"Wine is for everyone," says Doug Springer, owner of Rave Wines in Oak Park, and you can tell he means it. Springer, who has spent most of his post-college life working with California wineries, clearly loves the grape-wonder that is wine. Some might be tempted to call him a wine snob; after all, his store only carries wine that has been rated at least 88 points by the foremost wine publications and only the best wines at the best prices. However, he's more than willing to share his knowledge with others, welcoming beginners and connoisseurs alike into his quaint boutique.
Springer says that his clientele ranges from 25-year-olds just dipping their toes (so to speak) into the wine barrel to retirees looking to purchase cases for dinner parties or cellar collections. While Springer will gladly sell a single bottle of wine, he says the business is really built on people ordering larger amounts or leaving with several bottles to try. Rave is more of a destination than a "stop by on your way home from work" store.
Springer hosts tastings in the store Thursdays (from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.), Fridays (4 p.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (1 p.m. – 5 p.m. ). Wines come from California, Australia, Spain, France, New Zealand, Germany and many other places. The price per bottle ranges from $8 to $99.
Centerstage Reviewer: Christy Bonstell