Category Archives: Store Updates

Perman News 9/21/2016

Hello & Happy Wednesday,
We try not to interrupt your work week with wine related news, but today we have two very important announcements from Perman Wine.
We are excited to announce an upcoming wine dinner at Fat Rice with Francisca Van Zeller of Quinta Vale D. Maria. We recently have learned of her impending visit and have  a great event planned. Please read further below.
The second piece of news involves a big change to two of our monthly Friday Features. We are saying goodbye to the 6 for $70-Something and 6 for $120-Something samplers. We wanted to tell you about the new samplers, and why we are changing things.
Please email us with any questions.
Thanks for your continued business,
Craig, Jamie & Zach
Quinta Vale D. Maria wine dinner at Fat Rice

Wednesday, October 5th
7 PM 
It’s not every day that you get a chance to sit down and have dinner with
Francisca Van Zeller from Quinta Vale D. Maria,
one of the iconic wine estates in the Douro Valley of Portugal.
On Wednesday October 5th at 7 PM,
Fat Rice has created a special menu to welcome Francisca,
and pair alongside her family’s fantastic wines.
A range of 7 wines (1 white, 5 reds and 1 Port) will be tasted,
with Francisca guiding us along the way.
We will taste the “everyday” wines called Rufo,
as well as the flagship red wine Quinta Vale D. Maria.
A special treat will be tasting the rare trio of single-vineyard red wines,
Curriculum Vitae, Vinha de Francisca and Vinho do Rio.
Just a few bottles of these wines are imported into Illinois each year.
These are wines that would normally be priced on a wine list for $200-$300 per bottle
We will finish with the estate Port from the incredible 2011 vintage.
Chef Abraham Conlon is pulling out all the stops,
preparing dishes that are special to this event and evening.
4 courses will be served family style at communal tastings
among a fun, convivial wine community.
This will be a small gathering, allowing Francisca to tell us about the history of the estate, and to give us an in depth journey into the making of what are some of the best wines produced in Portugal.
$150 per person, inclusive of tax and tip

Reservations can be made here.

Introducing our newest samplers:
6 for “Everyday”
Over the years, Perman Wine Selections has become known as a store that has championed the greatest wine values from around the world.
When we opened 9 years ago, we introduced a wine sampler called “6 for $60”. It had a really nice ring to it. It also got the message across. We wanted you to be able to stock your wine rack each month with great bottles around $10 per bottle.
As you, our customers know, eventually we had to increase the price. First to “6 for $60-Something”, then to “6 for $70-Something”.
The reality in today’s wine world is that the greatest wine values often come from places really far away. The costs of getting those wines here in refrigerated trucks and containers kept increasing. At the same time the price of quality wine increased.
A handful of years ago, we introduced a sampler called “6 for $120-Something”. It was a way to still give our customer great value, but at the same time expand the selections of wine from which we could choose. There will never be an Oregon Pinot Noir in the “6 for $70-Something” (a quality example doesn’t exist), but with the $120-Something, it was possible.
Both samplers allowed us to give our customers “everyday wines.” These are wines that you can open on a weeknight and not think twice about the price. They are wines you can gift to your neighbor after they water your plants for a week while you are away on vacation. They are really good bottles, that we personally, are proud to drink in our homes, and do so on a regular basis.
Its that concept of “everyday wines” that made it clear to us, that what we really were offering, and going forth what we should call these is our:
6 for “Everyday” Wine Club
There are two versions of this club.
6 for “Everyday” – The $15 and under Edition
(all wines $15 and under, will range from $80-$90 per month)
6 for “Everyday” – The $30 and under Edition
(all wines $30 and under, will range from $120-$180 per month)
We all have different definitions of the price of an “everyday” wine, and these two clubs allow you to choose.
This is NOT an attempt to raise prices at our store, our margins are staying the same as they have been for the last 9 years. This has everything to do with making sure we give you THE best values from around the world.
We pay attention to what our competitors are up to.
We know that most wine clubs are simply smoke and mirrors. A lot of them work with wineries or companies to create their own personal wine labels. They do things like throw in “free shipping.” Let us tell you the truth, there is no such thing as free. Its built into the cost, and you pay for it by getting industrial plonk.
Our goal in these samplers is simple. We work with real people and real wineries that are making some of the best examples of wine in their respective regions and at an incredible price.  
We feel that the 6 for Everyday Wine Club is simply the best value wine club you can buy. We hope you agree, and not just purchase it on a monthly basis for yourself, but that you tell all your friends about it.
Thank you for all your continued support!
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Friday Feature 5-3-13: Portugal Delivers!

