Taste of the Town: St. Charles lands Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Taste of the Town: St. Charles lands Cooper's Hawk Winery & RestaurantST. CHARLES – Uncorking its newest location, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opened this week in St. Charles on Route 64 near the former Charlestowne Mall.

The highly anticipated launch was preceded by a sneak preview event with tours and tastings.

“The experience we’re creating for our guests is really special,” said Josh Esquivel, general manager of the St. Charles location.

Since its 2005 founding in Illinois by Tim McEnery of Roselle, the privately held business has grown to 28 restaurants and is the 31st largest wine producer in the United States. Grapes are brought in primarily from California, Oregon and Washington, and some from overseas.

Esquivel said the company produces 5 million bottles a year from its winery in Countryside, featuring about 50 varietals. They have garnered hundreds of awards, including rating 99 points for a pinot noir in the Cooper’s Hawk premium Lux line in a prestigious California competition.

Given the draw of its other locations, the latest Cooper’s Hawk has a larger footprint to reduce waiting times. A strikingly long tasting bar is off the entrance of the attractive new building, which boasts soaring ceilings and contemporary touches.

Around the corner from the tasting room is a bar with expansive windows, wine barrels above and a flower-ringed outdoor patio with tables and umbrellas. The bar also focuses on craft beers and signature cocktails.

Another patio with a roof for shade, fans for cooling and heaters to stretch the season is off the main dining room. Private dining spaces also are available.

Esquivel said the tastings are a fun way to begin a date night, followed by dinner.

Different wine styles are featured in three tastings, which range from $7 to $12 for the Lux line. Each offers eight, one-ounce pours. And people are welcome to make substitutions for their favorites.

Esquivel said it’s not an intimidating introduction to wines that capture the spirit of Napa and Sonoma in the heart of the Midwest.

“We try to make it a lot of fun in a relaxed environment,” he said.

Cooper’s Hawk also is known for the largest wine club in the United States, with 250,000 members enjoying a variety of perks, according to Esquivel. They range from wine dinners to travel destinations.

He said the restaurant’s culinary focus is to create vibrant dishes to pair with wines to enhance the flavor of each. Dining patrons are welcome to try a sample of a wine before they order it.

In an unusual touch, a barrel reserve red blend is served direct from the cask in the dining room. Esquivel compared it to a well-balanced Bordeaux blend.

To add dramatic flair to its reds, the restaurant serves each bottle in one of its proprietary decanters. It aerates the wine to soften the tannins, and allows patrons to serve themselves during the meal, said Tarina Wimmer, the lead tasting room attendant. It’s both spill-free and a lively visual.

For the sneak preview, Cooper’s Hawk’s first chef, Jose Esparza, was joined by chef Rob Hartley to introduce some of the menu favorites.

They ranged from artisan cheeses served with candied bacon to a superb shrimp and scallop risotto with a hint of white truffle oil, and Asian pork belly tostadas. To achieve the latter’s delectable texture, Hartley said the technique is the “sweet lacquer” effect of the barbecue sauce.

In the gnocchi carbonara, ricotta in the gnocchi is part of the secret to the pillowy, fluffy dumplings served with pancetta, chicken, sage and peas in a Parmesan garlic cream sauce.

To keep flavors brighter, Hartley said steak is vacuum tumbled during the marination process. A sample of center-cut New York strip with a ginger-soy glaze was accompanied by wasabi-buttered mashed potatoes and oven-roasted vegetables. Esparza said red wine is incorporated in the American dish served with Asian flair.

Noting that everything is created in-house, Hartley said special attention is paid to sourcing, including such seafood as barramundi, a sustainable, flaky fish related to sea bass.

The scallops and shrimp were paired with the Lux Sparkling, made with the champenoise method. Among the standouts for fans of dessert drinks is the ice wine produced with Wisconsin grapes harvested after the first frost.

Adjoining the tasting room is a gift shop with wine-related products, including a gourmet line paired to wines, and all the accessories right down to a Thermos-style container designed to keep a bottle at the right temperature at a picnic. The decanters are offered in both classic and modern designs. The shop also features decadent truffles, dessert treats and chocolate covered strawberries, all prepared in-house.

