As Diana Hamann laid out plans for the Wine Goddess, her charming new Evanston destination for oenophiles, her goal was to make selecting a bottle fun and informative.
The longtime Chopping Block instructor and onetime wine director for Japonais and Le Colonial came up with a concept that strikes us as particularly novel: Hamann writes a detailed bio for every bottle she stocks, mapping out the grape’s origins, tasting notes, ideal cheese pairings and hyperlinked recipe suggestions.
Check out the printed bios next to the wines on their shelves, and when you buy a bottle, Hamann will email all of that information straight to your inbox. (Read: You’ll never have to steam off another label to remember what you like.)
Wine Goddess offerings lean toward the small-batch and sustainably produced (bottles start at $7 and average about $20; we loved the bright, medium-bodied 2010 Artazu Artazuri Garnacha we picked up for $13.50), and the shop itself is warm and welcoming. There are couches for relaxing during Friday and Saturday afternoon tastings, a toy train to keep underage visitors entertained and regular wine-appreciation classes.
Next up? A Valentine’s Day wine-and-cheese primer (February 14 at 7 p.m., $65 a person) that will have you pairing like a pro.
The Wine Goddess, 702 Main St., Evanston; 847-475-9463 or winegoddess.com