants the nose with a bouquet of tropical and stone fruit blossoms and hints of spice. Filled with bright and juicy fruits, the palate flaunts flavors of papaya, ripe mango, candied pineapple and subtle apricot.


Drink now | 44F to 48F

Shellfish | spicy food | pork | soft cheeses

For more than 150 years, fortune seekers have been lured to California's rugged Sierra Foothills. Though they once came for the gold, these days they come for the wine—Terra d'Oro, to be more specific. Handcrafted from some of Amador County's most historic vineyards, Terra d'Oro wines are rich indeed, full of the character and intensity that perfectly captures the essence of this "Land of Gold."


the REDS

 2011 Albarino "O'Rei" Jose Carlos, Quintos, Rias Baixas


Spain  |  Galicia | Rias Baixas 


100% Albariño


Light body, off-dry


Golden yellow-green color, with hints of lemon, clean and shiny. Typical aromas of albariño variety. Well-assembled between the ripe fruit (pineapple, apple) and floral accents


Drink now  |  44F TO 50F 


Shellfish | whitefish | pork | duck |spicy cuisines


JC is a Galician guy with a long familiar tradition making wines. This familiar tradition is so ancient that he has a testament that dates from 1850 of one of his ancestors in which you can read that he bequeathed his winery to one of his nephews.  village was where this old ancestor had his winery. A double reason to call the wine O Rei de Campoverde.


2012 Pinot Noir, Joel Gott, Willamette, Oregon


US | Oregon | Willamette

100% Pinot Noir


Medium body


The 2012 Joel Gott Oregon Pinot Noir has aromatics of raspberry, blueberry, tart cherry, and violets with hints of sweet cedar and spice. On the palate, lush fruit flavors lead to soft, velvety tannins on the mid-palate and a well-balanced finish. 


Drink now or hold until 2015 | 62F to 66F


red meat l  roasted pork | chicken | semi-hard cheeses


At Trinchero Family Estates, our passion for winemaking and delivering the most inspiring flavors from around the globe began more than 60 years ago. In 1947, brothers John and Mario Trinchero traveled to St. Helena, California, near the renowned Napa Valley growing region, and purchased Sutter Home Winery.

fabulous  fall  flavors 

fabulous  fall  flavors

fabulous  fall  flavors


What is the proper etiquette when you are having friends over for dinner and someone brings wine? Are you supposed to open it? Save it?


The proper official etiquette is to save the wine for later, actually. The wine is a gift, and as hostess you may indeed go ahead and serve the wine(s) you already selected and save your gift for later. Likewise, when you go to someone’s house and bring wine, you are giving a gift, and it’s not something you should expect to get a little taste of yourself or dictate how and when it gets used.

the REDS

2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Trinchero “Mary’s Vineyard” Calistoga, Napa Valley

 US | California | Napa | Calistoga | Mary’s Vineyard


100% Sauvignon Blanc


Medium body


It is unmistakably Sauvignon Blanc with subtle hints of candied Meyer lemon peel, wet stone and lemongrass, yet also boasts warm Napa Valley stonefruit and tropical aromas and flavors, including pineapple, passion fruit, mango and honeydew melon. A zesty bright citrus undercurrent carries through to the lip-smacking finish.


Drink now | 44F to 48F


Shellfish | light fish | white meat | goat cheese


Like its namesake, Mary’s Vineyard has a lot of personality. Located in the recently recognized Calistoga AVA, Mary’s was the very first vineyard purchased by the Trinchero family, and holds significant sentimental value. Named to honor Mario’s wife, Mary’s Vineyard has aged very gracefully, with balanced vines, moderately fertile soils and excellent sun exposure— ideal conditions to grow Sauvignon Blanc with a tropical character.significant sentimental value. Named to honor Mario’s wife, Mary’s Vineyard has aged very gracefully, with balanced vines, moderately fertile soils and excellent sun exposure— ideal conditions to grow Sauvignon Blanc with a tropical character.


2011 Carmenere, Envero, Gran Reserve, Apaltigua, Colchagua Valley, Chile


Chile  | Colchagua


93% Carmenere | 7% Cabernet Sauvignon


Full Body


Winemaker “Red-violet in color, brilliant and vivid, our Apaltagua Gran Reserva Envero shows ripe blackberries, tobacco, and spices. It possesses a remarkable combination of ripe fruit notes and oak mixed with vanilla. Its flavor is juicy, full, and concentrated, highlighting the softness in the mouth and the raspberry and plum tannins with a touch of tobacco.


Drink now or hold until 2016 | 62F to 66F


lamb | grilled meat | venison | harder cheeses


Apaltagua is a winery that specializes in one distinguished, but lesser known, grape varietal - carmenère. Carmenère is the "lost Bordeaux" variety, as it was originally planted in Bordeaux, but was abandoned there because it was too late ripening for their climate, but was known for producing very high quality and elegant wines. Thankfully, the carmenère variety was imported to Chile where it not only survives, but makes exceptionally good wines in the hands of wineries like Apaltagua. 90points Robert Parker. 

the REDS

2011 Chardonnay Rully, Joseph Drouhin, Burgundy


France | Burgundy | Cote Chalonnaise | Rully


100% Chardonnay


Medium body +


A wine full of charm! The colour is a beautiful white gold, with a ravishing purity and brilliance. The aromas are fresh and fruity, with nuances of broom shrub (genêt), almond and delicious preserved citrus notes. On the palate, it is fresh and elegant.