For information on Cooper’s Hawk, 3710 E. Main St., visit chwinery.com or call 630-940-1000.


Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant officially comes to Palm Beach County, Fla., today with the opening of its wine tasting room, restaurant and bar at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. The location is the 27th nationally for the brand, based in Orland Park, Ill., and joins sister Florida properties in Tampa Bay, Coconut Creek, Miami (Doral), Naples and Orlando.

“We are really happy to be a part of this community,’’ said General Manager Al Markovich. “We think we’re going to be a great fit. We know the people in this community love great food and great wine. We want to provide it for them.’’

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant has two entrances – one from inside of the upper level of The Gardens Mall – and from the outside covered patio.

“We have a few (locations) attached to malls, but most are stand-alone,’’ Markovich said. “We’re really excited to see ow that plays out for us.’’

The bar, tasting room, private dining room and dining room each are separate. The tasting room features many of the 50 varieties of Cooper’s Hawk handcrafted wines as well as a retail space.

Markovich said the Cooper’s Hawk winery, founded in 2005, produces approximately 600,000 gallons of wine annually, handcrafted from grapes and fruit from California, Washington, Oregon and other grape-growing regions around the country. Cooper’s Hawk wines have won more than 300 local, national and international awards.

Among Cooper’s Hawk more popular promotions is its Wine Club whereby members each receive the winemaker’s newly-released wine each do

The wine of the month, Markovich said, “provides some unique perspective on wines from around the world.’’


Even for those who aren’t wine aficionados or don’t like wine at all, the Cooper’s Hawk restaurant still is worth a lunch and/or dinner visit. The restaurant menu features a variety of freshly made soups and salads, along with steak, chicken and seafood entrees.

“We’ve really been waiting on this (location) for a while,’’ said Executive Chef Stephen Puhr. “We’re a chef-driven, scratch kitchen. We buy all our ingredients as fresh as possible. You can’t make great food unless you have ingredients. So, we pride ourselves on sourcing out the best ingredients that we can find.’’

In addition to its wines and food menu, the Cooper’s Hawk bar serves craft beer from local breweries such as Twisted Trunk and Funky Buddha, as well as craft cocktails.

“We take some of our classic cocktails and infuse them with a wine influence,’’ Markovich said. “We really have something for everybody.’’

Pair Food And Wine At New Doral Hotspot Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants


Community-focused group opens two Florida locations in under six months

Raise a glass!Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants became the toast of the town in March with the opening of its seventh Florida location. Located in the rapidly growing City of Doral, the Illinois-based restaurant group brings their dynamic American-contemporary menu, finely sourced and exclusively distributed wine, and first-rate hospitality, to urbanites who appreciate an unparalleled wine and dine experience. Founded in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has expanded to 26 restaurants in just 12 years. Next to its founding state of Illinois, Florida has the second highest number of locations. At its core, the Cooper’s Hawk concept is rooted in creating community by using good food and wine to bring people together to forge lasting connections. It is a notion reverberated through the entire company from the executive leadership team to all 26-restaurant locations and their patrons.

“When it comes to a burgeoning culinary scene, Florida, specifically South Florida, is booming and we are thrilled to be at the heart of it,” said Tim McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants “Florida is the ultimate destination to live, work, and play and the people here are excited about the dining experience as a whole. They have embraced our concept so well and we are very optimistic about our future here.”

The Cooper’s Hawk concept was originated from McEnery’s idea to pair sophisticated food and exceptional wine together in a way that hadn’t been done before, with a signature menu and Cooper’s Hawk’s own wine label. Each Cooper’s Hawk restaurant is designed with four distinct components so guests can enjoy this unique concept under one roof. Each location includes an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, and Napa-style tasting room and retail gift store.

