Compare Transport LLC dispatches a fleet of clean, punctual taxi vehicles for general and airport transportation around Chicagoland. Most of the company’s drivers have decades of experience, and their language fluency includes Polish, French, Greek, and Spanish, allowing them to easily serve and transport their customers.
When Bud Schwarzbach took a job managing his father's store in 1958, it was supposed to be a temporary position. More than 50 years on, he's still at it at Vin Chicago. The reason the business has endured so long may be that the Schwarzbachs and their colleagues don't just taste wine, but live it, tasting hundreds of wines each month, and assessing each one?s color, aroma, flavor, body, and finish. The result is a family business big enough to buy in volume, but small and passionate enough to carefully select every single wine that comes in. To back up their recommendations and prove they can count past the single digits, the team can tell customers each bottle's score on 100-point scales from Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, or Vin Chicago's own in-house rating system.
Quality may be the most important factor the staff considers when they update their selection at stores in Chicago, Highland Park, Barrington, and Naperville. But that's not to say they ignore affordability. Case in point: each store stocks a selection of sub-$10 wines that have all earned scores above 90.
There are treasures beyond belief under the waves. All across the Midwest, lakes large and small contain pieces of history, from a moss-coated dump truck at the bottom of Haigh Quarry to the schooner Thomas Hume, which has been a home to the fish of Lake Michigan since 1891. With favorite wet spots from Missouri to Minnesota, the teachers at Chicagoland Scuba are privy to it all. Whether offering first-time divers certification classes, leading diving trips, or learning how fish like to be hugged, exploring the underwater life is second nature to these pros—something they hope rubs off on their students, too.
Village Vintner Winery & Brewery poses a gastronomic triple threat, operating as not just a restaurant and winery, but also a fully functioning brewery. A battalion of stainless-steel machinery ferments the hand-selected wheat and barley that make up the vanilla-cream ale, the German-style hefeweizen, and the Vintner Hop Rocket, an 8.2% ABV varietal culminating from six types of hops and mad, mad science. At the tasting bar, guests can sample these brewery end products, along with Village Vintner’s expansive selection of homemade red, white, and fruit wines. The main restaurant area houses a wood-fired pizza oven, which bakes the pesto pizzas and smoldering baby back ribs that complement potables.
A spirit of good-natured fun permeates the copper-hued premises, as evidenced by a free monthly wine and mug club. Live music is a common occurrence on Friday nights, and Wednesdays star Chef Rob’s pork special.
Bachman Aero's FAA-certified pilots take to the sky inside choppers for flight services such as aerial photography, sightseeing, or lessons in helicopter certification. They provide beginning pilots a chance to log hours in their helicopters, helping students prepare for commercial pilot flight exams or their oral exam on pig Latin pilot jargon. The in-house instructors also groom accomplished pilots for a career in teaching with instructor lessons.
Rudolph Valentino DiTommaso has approximately 4,000 growing vines to look after at his 20-acre estate vineyard of ripening grapes in Long Grove. Rudolph and his team harvest their fruits and age their elixirs in barrels made of French and American oak to yield more than 20 types of wines, all of which are produced completely on-site. And they take just as much delight in showing off their libations as they do in making them. The vineyard regularly hosts seminars and tastings, which guests can pair with tours of the vineyard.