Follow the Dealer

Tenzing ups your wine and spirits savvy

Between the vineyard and the table lies the wine distributor, a figure essential to restaurants but rarely known, seen or heard from by diners.

Chicago's newest distribution company, Tenzing, is poised to change that. It's lifting the curtain with clever public events (like tacos and Burgundy at Big Star) and a dynamic website and Facebook page stocked with wine and spirits recommendations, stories, event invites and videos.

Helmed by young talent, including Master Sommelier Fernando Beteta (formerly of NoMi) and Doug Marello (formerly of Spring), the company is bringing in storied, often small-production wines and spirits to restaurants and shops across the city.

Keep an eye out for these Beteta-endorsed highlights from their portfolio:

Evening Land wines A gaggle of California sommeliers have collaborated on wines from this Sonoma-, Willamette-, Santa Rita- and France-based producer. Try them at Kith & Kin, MK and The Drawing Room

Block 9 Pinot Noir A California winemaker once responsible for some of the state's biggest names in reds (Mt. Veeder, Mondavi) has channeled his focus into creating this excellent and affordable Pinot Noir. Try it by the glass at Gilt Bar and Frasca's

WhistlePig Rye The creator of this new 100 percent rye whiskey (which hails from Vermont) spent 14 years as the master distiller of Maker's Mark. Try it at Publican and Sepia, or buy it at Fox & Obel