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———The International House of Wine and Cheese is way up in Richmond, Illinois, half a mile from the Wisconsin border.  In the middle of October this makes for a pleasant drive from Chicago.  It’s a family owned business.  When I remarked to the owner, Tom Jiaras, that his customers seemed exceptionally sociable and friendly, he said, this is what you get when you’re in a community for thirty years and you build good relations with everybody.  He holds a Wine & Cheese event several times a year, creating a congenial atmosphere. People get to know each other and spontaneously compare notes on various wines as they peruse the displays.  One couple I drew drove in from as far away as Oak Park. I was impressed and thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon.

International House of Wine and Cheese: tom@forwinelovers.com, 815-678-2500

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Sometimes, in a group drawing, not everybody stays around for the photo op:

And sometimes the camera is turned on the artist and then the artist hams it up

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