Hello and Happy Friday!


Just a reminder that we are back with another edition of Routier tonight!  Stop in any time between 5 and 8 pm to try a flight of three wines along with a nibble of cheese and crackers for only $25 per person.


Tonight’s theme focuses on Spring reds.  Inspired by a warming in the weather (and now a little cooling!), we will pour three reds that offer a transition from those cold weather, big reds.  The bounty of spring veggies and its inspired food also makes us want to drink the following line-up for tonight:


Cuvée XI M. Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Vin de France

2011 Elio Grasso Dolcetto D’Alba ‘Dei Grassi’ Piemonte, Italy

2010 Ravailles Frères Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup Rouge Cuvée Sainte Agnès




In other news, yesterday we released a new schedule for our “Wine Wednesday’s” tastings.  Remember you can always check out our calendar of events here.




Today’s Friday Feature focuses on a country that Craig is eagerly anticipating visiting in just over a week.  On Sunday, May 12th, Craig will embark on a two week journey to Portugal.  He will visit seven different regions in this diverse wine country.


Of course no discussion of Portuguese wine would be complete without talking about the Douro region.  One of the world’s most historic regions, it has been given the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site.  While the history of Port production is hundreds of years old, the dry table wines of the Douro have less than two decades of history.


In that short time, the region is now home to some of Europe’s greatest red wines.


To prove this bold statement, this Friday Feature focuses on what is one of the true great producers of the region, Quinta do Crasto.  Yesterday I met with Miguel Roquette and tasted through his incredible line-up of wines.  From white, to red to fortified wine, rarely do you taste a group of wines that is so good from the bottom to top.


On this Friday Feature, there is a little something for everyone, including two great values, and one of the top wines of the Crasto estate, a wine that is always considered one of the greatest wines of Portugal.


We really encourage each and every one of you to try the wines of Quinta do Crasto.  Some of these are very limited, so secure yours today!


Have a great weekend,

Craig & Sheb

Friday Feature

2010 Quinta do Crasto Douro TintoOne of the great values in Portuguese wine is that of Quinta do Crasto Tinto.  This is a lot of wine for the money!


A glimpse into the traditional Port varieties, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional.  The fruit comes from 20+ year-old vines facing South and East.


This is a perfect introductory to these varietals, as it is fermented in tank, and bottled.  The lack of oak influence gives a perspective into the unadulterated forms of these varietals, and also provides a truly drinkable style of red.


Bright red and dark berry fruit, mineral, and Syrah-like roasted spice notes can be found on the nose and palate.  The finish is long, perfectly balanced and best of all finishes fresh, so that you want to come back for another sip.


A simple grilled steak and a glass of the Crasto Tinto will bring a smile to your face.


$15.99 BTL. / $191.88 CASE


2008 Quinta do Crasto Douro Superior 


The Douro region is divided into three sub-regions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.


The Crasto winery is located in the Cima Corgo subzone. They have also invested into the Douro Superior or Upper Douro as it is also known, by purchasing the Quinta da Cabreira.  The vineyard is 114 hectares, planted with the traditional Douro grapes.  The Upper Douro has an extreme dry climate, with dramatic temperature swings between day and night.


This wine offers a glimpse into the amazing potential in the Douro Superior.  It is a blend  of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Roriz and Sousão.  It is fermented in open top plunging tanks, basket pressed, and aged for one year in French oak barrels.


Again, this is another amazing value, a wine that delivers insane quality for a shockingly low price.


Beautiful aromatics that hint at wild strawberry, baking spices and mineral.  Intense, rich fruit that coats the palate, but does so in a way that doesn’t feel heavy.  There is some solid structure here in the mid palate, with nice acidity and freshness.


A gorgeous wine that has the ability to age, but is irresistible right now!  Go beyond the classic steak and potatoes pairing, and try it with a curry, it will knock your socks off.



===2009 Quinta do Crasto Touriga Nacional


Quinta do Crasto was the first producer in the Douro to varietally bottle the grape varietal Touriga Nacional.  The feeling among those that work at Crasto is that Touriga is a noble variety, one with great character, although quite difficult to produce at the highest level.


That is why, only in the best years, Quinta do Crasto produces a pure Touriga Nacional from their estate vines.  The 2009 marks the follow up to the 2006 vintage.


