Wine never played a major role in the Harry Potter series. From what I’ve gathered, something called “Butterbeer” was more the beverage of choice. Yes, I’ve never read Harry Potter or seen any of the movies. I am a living example of what Chuck Klosterman predicted back in 2007 – which I feel is kind of equally exciting in its own right. But just as my lack of knowledge isn’t stopping me from writing about Harry and Hermione (they got married, right?!?), an event space in Chicago isn’t letting the books’ paucity of vino prevent them from hosting a Harry Potter wine dinner.
For two nights in October, the City Winery Chicago is hosting “Expecto! A Harry Potter Wine Dinner.” According to its website, guests should expect to “experience all the magic of Harry Potter through your taste-buds.” City Winery continues: “Join us as we travel through the Wizarding World with a 4-coursed pairing menu based on the Hogwarts House's of Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, & Gryffindor. With a dash of mystery and a dollop of creativity, we will conjure up a prixe-fixe meal that not even ‘Obliviate’ will make you forget.”
As light on details as that explanation is, simply the conjuring of Harry Potter and wine in the same context was enough to get fans to reach for their wallets. The first date (October 24) of the $85, two-hour event has already sold out, leading the City Winery to add a second date on October 25 – and that one will start off only available to City Winery “VinoFile” members starting next Tuesday at noon with tickets for the public going on sale Thursday at noon.
So regardless of what exactly a Harry Potter wine dinner entails, it appears the City Winery has figured out a spell for making money hand over fist: All you have to do is wave your magic fingers over a keyboard while entering these words onto your events page… “Harry Potter Wine Dinner.” No knowledge of who Dumbledore is required.