I'm going to be visiting Chicago in August, and will probably need to buy wine for at least one dinner. I'm very much into traditional/natural wines, mainly from France. I'm hoping to find a shop that would have good choices from the Loire, Beaujolais, Alsace and perhaps Germany or Austria. Can anyone give me a recommendation?
Sam's Wines and Spirits. Huge selection; knowledgeable staff.
Sam's Wines and Spirits
1720 N Marcey St, Chicago, IL
Also try Howard's on Belmont. Not as huge as Sam's, but a very good selection - fewer misses, more hits, as it were :)
Howards Wine Cellar
1244 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL
Not sure where you'll be staying, but if it's Gold Coast (Michigan Avenue area) then Binny's downtown location is also very good (Sam's is better, but Binny's is more of a downtown location).
Sam's and Binny's are both large places with great selections. If you don't need advice they are great. The quality of the advice though varies from person to person, and sometimes just isn't that great. If I wasn't sure what I wanted, I would go to a smaller store like Howard's, Perman's, Randolph Wine Cellars. If I wanted something in between with good advice and good prices (about 10% lower on average) I would go to Wine Discount Center.
All good recs. Sam's has a large selection but isn't anywhere near what it used to be as far as unique wines or quality, IMHO. Binny's downtown is good. Randolph St. would probably be my choice but it is a small, well chosen, shop. I'd recommend checking the web sites and getting an idea of what they are all about. And, just b/c its on their site doesn't mean that they have it so if you find something call and make sure they've got it.