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december 2014

december 2014

November was a month of change for CRU wine club.  CRU wine club's fulfillment location moved to our new sister restaurant, Solo restaurant and wine bar.  The pick up location has also moved from L'eiffel Bistrot to Solo.  Members who were picking up your wines at L'eiffel Bistrot will be receiveing an email with new delivery/pick up options for your monthly wines.  We are committed to making your new delivery method as convenient for each member as possible.  We apologize for any complications or inconvenience that members experienced in attempting to pick up wines at L'eiffel Bistrot.  Expect to see a little something extra for your patience and understanding through this transition.


Happy Holidays,

CRU wine club

A Note From CRU


Dec. 13-14, 2014

Elgin Symphony Orchestra Holiday Event

(Magical Holiday Concerts)

solo restaurant & wine bar, Elgin, IL


Dec. 17, 2014

CRU Holiday Wine Dinner

solo restaurant & wine bar, Elgin, IL


Dec. 31, 2014 

New Year's Eve at solo restaurant & wine bar


Jan 7, 2015

Launch of Wednesday Wine Down at Solo

CRU wine club hosts weekly wine tasting and wine specials.


Industry News

Health Watch: Wine Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in Overweight Women

Also, other studies link wine consumption to lower ovarian cancer rates and better hearing 

When it comes to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, past research has found that alcohol consumption should obey the Goldilocks rule: Not too much, not too little, but just enough. Moderate drinking seems to protect against type 2 diabetes better than either heavy or light drinking.

New research from the French Institute of Health and Medical research confirms those findings, but goes further. The research looked at the effects of wine in particular, and studied only women. The results suggest that among women, wine is protective against type 2 diabetes in overweight individuals. It also found that a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes is lower if she starts drinking wine earlier in life.

"We do think that a moderate wine consumption can be beneficial for all the individuals, not only the overweight ones,” Dr. Guy Fagherazzi, lead author of the study, told Wine Spectator. “It is just that overweight women are already at higher risk than [other] women, and we were able to see the effect of wine in this subgroup."

Fagherazzi and his colleagues analyzed data from 66,485 women obtained in a French study of female teachers whose health and diet were tracked between 1993 and 2007. During that period, 1,372 of the women developed type 2 diabetes. Fagherazzi's team focused on two factors—wine consumption at the study baseline and history of wine consumption throughout life.

Amongst all the women, consumption of 0.5 to 1 glass of wine per day showed a small reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. But when the team focused on women whose body mass index was 25 or greater, consumption of 2 or more glasses per day was strongly associated with a decrease in risk.

Meanwhile, measured separately, those who had begun drinking wine at a younger age, 20 or even earlier, were at a lower risk of developing the disease.

Why might wine help fend off type 2 diabetes? Fagherazzi suspects that wine's antioxidants may play a large role: "A large polyphenol intake, especially those present in wine, has been consistently related to a decreased risk of cardio-metabolic diseases." Although some hypothesize that alcohol itself may be protective, Fagherazzi said that "the effect of ethanol on insulin sensitivity is still debated today."

Fagherazzi's next project will focus on whether wine consumption can mitigate complications caused by blood vessel damage among people who already suffer from diabetes.


Can You Repeat That? Wine May Protect Against Hearing Loss


Many wine lovers are aware that drinking wine can affect their heart, their muscles, even their teeth. But their ears? Research in the past has found that alcohol has both good and bad effects on auditory function. A new study, published in the journal Alcohol, finds that alcohol consumption in general does not seem to be a factor in hearing loss in women. Beer consumption, however, was linked to an increased risk, while wine was linked to a decreased risk.


"Hearing loss is considered to be an unavoidable companion to aging," Dr. Sharon Curhan, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and an author of the study, told Wine Spectator. "However, our research has shown that hearing loss may not be inevitable."


For this study, researchers followed 65,424 women, between ages 27 and 44 at the study's start. The vast majority of women's alcohol consumption remained relatively constant over the course of the study. Over 18 years, around 12,384 cases of hearing loss were reported.


Curhan's analysis of the data showed that the women who drank five or more beers per week had a 15 percent greater risk of hearing loss, compared with those who drank less than one beer per month. Wine drinkers, however, showed a very different picture: Those who drank five or more servings of wine per week (one serving defined as a 4-ounce glass of wine) had a 16 percent lower risk compared with infrequent wine drinkers. Total alcohol consumption did not show a significant association with hearing loss either way.


"The ear is highly metabolically active," Curhan explained. "It relies on having a consistent and adequate blood supply as well as effective mechanisms for protecting against damage from the oxidative byproducts of metabolism." Wine, an antioxidant and promoter of cochlear blood flow, seems like it may perform both of these functions, while it's possible that beer consumption leads to larger increases in serum uric acid levels, which may be related to hearing loss.


Red Wine Polyphenols May Protect Against Ovarian Cancer


Flavonoids, a group of polyphenolic compounds found in some plant-based foods and beverages such as wine, citrus fruits, chocolate and black tea, are known to confer health benefits ranging from preventing cardiovascular disease to anti-inflammation. Now a new study, recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, finds that flavonoids may also help prevent ovarian cancer.


