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
What is the first wine that blew you away?
Since I'm new to this and am still learning what the wine world has to offer, every time I taste something that my palate hasn't experienced yet, I am blown away. This happens especially when I try something that truly shows a classic style and sense of place; when I'm able to understand a certain part of the world through a wine. One in particular was when we were blind tasting in my CMS Intro course. We tried a 2005 Cune Rioja Reserva, a "textbook" Rioja, so-to-speak. It blew me away how one bottle of wine can tell you so much about geography, terroir, winemaking practices, and years of history.
What was your favorite wine from our January newsletter?
The 2010 Allegrini "Palazzo della Torre" is exactly what I want on a freezing January evening. The dried cherry and warm baking spices are like a warm blankey!
How did you become interested in wine?
I'm a relative newcomer to the world of wine. Up until several years ago my drink of choice was a High Life and shot of Jim Beam. I got my start in the hospitality industry on the food side. I worked as a line cook in several restaurants around the city and the extent of my wine experience was using it to deglaze a pan. I left the crazy life as a cook for a job at a different local wine shop a few years ago, and now here we are.
When you're not tasting, buying, selling or writing about wine, what do you do?
Ever since I stopped cooking professionally, I love to cook at home. My absolute favorite thing to do at night is to open a bottle of something tasty and make a delicious meal for me and my husband- he can't boil water but he keeps me company. I also have a four-year-old chihuahua-mix named Audrey who is the love of my life and I like to spend most of my free time with her.
What's the best part about your job?
Getting to know our customers, most of whom are regulars, getting to know their tastes, and sending then home with something you know (or really really hope!) they'll enjoy. Also, my coworkers are pretty great; being surrounded by folks who share the same passion for eating and drinking as I do is not a bad way to spend the day.
What's your favorite wine region?
I love the elegance and femininity of the Loire Valley. The first time I smelled Chinon, the Beatrice et Pascal Lambert Dom. Les Chesnaies "Les Terrasses" to be exact, it reminded me of Chanel no. 5- floral and incredibly ladylike, with a musty scent you only encounter when opening a drawer at your grandmother's house. I also love the diversity of white wines that the Loire has to offer. From the rich salinity of Muscadet and the aromatic Chenins of Savennierres, to the crunchy Sauvignons of Sancerre and the awesome values of Cheverny.