June 3, 2024 at 4:48pm

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Elena Ferrarin

Article by Elena Ferrarin

Communications Coordinator
Northbrook Park District


After last year’s smashing success, the Grapes on the Green adults-only event will be back next month in downtown Northbrook. The event will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. June 15 at Village Green Park in partnership between the Northbrook Park District and the Village of Northbrook. Attendees can enjoy wine tastings from Glenview-based Chicago Wine, live music, a caricature artist, wine trivia, a painting activity and free prize drawings.

“We are thrilled to partner with the village of Northbrook to bring Grapes on the Green back to Village Green Park,” Northbrook Park District Board President Lisa Chalem. “I loved this event last year. It was a great opportunity for the adults in our community to come together on a beautiful night to sit in the park, listen to music and enjoy great wine.”

New this year is the Landmark Inn, a downtown Northbrook favorite, which will be onsite at Grapes on the Green with food and beverages for sale, including beer. People also can bring their blankets and picnic dinners.

“Village Green Park is a major highlight of Northbrook’s Downtown, making it the perfect setting for the second annual Grapes on the Green wine tasting event,” said Northbrook Village President Kathryn Ciesla. “We are excited to partner with the Park District to host an event that offers attendees a fun and exciting evening out in Northbrook.”

The musical entertainment will be provided by Steven Zane, a Northbrook resident who performs a variety of solo acoustic music, particularly oldies and classics such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Ray Charles and Muddy Waters.

Chicago Wine, a family owned business with a retail store in Glenview, will showcase nine varieties of wine, including five whites and four reds. “We have a selection of greatest hits of wines from around the world” said Mike Widmaier, who owns the business with his wife, Paula. “They hit on all the taste profiles.”

The full wine selection will be: Bisol ‘Jeio’ Prosecco Brut, Italy; 2022 Pierre Sparr Riesling, France; 2023 Peyrassol Rose ‘La Croix’, Provence; 2022 Pazo das Bruxas Albarino, Spain; 2022 Kumeu River Chardonnay, New Zealand; 2022 Route Stock Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast; 2021 Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso, Italy; 2019 Altos Ibericos Crianza, Spain; 2022 Route Stock Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.

The preponderance of “lightly chilled and refreshing” white wines is especially appropriate for summer, Widmaier added.

People who purchase tasting tickets can enjoy 12, one-ounce sips of wine. They can also use multiple tickets together, such as three tickets for a 3-ounce pour, or five tickets for a 5-ounce pour.

“The nice thing about tasting tickets is that you can taste all of the wines, or you can home in on one or two wines that you want to enjoy,” Widmaier said. “It really gives people an opportunity to do whatever they enjoy best.”

The Widmaiers, who live in Glenview, also showcased their Chicago Wine selection at last year’s Grapes on the Green event. “We had a great time and a great turnout last year, and we are really looking forward to it this year as well,” he said. “We have plenty of neighbors and friends who are going to attend.”

Last year, Reede Norlie traveled to Northbrook all the way from his home in Rockford to attend Grapes on the Green with his partner. The drive, and even waiting in the occasional line for wine, was well worth it, he said.

“Sitting in the sun, drinking wine and listening to the music was relaxing and calming,” Norlie said. “I really don’t know much about wine, so it was good to get some experience with some of the fancier wines. The people serving were very informative and happy to tell you about what you were drinking and where it came from.”

Grapes on the Green takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. on June 15 at Village Green Park in downtown Northbrook. The event is for adults 21 years and older only; children, including in strollers, and dogs are not allowed to attend.

Tasting tickets are $39 and include 12 one-ounce sips from a variety of wines, a canvas tote bag, a signature Grapes on the Green wine glass and a dessert. Additional wine tastings are $6 each. Non-tasting tickets are $29.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit nbparks.org/grapesonthegreen.