Organizers are planning some exciting new features to mark the 10th anniversary of the annual UnCork Barrington wine and food tasting event coming up from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 11th.
From a new VIP Tent to a different spin on how wines are featured to a bigger stage for a classic Chicago blues band, UnCork Barrington 2014 is shaping up to be one summer event you do not want to miss!
Tickets are available now and you’ll find prices and details below.
But first, here are FIVE AWESOME HIGHLIGHTS that will make this year’s UnCork Barrington the best one ever:
1. New VIP Tent & Top Shelf Wine Tastings
For the first time ever, there will be a VIP tent at UnCork Barrington offering rare top shelf wine tastings. Event Chairman Doug Skor says they’re only selling a limited number of VIP tickets priced at $90 each.
“There’s been a demand at our event by wine enthusiasts who want to have more of an upper shelf taste offering so that’s what we’re answering with the VIP tent. It’s for the super wine connoisseurs who want to experience a few of the $50 to $150 bottles of wine.”
VIP ticket holders will receive access to a special VIP entrance, they’ll be able to taste all 50 wines offered to the General Admission ticket buyer. They’ll also be treated to tastes of 10 additional PREMIUM wines and food items only available to VIP ticket members. Plus, they’ll have access to the VIP deluxe tent plus special outdoor seating with extra comforts.
2. New General Admission Tasting Categories
UnCork will feature the same wine “passports” this year which you’ll have stamped with each tasting, but they’re also reorganizing how the wines will be grouped. Instead of arranging wines by region, organizers have created new wine categories for a fun and different spin on this year’s tasting. To wet your whistle, check out some of their new tasting categories…
Napa Valley Knockouts * Fantastic Food Pairings * Big Juicy Reds * White with Everything * Smooth Blends * Best of the US * Great for Grilling * Wine for Entertaining * Old World Wonders and Summer Sippers
3. Bigger Stage & Live Chicago Blues Band
They’ll also be setting up a larger stage than ever before making live music a bigger focus of this year’s UnCork. Organizers have booked the popular Chicago BK READ & the Really Big Deal Blues Band to really elevate the entertainment for the evening. I spoke with lead guitarist and vocalist Brian “BK” Read who says they’ll be bringing a whole new energy to this year’s outdoor event.
“We’re going to be uncorking the blues for Barrington on July 11th. Just like fine wine, blues classics get better with age.
We put our own spin on those songs by blending traditional blues sounds with more modern arrangements. We’re primarily a blues band but we like to show the audience a range of music influenced by blues roots. We play some rock, some country, some reggae, a lot of blues and a lot of danceable music. We like music that has a really good groove that you can tap your foot and get up and dance to.”
There will be five BK Read & Friends performers up on stage during UnCork, including Brian Read (lead guitar/vocals), brothers Warren Lathan (bass) and Tommy Lathan (keys), Myron Katz (drums) and, for some horns, they’re bringing in longtime friend Beau Barry (sax) who Brian says just might steal the show.
“The crowd’s going to love Beau because he’s a seasoned player and a great entertainer who gets out there, dances and really moves while he plays. He’s a lot of fun to watch.”
4. A Return of Your Favorite UnCork Foods
There may be some exciting new features at this year’s UnCork Barrington, but don’t worry. Chefs from ten local restaurants and catering companies will be back by popular demand serving up their signature Uncork dishes along with some new culinary creations.
This year’s UnCork food sponsors include: On Occasion Catering & Events * The Big Iron Horse BBQ * Francesca’s Famiglia * Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub * Gianni’s Cafe & Deli * Heinen’s Grocery Store * Kooker’s * Wild Asparagus Catering * ZaZa’s Tavola Italiana and McGonigal’s Pub.
Be sure to find Kathy Pedersen from On Occasion Catering & Events, who has been serving food at UnCork Barrington since its inception. Kathy says she’ll be bringing back her popular Fig and Mascarpone Torte which is absolutely delicious when paired with a variety of wines.
“Mascarpone, also known as ‘the Italian cream cheese’, makes this appetizer so creamy with just a tiny bit of tang so it’s not overly sweet. We use a kalamata fig purée that we make in our kitchen at On Occasion Catering & Events and it’s layered so it’s very pretty to begin with and delicious when spread on sliced baguette.”
5. A Friendly Summer Social Scene
Attending UnCork has become a favorite summer tradition for residents in the Barrington area and beyond. It’s a great way to spend a night out with your spouse, a date or neighbors and encounter a sea of friendly faces at the same time.
The wine is fine, the food is fab, the volunteers are friendly and the live music rocks! But it’s the people you meet and the friends you’ll find that are among the true highlights of this social and sophisticated summer soirée. Want to see a bunch of people having a great time? Take a look at these images photographer Julie Linnekin and I captured on camera at last year’s event.
UnCork Barrington takes place in the north parking lot of the Barrington Metra train station (the site of the community 4th of July festivities). Tickets cost $40 in advance or $50 at the door and include tastings of 50 quality wines from around the world, live music, a souvenir wine glass plus complimentary hors d’Oeuvres from 10 area restaurants and caterers. There’s also a $25 “Designated Driver” ticket for guests who are not planning to sample wines. Proceeds from the event are donated to Barrington area civic and non-profit organizations.
For more info and to purchase tickets online, visit UnCorkBarrington.com.
And be sure to STAY TUNED! We’re working on another story that’s all about the wines that will be featured at this year’s Uncork Barrington.
We’ve been busy interviewing the sommeliers to learn more about the wine selection at Vin Chicago, Uncork’s Gold Sponsor in charge of selecting wines for this year’s tasting. In addition to buying tickets online, you can also purchase UnCork Barrington tickets in person at Vin Chicago, by the way, which is right at 311 E. Main Street in downtown Barrington.