The commissioning ceremony for the USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) submarine occurred on Saturday, October 14 in Groton, CT. The submarine was named after Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, who grew up in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood. Rickover is known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy.”

A local sparkling wine made by Illinois Sparkling Co., will be served at a key celebration during commissioning weekend. This traditional method sparkling wine, named Blend 795 after the ship’s number, was created specifically for the christening of the submarine, which occurred in July, 2021. This wine was served on Friday, October 13, at the unveiling of the Admiral Hyman Rickover exhibit at the Submarine Force Museum.  

“We were honored and excited when the USS Hyman G Rickover commissioning committee asked us to be a part of these memorable celebrations,” said Mark Wenzel. Mark is the winemaker, and he and his wife Teri are owners of Illinois Sparkling Co. (ISC).

Blend 795 is made from 100% Illinois-grown grapes and is a traditional method sparkling wine  with notes of lemon, marmite, brioche & hazelnut and plenty of Prairie State pride. For each bottle sold, $5 is donated to the USS Hyman G Rickover commissioning committee, who organized the commissioning weekend ceremonies and continues to provide support for submarine crew members in times of need.

While ISC Blend 795 is only available online or at the August Hill Winery Tasting Room in Utica, IL, you can find other Illinois Sparkling Co. wines throughout the state including Publican O’Hare, The Gwen Hotel, Avec, Pops for Champagne, and Patina Wine Bar. The wines are also available at retail locations like Binny’s.

For more information on Illinois Sparkling Co., visit For further information on the USS Hyman G Rickover submarine and to see the commissioning ceremony, visit

October 14th, 2023  |  Susanne Bullock  |   | 


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