Often times before a house party, we may stop at a wine shop to select some special bottles for our guests to try.  Why not bring your guests TO the wine for your next small group soiree?  School groups, meet-ups, book groups, fundraising events…all work for any of these events. The following notable North Shore vino havens will shutter their doors to the public for your party:
The Bottle Shop: This wine shop is celebrating their 10 year anniversary next month. For their parties, you can either pay the cost of any bottle or craft beer you open (with many many bottles very reasonably priced) or pay a per person package price.  Food can be catered in – maybe try Twelfth Street Market right next door. Located at 1148 Central Avenue Wilmette (ph) 847-256-7777.
Wilmette Wine Cellar:  New to the scene is this swanky lounge/wine & craft beer shop tucked away at the edge of downtown Wilmette.   The Cellar has a very diverse and eclectic selection to choose from for your event at the retail cost. Food can be catered in – Firefly Catering will deliver! Located at 1100 Central Avenue Wilmette (ph) 847-920-5883.
Good Grapes: You can host a party paying the cost of any bottle opened in the shop.  Or this Winnetka wine shop will do a Blind Tasting of 8 different wines. Guests vote on their favorite at the end BEFORE you go through the specs on each one ($225 for 10-20 guests). Food is required to be brought in for any event…try Convito Cafe & MarketLocated at 821 Chestnut Court Winnetka (ph) 847-242-9800.
Courtyard Wines: This Lake Forest shop will close their doors and allow you to select from over 800 global wines to serve your guests.  Cost is simply what you open.  Catering is simple – Lake Forest Food & Wine has the same owners. Located at 590 N. Western Ave Lake Forest (ph) 847-234-3655.
The Wine Goddess: This brightly colored wine shop tucked on Main St. in Evanston offers seating for up to 26 or a cocktail style reception up to 50 guests.  The shop can do a $45-$55/head package that includes wine/beer/soda + room rental for a 2.5 hour event OR you can create your own tasting, lead by The Goddess herself with the wines off the shelf (a room rental may apply).  Catering can be brought (try LYFE Kitchen) in OR you can work with their in house caterer. Located at 702 Main Street (ph) 847-475-9463.

Salut!