About

The cream of the crop. Cream Wine Company is a local, Illinois importer and distributor that is owned and operated by partners Andy Pates and Mark Payne. Cream's professional team passionately represents a dynamic, authentic portfolio of growers and producers who are obsessed with quality and translating time and place with integrity, respect for tradition and relevance to the present.

Born from a need for a focused and progressive distribution service that professionally bridges the gap between grower/producer and restaurant/retailer, Cream Wine Company has organically grown over the years to be recognized as one of the nation’s leading importers and distributors of fine wine, craft spirits, ginjo sake, beer and ciderThe Cream Team, a cohesive staff of passionate professionals, is committed to excellence in service. Our ever-expanding core customer list is comprised of the top Illinois restaurants and wine retailers. Cream’s thoughtful, balanced and authentic portfolio contains comprehensive, regional selections of some of the finest estates, growers and producers on the planet. Our business is about product, people and place with the most important asset being the people - Cream Team, partners and customers - that make it all possible.

Service

Cream’s mission is to provide the highest level of service to our Illinois restaurant and retailer partners. Every member of the Cream Team is a member of the Customer Service Team with a collective goal to deliver products in perfect condition, at the right temperature, invoiced properly and on time. Our Chicago-based, temperature-controlled warehouse and trucks help us deliver product that is ready for enjoyment upon arrival.

Cream maintains a high level of service by embracing and utilizing technology to enhance distribution services. The Cream website offers up-to-date, detailed information on people and products, including technical sheets, press, tasting notes and point of sale. Establish your creamwine.com customer login to see pricing and check stock status. Cream Sales Representatives utilize cloud technology to generate real-time inventory. Customer Service is available by phone, email and social media outlets during business hours to answer all questions and concerns. Product knowledge and category training creates an educated Cream Team that can better service your needs and consult on your beverage programs.

Cream chooses to conduct business in a transparent, professional and ethical manner. We greatly appreciate your support and look forward to improving your service for many years to come. Please do not hesitate to provide feedback on how we can do better.

Portfolio

From the New and Old World, Cream places an emphasis on small, artisan growers and producers in categories of fine wine, craft spirits, ginjo sake, beer and cider. Many practice biodynamic and organic viticulture as well as make wine in a minimalist, non intervening approach. Some call this traditional or natural; we like to think of it as the way wine used to be made. The domestic portfolio is a collection of small and medium-sized growers and producers from California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Maine, Michigan, Louisiana and Colorado. Cream's American Small Batch Portfolio further details our limited, small production American wine producers. Cream's national import partners are regarded highly as leaders in their respective categories and include: Rare Wine Company, Vine Connections, Ole Imports, Rosenthal Wine Merchants, Rudi Wiest Selections, Zev Rovine Selections, Valkyrie Selections, OBRIGADO - Vinhos Portugal, Jon-David Headrick Selections, Circo Vino, and Maximilien Selections. Through Cream Imports, our direct import division, we endeavor to enhance our overall portfolio by discovering, introducing and energizing the Illinois market on select growers, producers and appellations. Cream Imports showcases pure, compelling expressions of authentic, singular wines that are thoughtfully grown and minimally made with respect for tradition and relevance to the present.

Education & Special Events

Cream places a strong emphasis on continued education for the Cream Team and the Illinois trade. We conduct one-on-one tastings, producer and grower seminars (videos), category ‘Salon Series’ tastings, portfolio tastings, trips to regions, etc. Creamwine.com news & events page details a calendar of upcoming events for the trade. Rich content is also communicated to the Cream Team and market through online avenues: creamwine.com, facebook, twitter, youtube, pinterest, instagram, linkedin.

Please contact your Cream Sales Representative to schedule a tasting or staff training. In particular, if you’d like to learn more about sake, the Cream Team has many professional sake warriors to help you with sake-related projects. Andy Pates, partner of Cream Wine Company, and Dan Fullick, On-premise Sales Manager, are Advanced Sake Professionals (ASP) having passed both Level I (Certified Sake Professional) and Level II of the Sake Professional Course. In addition, Dustin Ryan, James Adam and Krassi Boboshevsky have passed the Level I Certified Sake Professional Course.

Cream’s portfolio is a balanced and thoughtful collection of top global artisans from the New and Old World. Trade tastings help showcase this fine collection. We host multiple portfolio tastings, big and small, to bring winemakers and principals to Chicago to meet the trade and consumer. Our Annual Fall Warehouse Tasting & Sale is a more informal trade event that is held to preview fall releases and spotlight treasures in the portfolio. This is held around the Autumnal Equinox (3rd week in September). The Cream Salon Series is an informal, intimate tasting and education seminar between the supplier, the Cream Team and select, key Illinois beverage buyers.