In addition to attracting food and wine enthusiasts of all types, Cooper’s Hawk maintains the country’s biggest wine club with a quarter of a million members and growing. The Wine Club brings epicureans together to celebrate their common interest in food and wine and to benefit from the camaraderie the celebration emanates. In addition to receiving exclusive blends each month, the Wine Club hosts special events for members with luminaries in winemaking and coordinates annual trips to the world’s many wine countries, to further expand their palettes.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants is located at CityPlace Doral, 3585 NW 83rd Avenue, Doral, FL 33122. For reservations, call 786-814-4777 or visit www.coopershawkwinery.com.


Redefining the modern casual dining experience, Cooper’s Hawk is an unparalleled combination of restaurant, winery, Napa-style tasting room, and artisanal retail market. The innovative concept partners with some of the best grape growers in the world to craft the award-winning Cooper’s Hawk wine collection. Additionally, Cooper’s Hawk boasts one of the country’s largest Wine Clubs, a life-style driven monthly affiliation offering exclusive wines, events, and privileges.

Cooper’s Hawk has received accolades such as ‘Breakout Brand’ and ‘Hot Concept’ by Nation’s Restaurant News. In 2014, the concept was profiled by the Wall Street Journal and Tim McEnery was named Ernst & Young’s ‘Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year.

- See more at: http://citybizlist.com/article/410442/pair-food-and-wine-at-new-doral-hotspot-coopers-hawk-winery-restaurants#sthash.hWKNOyTt.dpuf

Cooper’s Hawk Winery Is Opening Up Inside The Gardens Mall This April

Cooper's Hawk Winery Is Opening Up Inside The Gardens Mall This April

Soon, Gardens Mall patrons will be able to take a break from shopping and expand their wine palates at an upscale-casual wine store and restaurant.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant is set to open on the second floor of The Gardens Mall near Sears. It is expected to open April 17.

The 10,000-square-foot storefront features a California wine country-inspired restaurant, alongside a bar lounge, Napa-style tasting room and gift store, which will feature wine barrels, bottles and retail products.

After nearly three years of scouting for a location in the Palm Beach County area, the restaurant finally landed a spot in what was formerly Anthropologie. The foot traffic, restaurants and retail outlets of the mall seemed to be a perfect fit for the Chicago-based wine room, according to General Manager Al Markovich.

“We love the people down in Florida and the community we’ve built,” he said. “It’s been a great market for us, so we looked for great places to grow in Florida, and I know Palm Beach Gardens is a place we’ve been scouting out for a while.”

Although the expertly wine-paired menu and concept will remain the same, Markovich said The Gardens Mall’s restaurant will be Cooper’s Hawk’s first site located fully inside a mall setting.

“Outside from being in a mall, it’s going to be as great as all our other locations,” he said.

Cooper’s Hawk will be open for both lunch and dinner, allowing guests to order from the menu of contemporary American dishes. Highlights include bourbon-lacquered barbecue pork chops, soy ginger salmon, gnocchi carbonara, and Southern-grilled shrimp with polenta.

Dishes will be listed with a bin number—referring to where the wine is stored—which will guide guests to their perfect wine pairing. Entrees range anywhere from $16.99 to $32.99, and appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and desserts will also be featured on the menu.

Guests should also check out the award-winning wine selection, which is produced in Cooper’s Hawk’s own winery. The company sources nearly 20 tons of wine grapes from California, Washington, Oregon and other grape-growing regions, and wine selections range anywhere from $6.50 to $13 per glass, and $21.99 to $47.99 per bottle.

Each Cooper’s Hawk location is individually designed based on community influences, but all maintain a modern, yet causal ambiance. The local restaurant’s decor will feature sleek, dark-toned furniture, as well as rustic wood accents and overhead spotlights to create ideal contemporary, artistic lighting.

With 200 seats available indoors in the main dining area, a covered patio outdoors will seat an additional 50 guests.

The restaurant also offers a monthly Wine Club, giving members the first taste of newly released wines each month, exclusive discounts, points on purchases, birthday rewards and a Wine Club newsletter. Two parking spots in the mall will be reserved for “Wine of the Month Club” pickup and carryout, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Cooper’s Hawk is currently hiring locally, and with a recruitment center located a few doors away from the new location, potential applicants are welcome to apply in person or online.

“It’s all about creating an experience and a community within our building,” Markovich said.

