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Tuesday, February 25

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Event Wed Mar 28 2012

Wine For Charity and What You Didn't Know About Robert Mondavi Winery

Half off wine nights aren't a new tactic in the restaurant industry, but offering a half off wine night and featuring a wine where half of all proceeds benefit charities is something to drink to. Rockit Bar and Grill in River North is doing this with its Monday night TasteIt events which feature tableside tastings of Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Zinfandel from OneHope Wines that benefit breast cancer, autism, and support our troops. This past Monday, Rockit held a beefed up version of its usual TasteIt event, complete with a three-course meal from Chef Amanda Downing paired with One Hope Sauvignon Blanc and the 2009 Continuum Vintage (we'll come back to why that's important later).

Dinner started off family style with a spicy basil tuna tartar served ice cream style in sesame cones. I could have gone without the cone part but the tartar was delicious. Next came a standard, no frills goat cheese, candied pecans, and mixed baby greens salad followed by platters of char-grilled New York Strip, porcini salmon, wild mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and (save the best for last) truffle mac and cheese.

Rockit TasteIt Event.jpgThe salmon was cooked just right, slightly still pink in the middle, and the New York Strip had good flavor to it, but the winner at the table was the truffle mac and cheese -- just enough truffle, just enough cheese, just enough reason to ask for seconds. A cheese and charcuterie platter followed next but I couldn't get my mind off the mac and cheese to care about salami. But returning to the wine. You may be wondering, what's so important about a wine named Continnum? Besides the fact that it's a delicious blend that's found on reserve lists (77% Cab, 12% Cab Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot), it's the new wine to come out of the Continuum Estate - founded by Robert, Marcia, and Tim Mondavi. That's right, Mondavi, as in the Robert Mondavi family.

Turns out to my oblivion that Robert Mondavi was bought out by drinks giant Constellation Brands back in 2004 and now acts as a subsidiary. Translation, there's no Mondavi currently at Mondavi. (You wouldn't know this based on the current website. Blasphemous). I was shocked -- not that Mondavi is special -- but somehow knowing that a family business as big and old as Mondavi didn't survive the corporate giants and pressure of shareholders, and having the family standing right there in front of me made me feel as if I had indirectly been picking grapes myself for 30 years. How dare they! I've only been to Rockit for drinks so the introduction to the food and the chef gave me a new perspective on the place. They seem to sport a decent wine list and good food. Who knows, maybe Rockit isn't just a Saturday night bar after all. Rockit hosts its 50% off TasteIt Events every Monday. 22 W. Hubbard

(PS: You can't get Continuum at Rockit, but if you have the $150 to spare, Hart Davis Wine carries it).

 
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Daylene / March 28, 2012 4:43 PM

Margrit Mondavi is here days a week.

Daylene / March 28, 2012 4:44 PM

Margrit Mondavi is here 5 days a week.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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