Spotlight On: Chicago’s Female Sommeliers and Beverage Directors

Spotlight On: Chicago’s Female Sommeliers and Beverage Directors

With Women’s Day coming up this weekend, there is no time better than now to honor the amazing women of the Chicago food world. From chefs and restaurateurs to bartenders and sommeliers, women are owning the food scene! They’re bringing a new expertise and perspective to classic techniques and putting their own spin on changing seasonal menus. That includes bar and wine menus across the city! From James Beard nominees to natural wine experts, these women will help you fall in love with wine at every sip…

Rachael Lowe from Spiaggia and Cafe Spiaggia {980 North Michigan Avenue #1, Chicago; 312.280.2750}

Recognized with back-to-back James Beard nominations for “Outstanding Wine Program” in 2019 and 2020, Lowe is earning well-deserved and wide-spread acclaim for her work as Beverage Director and Sommelier in Chicago. Lowe oversees the wine programs at Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Spiaggia and its sister concept, Cafe Spiaggia, along with several other Levy Restaurants concepts. To say she is a busy woman would be a serious understatement!

Lowe has also made headlines as a Food & Wine “Sommelier of the Year,” StarChefs “Rising Star Sommelier” and Jean Banchet winner for “Top Sommelier” in Chicago. Basically, if you’ve got a question about the wine world, or need a recommendation, you should go to her. She’s using her expertise to educate and inspire the Chicago food world, and even has some special tips for spring wine drinkers…

“Spring is a time when I get extremely excited for the ingredients to start coming into season, such as ramps, morels and asparagus,” Lowe explains. “I love pastas with all of the aforementioned ingredients, but a rich morel mushroom tagliatelle with butter, a bit of parmesan and lemon is a great combination of flavors. My husband and I enjoy hand-making pastas at home, which is an added bonus. A perfect pairing with this would be a Colterenzio ‘Lafoa,’ Chardonnay from Alto Adige. This wine is rich and rounded while still maintaining a bright acidity; aromas of golden apple, bosc pear, almond and a hint of vanilla work well with the richness of the dish, while the acid cuts through the fat and mirrors the lemon.” Cheers to that Chicago!

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