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This Sommelier Series is supported by The Foley Food & Wine Society

To the casual wine drinker, understanding the finer details during a tasting can seem overwhelming. That’s where Slik Wines comes in. Cofounders and certified sommeliers Marie Cheslik, Danielle Norris, and Kyla Peal wanted to create a platform to act as a liaison between winemakers and the people who drink it.

With a combined 40+ years of experience in restaurants, the trio understands the intricacies of the niche wine industry and are on a mission to demystify the conversation surrounding the industry. Clients can range from the novice wine drinker who wants to host a virtual blind tasting for friends or a business happy hour to wine and beverage programs and cellars in need of consulting.

Cultivated in August 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Slik’s business plan is focused on sustainability, with safety protocols baked in from marketing aspects to hosting events. The three leading ladies plan to continue with these practices long after we shed COVID-19, allowing them to consistently offer safe and accessible ways to connect with clients. While gathering in intimate spaces isn’t on the agenda, the Slik trio is hosting virtual events as well as a handful of in-person get-togethers in open-air venues for small groups, covering the ins and outs of wine as well as hospitality. In the future, Slik hopes to offer larger events, widening the brand’s reach and growing its wine gang.

Speaking of Wine Gang, that’s the name of Slik’s monthly wine club. The mascot is Cheslik’s moped, Zelda. If it isn’t obvious, Slik is all about authenticity and creating inclusion for all levels in a new and exciting way. The wonder women of wine want to create a community in times of quarantine, while showing members the ropes when it comes to wine education. Club membership includes two hand-picked wines delivered to your door (or for pickup) as well as access to a short video, made by one of the three cofounders, detailing the wine’s backstory and optimal pairing suggestions.

This side hustle for Cheslik, Norris, and Peal continues to evolve and prove to be a necessary lifeline for both wine enthusiasts and professionals in Chicagoland and potentially beyond. In the meantime, Slik is spreading the love of wine one gang member at a time.


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