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Wine Tasting Event Chicago, Highland Park and Barr...
Posted by Peter Damico  on 21 May 2019
Saturday Tastings
Wine Tasting Event Chicago, Highland Park and Barr...
Posted by Jennifer Blair  on 15 May 2019

Vin Chicago Blog

 

Meet Elston Avenue's Jenna Yeh- A Chef By Training With A Profound Passion For Wine!

Vin Chicago Bio!

- Jenna Yeh –

 

 

Jenna has been at our Elston Avenue store for just three months but it's hard to remember what life was like pre-Jenna. Always smiling, Jenna is the kind of person we love having on our team. She speaks softly, but with a profound passion and excitement. A chef by training, with stints at Girl & the Goat, Taxim and Green Zebra, Jenna has as much love for food as for wine. Looking for a perfect wine to pair with your special dinner? You'll want to seek her out!

 

 

What is your first wine memory?

 

When I was 10 or 11 years old, my mom took me and my sister to Sunday brunch at the Drake Hotel. She ordered a glass of chardonnay, who knows what it was, and let me have a sip...It was buttery and rich, like PIE! Pretty amazing for a chunky little preteen 

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Meet Hunter Logan: Chiavennasca Connoisseur, Culinary Adventurist and Puppy Lover!

Vin Chicago Bio!

- Hunter Logan –

 

 

What can we say about Hunter Logan? He is one of the sweetest, most sincere people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. His passion for wine and zest for life are inseparably intertwined. Ask about his latest culinary exploit and you're certain to get a big smile and a mouth-watering story!

 

 

What is your first wine memory?

 

I don't really have a "first" wine memory. It is more of a continuous string of memories that comprise my childhood. Wine was always a constant in my family - not surprising as some members hailed from the south of France - and a delicious bottle of wine was always present at the dinner table. Ironically, it was most often a bottle of Rioja and not a classical French wine. Riojas were a family favorite and I still enjoy them a great deal to this day. 

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Meet Washington State Native and Certified Sommelier Jim Matthews!

Vin Chicago Bio!

- Jim Matthews –

 

 

Always ready to greet you with a smile and a handshake, Jim's love, passion and enthusiasm for wine is as strong as his customer service. A member of our team for 22 years, he first joined us in 1992 at our former Forest Park location. In 2007 he helped open our store in Barrington where he's been ever since. In addition to working for us, Jim has taught wine appreciation classes at College of DuPage, was a wine columnist for North Shore Magazine and hold his Level II Certified Sommelier certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

 

 

What is your favorite wine region?

 

I enjoy wines from most of the world's wine regions, so picking a favorite region is like trying to pick a favorite song or movie. However, the wine region that's most familiar to me is Washington state. I was born in a small town located I what is now the Columbia Valley AVA, and I still have family there today. Over the years I've toured nearly 30 wineries during my trips visiting family. I try to stay abreast of the Washington wine scene, although with nearly 800 wineries today, it becomes more and more challenging.

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Meet Advanced Sommelier Michael Matonte!

Vin Chicago Bio!

- Michael Matonte –

 

 

A wine guy to the core, Mike Matonte has a major passion for Italian wines and will totally flip out over a great Barolo. He joined us in 2007 at our Elston Avenue store and now manages the Naperville store and our social media. When Mike's not at the store, you'll find him studying for the Master Sommelier Diploma exam (he's already passed his Level III Advanced Sommelier test!), conversing with wine lovers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or hanging out with his wife and new baby!

 

 

What is your first wine memory?

 

My journey into the world of wine began in 2000 as a server at Timpone's in Urbana, my first serious restaurant job. I didn't have any knowledge of wines and remember the chef/owner, Ray Timpone, coming up to the dining room to taste us out on a couple of new additions to our by-the-glass list. He was asking the servers what they smelled in the wine. Answers started flying around like cinnamon, violets, cedar, tobacco and more. Not able to pick out anything like that in the wine, I stood in awe. That's when I knew I wanted to learn more, so I could talk about wine just like those experienced professionals.

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Meet Our Barrington Manager Jennifer Blair!

Vin Chicago Bio!

- Jennifer Blair –

 

We often wonder what type of background best qualifies someone to work for Vin Chicago. Being a wine lover is a must. We've also found that people who thrive in the restaurant business are likely a good fit for our fast-paced, customer-driven atmosphere. Not only does Jennifer Blair meet these criteria, she also worked for many years as an officer in the DuPage County juvenile detention center. The last few years have been eventful for Jen. Like so many folks at Vin Chicago, she is working her way through the Court of Master Sommeliers' certification program. She aced her exam to become a Certified Sommelier with the highest grades in her class earning a scholarship towards her Level III certificate. Even more exciting she and her husband welcomed a baby girl into the world last year! Jen now manages our Barrington location – a well-earned promotion while still on maternity leave. Jen's knowledge and capabilities are exceptional, and her enthusiasmis utterly infectious.

 

What is your first wine memory?

When I was in my early 20s, I worked evening shift at the juvenile detention center. We'd get out around 10pm and go over to a friend's house to have a drink and play some cards. My co-worker/friend was very knowledgeable regarding food, wine and beer. He introduced me to aged cheeses, like 5 year old Gouda and 10 year old Hooks Cheddar, and the different Prädikat levels of Riesling. I had no idea that Riesling could put out such levels of quality or that there was such a thing as Eiswein! The crisp, clean Riesling with the crumbly aged cheese was an "Aha" moment for me. It was the first time I really considered drinking anything other than beer!

 

What do you do outside the wine world?

I love spending time with my family, they are the most important thing to me. I have a baby daughter and a fantastically supportive husband. We frequently attend Sunday dinner at my parents' house to hang out with my extended family. When the budget allows I love to travel! There is a great big world out there and I want to see it all! Anyone who works with me will tell you I love to eat (is that a bad thing?). I love to try new restaurants. I also enjoy bike riding and pilates.

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