Tag Archives: Andrew Algren

SommTalks Set to Release One of the First All-Audio Wine Books: Wine Talks


Wine Talks Book Soon to be Released by SommTalks

Tune in here to listen to the audio overview of our soon-to-be-released :

Wine Talks: 23 Conversations to Becoming a Wine Connoisseur

Wine Talks is one of the first all-audio wine books available online.  An extension of the veteran journalist’s popular podcast SommTalks on iTunes, the audio book covers every aspect of wine through conversations with winemakers Blair and Caroline Guthrie of Guthrie Family Wines and Stewart Cellars, along with special expert-guests Redd Restaurant Master Sommelier William Sherer and K. Laz Wine Collections Founder Kerrin Laz. The audio book has 13 conversations that average 35-40 minutes each, along with 10 wine tasting interviews from SommTalks podcast. This ultimate guide to wine can be accessed anywhere and anytime through mobile device earbuds. Click here for an audio overview of Wine Talks.

“We feel the best way to educate consumers on wine today is through live conversations around a table full of wine glasses,” Ms Shatkin says.  “The growth and popularity of podcasts and widespread use of mobile devices motivated us to deliver this engaging wine resource in this audio format,” she adds. Wine Talks makes an ideal companion for a long flight, daily commute or active work out.

“Our  audio book makes you feel like you’re part of the conversation, making it much more approachable and relatable than a written book, just like wine should be,” says contributor and winemaker Blair Guthrie.

The chapters cover issues of great interest for all consumers, including:  

  • How to buy wine you like, in store or online wine clubs;
  • Ways to serve and store wine;
  • Best stemware to use;
  • Handling and storing for aging or just for tomorrow;
  • Debunking wine myths;
  • Styles of wine, distinguished by body and flavor, not just by color white or red
  • Fundamentals of food and wine pairing.

The book is sold at Downpour,  Amazon, Blackstone Library.   It costs approximately $29.95.

About the Authors: Laura Levy Shatkin, a veteran multimedia journalist and host of SommTalks podcast, has spent eighteen years crafting well-researched wine and food content for Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Napa/Sonoma Magazine and on broadcast TV show Taste on NBC5 Chicago. Her never-ending passion for wine and food led her to Blair and Caroline Guthrie, who established their own wine label Guthrie Family Wines in 2013 and also make wine for their family winery Stewart Cellars in Yountville, California. The book was recorded in the Napa Valley, during the monsoon rainstorms in winter of 2017.

And of course, if you’ve missed any past Somm Talks episodes, here are those included in the book :

Wine Talks Audio Book:  SommTalks Wine Tastings with the Pros

Napa Valley Wine Harvest with Opus One Winemaker Michael Silacci


Andrew Algren, Chicago Athletic Association Wine Director

Wines Tasted: Bourgeois-Diaz Brut Trois Cepages

2008 Nervi Gattinara, Piedmont, Italy


Charles Ford, The Bristol & Ambassador to Spain’s Rueda and Ribera Del Duero Spain

Wines Tasted:Rueda Verdejo

2013 Bodegas Naia “Naia” Verdejo

2013 Bodegas Naia “Naiades” Verdejo

Ribera del Duero Reds

2013 Antidoto Soria Ribera Del Duero DO

2010 Vega Sicilia Valbuena, Ribera del Duero


Amy Lutchen, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse Chicago

Wines Taste: 2015 Saint Bris, Sauvignon, Chablis, Burgundy

2012 Van Strasser Cabernet Sauvignon


Hugh Davies, Owner, Schramsberg Vineyards and J. Davies

Wines Tasted: 2007 J Schram Sparkling Wine

2013 Schramsberg Brut Rose Sparkling Wine


Parag Lalit, 16 at Trump Tower Chicago

Wines Tasted: Domaine Roulot, Meursault “Luchets”, Côte de Beaune, France 2008

Domaine Thibault Liger Belair, Chambolle Musigny “Les Gruenchers” 1er Cru, Côte de Nuits, France 2012


Rachel Driver Speckan, City Winery

Wines Tasted: 2011 Big Table Farm Riesling, Willamette Valley, Oregon

2013 Storm Pinot Noir, Hemel-en-Aarde, Southern Cape of South Africa


Three Sticks Winemaker Bob Cabral

Wines Tasted: 2015 Three Sticks Gap’s Crown Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

2015 PFV Estate Pinot Noir


Tom Hinde Talks Yao Family Wines

Wines Tasted:2015 Yao Family Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Tony Rossi at Enolo Wine Cafe

Wines Tasted:2012 Domaine Koutsoyannopoulos Santorini Assyrtiko, Greece

Blank Bottle Winery   “The Life of a Black Valentine”



Wine Tasting with Sommelier Andrew Algren

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Andrew Algren of Cherry Circle Room in CAA


Looking for a few amazing wine picks for warmer weather? Listen to the knowledgeable Andrew Algren of Chicago Athletic Association’s Cherry Circle Room introduce us to a gem small producer Champagne from Vallée de La Marne along with a Nebbiolo from Gattinara in the Piedmont of Italy that has grace and elegance, along with freshness. Both are by the glass options at the restaurant, as well.

