Skip to content

Who is VinoMike?


Hello and thank you for checking out! Starting as a fine dining server in 2000, I’ve been in the wine biz for over 16 years. My interest in wine and wine service led me to the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2003 when I completed the Introductory Course. After continuing to sharpen my service skills as a dining room manager and sommelier, I earned my Certified Sommelier pin in 2008 and passed the difficult Advanced Sommelier exam on my first attempt in  2009. These monumental accomplishments have put me in contention for the Master Sommelier Diploma, the hardest exam of any kind in the world. I have attended the Master Sommelier exam three times.

The job of a “sommelier” is associated with working the floor of fine dining restaurants, guiding guests with wine and service throughout the meal. I left the restaurant world and currently work as the store manager of a significant wine retail shop in Chicago. It is a family owned business with four stores called . So if I’m a sommelier, why don’t I work at a restaurant? At this time of my life, as a husband and father, I simply prefer the more humane hours of retail, along with the constant exposure to wines from around the globe. There’s only a handful of restaurants out there that offer over 1,400 selections on their wine list (which we have at Vin Chicago). I also love educating my customers and recommending many different wines at once which they can try at their own leisure.

The purpose of my blog is to share my passion about the ever-changing world of wine while keeping it fun and simple. If you’re a casual drinker and want to learn more, I am thrilled to offer advice and recommendations on a very down to earth level. If you’re a top wine professional, then I look forward to sharing and exchanging ideas and experiences with you. I did not grow up in a wine environment. I am originally from Florida and my first passion was music. I played euphonium in symphonic band and marching band. Towards the end of high school I discovered jazz and that’s all I ever wanted to do… until I was a broke college grad who needed a job to pay rent which, like most artists, is how I found myself serving in the restaurant business.

Please enjoy the posts and I look forward to meeting you and learning your story.


  • Michael Matonte (VinoMike)
One Comment
  1. Bob permalink

    Very nice. Looking forward to reading more and watching VinoMike become an industry leader.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: