Swift & Sons Chicago Wine Program

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series with Somms Marcello Cancelli and Meredith Rush


Join us for this week’s episode featuring the wine team at Swift & Sons Chicago Marcello Cancelli and Meredith Rush. Together, we taste through a few notable wines on their list:

First, we taste the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc West Palisades Kenefick Ranch made from the ethereal Calistoga Grapes grown on volcanic soils which marks the wine with a distinct flavor profile. This crisp white wine has a nicely rounded palate due the warm climate and ripeness, with notes of melon and bright complex citrus flavors.  Aged in a bit of neutral oak, it picks up a nice density in texture and even a wisp of smoke. It’s moderately viscous yet finished clean and crisp.

We also experience Andy Erickson’s 2012 Leviathan California Red Wine Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, sourced from various places in California. Cancelli likens this to a Tuscan blend, perhaps a Brunello, with the freshness of the fruit yet not a heavy handed approach but intense body. Nicely balanced, the wine is a great food friendly wine, Marcello says. Rush agrees, “There are no boundaries since it’s California,” she says, so Erickson is able to make the best wine, blending what he feels is good. He has become something of an enigma in the wine world, with a cult following, they say.

We discuss the trend that’s pulling away from over-ripeness, a trend that Cancelli feels has been going on for a few years. The first step was to move away from the huge oaky Chardonnays, and now with reds, winemakers seem to be leaning towards more freshness and less ripeness and high alcohol. Now, winemakers are tending to pick at the right time, not waiting so long until the grapes are almost raisinated. All this and more so please tune in, share with your friends and get the word out about SommTalks interview and tastings.

Tune in for Past Episodes

Remember to tune in regularly for great interviews with Sommeliers, Winemakers, Wine Directors, Food Artisans 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. Send us your thoughts, ideas, and names of peeps you’d like us to interview.

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:

Enolo Wine Cafe GM and Wine Director Anthony Rossi on His Favs

Bodega Ruca Malen Winemaker Pablo Cuneo of Argentina Comes to Town

Swift & Son’s Sommelier Meredith Rush Shares Her Journey in Wine

Chef Renee Everett Grows Her Own at Belcampo in Punta Gorda Belize

Chef Greg Wade on Publican Quality Breads and Locally Milled Grains

Spain’s Rueda and Ribera del Duero Ambassador Charles Ford of The Bristol

Elena Pozzolini of Tenuta Sette Cieli at Tenzing Wine & Spirits Tasting

Wine Tasting Series:

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series with Shea Zimmerman, formerly of The Kitchen, now Acanto

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Jon McDaniel of Acanto, A Lawless Restaurant 

SOMMTALKSWine Tasting Series: Parag Lalit of Sixteen in Trump Tower Chicago 

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Rachel Driver Speckan of City Winery Chicago

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series : Liz Mendez of Purple Pig

Catch you next time!

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