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Posted by Jennifer Blair  on 13 April 2020
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Posted by Jennifer Blair  on 06 April 2020

Vin Chicago Blog


Meet Highland Park's Mike Zehe!


It's hard to believe, but it's already been four years since Mike Zehe left the insurance industry and followed his passion for wine to join us at Vin Chicago. Always with a smile and a can-do attitude, Mike spent a few years learning the business at our Elston Avenue store before moving north to take on the assistant manager role in Highland Park. We're thrilled to have him as part of the team!


What is the first wine that blew you away?


I will not forget the time I tried the 2008 Domaine Leflaive "Sous le Doc D'Ane" Premier Cru Meursault. (Quite a name, but I saved the brochure from the tasting!) It was early in my wine adventures, and my first truly great wine. I was left speechless, and stupefied. How could wine taste that good? It was utterly decadent and delicious, like the best creme brulee in the world. I have yet to match that revelatory experience, though I've come close many times.


Any wines in your cellar that you're holding for a special occasion?


One with sentimental value is the bottle of 2006 D'Arenberg "Dead Arm" Shiraz, an iconic wine from the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. I received it as a gift from an early wine mentor when I graduated from college. I've been patient for seven years, the longest for any bottle in my cellar. I definitely look forward to enjoying the fruits of my 'labor' sooner rather than later.


What region has most impressed you over the last few years?


I have to tip my cap to South Africa. It has been a long, uphill battle to regain their position in the global market since the early 1990s, and their niche is beginning to form. The wines seem to get better by the year. In sheer variety of grapes and styles they have much in common with California, but also much that is uniquely their own: a fascinating history, rich wine tradition, and everyone's favorite, Pinotage! What was previously South Africa's very bright future might now finally be here.


When you're not tasting, buying, selling, or writing about wine, what do you do?


My interests change with the weather, but I can usually be found long-distance running, exploring the local public library and all its treasures, or navigating a new recipe at home. Otherwise I mostly just agonize over the Chicago White Sox.


Wine Tasting this Saturday - 8/5
Meet Highland Park's Lyle Jorgenson!


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