Interior Wine Tasting Room at Cooper’s Hawk Doral location // Photo courtesy of Aqua Marketing and Communications

Soy ginger salmon and kale salad // Photo courtesy of Aqua Marketing and Communications

Gnocchi bolognese with a glass of red wine // Photo courtesy of Aqua Marketing and Communications

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants CEO Earns National Top Corporate Leader Award for Leadership Vision

CEO Wins 2017 LEAD Award for Outstanding Work in Corporate Leadership with a Vision for the Future

Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) March 09, 2017

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, home to the largest wine club in the United States, announced today that its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tim McEnery, was honored by HR.com, the largest global social networking and resource site for HR Professionals, with a 2017 LEAD award in the Top Corporate Leader category for his outstanding achievements in leadership development.

For the past 34 years, the LEAD Awards have saluted the world’s top leadership practitioners, highlighting their roles in developing their most important asset – their people. McEnery was singled out for a number of leadership qualities and initiatives including:

  • Systematically tapping into the collective wisdom of his 3,000+ corporate and restaurant employees across 25 restaurants, achieving an average 20% year-over-year growth for the last three years
  • Spearheading the implementation of programs that have resulted in filling General Manager positions at every single restaurant from within the organization
  • Building a high performance culture in which approximately 37% of operations management positions are currently filled from within, with the goal of exceeding 50% in the near future.
  • In an industry fraught with high turnover rates for hourly employees, the company’s 2016 turnover rate was approximately 28 percentage points lower than the 96% hourly turnover rate reported by The People Report, a trusted organization that compiles restaurant industry data.

“We are thrilled that Tim has been honored with this prestigious award,” says Kristen Zagozdon, Vice President of Human Resources. “He is a charismatic and inspiring leader who exudes boundless energy and optimism, and he is willing to hear tough feedback from all levels of the organization to drive continuous improvement.”

Cooper’s Hawk was first opened in Orland Park, Illinois in 2005. Operations have since expanded to 25 locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Five new locations will be opening through 2017.

About Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants:
Redefining the modern casual dining experience, Cooper’s Hawk is an unparalleled combination of restaurant, winery, Napa-style tasting room, and artisanal retail market. The innovative concept partners with some of the best grape growers in the world to craft the award-winning Cooper’s Hawk wine collection. Additionally, Cooper’s Hawk boasts one of the country’s largest Wine Clubs, a life-style driven monthly affiliation offering exclusive wines, events, and privileges.

Need a job? This company is hiring in Palm Beach Gardens

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants,  a wine bar and “upscale casual” restaurant, plans to hire nearly 200 workers to staff its soon-to-open location in Palm Beach Gardens.

The company plans to open its first Palm Beach County location in April at The Gardens Mall on PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens.  Cooper’s Hawk said it needs to fill 196 new jobs before the doors open.  Positions range from servers to line cooks, bartenders to wine tasting room attendants.

Cooper’s Hawk, a winery and restaurant, will open in the second floor of The Gardens Mall, 3101 PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens, by the end of March 2017. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

To fill the openings, Cooper’s Hawk is holding a hiring fair on Monday and Tuesday (March 13 & 14). The event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., will take place at the chain’s Palm Beach Gardens location inside The Gardens Mall (3101 PGA Boulevard).

 “We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the growing job base in Palm Beach County,” said Tim McEnery, founder and CEO of Cooper’s Hawk. “We are currently looking to staff team members with a passion for wine, food and first-class hospitality and look forward to meeting and working with many great members of the community.”

The Palm Beach Gardens restaurant will become the chains 8th Florida location.

Interested candidates who are unable to attend the hiring event may also apply online by visiting apply at chwinery.com.

Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper’s Hawk model of dining hinges on its development of an extensive and delicious menu all grounded in a celebration of wine—its own wine, made in its Illinois winery from vineyard grapes from California, Washington, Oregon, and Michigan. Every single menu item is marked with a bin number for the perfect Cooper’s Hawk wine pairing.

From the time you walk into the tasting room, where you wait for your table, until you walk back out the door, this is a dining culture specifically crafted to be a fun and engaging dinner date.


