Elbert Hatley

Elbert Hatley

The Wine Guy

As the owner of The Wine Guide, a wine consultation company, Mr. Hatley has had an interesting journey into the wine industry. His first experience with wine began in 1996 while traveling through Italy's legendary Tuscan wine growing region. Shortly thereafter, in 1997, Mr. Hatley began importation and distribution for a Northern Italian winery, quickly acquiring numerous notable accounts throughout the Chicagoland area.

By 2000, Mr. Hatley recognized the growing interest in wine across many socio-economic lines and created The Wine Guide with the intent of educating and elevating consumer interest in wine, bridging the gap between the wine novice and the tenured wine enthusiast. The Wine Guide also provides wine and special event services to Law Firms, Bankers, Realtors and countless other industry specific entities.

Saturday, 04 May 2013 10:15

Sweet wine phenomena

In certain circles, I have often received countless inquiries about sweet wines: “What would you recommend that is sweet?”

There are a plethora of options to consider beyond Moscato or White Zinfandel.   For starters, I always lean away from what is common.  After all, where is the fun in doing what is common?  The following are wines for the sweeter palate:   Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sherry, Port and Sauternes are a few staples in that area of sweetness.  These wines range in price from $5 a bottle to upwards of $800-plus.  The higher end wines are often considered collectibles and/or auction caliber that historically increase in value over time, very much like a stock.  We will examine the latter type of wines in future blog posts.

Let’s be perfectly clear. you do not have to spend a monthly or weekly paycheck to enjoy a good bottle of wine.  For instance, there are plenty of wines that will knock your socks off in terms of quality and price.  Below are the names of a few that are outstanding that I have tasted and highly recommend.  Some are age-worthy, some are award winning and some are collectibles.


  • Covey Run Riesling
  • Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling
  • Kung Fu Girl Riesling
  1. oEach of these is great for the price and exhibit nice quality!
  2. oProduced in the state of Washington


  • Gustave Lorentz Gewurztraminer
  • Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Lot 170
  • Roberson Late Harvest Gewurztraminer
  • Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim
  1. oEach wine is excellent and to die for!
  2. oThe wines listed are produced in France, Germany and South Africa


  • Emilio Lustau Solera Reserva Pedro Ximenez Sherry
  • Gonzalez Byass Noe Pedro Ximenez
  • Lustau Vina 25 Pedro Ximenez
  • Toro Albala Don Pedro Ximenez Gran Reserva
  1. oIndigenous of Spain



  • Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port
  • Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny
  • Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny
  • Warre’s Late Vintage Port
  • Warre’s  10 Year Old Tawny
  • Warre’s  20 Year Old Tawny
  1. oGreat after dinner drink, with a cigar or simply by itself!
  2. oIndigenous of Portugal



  • Chateau Rieussec Sauternes
  • Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes
  • Chateau d’Yquem
  1. oThese gems range in price from the low $30s and can go for $800 and much higher.
  2. oIndigenous of Bordeaux, France

In my next blog posting we will focus on the fascination and ever increasing popularity of “blends.”

To learn more about wine, allow us to take you on that journey by contacting us.

Elbert Hatley, The Wine Guide

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.the-wineguide.com

Thursday, 07 March 2013 01:07

NOT Your Usual Suspects

In our previous wine post, we talked about the usual suspects.  This time we will examine “The Road Less Traveled” or NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS.

There are hundreds of wines that aren’t normally thought of when thinking of or even tasting wines. Today we will examine a few of those wines that once they are tasted, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for wine.

Albarinois arguably one of the most popular white Spanish varietals that most have never heard of until recent years.  It is a crisp, clean, medium-bodied white wine that has a pure nose of tropical fruits and flavors of lemon, lime and peach with a zingy acidity, and a dry finish.  It is ideal for practically any shellfish.

Carmenere:  is made from a fascinating grape "Carmenere" that is practically unknown in the U.S.  It is a big tasty RED with great fruit and a hint of smoke.   It is very approachable on the palate and what I like to refer to as a great “introductory red.”  On the nose there are aromas of red fruit, spice and herbs, on the palate there are flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cherry and chocolate.  Personally it is one of my favorite go to wines after a long hard day at the office.


Malbec:  is a red wine that originated in France, but found a home and fame in Argentina where it has prospered very nicely there.  In recent years, Malbec has gained wide sweeping popularity as so many other New World wines have.  It is medium-full bodied, rich in fruit with a hint of spice.


Torrontes:  although I am more partial to red wines for my own palate, this indigenous white wine of Argentina, speaks to explosive aromas and is one of my favorite whites, that is if you were twisting my arm to drink whites.  It has very lively notes of citrus and peach fruit, with delicate layers of jazmine blossom and fresh herbs.  It is typically light and fresh on the palate with an excellent balance and finish.

Verdejo is a very light indigenous wine of Spain.  It has subtle hints of a juicy peach and grapefruit with distinct herbal flavors on the finish.  One of my favorite whites!

In my next blog posting we will focus on wines that are great introductory wines.

To learn more about the basics of wine and beyond, allow us to take you on that journey.

Elbert Hatley, The Wine Guide

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Monday, 14 January 2013 11:59

The Usual Suspects

There are hundreds of different types of wines but there are six that historically are the most popular and well known globally. They are popular for their flexibility to grow practically throughout the world in multiple regions.

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted and grown red wine grapes in the world. Some of the most notable regions that it is grown in are: Argentina, Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy and Spain. "Cabs" as they are often called range from medium to full bodied wines with varying degrees of tannins and acidity.

Another widely planted/grown red wine grape is Merlot, occasionally mispronounced (mer-lot), properly pronounced (mer – lo). Merlot is primarily grown in Australia, California, Chile and France. Merlot is typically a full bodied wine with hints of chocolate; standing well by itself and often blended with other grapes to compliment them.

Pinot Noir is grown around the world in cooler regions; most notably in the Burgundy region of France. It has widely garnered a reputation for outstanding wines in California and Oregon.

Chardonnay is easily the most highly recognized white wine. It too is grown around the world because of its ease of cultivating and growing in different climate types and its ability to let allow a winemaker to make different styles of wine. As an example I have had the opportunity of tasting several sparkling Chardonnays from Italy. I'd also add that Champagne is also made from Chardonnay. Chardonnay is undoubtedly the ultimate versatile wine whether it is dry, sweet or sparkling.

Riesling is grown throughout most of the cooler wine regions in the world; most notably Germany, Austria, Italy (northern), New Zealand and France. Riesling is best known for its aromatic sweet taste. It also produces dry and semi-sweet wines.

Sauvignon Blanc: grown throughout many wine regions of the world; most notably Australia, California, Chile, France, New Zealand and South Africa. Some of the most interesting Sauvignon Blancs that I've ever come across are from New Zealand and South Africa.

In my next blog posting we will focus on wines that are "The Road Less Traveled".

To learn more about the basics of wine and beyond, allow us to take you on that journey.

Elbert Hatley, The Wine Guide
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.