The fruit is sourced from the best plots, with vines ranging in age from 25 years and older.  Hand picked, rigorously selected, they are foot trodden in a “lagar,” a traditional stone tank.  The wine is transferred to stainless steel tanks where it undergoes fermentation, and then aged for 16 months in 225-liter French oak barrels.  Not just any French oak barrels, rather, because of the Roquette’s relationship with Jean-Michel Cazes in Bordeaux, they have access to the same oak barrels as the First Growth estates in Bordeaux.  A mere 1600 Euros per barrel, which shows the spare no expense attitude of make great wine at Crasto!


The 2009 offers a beautiful nose full of black berry, cocoa and oak spice.  Full-bodied with a firm tannic spine, that is softened by the generous amount of fruit, the length on this wine is truly impressive.  This is only just now beginning to show what it will in the future.


If you want to taste the best wines of Portugal, then this is a must buy.  If drinking now, decant 4-5 hours ahead of time.  It will enjoy a nice evolution in bottle through 2025+.



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Upcoming Tasting Schedule

I’m excited to unveil my Events Schedule through the end of 2012.

I’ve got four exciting events left that you won’t want to miss!

If you have never been to a Perman Wine Selections tasting, they are a great way to educate yourself on the world of wine. Typically lasting a couple of hours, I pour 8-10 wines based on a specific topic, guiding you through what is being tasted. The tastings can be enjoyed by all levels of wine drinkers, from the newbie to the experienced connoisseur. Above all, the tastings are a lot of fun and we get to taste some amazing wines.

Please note, of these four tastings, the October 18th tasting should be signed up for online at

Here is a quick step-by-step guide.

  1. Visit the Online Booking System
  2. Click “Sign Up!” (on the top right) to create an account
  3. Fill in the required information
  4. Once logged in, click the “Online Store” tab on the top right and follow the instructions on the screen to purchase your tickets before registering for a class
  5. Once the tickets are purchased, click the “Wine Tastings” tab to view and sign-up for class in question
  6. If signing up for more than yourself, repeat step 5 for each person you would like to sign up
  7. … and you’re done!

Please contact me directly to sign up for the Piedmont Night in November and the Annual Champagne Fests in December!

Also keep in mind that private tastings for groups of 10-14 are also available at the store. Click here for more info. Contact me for availability on any date you might be looking for.

Hope to see you at a tasting!




France vs. The Rest of the World – Part 3
Thursday, October 18th
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Please sign up online at

One of my most popular tastings returns!

Ask a wine expert what where the greatest Pinot Noir in the world comes from and most will answer Burgundy. Ask who makes the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world, and one might argue that a grower in Sancerre does. France is home to some of the world’s greatest wines, but that hasn’t stopped the rest of the world from trying to make their own great world class wines. In many cases other countries and regions outside of France have outclassed their mentor.

This tongue-in-cheek tasting/competition will feature five flights of two wines each. One from a famed French appellation and the other, composed of the same varietal, just from a different part of the world.

France is 2-0, so let’s see if “The World” can finally take France down!

Piedmont Night / a.k.a. Barolo Night
Wednesday, November 7th
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
$70 per person
Contact Craig directly for reservations

You’ve heard the song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Well, I left my heart and liver in Piemonte! The famed Italian region located in Northwest Italy is home to some of the world’s greatest red wines. From Dolcetto and Barbera, to the king grape Nebbiolo, the diversity within the region and their ability to show terroir makes it a fascinating study.

Typically I’ve named this event “Barolo Night” in the past, as the focus of this tasting is always on Barolo. This year, I hope to give an extra nod to Dolcetto and Barbera, as these two grapes are more accessible to drink on a nightly basis. Don’t worry though, I’ll still be pouring at least 6 stupendous Baroli!

So come check out the latest and most exciting wines from Piedmont, including many of the newly released 2008 Baroli.

Champagne Fest 2012!
Thursday, December 6th and Friday, December 7th
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
$95 per person
Contact Craig directly for reservations

If you love Champagne like I do, you will not want to miss the annual Champagne Fest at Perman Wine Selections!

Over two nights, 20 different Champagnes will be poured! As always, the focus of this year’s tasting is on Grower Champagne houses. Over the past two decades, the emergence of growers turned producers has allowed us to focus in more and more on the terroir of Champagne. I believe Champagne to be France’s most exciting, experimental, and changed appellation in that time period.