Cooper’s Hawk is a wine lover’s refuge, matching delicious food with the perfect pairings.

We stepped through the door to find an expansive tasting room, a vital part of the Cooper’s Hawk concept found at every location. The location in South Barrington has long tasting counters running along either side of the room. The Standard Tasting and Sweet Tasting are each only $7, the Lux Tasting is $12, and in all three, the drinker samples eight different Cooper’s Hawk wines. This is one of the most diverting pre-seating activities imaginable.

Sidling up to the Napa-style tasting bar with your dinner companions and discussing the finer points of flavor profiles as a line-up of wines moves from light and delicate to full-bodied and dark is about as fun as it gets. The tasting room also serves as a wine-themed gift shop offering a variety of glasses, decanters, aerators, pourers, decorations, and, of course, bottles of wine.

A warm loaf of pretzel bread greeted us at the table with a tin of extremely soft, garlic-tinged butter. Even knowing that there were many courses to follow, we couldn’t stop ourselves from splitting a few slices while we looked around the room at the wide variety of evenings occurring. There were plenty of families with children, lots of gatherings of friends, and many like us, tables for two, several of whom ordered the large-scale Cooper’s Hawk decanters that tower impressively over the table like sophisticated lab equipment.

From the Appetizers, we had to try the Mexican Drunken Shrimp. Smoky bacon plays the top note wrapped around every shrimp, riding atop a dollop of guacamole and pico de gallo. Underneath everything is a pool of tequila lime butter sauce that blends beautifully with the fresh shrimp. Dotted throughout the dish, fresh chopped jalapeno injects little flourishes of heat that invite the coolness of the guacamole in each subsequent bite.

One of the new additions to the Cooper’s Hawk menu is a list bruschetta. Of the five offerings, we opted for the Burrata, Proscuitto & Arugla. Lined up beautifully on a platter, these crostinis are awash with classic Italian flavors. They’re smeared with a thin layer of garlic butter, a tangle of arugula, a thin slice of salty prosciutto, a creamy whipped ricotta cheese, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and grape tomatoes with a bright oven-roasted wilt. The flavor of each ingredient binds together to exquisite effect.

From the Beef and Pork section of the menu, we ordered the Maple, Mustard & Pretzel-crusted Boneless Pork Chop. The meat is thick cut and juicy. It has all the hearty, warming qualities of a ham dinner topped with a mustard-forward cap that looks like the Parmesan crust on their trio of medallions. The tang of the mustard on top of the richness of the pork is excellent. Accompanying the chop are vegetables roasted to bring out a caramelized quality in carrots and a subtle smokiness to parsnip, sublimely creamy whipped mashed potatoes, and pile of fried onion strings.

The Cooper’s Hawk approach to short rib appears on the menu several times, first as their classic Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, then as the Short Rib Risotto, but we tried the new Gnocchi Bolonese with Braised Short Rib. The gnocchi is pillowy and delicious all on it’s own, thick with herbs and swimming in a wonderful tomato sauce. Accompanied by shreds of tender short rib, chunks of ground Italian sausage, and topped with creamy burrata dolce cheese, this was the entrée to beat.

Our visit wouldn’t be complete without capping it off with the Cooper’s Hawk Chocolate Cake. With interchanging layers of Valhorna chocolate cake and hazelnut ganache, it’s thick, rich, and decadent. It’s delivered on a cocoa powder-sprinkled plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream and a decorative mint leaf. It’s as lovely as it is delicious.

Cooper’s Hawk is located at 100 W. Higgins Road, Suite V-1 in South Barrington,
847-836-9463, coopershawkwinery.com.


Burrata, Proscuitto and Arugula Bruschetta


Cooper’s Hawk Chocolate Cake

Why Restaurants Need To Explore Retail

There are many examples of chains finding success with sales beyond the plate:

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for example, generated 19.2% of its Q3 revenue from its retail segment, according to the chain’s quarterly filing. Cracker Barrel is expanding its retail offerings to appeal to millennials with retro T-shirts, vinyl records and old-school candies and sodas.