When it comes to ovarian cancer, "few modifiable risk factors have been established," the authors wrote. Happily, their research suggests "that simple changes in food intake could have an impact on ovarian cancer risk."


Scientists at Harvard University and the University of East Anglia, in the United Kingdom, analyzed data from approximately 172,000 women, ages 25 to 55 at the study's start, for between 16 to 22 years. Of those, 723 developed ovarian cancer during the study. Information about the women's diets allowed the scientists to calculate their intake of individual flavonoid compounds.


Overall, total flavonoid intake did not show an association with ovarian cancer risk. However, when the researchers compared the women with the highest consumption of flavonols and flavonones—two types of flavonoids—to the women with the lowest consumption of these compounds, the high consumers were significantly less likely to develop ovarian cancer. Flavonones in particular were strongly associated with a lower risk of developing serous tumors, an aggressive form of the disease.


Why might flavonoids protect against ovarian cancer? Some compounds, especially quercetin, one of red wine's more famous health-promoting chemicals, may regulate cellular signaling pathways. Past research has shown that quercetin may be able to stop the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells, even at concentrations obtainable through a normal diet.



Esther Mobley  |  Posted: November 13, 2014 









the REDS

2007 Santa Duc “Vielles Vignes” Cotes du Rhone


France | Southern Rhone 


70% Grenache | 25% Syrah | 5% Mourvedre 


Medium+ body


The 2007 Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes (75% Grenache and the rest Syrah) is opulent, fleshy, and rich, with a dark ruby/purple color, medium to full body, and admirable flavor intensity.


Drink now  |  64F to 68F


roasted pork | quail | pheasant | hard cheeses


Yves Gras of Domaine Santa Duc is a legendary producer of Gigondas. He lives in a section of Gigondas known as the garrigue. The garrigue is the arid, rocky section of vineyards that run north and south mid-slope between the Ouvéze and the Rhône Rivers. The roasted, dry soils are decomposed rock and the area is characterized by wild herbs, sage and cedar. The Vieilles Vignes is a blend of fruit from Gigondas’ neighboring villages of Vacqueyras (25%), Rasteau (25%), Seguret (25%) and Rouaix (25%). This wine is technically a Côtes du Rhône Villages, as it comes from the best designated villages in the appellation.


2012 White Rhone Blend, Saint Roch, Roussillon


France | Roussillon 


80% Grenache Gris | Roussanne | Marsanne 


Medium body


The 2012 Vieilles Vignes Blanc comes from 50-year-old vines planted in limestone and clay soils. A delightful bouquet of caramelized honeyed grapefruit, white currants and other assorted citrus jumps from the glass of this crisp, dry, medium-bodied white. With surprising length and power, it reminded me of a restrained, more laid-back top white Hermitage  


Drink now or until 2018 | 54F to 58F 


chicken | veal | halibut | soft cheeses


In the Agly Valley, near the village of Maury, the vineyards are planted right under the Cathar Castle of Queribus, 20 km form the Mediterranean Sea.

the REDS

2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Tour de Greyssac, Bordeaux


France | Bordeaux


Sauvignon Blanc


Light Body


Excellent  expression of Sauvignon Blanc exhibits aromas of greapefruit, lemon lime and balanced with a great acidity


Drink now  |  44F to 48F


Shellfish, light fish, grilled chicken, salsa and goat cheeses


2010 Barbera D’Alba, Massimo Rivetti “Froi”, Piedmonte


Italy | Piedmonte | Alba


100% Barbera


Low+ body 


This Barbera d’Alba is definitely on the ripe side with chewy aromas of mature berry fruit. Acidity and firm structure kick in at the back and those ripe berry flavors last long over the wine’s thick, juicy finish.


Drink now | 60F to 64Fred meat l  roasted pork | semi-hard cheeses


The Rivetti Massimo winery is situated in Neive, in Piedmont; its vineyards stretch on the sunny hills of the Lower Langa.  Froi, which is in the commune of Neive is the business centre and it is property of the family since 1947.  It has always been intended for the wine viticultural production and with its wine-cellar and the twelve hectare vineyards it is one of the oldest structures in the area (which were already mentioned on the military maps at the end of the XIX century). 

fabulous  fall  flavors 

fabulous  fall  flavors

fabulous  fall  flavors


What do I bring to a dinner party?



If you’re hosting a dinner party or invited to one, "when in doulight-bodied Pinot Noir is a sure bet if you’re looking for a red, and a Pinot Grigio is a great choice for a white.

the REDS

2013 Pouilly-Fuissé, Domaine Gilles Noblet “La Collonge” Burgundy


France | Burgundy | Pouilly-Fuissé


100% Chardonnay 


Medium body | Very complex, delivering lemon, pineapple and chamomile notes… the palate is a few steps ahead… distinctive; already very noble, deep, harmonious and racy, perfectly balanced, with a perfect oak harmony


Drink now or until 2018 | 54F to 58F


rabbit | chicken | seafood | soft cheeses


Pouilly and Fuissé are two distinct villages in the Mâconnais. The large wine area actually covers 4 villages to produce a good white wine sold under the name of Pouilly Fuissé.
Lying on a foundation of fossiliferous limestone identical to those found further north in the Côte-d'Or, the Bajocien escarpments of Solutré and Vergisson owe their dramatic profile to the presence of hard fossil corals which have resisted erosion.





