Marie Cheslik’s Approach to Tasting German Wine

Watch as the Slik Wines founder blind-tastes a German wine and discusses what makes this winemaking country unique

Marie Cheslik sips a white wine in a studio
Marie Cheslik is a fan of German wines’ versatility. Cover image by Vivian Beltran.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partner, Wines of Germany.

Marie Cheslik is the founder of Slik Wines, a platform for wine education. She began her journey through the wine world after graduating from nursing school and working in restaurants. “I started focusing on wine in 2015 when I worked at Zahav in Philadelphia, which highlights Middle Eastern wine regions like the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon,” says Cheslik. “When I moved back to Chicago, I knew I wanted to pursue wine more seriously, so I took a serving job at the Michelin-starred restaurant Elske and worked my way up to wine director.”

Soon, Cheslik began accumulating certifications and award nominations. “I completed the Certified Sommelier exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2018, and was nominated for ‘Best Sommelier’ through a prominent Chicago culinary award, The Jean Banchet Award, in 2019,” says Cheslik. However, as for many people working in the hospitality industry in 2020, the pandemic shifted things in a new direction.

“When the restaurant world got turned on its head in 2020 because of COVID-19, I went back to nursing, but started doing virtual events and wine education through my own business, Slik Wines,” says Cheslik. Slik Wines, coming from Cheslik’s last name, has been recognized by the industry for its approachable wine content and has gained 100,000 followers across multiple social media platforms. To top it off, Cheslik has also created an online wine course, and is working on a book about her journey through wine hospitality and the importance of a wine label.

After shooting the Supertasters video with Cheslik, SevenFifty Daily spoke with her about her experience with German wine. 

SevenFifty Daily: What’s the first German wine you ever tried?

Marie Cheslik: I am almost positive we had a bottle of Blue Nun sitting on the table during Thanksgiving dinner when I was a kid. So, technically that. When I was studying for the Court of Master Sommeliers I remember tasting a J.J. Prüm Riesling as one of my blind tastings. That was the first time I noticed German wines.

What’s your favorite German wine and food pairing?

Any German Sekt with any flavor of Ruffles (I’m a fan of cheddar and sour cream). Get on the Sekt train before everyone else hops on and drives up the price.

Why do you love German wine?

Hyper food-friendly, high-acid, and lighter-bodied wines excite me the most, and German wines fit the bill no matter what style. I want to drink them on a porch, next to the beach, on a picnic, with el pastor tacos, and even with a big ol’ ribeye. They are versatile, and approachable for beginners but can easily be complex enough for any wine nerd. Do you see how many wine pages are simply committed to Riesling? It’s a great time to be a German wine fan.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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