Firehouse Subs sells dozens of hot sauce varieties in stores and online, allowing consumers to bring one of the chain’s signature items home.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants sells more than 50 varieties of wine in the restaurant and counts more than 200,000 people as members of its wine club. Wine club members meet monthly at the restaurants for tastings and events.

Tex-Mex chain Tijuana Flats sells branded hot sauces, as well as a line of snarky T-shirts that fit the brand’s irreverent image.

Of course, the tongue-in-cheek shirts of Tijuana Flats wouldn’t fit in a more serious, wine-focused establishment like Cooper’s Hawk.

How can a restaurant owner be smart about adding a retail component to the operation?

First of all, think like a retailer. Make sure your product is well-merchandised. Feature it in a chain-appropriate display case or another area that’s well-lit and inviting. Make sure consumers know the items are available for purchase, via in-store signage, check notifiers, social media and other avenues. Make the items easy to buy. Be sure to staff the checkout area.

Think about the brand above all else. Branded merchandise builds logo awareness long after the dining occasion has ended.

Think of ways to extend your brand through retail merchandise. Cooper’s Hawk, for instance, sells wine accessories like bottle toppers, pourers and aerators to enhance its wine offerings.

Be thoughtful about what you’re selling. Think about your reasonsor offering retail items. Does your chain offer a signature item? To what demographic are you hoping to appeal?

With some smart merchandising and the right products, restaurant operators can weather a tough economy by growing their selling opportunities.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants Share Killer Recipes for Sips and Desserts for Holiday Fare!

Combining seasonally-inspired dishes with expertly paired wines, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants gives guests the best in modern casual dining and one of the country’s largest wine clubs. Each Cooper’s Hawk location combines an outstanding dining experience coupled with a Napa-style tasting room and gift shop. The Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club offers members exclusive blends from Cooper’s Hawk’s own winery and members-only classes, parties and events. An award-winning producer of 50 varieties of wine, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants’ own winery offers a full range of thoughtful wines to pair and enjoy both in restaurant and at home.


This chain of winery/restaurants is primarily a mid-west phenomenon with restaurants in Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Virginia,
Wisconsin. The winery is located in Illinois. See below for the address!

Courtesy of Matt McMillin, Cooper’s Hawk is sharing a couple of recipes with us for you to test out at home. The best option is of course to buy the key ingredients like wines, jellies and more from the Cooper’s Hawk stores or website, so that you can get close to the in-restaurant experience.



Matt McMillin

Matt McMillin has helped define an award-winning path for Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants since 2010. With a focus on seasonally-inspired foods and their relationship to wine, McMillin has mastered a rich, culinary concept that is both sophisticated and unique.

Prior to Cooper’s Hawk, McMillin was a partner in Lettuce Entertain You for 15 years, opening a number of concepts including Big Bowl, Ben Pao, Mity Nice Grill, Shaw’s Crab House and Vong’s Thai Kitchen. He’s also worked with fine French restaurants like Carlos, Le Francais, and Café Provencal.
McMillin is also recognized as
–co-author of the book, Big Bowl Noodles and Rice;
–as a judge on the Thanksgiving edition of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown
–as a chef/influencer in numerous local and national cooking segments.
Chef McMillin is a graduate of Kendall College where he received the Escoffier Award for Culinary and Academic Excellence


Chef McMillin has been generous in sharing some superb recipes with us for your use.

Cranberry Sangriacranberry-(1)



Cranberry Simple Syrup: (Yield 1 1/2 cups)
6oz Cranberries
1 Cup Water
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Star Anise
3 Cloves
½ tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1. In a stainless steel pot, dissolve sugar in water and add cinnamon stick, star anise and ground clove.
Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
2. Pour mixture over the cranberries, add vanilla, and allow to cool to room temp then place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
3. In the morning, strain cranberries and remove cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves.
Place syrup and cranberries in separate containers.

Each Glass of Cranberry Sangria:


6oz Cooper’s Hawk Cranberry Sangria
1 TBL Cointreau
½ TBL Cranberry Simple Syrup 
1 Squeeze of Lime
1 Slice Each, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Apple
5 Reserved Cranberries (in glass or on a skewer)
1 oz Club Soda

Fill Glass with ice
Pour in Cooper Hawk Cranberry Sangria and Cointreau into glass and stir gently
Pour in Cranberry Simple Syrup along with squeeze of lime and stir again
Add in fruit slices and cranberries
Top with club soda and stir till blended!