This is a “no holds barred” type of tasting. We won’t sit around and drink NV Champagne all night, we will definitely get into some serious, serious stuff!

I hesitate to refer to this as a taste – it is a Champagne Fest! Come ready to party!

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6 for $120-Something – February 17th, 2012

Hello and Happy Friday!

For those of you that haven’t had a chance to check out the newly designed website, it is time you did!  Those that check it frequently will see the new weekly offerings in The Wine Wire section.  My goal is to offer even more outstanding and diverse selections each week.

In other news, I’ve updated my Calendar of Events with a new collaborative dinner with Vera, one of Chicago’s most talked about new restaurants.  People around the world are rediscovering Sherry, and its diverse styles.  Vera, De Maison Selections and Perman Wine Selections hope to share the “Sherry Revolution” with you.  There is a group of small producers called “Almacenistas” who supply the major Sherry houses with stocks of older wines for blending—  this is very similar to the concept of grower Champagne houses.  Vera and De Maison Selections have paired several of these Almacenistas Sherry’s with a delicious array of food.  Reserve your spot today by contacting Vera directly. Hope to see you there on Monday, March 5th!

I’m excited to announce the release of the newest “6 for $120-Something” Sampler!  I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus with this sampler, but I return with what I think is the best group of wines I’ve ever offered!  The concept is simple, in the course of my tastings each month, I put together a mix of what I think are the best wines I’ve tasted in that $20-ish dollar range.  It is true that I used to simply call this the “Six for $120,” but in the interest of me having more flexibility, I’ve decided to not be so exact.  All of these wines are available by the bottle as well as the case, but the idea here is to give you a selection of wines that you will want to have stocked in your wine rack at home!  So email me to order your sampler, and pick it up at your convenience.  They are in stock and ready to go!

Finally, a quick scheduling note.  I will be closed this coming Tuesday, February 21st so that I can attend the Tre Bicchieri Italian Wine Tasting followed by the sold-out Franco Massolino Barolo Dinner at Piccolo Sogno.  I will of course, report back my findings!

Have a great weekend,



Back in the day, I lived in Oregon, working a retail job in Portland.  It was there that I became well aware of the multifaceted Pinot Noir grape.  The concept of terroir certainly exists in Oregon, yet producer mindset and style is as equally important to understand when shopping for a bottle.

For my personal palate, I have always had a great deal of respect for the wines of McKinlay Vineyards.  Matt Kinne is known locally for producing elegantly-styled Pinot Noir, some say almost “Burgundian.”  While I tend to shy away from that label, it is important to note that Matt’s wines have great finesse, and almost always have the lowest alcohol levels out of producers in the region.

The 2009 McKinlay Pinot Noir is a really pretty, ethereal style.  Matt uses his experience from his days at famed Sonoma County producer Hanzell as well as his 20+ years of experience in Oregon, to craft wines based on fruit from the Chehalem Mountain AVA.  He only uses native yeasts, a minimal amount of new oak, and bottles unfined and unfiltered.

This is a fantastic value, and really suitable to lots of food at the dinner table such as simple roasted chicken.

$20.00 BTL. / $240.00 CASE


There are many reasons why I think that Italy is presently making the greatest white wines in the world, and one of them is this amazing wine from Sergio Mottura of Lazio.

Located in the hills near Civitella d’Agliano, the estates history goes back to 1933.  The 1960’s became a time of experimentation, researching the best methods for farming. Those results can be tasted today.

The vineyards are composed largely of volcanic soil, and planted there are a variety of grapes, of which the Mottura family is most proud of their Grechetto.  That local variety shines bright in “Poggio della Costa,” a wine made entirely of Grechetto from the single vineyard of that name.  Extremely low yields, strict selection of the best grapes, and an emphasis on retention of fruit and soil characteristic all should be, and are, lauded.

This is a tank fermented wine that is aged on its lees till the end of March.  The aromas and flavors are so clear and so bright that this is truly a wine you can’t stop drinking.  Flowers, mineral, citrus peel, they all explode from the glass.

The man himself, Sergio Mottura is in town this coming week, to present this wine at the Tre Bicchiere show.  This exceptional value was awarded this high honor by the Italian publication, Gambero Rosso, for the third year in a row.  Bravo!

$20.00 BTL. / $240.00 BTL.


This is becoming a regular thing around these parts – the inclusion of a Portuguese table wine on my newsletter.  That’s because there are some ridiculously good values coming out of the country today, and in particular the Douro region, which is also famous for Port.