Drink now  |  52F to 56F


Halibut | lobster | white cream sauce | white meat and soft cheeses


History & tradition: the village of Rully is ancient; the land may have been cleared first by a Roman whose name was Rubilius.  Soil: secondary age limestone layers, in the continuation of Mercurey.

This wine offers up a very pretty and vibrant nose of apple, white peach, spring flowers, a nice base of soil and a topnote of orange zest. On the palate, the wine is deep, full- bodied, crisp and wide open in personality, with fine focus and depth at the core, bright acids and good length.

2010 Malbec, Vina Alicia, Paso de Piedra, Lujan de Cuyo


Argentina | Mendoza | Lujan de Cuyo


100% Malbec


Full body


Deep purple in color, with a spicy aroma, plum, raisins, and dark cherry-like flavors. Tannins are soft, velvety, and sweet. Very elegant, full-bodied, and a long finish which shows off its splendor and richness.


Drink now or hold until 2015 | 62F to 66F


red meat l  roasted pork | chicken | semi-hard cheeses


Alicia Arizu established Viña Alicia in 1996. With 25 years of research in both viticulture and wine making, she dedicated herself to creating Mendoza's most elegant wines from vineyards that have been in her family for 3 generations in Mendoza's Lujan de Cuyo.


fabulous fall wines 

fabulous  fall  flavors 

fabulous  fall  flavors

fabulous  fall  flavors


The world’s oldest person attributed her ripe old age (122) to a diet of olive oil, port wine and 1kg of chocolate per week.

the REDS


2009 Riesling, Koehler-Ruprecht, Kallstadter, Kabinett Trocken, Pfalz, Germany

Germany | Pfalz | Kallstadter 

100% Riesling 

Medium body 

This beautiful Riesling smells penetratingly fresh lemon, pit fruit distillates, and pine resin, which inform a refreshing quite gripping finish. 

Drink now or hold until 2024 | 54F to 58F 

pork sausage | cream of chicken | oysters | Munster cheese 

The “Kallstadter Saumagen” region was established in 1810/36. It is located at the western edge of the city and is considered the best location in Kallstadt, even one of the best in Germany. The Saumagen is characterized by calcareous limestone, which gives Rieslings their distinctive mineral quality.


2011 Chateau d’Or et de Gueules, “Qu’es a Quo, Costieres de Nimes, Rhone


France | Rhone | Costieres de Nimes


100% Carignane


Full body


Big, toasted, burly style, with a hefty layer of roasted chestnut followed by dark fig, maduro tobacco and bittersweet cocoa powder. A bit of a brute, with a noticeable gamy edge on the finish.”


Drink now or hold until 2021 | 62F to 66F


wild games | grilled sreak | wild boar | harder cheeses


Château d'Or et de Gueules was born in 1998. The name comes from the family crest of Diane de Puymorin, with its colours reflecting the personality of the wines she produces - gold ('Or' in French) to signify the depth and fullness of the southern sun and warmth, red ('Gueules' in old French) for the character, power and round. 90 points Robert Parker

the REDS

2007 Gerwurztraminer Grand Cru, Steinkoltz, Helfrich, Alsace




Alsace | Grand Cru Steinklotz  




Full body


The wine opens up with ripe peaches, tropical fruits and bright butterscotch, aromas. It shows the flavors of dried apricots, citrus fruit and banana. The wine is weighty, with a round palate that fills the mouth. 


Drink now or hold until 2022 | 52F-56F


Lobster | scallops | spicy Asian cuisine | soft cheeses | even dessert 


The Helfrich family, which has been crafting wines in Alsace for six generations, is committed to promoting the reputation of Alsace as a region which produces world class wines of great flavor and complexity. The Helfrich family is leading the Alsatian Renaissance with grapes from centuries old vineyards and employ modern wine making methods with a minimalist touch to allow the terroir to accentuate these fine wines.


2011 Pinot Noir, Fulcrum “On Point” Sonoma Coast

 US | California | Sonoma Coast


100% Pinot Noir


Medium Body


Medium ruby color; spicy cherry aromas with some oak notes; rich, juicy cherry flavors with earth and oak notes; silky texture; good structure and balance; long finish


Drink now or until 2019 | 60F to 64F


duck | red meat | venison | salmon | semi hard cheeses.


100% French oak-30%new.  The real impetus for Fulcrum Wines is to produce wines that are in balance for discriminating consumers that believe as we do, that more is not always better.  Acid, tannin, alcohol, fruit expression, oak influence, age worthiness, and food friendliness are all keys areas where we seek yto strike the right balance.  Maintening a wine balance is a great metaphor for what Fulcrum is all about.

by the noble spices of wood. 




fabulous  fall  flavors

fabulous  fall  flavors 

fabulous  fall  flavors