Lemon Pound Cake with Riesling Poached Plums and Whipped Ricotta
Serves 10




6oz Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
4 Whole Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Lemon, Zested
3 tsp Crystal Sugar

1. Place softened butter and sugar in an electric mixing bowl. With the paddle attachment, mix the 2 ingredients on medium speed until fluffy.
2. Mix for approximately 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula. Mix for an additional 30 seconds.
3. While mixing, combine dry ingredients (AP Flour, Baking Powder, Salt) in a bowl and mix with a whisk.
4. Add the dry mix to the whipped butter and sugar, and mix on slow speed for 10 seconds just to slightly incorporate.
5. With the mixer on slow speed, add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
6. Add the vanilla, milk, sour cream, and lemon zest. Proceed to mix on slow speed until all the ingredients are combined. Scrape the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are combined
7. Butter a loaf pan well and dust with flour on all sides.
8. Scrape batter into loaf pan, spreading the mix evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the crystal sugar evenly over the top of cake batter.
9. Bake in a pre-heated oven, 350 deg. F for approximately 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes. Check for doneness using a skewer. Insert the skewer into the poundcake, and when it comes out clean, it is ready.
10. Remove from the oven and allow the poundcake to cool for 30 minutes prior to removing from the pan. Transfer to rack to fully cool to room temperature. Should Cool fully before slicing. Slice in 10 even slices.

Poached Pluots or Plums:
• 2 lbs Pluots, or plums, split in half and pitted


• 2 Cups Cooper’s Hawk Riesling
• ¾ Cup Sugar
• zest strips of 1/2 Orange
• sprig of thyme
Combine Riesling, sugar, and orange in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add pluots or plums in a single layer (poach in batches according to how many your saucepan can hold) and poach until your desired softness (usually about 5-10 min.) Set aside to cool. Strain & reserve poaching liquid. Slice the plum halves in 1/3rds.

Whipped Ricotta:

10 oz Whole Milk Ricotta
• 2 TBL Powdered Sugar
• ½ TBL Honey
• 1/4 Lemon Zested
• 1/4 Orange, Zested
• 1 Pinch Kosher Salt
• 1/4 tsp fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
• 1 TBL Cup Heavy Cream

Measure all ingredients accordingly, and place in a stainless steel bowl. Whisk together until light and airy.
Place one slice of lemon pound cake in the center of a plate.

Place 4-5 pieces of plums over the cake, followed by a few tablespoons of the Riesling poaching liquid to moisten cake and over the plums.

Finish with a dollop of the lemon ricotta cream.

Thanks to Cooper’s Hawk Winery/Restaurants and Chef Matt McMillin for these fabulous recipes!

Winery: 430 E. Plainfield Road Countryside, IL 60525

For locations, visit www.chwinery.com/locations

Stevie Wilson,

Q&A – Disruptive Road to Market: Cooper’s Hawk and Buena Vista Winery Collaboration


Disruptive Road to Market: Cooper’s Hawk and Buena Vista Winery Collaboration

The restaurant/winery reaches its consumers through innovative channels.

With more and more products available in a wider variety of flavors, food and beverage manufacturers find themselves charting new ways to stay competitive and reach their customers. Cooper’s Hawk CEO and founder Tim McEnery has done just that in creating his casual-dining restaurant and winery combination that also offers a tasting room and retail shop.

Over the last two decades, wine’s popularity has exploded in the US, bringing more styles and titles to the shopper, while creating a buzz and likely some confusion. What Cooper’s Hawk does is simplify the complicated wine world by offering customers wine tastings of their in-house selection and a membership to a wine of the month club. At this time, its wines are only available in Cooper’s Hawk’s tasting rooms and restaurants.

