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Trade tasting events often are hosted by importers and wholesalers and give wine media, retailers, and wholesalers a chance to taste some wines. They’re always nice events, in great places, with really good food.

Chicago 230 x 300By an unfortunate coincidence, Oregon’s Willamette Valley producers and France’s Vins de Provence are holding tastings Thursday at almost exactly the same times on opposite sides of downtown Chicago.

But the great part is winemakers and winery owners will be on hand at both events. That’s a wine writer’s gold mine!

I registered for the Pinot in the Windy City event first then learned the date of the Provence pouring. So I have a strategy to get to both but downtown Chicago traffic could play a role.

The Oregon producers are making their first excursion to Chicago. “We’ve touched both coasts with our traveling events and look forward to sharing our wines in the great Midwest,” said Sue Horstman, Willamette Valley Wineries Association Executive Director.

A public tasting will take place 6-9 p.m. at City Winery on the near west side of downtown following the trade event. Anyone can taste the great Pinot, Pinot Gris and other wines for $65 by registering in advance.

ProvenceI know Oregon friends Jesse Lange, Lange Estate Winery, and Bill and Donna from Winderlea will be in attendance.

Across town near the lakeshore, Vins de Provence will host a trade tasting presenting approximately 20 wineries pouring their Provence Rose’ and other wines.

The explosion of US sales of Provence Rose’ makes the visit a great story to share.

I hope to make both events. Or as I like to call it – work, work, work!