Ask a random Chicagoan for their favorite beer and/or whiskey and they’ll probably pull up a PowerPoint presentation complete with bibliography and transition effects.
Their favorite wine, though? Uh ...
Luckily, there’s Mavens & Aficionados, the new wine club from everyone’s favorite Gold Coast chophouse, Maple & Ash.
If you like steak, you know Maple & Ash, the Gold Coast steakhouse perfect for meeting your monthly red-meat intake, wooing clients or letting someone else pick up the check on your birthday. It’s a cheeky restaurant with a decidedly IDGAF (“I Don’t Give a F*#k”) tasting menu.
World-class steaks naturally pair well with world-class wines, and Maple & Ash is no stranger to the grape. And so, after two years of serving up one of the best dining experiences in the city, the steakhouse wants to make its wine cellar ... your wine cellar.
The new club is led by Head Sommelier Dan Pilkey and Maple & Ash Wine Director Amy Mundwiler, which means access to small vineyards and hard-to-find bottles from across the globe.
Bottles are delivered quarterly, and members have three tiers to choose from: Semi-Pro (6 bottles, $250 quarterly), Baller (12 bottles, $500 quarterly) or IDGAF (Pilkey’s personal picks, $1,000 quarterly), with perks increasing the more you spend.
What separates Mavens & Aficionados from the myriad of online wine clubs (and there are many) is it goes above and beyond “demystifying” wine to give members exclusive access to Maple & Ash services. Membership comes with local privileges like preferred reservations, private wine tastings, discounted bottles while dining, custom-engraved wine sabers and in-home wine-cellar consultations.
No matter what tier you elect, expect free delivery, quarterly offering of hand-picked wines from the Maple & Ash wine list for purchase and pairing suggestions from Maple & Ash Executive Chef Danny Grant.
All of which is to say, if you’re at all interested in stepping up your wine game, this is the only way to do it.
Maybe you’ll even find a favorite.
Photos: Jeff Schear