2009 Vacqueyras, Domaine Duvernay, Southern Rhone


France | Southern Rhone | Vacqueyras


65% Grenache | 20% Syrah | 15% Mourvedre
Medium + body


The nose has a sweet bouquet of ripe fruit, black cherries and kernels with jus a hint of liquorice. The palate is full bodied, round and robust. Offers a delicious balance between freshness, fruit and spices.


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


lamb | grilled meat | wild birds | harder cheeses 


More than a century and still the will to write a new page of its history… The family company is born in 1904 in a small city east of France. The marketing of wines were intended at first regionally : selling wines to cafes, hotels and restaurants. Then in 1998 Roland Duvernay and his son Romain, both oenologists decided to create a new activity in Chateauneuf du Pape – the heart of Rhone Valley Wine…Our goals : respect soils, men and winemaking in order to satisfy more consumers…


the REDS

2012 Guy Amiot, Bernard Moreau,  Burgundy


France | Burgundy


Chardonnay  |  Medium body +


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.


Drink now  |  54F TO 58F


chicken | rabbit | white cream sauce | softer cheeses


This fine domaine is based in Chassagne-Montrachet, and its roots go back to 1809 when Guy Amiot built its’ first cellar. Of the domaine’s 14 hectares, 9 are owned and five are farmed.


2008 Barbaresco “Cesare Pavese”, Vallebelbo, DOCG, Piedmonte

Italy | Piedmonte | Barbaresco

100% Nebbiolo 

Full body

Colour : Clear garnet red with orange reflections Nose ; Characteristic,with hints of vanilla , heavenly , pleasing and intense . Taste: Dry full , noble velvety and harmonious.

Drink now or hold until 2018 | 62F to 66F

Ribeye steak | venison | wild boar | hard cheeses

Barbaresco is one of the great wines of the Piedmont region in north-western Italy. Historically it was called Nebbiolo di Barbaresco (Nebbiolo being the grape it's made from) and was used by the Austrian General Melas to celebrate his victory over the French in 1799. Only in the middle of the 19th century was the wine we know today vinified into a dry style.

fabulous fall wines 

fabulous  fall  flavors 

fabulous  fall  flavors

fabulous  fall  flavors


How do say "Wine" in different languages?


Spanish = vino

French = vin

Dutch = wijn

German = wein, Norwegian = vin

Finnish = viini

Portuguese = vinho

Chinese = jeo


the REDS

Brut Frianciacorta, Il mosnel, Camignone



Italy | Camignone 


60% Chardonnay | 30% Pinot Blanc | 10% Pinot Noir 


Sparkling Medium body 


After a minimum of 18 months on the lees, the bottle is riddled to concentrate the sediment against the temporary cap, then disgorged and packaged. Our Franciacorta Brut displays a delicate, subtle bouquet that is still crisp and fruity, and quite long lasting; in the mouth it is attractively dry, with a velvety texture and exceptionally fine balance. The bead boasts dense, pin-point bubbles, with a foamy mousse seems almost endless.


Drink now | 44F to 48F


In the heart of Franciacorta, in Camignone, lies the historic villa with its 16th-century wine cellars and surrounding properties that offers eloquent testimony to the venerable winemaking patrimony that the Barboglio family inherited in 1836.


2011 Gigondas, Santa Duc “Aux Lieux Dits” Southern Rhone


France | Southern Rhone | Gigondas | Aux Lieux Dits Vineyard


Grenache | Syrah | Mourvedre | Cinsault


Medium body +


The 2011 Domaine Santa Duc ‘Aux Lieux-Dits’ delivers aromas of blackberry, mulberry, spices, chocolate, licorice, smoky ash and fresh lavender, which are just some of the nuances that come together in the glass. Full-bodied and well-structured, backed by underlying acidity that carries all the way into the finish.


Drink now or until 2021 | 62F to 66F


duck | beef | roasted pork | ratatouille | hard cheeses

the REDS

2011 Pouilly Fumé, Chateau de Tracy, Loire

France  |  Loire > Pouilly Fume


100 % Sauvignon Blanc


Light body


The intense aromas of blackcurrant buds and white fruit (pear, white peach and nectarine) gain complexity when the wine is left to breathe. Notes of citrus fruit and pepper also prevail.  A lovely initial sensation, supple with a richness backed by an underlying lively acidity.
Drink now until 2016  |  44F TO 48F


Seabass, sole, shellfish, grilled chicken, seared veal and goat cheese.


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 and 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 beleivem 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.


wonderful winter wines

fabulous  fall  flavors 

fabulous  fall  flavors