Celebrating 17 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine

Down Cellar

Barrington resident Jim Bryant is pursuing his passion and love of wine as an international wine consultant. This follows a 30-year career in senior financial and general management positions at two Fortune 100 companies. He is the owner of James R. Bryant L.L.C.; contact him at profwino@comcast.net.



Bordeaux – Part 3

On September 30, 2021, our group of 15 people gathered in Paris
to begin a much-anticipated trip to Bordeaux—the first international

venture for all of us since the pandemic. This is the third article about

our adventure, with the first and second being in the January/February and

March/April 2022 issues.


Bordeaux – Part 2

On November 30, 2021, our group of 15 people gathered in Paris to begin a much-anticipated trip to Bordeaux—the first international venture for all of us since the pandemic. This is the second article about our adventure, with the first being in the January/February 2022 issue.


Bordeaux – Part 1

On September 30, 2021, our group of 15 gathered in Paris to begin a much-anticipated trip to Bordeaux—for all of us, our first international venture since COVID 19. Although all were vaccinated, we felt somewhat vulnerable going into the unknown.



My Favorite Wine–Southern Rhône

I have been fortunate to have had many of the finest vintages of the world’s greatest wines. As a result, I find it difficult to pick my favorite wine.


Jim Bryant’s Value Red Wines

Continuing from my last Quintessential Barrington article (July/August 2021) which focused on white and rosé wines, less than $25, this focuses on red wines at the same price point.


Jim Bryant’s Value White Wines

For those of you who have recently moved to the Barrington area, we’re glad you’re here! I wanted to reintroduce myself to you and other readers.


Barcelona to Rome

Following the 10-day tour through Spain, we met up with several other participants in our group for a voyage on Crystal Serenity from Barcelona to Spain.


The Hedonistic/Rebalaisian Event to Remember–Part 2

After enjoying the Adrianna Vineyard Vinos de Parcela tasting, we adjourned to DiPiero’s Ristorante in Lake Zurich where we had an excellent dinner paired with great Italian wines.


A Hedonistic–Rebalaisian Event to Remember, Part 1

Had Covid-19 not happened, nine of my friends and I were to attend
Wine Spectator’s 40th Wine Experience in New York City.


November/ December

Wines for the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, I find that many people ask for the same advice, that is, what are my wine choices for meals prepared for these festive and joyous occasions?

September / October

Spanish Finale

We arrived in Rioja and had a delightful tour and tasting at Muga. We started with the Muga Blanco 2018 which was a great wine with an abundance of large white asparagus (my favorite vegetable), red wines ( all Tempranillo based) included the 2018 Muga, 2015 Muga Reserva, 2015 Muga Selección Especial, 2011 Muga Prado Enea, and Torre Muga 2015. 

July / August

Spanish Wine Tour - Part 1

After our whirlwind trip around Jerez de la Frontera, we flew to Madrid and picked up the rest of our guests. We motored north to my favorite Spanish wine region—Ribera del Duero.

May / June

Exploring Sherries in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

In late September, my wife, Pat, and I along with Greg Pearson spent two days and nights in Jerez de la Frontera—the epicenter of all that is Sherry.

March / April


Departing Auckland on the Crystal Serenity we cruised the Tasmania Sea for three days and arrived in Sydney in mid-afternoon. We enjoyed the slow maneuvering through one of the world’s most beautiful harbors.

January / February

A Down Under Adventure

In early February of 2019, 16 people set out from Chicago and/or Nashville for a month of wine and food adventures in New Zealand and Australia.


November / December

Chablis Adds Class to the Dinner Table

After the luncheon and wines at Drouin-Laroze, we had a brief walking tour of Dijon and then motored north to Chablis and checked into the Hostellerie des Clos for our three nights.

September / October

Beautiful, Bountiful Burgundy

After spending one week on the Esprit barge in Burgundy, half of the pas-sengers joined an equal number of new arrivals to visit some of Burgundy’s best wineries and restaurants.

July / August

Canal Barging in France

Over the past decade I have heard from several of my friends about their wonderful experiences on barges in the small canals in several parts of France. In 2018, we rented an 18-passenger, 128-foot barge to ply the canals of Burgundy.