Our people are the best. Very knowledgeable without a trace of snobbery. Many Vin Chicago people have advanced certifications, including two who are Master Sommelier candidates. That's a very big deal, because there are only 200 Master Sommeliers in all of North America. But again, we're experts, not snobs. We're just a bunch of wine lovers—we're not just selling it. We're living it.
Peter's career in the manufacturing and technology sector took an unexpected turn in 2001 when he joined his father Bud in the family business. He spends most of his time working hard behind the scenes on our newsletters, email offerings and all of those details that it takes to keep a growing business afloat. If you want to know why our prices are so much lower than most of the other guys, he is the one to ask! In his spare time you'll find him running on the lakefront or sailing hard in the Wednesday night races at Montrose Harbor.
In 1958, fresh out of the University of Illinois and a stint in the Navy, Bud took a "temporary" position managing his father's store. Over 50 years later he is still at it and still as passionate about wine as ever. He is as comfortable talking about current trends in the wine industry as he is telling stories about the early days when Chateau Lafite sold for $5 per bottle. If he is not at the stores, he is probably on the golf course, spending time with the grandkids or fulfilling his duties as Chairman of BUILD, a Chicago-based charity that supports at-risk kids.
An Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers, Mike manages the Naperville store, serves as our lead buyer and is a key instigator of our twice-weekly email offerings. A true wine lover, he works at a frenetic pace, always has a big smile on his face and can help you find the perfect wine to go with just about any meal. He is an active parent of three kids. As for his spare time – well, he doesn't really have any!
It’s hard to believe, but Jim’s been with us for over 30 years. Ask him a question about a wine that you bought from us twenty years ago and he’ll know the answer – his memory is like a vault! Jim was the original manager of our Elston Avenue store when we opened it in 1987. Today you can find him managing our Highland Park store. As he has been since the very beginning, he is one of our lead tasters and most prolific writers of tasting notes. He loves all sorts of wine, with a special place in his heart for the Rhone region.
An Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers, Mike is the manager of our Chicago store and an active member of our tasting panel. Mike joined us in 2007 and is a wine guy to the core, with a particular passion for Italian reds, especially Barolo. When Mike's not at the store, he's with his wife and little baby boy, or conversing with fellow Sommeliers and wine-lovers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
After many years as an officer with the DuPage County juvenile detention center and a short stint in the restaurant business, we were able to convince Jennifer to join us on a full-time basis in 2012. Not only did she pass the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Certified Sommelier exam, she earned the highest score in her class and won a scholarship towards pursuit of her Level III certificate!