We tasted:

Bourgeouis-Diaz Brut Trois Capages

Produced by 5th generation Champagne producer Jerome Bourgeouis-Diaz, this biodynamic bubbly has distinct personality and lots of freshness, sophistication and quaffability.

2008 Nervi Gattinara, Piedmont, Italy

One of the oldest wines in the Gattinara DOCG, this Nervi comes from the mineral rich soils at the foothills of the Monterosa mountains. The fruit still shines through, while earthy flavors

Tune in and hear more. In case you missed it, click here to listen to the full interview with Algren.  Looking for more wine tastings at SommTalks?  We’ll be cataloguing them as we grow-see below.

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Michael Muser of Grace on Wines of the Loire Valley

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Charles Ford, The Bristol Chicago Tastes Pouilly-Fumé , Lake County Sauvignon Blanc and Canadian Pinot Noir

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series with Erica Wosky of Petit Crenn San Francisco

Remember, please tune in regularly for great interviews with Sommeliers, Wine Makers, Wine Directors and Top Chefs. Also, virtually taste wines with top wine experts then go taste them yourselves. SommTalks is your weekly podcast for the inside scoop on the restaurant and wine scene. Please SUBSCRIBE here, on iTunes , on TuneIn Radio or on Stitcher.

You can check out the past few episodes but if you SUBSCRIBE , you’ll receive each new episode right to your device, whichever one you listen to your podcasts on.  Share episodes across social media channels, as well, to let others discover our wine conversations. A few of the most recent include:

Marco Caprai of Arnaldo Caprai on Wines of Umbria, Sagrantino

Ryan Baldwin of Blue Crane Imports on Wines of South Africa

Andrew Algren Talks Cherry Circle Room, His Wine List, Chicago Athletic Association

Liz Mendez of Vera, Chicago Takes Top Somm Award at Jean Banchet Awards

Charles Ford, The Bristol Chicago on Wine Inspiration and Teamwork

The Kitchen Chicago’s Shea Zimmerman Talks Sustainable Wine, Keggers and more

Jen Schmitt of Everest Chicago Talks Wines of Alsace, New Wine Discoveries

Israel’s Yarden Golan Heights Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld Takes us Far Away

Liz Martinez of Chicago’s Purple Pig Dishes on Old World Wines, The Menu

Catch you next time.

Andrew Algrean Cherry Circle Room Chicago

Dynamic Andrew Algren on Wine at Cherry Circle Room Chicago


Listen as Cherry Circle Room/ Land and Sea Dept. Restaurant Group Wine Director Andrew Algren reveals the story behind the recently renovated Chicago Athletic Association Hotel and the restaurant on the second floor.

We hear from Algren about the history, the game room and the wine list emulating the turn-of-the-century list, as it continues to evolve at their one year anniversary. Cherry Circle Room & Land and Sea Dept. were also recently received the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design (75 seats and over). This was an exciting win for Chicago and a well-deserved compliment for the detailed work and ingenuity that went into this renovation.

Algren also recently traveled to Galicia, Spain and brings back knowledge about the well known whites ( Loureiro, Torrontes, Godello and Treixadura ) – but also the reds that are being re-discovered now, such as those from Mencia.

Tune in for great interviews with Sommeliers, Wine Makers, Wine Directors and Top Chefs- SommTalks is your weekly podcast for the inside scoop on the restaurant and wine scene. Please subscribe here, on iTunes , on TuneIn Radio or on Stitcher.

In case you missed passed episodes, here they are at your fingertips!

Jen Schmitt of Everest Chicago Talks Wines of Alsace, New Wine Discoveries

Israel’s Yarden Golan Heights Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld Takes us Far Away

Liz Martinez of Chicago’s Purple Pig Dishes on Old World Wines, The Menu

Napa Valley Then & Now Author Kelli White at Press Napa Valley

Dishing on Life and Wine with Somm and Restauranteur Alpana Singh

City Winery Chicago’s Wine Director Rachel Driver Speckan Moves Up

Osteria Langhe’s Aldo Zaninotto Uncovers the Beauty of the Piedmont Italy

Visit Seattle’s Altura Restaurant through Somm Ryan Schroeder

Somm: Into the Bottle Director Jason B. Wise Talks Wine in Film

The 2nd Annual Somm Challenge Hosted by Jon McDaniel of Acanto Share the Fun

San Francisco’s Mourad Restaurant Sommelier Tara Patrick Joins Us

Sepia Chicago’s Arthur Hon Talks “Pink” Wine

Jean-Charles Boisset on JCB Lounges Opening in 2016