Facing a year where the economic downturn could put a damper on indulging in imbibing rituals such as a wine paired with luxurious dinners or creative cocktails, many bartenders are thinking long-term rather than latching on to gimmicky trends to meet continued expectations of sophisticated consumers. “We don’t want to do some kind of crazy special,” says Chad Ellegood, wine director at Chicago fine-dining establishment Tru. “We’re still in the process of looking for other ways to ...

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