Now Apothic is a wine which has taken Chicago by storm- I've seen it everywhere: in CostCo, Mariano's and everyone's kitchen! The winery is based in Sonoma and owned by E. & J. Gallo Winery with a purpose of blending likeable, epic wines. When I approached the bar, the GEB staff kindly poured me a glass of rosé and I was taken in by the sweet watermelon aroma. When I took a sip, I noticed the syrupy weightiness of the wine, along with loads of sweet fruit. This, like their white & red, was very likeable, especially for the price ($8-12). For an old palate like mine, I found it too sweet, but I also immediately recognized they aren't trying to reach me as a demographic. Boyd, formerly of Alexander Valley Vineyards, Jekel and Simi, informed me they'd been making a rosé for several years, but only for staff consumption. And, just like their recent release of red, is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. On to dinner.
First course I had the Caesar which was simple, uncut and lightly slathered with a very garlicky dressing with awesome anchovy flavor. It was paired with the rosé, which is a popular pairing, though I prefer Sauvignon Blanc. It even works with the creamy dressing, because the acidity cuts into the mayo and egg, and the green tart citrus & berry matches most vegetables.
Second course I had a lemon risotto which was tart and creamy, an awesome combo if done correctly (it was!). It was paired with the Apothic White, a blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and Moscato. The body and citrus was there for this pairing, and the two worked well.
Third course was totally amazing- a tender, juicy, slow cooked veal breast with lightly macerated cannellini beans and pancetta vinaigrette. The beans crazily glued the entire dish together. Apothic Red was the pairing, and though I think it was a bit sweet, the body and smooth tannins proved a match.
Dessert did not let down, as I had a mini banana split with salted pretzel and caramelized nuts at the bottom. Save room for this or the gianduja stuffed beignets!