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Sycamore gets a taste of wine

Steve Faivre of Sycamore and Stephanie Smrz sample wine.
Steve Faivre of Sycamore and Stephanie Smrz sample wine.

Wine connoisseurs often swirl a drink around in a cup, smell it, take a sip and think.

That's what Sycamore resident Fernando Bourge did at Lundeen's wine-tasting event in Blumen Gardens on Saturday.

Bourge's friend, Dave Simone, called him an “expert” at tasting wine.
Bourge tasted one of the priciest wines there, called Robert Craig Affinity, that costs $49.99 at Lundeen's Discount Liquors, 1099 W. Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb.

“It's not bad,” Bourge said. “It's a little dry for me, but it's not that bad.”

Rachel O'Boyle, who buys wines for Lundeen's, said there were more white wines Saturday because they are more available in spring. Lundeen's gets different wines each year to keep the event fresh, O'Boyle said.

“We try to make sure there's something for everyone,” she said. “You'd be hard-pressed to not find something you'd like here.”

More than 200 people were at the event, which is held in the spring and fall. Twenty vendors attended, including the St. James Winery in Missouri.

St. James Winery featured fruit wines concentrated from blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and peaches.

“[Our location] is local enough where you can drive there,” said Aja Carr, a St. James wine hostess. “[Visiting] is something you can do without much expense.”

Bartlett residents Eric Fuller and fiancée Stephanie Smrz drove almost an hour to attend the wine-tasting. Fuller said he has been to a lot of wine-tasting events before, but this one was the nicest one yet.

“Most people know each other here,” Fuller said. “Being from a more metropolitan area, it's not like this at all.”

Smrz agreed.

“Everybody's kind of snobbish at the other ones,” she said. “This one's different.”

Wine-taster Rebecca Weilbaker of Sycamore was with a group of friends. She said the event was an opportunity to socialize and discuss tastes. Weilbaker's father-in-law makes wine in his basement in California.

“I'm kind of picky,” Weilbaker said. “I've been blessed to try a lot of fabulous wines, so I know what regions I really like.”

Tapa La Luna made fresh sushi for the wine-tasters, and Tom and Jerry's catered the event.

While the flowers were blooming in the rainy weather outside, people were drinking wine inside of Blumen Gardens.

“It's a great way to start spring,” Fuller said.

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