Best plastic cup of wine I had all year - Chicago Reader

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Would you believe me if I told you the best glass of wine I had all year (the Domaine La Bohème G&M) was served in a plastic cup and enjoyed from a stool at one of Pilsen’s oldest dive bars? No? Well, let me and the Los Naturales boys make you a believer. ice buckets for wine

Pick a Saturday between 2 PM and 6 PM and plan a visit to Los Caminos de Michoacan at 19th and Cullerton. This watering hole and community staple is famous for their karaoke nights and pool table (which you can almost always expect a line for). But on Saturday afternoons, you’ll find that the plastic buckets that house beers any other day of the week have been repurposed to chill differently hued bottles of wine. And a bright-red neon sign is illuminating the back wall like a Krispy Kreme hot light, signaling to all that Los Naturales is open for business. 

Staking their claim in Chicago’s burgeoning wine scene as Pilsen’s very own (TBH, only) natural wine headquarters, Los Naturales is the brainchild of best friends and Chicago natives Oscar Salinas, Adam Jiménez, and August Marron. This trio met as students at DePaul University and turned a shared passion for natural wine into an approach that is just as refreshing as the wines they pour. Their mission: “to quench the hood’s thirst with wines worth chugging.” Their effect? A way to reinvest in their neighborhood, a fresh new crowd at Jiménez’s family-run business, and, most importantly, a way to remove all the pretentiousness surrounding drinking and purchasing wine. 

The approach is no fuss and no frills, but the wines are most certainly not. 

Los Naturales “The Cave,” Caminos de Michoacán, 1659 W. Cullerton @los.naturales

They set out to serve great wine, and what they ended up with was part distribution company, part event series, and part philosophy. The wines are great no matter where you drink them or what you drink them out of. But the way Los Naturales curates their selection to reflect care for the grapes, the regions they’re grown in, and the people that alchemise them is where you find the real magic. I suggest you pull up in person to get the full experience, but they insist you can DM them on Instagram @los.naturales to get your hands on a few bottles as well.

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