The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 40 of 148

The passionate experts at The Village Cellar in Hinsdale, IL: Manager Bryan Blinstrup; co-owners Mark and Chrys Maritote; Assistant Manager Alyssa White. Boutique Buoyed by Brain Trust THE VILLAGE CELLAR UNCORKS EXPERTISE IN WINEBAR INTIMACY by Tom Caestecker Jr. / photo by Jay Schroeder M any enter the wine business after establishing themselves in other, less romantic professions. California���s wine country is illed with names that initially made their mark in medicine or law: Fogarty, Hanna and Chateau Montelena are just a few examples. Usually, a switch to wine means divesting oneself from the staid ofice world to wholeheartedly embrace the beguiling beverage���and its many demands. But a Midwestern couple who started their wine odyssey with carefree trips to Napa has opened a wine bar in suburban Chicago . . . and stuck with their day jobs! Mark and Chrys Maritote, owners of The Village Cellar in Hinsdale, IL, remain active as an attorney and electrical engineer, respectively. But their devotion to wine���and the assemblage of a dynamite staff���has made the transition to the world of boutique retail smoother than expected. ���We wanted to add a third stream of income,��� says Mark Maritote. ���While volunteering our time to other projects, Chrys and I found that we were great at raising money for others through various fundraisers. These 36 / the tasting panel / march 2013 successes made us believe we could do well with our own business.��� The Maritotes looked at other upscale wine bars for ive years, and inally settled on the one they wanted in afluent Hinsdale in July 2012. But despite the warm, inviting d��cor, the ideal demographic and world-class tasting events (sometimes featuring 70 wines!), nothing can match what Mark Maritote says is the good fortune of hiring the right people. ���All of our strengths are complementary,��� says Manager and pairings expert Bryan Blinstrup. It wasn���t all so smooth in the beginning. The Maritotes returned from Paris one October day last year, and the following day The Village Cellar was oficially theirs. A few bureaucratic paperwork nightmares with the municipality, plus a computer crash before the irst tasting were inauspicious, but the assembled brain trust persevered���and lourished. As Blinstrup adds: ���We���re proud of our collective knowledge.���

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - March 2013