Quinta de la Rosa is a family owned winery located in the prime growing region of Cima Corgo, just one kilometer from Pinhão.  The vineyards are located right along the Douro River, situated on South and Southwest facing terraced hillsides.  The region is known for its schist soil that can also be found in other growing regions around the world such as Priorat and the Roussillon.

“La Rosa” is a fantastic value from the winery composed of 40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca and 30% Tinta Roriz.  The beauty of Portuguese reds is their complexity due to blending, and the way these local grapes display their terroir.  This wine is fermented in stainless steel vats and aged for a year in Allier French oak barrels.

It is a readily approachable style, with a softer extraction of tannins than some other wines from this producer.  Wonderfully aromatic and flavorful with dark fruits, distinctive mineral notes, and a little spice to boot.  Great for winter dishes, particularly braised short ribs.  Don’t miss this!

$21.00 BTL. / $126.00 SIX-PACK CASE


Warwick Estate is a historic family owned property in the Simonsberg district of the Stellenbosch region in South Africa.  While the estate dates back to the late 1700’s, the first commercial release from the winery was in 1984.  Ever since it has become one of the most famous producers in the country.

“Three Cape Ladies” is a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Pinotage, 27% Syrah and 4% Merlot.  It was aged for 32 months in French oak, 40% of which was new.

This is a lot of wine for the money.  Complex aromas of plum, cherry, cigar box and spice lead into ripe but balanced red and black fruits, licorice notes and hints of chocolate on the long finish.  The tannins on the wine are well-framed by its fruit and overall balance.

The winery suggests pairing this alongside oxtail stew or peppered venison, and hey, who am I to argue!?

South Africa gets a lot of flack, as some of the red wines from this country can be challenging.  But those are the bad examples, and this, a great example that should show you that this country can make world-class wines, and at a terrific price!

$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE


Hey fans of Spanish white wine, I’ve got a deal for you that you must not miss!

Godello is one of the most exciting emerging grape varietals of Northwest Spain.  Found in regions like Valdeorras and in this case the appellation of Monterrei, it is a grape that offers thirst-quenching and aromatic wines that go down the hatch easier than water!

This wine is being offered at such a ridiculously low price that you should be loading up on this by the case.  Amizade is made by one of Spain’s greatest winemakers, Gerardo Mendez.  He owns and operates Do Ferreiro, an Albariño producer located in Sanxenxo, in the Val do Salnés subzone of Galicia.

He was asked by his importer to collaborate on this venture in the D.O. of Monterrei, located just on the border of Spain and Portugal.  Gerardo secured fruit from a friend who had been selling off his grapes.  Sourced from a single vineyard in a cool valley in the heart of the appellation, the soil is predominantly sand and slate.

The idea of this wine was to present a really refreshing, varietal and regional specific wine.  Like all of his wines, Gerardo ferments the grapes in stainless steel tanks and only uses indigenous yeasts.  The wine spent six months on its lees.

Did I mention how refreshing this is?  Bright lemon and orange citrus notes can be found on the nose and palate.  A little bit of mineral and herb notes make this really complex.  There is almost no better wine pairing than this with very simply prepared shellfish.  Get this while it lasts!

$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE


North of Treiso in the hamlet of Rombone lies the Ada Nada estate.  With just under 10 hectares of vines, this is a very small family owned and operated producer.

Last week I tasted two offerings from this producer that really impressed me.  These included a single vineyard Barbaresco and this impressive Barbera d’Alba.  The tasting got me to thinking about what wines tasted like in this region 50 years ago.

I can tell you this – Barbera has completely been transformed.  The climate has certainly changed in Piedmont, yielding riper than ever grapes.  Couple that with producers that are looking for more phenolic ripeness in their Barbera and you have completely different material to work with.  Ada Nada ferments this Barbera in stainless steel, something that wasn’t around then.  They also break up the cap during the fermentation and control the temperature.  The wine is racked into smaller oak casks where it is aged for a year.

The Vigna d’Pierin Barbera clearly shows the exciting transformation of the grape from everyday table grape to a more “serious” age-worthy wine.  I can tell you from my tasting that it goes down easily now, showing bright red and blue fruits, and just the right hint of tannin.  Enjoy it with roasted meats, or for further complexity lay it down for a few years.  Only 6,000 bottles produced, and I might try and drink them all myself!

$24.00 BTL. / $288.00 CASE

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