Have you ever wanted to get your feet wet and go to your first wine tasting? Now is the time to take that leap. Cooper’s Hawk on Harlem Avenue in Tinley Park is a great jump off point . You can broaden your knowledge about wine, try amazing flavors and the offerings are so delicious.
Here are a few pointers to get you started off on the right foot and make your wine tasting that much more enjoyable:
1. “Who you wit?”
As comedian Bernie Mac always used to say “Who you wit?” Ask yourself who will you have sticking by your side while you take on this new adventure. You may feel like a fish out of water at your first wine tasting experience , but make sure to keep an open mind and be smart. Pick your crew!
Whether you are headed out with a significant other or traveling with new friends make for certain you have people that you feel perfectly comfortable around. So don’t invite Tyrone to come hang with you if you are afraid to leave your purse or wallet around him!
2. Atmosphere is Everything
Have you ever heard the saying attitude is everything? Well the ambiance is the restaurant’s attitude and the right one can sky-rocket your wine tasting experience to a whole new level.
An inviting atmosphere has the power to set the stage for your wine tasting experience. Cooper’s Hawk does a great job of doing just that. Here you can enjoy warm lighting with not too close quarters. The restaurant manages to set an inviting tone, but without the claustrophobic feeling. The bartenders are inviting, not too chatty, and most importantly provide great wine info for anyone seeking the information.
Now , if you don’t choose the awesomeness that is Cooper’s Hawk, just make sure that wherever you choose that there is a good vibe. How in the world do I do that? You might be asking yourself this question. For starters scope out the scene. Is this normally a place you would hang out? Usually an ambiance that is very warm and inviting is where you will feel the most welcome . The lighting of the establishment , the chatter of those in the surrounding areas will give huge clues about whether this a place where a great time can be had.
3. Wine Varieties; Choose your pleasure. (i.e., Batman vs. Superman)
Who will come to the rescue at this moment and save your taste buds from the dull wines of the past? Can you really choose when given the choice between two different levels of awesome? Yes you can. At Cooper’s Hawk they give you a choice between wines in the sweet category or the variety wine category. Here you can make a decision about what wine you think you will most enjoy . You get 8 samples so choose wisely. At the end of it all know that you will have been provided with a great selection of wines to choose
As an added bonus, the folks at Cooper’s Hawk let you swap out any wine in the sweet or variety category with any flavor choice from a full list of wines they provide. So, mix , match and make this the experience that you will love!
4. Sip and Pitch Like a Pro
Do you want to sip the sample or knock it all back? Taste a little bit and then decide how much you want to savor and how much you want to pour into the wine bucket to dispose of. There is usually some type of food item to cleanse your palate before each sip. Be on the look out for a cracker variety of some sort or another identifiable palate cleanser. The bartender will point it out if you are unclear. You may be able to get away with drinking every single sample
and there is nothing wrong with that. If you don’t like the flavor don’t be too shy to pour it out so that you can try your next flavor. The faster you sample the sooner you can taste all the amazing flavors on the list. Always remember to drink responsibly ladies and gents!
5. You tried it. You like it. Now Buy it!
So, you found some wines that you are in love with. The great thing about that is that there is a wine of the month club for the one that is always looking to try something new. Usually they start you off with a new flavor every month that comes with a description of what flavor notes you will find in the wine. This is much like the description provided during the tasting. Remember you can always up the ante and order more than one bottle if you so choose. Also, for others that want a different route than the popular wine of month club, you can absolutely buy your favorite bottle and take a lover or friend to your local trendy Painting/BYOB session. This is a great idea and even though you officially saw it here first you can definitely look like a rockstar and tell them you thought of it!
Also, Cooper’s Hawk has a full restaurant with a menu that boasts a fresh twist on modern American cuisine. So feel free to stay long after the tasting is over!
Now that you have some basic know how for your very first wine tasting, GO! Have a great time and stay thirsty friends!