Wine and Spirits in Chicago
In the US, the main restriction is the minimum legal drinking age, which is 21 years old (National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984). Salespersons will ask you your ID when buying alcohol, as well as in bars and night clubs. It is forbidden to drink alcohol in the streets and in public locations.
Binny’s Beverage Depot
Until October 2009, there were two main retailers of wines and spirits in the Chicago area: Binny’s Beverage Depot and Sam’s Wines and Spirits. These two chains were rivals for years. The rivalry ended in the beginning of October when Binny bought Sam. Previously Binny’s had also bought several of its smaller rivals, for instance Chalet Wine and Cheese Shop, and had built new stores. As a result, Binny’s Beverage Depot is today the main wines and spirits retailer with 24 stores around the city of Chicago. Check Binny’s website for business hours as each store has different opening and closing hours. Binny’s stores are big with lots of products from fine wine to spirits as well as beers and cigars.
Printers Row http://www.printersrowwine.com/
There are two stores (Printers Row and Gentille) in two different neighborhoods (Printers Row and Little Italy).
Lush Wine and Spirits http://www.lushwineandspirits.com/
There are three locations: Roscoe Village, University Village (in the area of the University of Illinois in Chicago) and West Town. They specialize in “unique wines, eccentric spirits and rare brews”. They organize free wine tastings every Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5 pm.
The House of Glunz http://thehouseofglunz.com/
Located on North Wells Street this wine store is the oldest one of Chicago. With a large selection and personal advice, you will be able to find what you are looking for. You can also buy online.
It is also possible to buy wine and spirits in smaller stores such as Pastorale (http://www.pastoralartisan.com/, see the previous sections) or in supermarkets as for instance Trader Joe, Fox and Obel, Whole Foods Supermarket, Treasure Island Foods (see the section Hypermarket / Supermarket chains).