of the Moment
Every year, members of Bonhomme’s culinary and beverage teams travel to Spain and Portugal to visit old friends and discover new farms, vineyards and winemakers, striving to bring back that magical ‘sense of place’ to Chicago.
“We want to take our guests on a journey through the Iberian Peninsula and the Islands of the Atlantic and Mediterranean, sharing our own experiences and the tales of the passionate winemakers that we have befriended on our travels throughout these beautiful areas,” says Alonso.
For over a decade, we have spent time with some of the world’s most talented and visionary winemakers, in their vineyards and seated at their tables, getting priceless perspective, heartfelt anecdotes and access to rare vintages, all privileged gifts we are proud to share with our guests.
Porto launched with a comprehensively curated cellar of 300-plus wine selections from every corner of Spain and Portugal. The last few months have given the wine team the opportunity to expand this inaugural program with even more hand-picked imports, returning with a progressive supplementary list celebrating Wines & Winemakers of the Moment. This boutique collection of 100 wines hails from a new generation of talented, ambitious and iconoclastic winemakers who are reinvigorating and reinventing the vintages across the mainland and island regions of Spain and Portugal, and focuses on small-production, must-try bottlings.
“These women and men are passion and authenticity to the core. They’re taking the tradition and the heritage of their region and infusing it with this progressive craft mentality, where they’re constantly experimenting and trying new things,” says Daniel Alonso, Bonhomme Group’s founder.
“In addition to the strong character and sense of place that they share, these vintners all have another thing in common: They are farmers, first and foremost. When you’re farming the same land not just year after year but generation after generation, all kinds of wisdom and intuition develops, accumulates and gets passed down from generation to generation. Our new list is stocked with these incredible individuals, including Raúl Pérez, Luis Seabra, Laura Lorenzo and Joana Maçanita.”
Porto’s Wines & Winemakers of the Moment journey through the Canary Islands, Azores, Alentejo, Ribeira Sacra, Bierzo, Dão, Douro, Extremadura and Rías Baixas with a selection of wines that embrace the zeitgeist made by producers whose work meditates on the techniques, grape varieties and traditions of the pre-industrial past, just as the founders of the biodynamic and organic movements did with agricultural practices.
For Beverage Director Jesse Filkins, these down months have afforded more opportunities to refine his culinary-focused cocktail program and further connect with the kitchen team. That relationship has led to new cocktails that explore Porto’s emphasis on the sea and live-fire cooking, including the Queimada De Verano made with Galician Orujo Blanco and Licor de Hierbas (Rum, Queimada Syrup, Watermelon, Mint, Lime, Bubbles) and the Humo y Sal that incorporates nori, sherry barrel aged whisky and smoke (Whisky, Quinquina, Nori-Infused Demerara, Cherry Wood Smoke). “I’m trying to incorporate into our cocktails the freshness of being on a boat and the essence of the sea,” says Filkins.
In addition to Filkin’s seasonal cocktail program, the beverage menu features more than 35 selections of sherry, imported beers, no-proof cocktails, and 40 wines by the glass.