About Us

Our Story

Nestled in historic downtown St Charles, along the beautiful Fox River, The Wine Exchange has been a local landmark since 1997. The Wine Exchange not only sells fine wine and spirits but also hosts weekly wine tastings, luxurious wine paired dinners, wine education and more. We believe in helping our customers make informed wine selections based on their palettes and price considerations, we specialize in exquisite California wines, as well as an array of fine wines from around the globe. We also carry high end and rare spirits.

Keri Foster and Bob Sommer have had a passion for wines for over 20 years traveling the world tasting wines from Italy, France, Spain, and of course California, Oregon, and Washington. Therefore, it was a natural progression for them to someday own a Fine Wine and Spirits shop where they could share the same appreciation, passion, and wine knowledge with their wine friends. Bob and Keri continuously seek out exceptional boutique, low production, and family-owned wineries throughout the world to provide their customers with the finest selections of wines to choose from.

Simply said:  “ We offer consistent high-level quality wines at, exceptional prices with an emphasis on undervalued, smaller production wines found throughout the world “ .

“The Wine Exchange is more than an Exchange of Wine…it’s an Exchange of Friendship, Conversation, Memories, Ideas, Celebrations and Thoughts“.

meet

Our team

OWNER & ceo

Keri Foster

Keri makes the WE feel like home. On a weekly bases she is finding fresh flowers for the dining tables, searching for new homemade recipes to bring in the WE kitchen or designing menus for the luxury dinners and in-house dining. With the WE being a “women owned business” Keri spends numerous hours working on back office reports and strategic planning, but her true passion is people and she enjoys giving everyone a big hug when she sees you. 

OWNER & President

Bob Sommer

Bob entered the wine business with a passion and the love of wine. Bob has spent many years tasting different wines from around the globe. You will most likely find him in the store talking with the WE guests to get to know them better or sharing a glass of his new favorite wine. Bob enjoys getting to know everyone on a first name bases as a friend and mutual wine lover.

Director of Wines

Michael Burkholder

Michael is one of the most knowledge wine guys you will ever meet. Once you come in the shop a few times, Michael will not only know your name but what wines you like and often will suggest to you what wines you may like based on your palate. Michael has developed many professional trade relationships over the years and has helped many of our loyal customers plan their trips to Napa and Sonoma. Michael is a talented wine expert. Give him a shout to help you find your next special bottle or just talk wine.

Executive Chef

Doug Yoemans

Chef Doug has been a member of the WE team for over 8 years and has 35+ years of extensive culinary experience. Chef has cooked for President Obama and a number of celebrities over the years. At the Wine Exchange, he develops and prepares the wine and food pairing menu for our Luxury Dinners and Special Events.  Chef is trained in French cuisine but enjoys cooking all types of dishes. When not cooking at WE, Chef has a very successful catering business. Please contact Chef to make arraignments for your next private event at WE or at your home/business. Chef Doug is simply the best!!

Director of Hospitality

Jaimie Schulte

Jaimie, the Director of Hospitality has been a member of the WE team for 8+ years and works hand and hand with Chef Doug to ensure every Luxury Dinner guest leaves with a smile on their face. Jaimie’s attention to detail and personal touch helps to provide every guest with an evening to remember.

SPIRIT SPECIALIST

Joe Stornello

Joe’s love of spirits particularly bourbon and whiskey makes him an important member of the WE team. If you are looking for just basic or more technical information about our spirits, Joe will be there to share his knowledge and passion. This Mark Twain quote is one of his favorite: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much whiskey is barely enough “ Cheers !!

Lead Crew Member

Jose Ballines

Jose has been a member of the WE team for 2+ years and his enthusiasm and smile has always been welcomed by our guests. He enjoys both helping to prepare the foods for the next day or assisting with food delivery to ensure all our guests have an unforgettable dining experience. We are so lucky to have him on our team.

 
 

Culinary Specialist

Roberto Moncada

Roberto has 20+ years of cooking experience and has worked in many different capacities throughout his career. We are so fortunate to have his expertise and knowledge on our team. He has such a passion for what he does and it shows in the food that he prepares. Roberto says when it comes to cooking, there is always more to learn, more to try, more ways to do things to create the perfect dish. “I love cooking and do the very best I can every minute and there is no better feeling than seeing a satisfied customer“.