Cooper’s Hawk first opened in Orland Park, Ill. in 2005 and now have expanded to 24 locations throughout Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and Wisconsin with five additional units slated for construction through 2017. The winery partners with grape growers around the world to produce the Cooper’s Hawk wine collection. The company is also home to one of the country’s largest wine clubs, which has just surpassed 200,000 members.  To celebrate this milestone, Cooper’s Hawk introduced a collaboration wine produced through a partnership with Buena Vista Winery, which is California’s oldest winery and one of the first new world wineries in the country.

The following is a Q&A with Tim McEnery of Cooper’s Hawk:

Q: How have you been able to cultivate a following of your wines?

A: At Cooper’s Hawk, it’s our philosophy to create an environment that excites and educates our guests. Our concept is unique – each dish in our restaurant is listed with a bin number to guide a wine match made in our own private winery, allowing guests to experience a perfectly paired wine with their meal.

Our Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club is an all-inclusive membership where members not only receive our winemaker’s newly released wine each month, but also enjoy invitations to members-only events, exclusive discounts, points on purchases, birthday rewards, and our Wine Club Newsletter with information on new wines, special events and great recipes.

Q: How significant have the tasting room and wine club been to reaching your customers? 

A: The tasting room is a key aspect of the Cooper’s Hawk experience. It provides a one-on-one dialogue with the tasting room guides, enabling guests to try classic domestic varietals as well as those from wine regions across the world – all at a reasonable price point.  The tasting room allows guests to try new types of wine before they commit to ordering a full glass or bottle and provides guests a glimpse of the wines crafted exclusively for Wine Club members.  Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club members are drawn to experiential aspects of our brand.  Each month, Cooper’s Hawk releases an exclusive wine for our Wine Club members — offering unique varietals that are not part of our standard wine list and people wouldn’t search out, so we bring different varietals to help solidify the relationship.

Q: Describe your process of working with grape growers. How does Cooper’s Hawk go about selecting them and decide on the types of wine to make?

A: We understand that the best fruit produces the best wine and our relationships with top growers throughout the country allows us to source from regions only where growing conditions have been ideal. Cooper’s Hawk benefits from not owning our own vineyard or buying from one large supplier. We are selective and buying the very best fruits from areas where seasonal conditions have resulted in the year’s most outstanding varietals, giving us the ability to consistently produce award-winning wines.  Grape growers who want to partner with us will send us samples – which we then analyze to determine the overall quality, focusing on the flavors and structures.  We also put emphasis on ensuring their values align with ours – whether we work well together, will they support the styles of wine we like to produce.  Another factor is the varietals. Each varietal grows best in different climates and regions — and we will focus our selections in the areas in which they grow best to get the best possible quality.

Our winemaker and his team look for inspiration from around the world for the types of wine to produce, as well as through crowd-sourcing. Our winemaker, Rob Warren, seeks out guest-feedback on what wines are most enjoyed, by reading comments on social media, reviews, and by talking with our Wine Club members about various wine blends and flavor profiles. For example, our winemaker was inspired by a popular Spanish-blend “Tempranillo Merlot” and sought after the best vineyards in the US for these varietals.  This allows us to introduce our wine club members to a wine that you cannot purchase at any liquor store.

Q: Is this the first collaboration with a winery? What was the strategic decision to collaborate with Buena Vista?

A: Cooper’s Hawk has partnered in the past with well-known chefs to produce a wine blend, such as Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani, but this was Cooper’s Hawk’s first collaboration blend with a winery. Driven by a shared passion for excellence, this collaboration united the New-World approach of Cooper’s Hawk with the iconic flair of Jean-Charles Boisset and his esteemed Buena Vista Winery.

Buena Vista Winery is known for bold, personality-rich wines and a wealth of winemaking history as California’s first premium winery, founded in 1857. As a scene leader in the wine world, Jean-Charles has brought an outstanding energy to this historic winery ever since Boisset Collection purchased the winery with a vision for the future in 2011.

Q: Do you envision having more collaborative efforts with other wineries in the future?

A: We look forward to it—we love brining our Wine Club members exclusive access to wines from some of the most creative minds in food and wine. In addition, this gives us an opportunity to offer members more benefits through partner winery tastings, tours and experiences.