Our Team… The Only Thing Better Than Our Wine

Experts & Specialists

Guided by Passionate Industry Experts

A Bit About Vinology

Vinology is a new wine bar and bottle shop in Cincinnati that offers an impressive selection of over 400 wines. Most of these wines have been carefully chosen from the master list of David Schildknecht, a local resident of Mt. Lookout and a renowned American wine critic and journalist with decades of wine experience.

At Vinology, you can explore a diverse range of wines by the glass at the tasting bar, which shares a space with Lookout Joe Coffee Shop. You can also purchase bottles from the extensive cellar and bottle shop located down the hall from the wine bar.

Vinology aims to be Cincinnati’s wine destination and provides an immersive experience for wine enthusiasts. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming ambiance where people can taste, learn, and enjoy exclusive wines from around the world. Whether you’re looking for a unique and high-value wine or want to expand your wine knowledge, Vinology is here to fulfill your desires.

To further enhance your wine education, Vinology also offers the Cincinnati Wine Academy on the second floor of the establishment. Under the guidance of David Schildknecht, we provide a wide variety of instructor-led courses. These range from fun 2-hour sessions focused on tasting wines of a desired area or varietal, to more in-depth 8-hour sessions such as “World of Wines 101,” “Tour de France,” “California Here We Come,” and “Italia,” among others.

Vinology is dedicated to creating a space where the local community can come together, relax, and enjoy diverse and unique wines.

Whether you're looking for a casual wine tasting experience or a comprehensive wine education, Vinology is the place to be.

Michelle Nguyen

Founder & CEO

Michelle Nguyen embarked on her wine journey during her final year of college spent in Paris, France. Immersed in the rich wine culture of France, she discovered the integral role wine plays in French identity and daily life. With France being a global leader in wine production, Michelle was captivated by its extensive vineyards and storied wine history.

Originally from Vietnam, where wine culture was virtually nonexistent apart from rice wine used in cooking, Michelle’s exposure to wine began later in life. It wasn’t until she moved to the United States and then experienced European wine culture firsthand in Paris that she developed a genuine appreciation for wine. The tradition of long, convivial dinners with friends and her French host family, where wine and stories flowed freely, left a lasting impression on her.

After over two decades in the corporate world, much of the recent years spent working remotely, Michelle decided to pursue her passion for wine and personal connections. She chose Cincinnati, attracted by its inviting atmosphere, to launch Vinology. Situated in Mt. Lookout Square, Vinology reflects the charm and warmth reminiscent of Michelle’s time in Europe, with a mission to infuse her community with the spirit of Paris and French wine culture.

Deborah Barton

EVP and GM

Deborah Barton has accumulated extensive experience in the luxury retail and hotel industries, wearing many hats and creating lasting impressions along the way. Deborah’s journey began with the first Cincinnati opening of Louis Vuitton. Time spent in France, immersing herself in the brand’s deep heritage, fueled her desire to understand the creativity, craftsmanship, and success behind such a prestigious business.

Deborah’s intense love of fashion, food, and wine has led to a unique collaboration with Vinology in Mt. Lookout. Deborah’s primary focus and direction at Vinology is on bringing people together through a shared passion for wine and storytelling.

At Vinology, wine is seen as an integral part of daily life and culture, meant to be enjoyed by all. Our ultimate goal is to unite people in the community in a stunning setting, sharing the pleasure of a beautiful glass of wine, which embodies the essence of living.

David Schildknecht

Chief Wine Officer

David Schildknecht is a distinguished figure in the wine industry, with a rich background that spans philosophy and the restaurant sector before dedicating over 25 years to the U.S. wine trade in Washington, DC, and Cincinnati. He is celebrated for his in-depth tasting reports on wines from Austria, Germany, France, and North America, which have been featured in prestigious publications such as Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, and since 2015, Vinous.

In addition to his tasting reports, David contributes columns and features to esteemed publications including The World of Fine Wine, Wine & Spirits, The Art of Eating, Trink, and Austria’s Vinaria. His expertise is further highlighted by his role in writing the German and Austrian sections for the 5th edition, as well as two previous editions of The Oxford Companion to Wine. Moreover, he co-authored the 7th edition of Robert Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide.

David’s excellence in the field has been recognized with numerous accolades. He was a finalist for the James Beard Award in 2002 and was honored with Austria’s Bacchuspreis in 2008. Beyond his professional achievements, David’s interests are diverse, encompassing academic aesthetics, a pilot program at U.C. Davis, cooking, music, and history, all of which he enjoys with the support of his wife of fifty years.

James Mark Whitehead

The Cellar’s Head Vintner

James Mark Whitehead boasts over two decades of experience in the wine industry, having worked with producers, vendors, and retail establishments to hone his palate. Mark is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) by the Society of Wine Educator (SWE) – a globally recognized and highly respected organization.

Though semi-retired, Mark remains deeply involved in the world of wine, driven by his passion for the craft. While he appreciates a wide range of varietals, Champagne holds a special place in his heart. Known as the Wine Jedi among his friends—a nickname inspired by his dual passions for wine and Star Wars—Mark enjoys sharing his knowledge with both new enthusiasts and seasoned connoisseurs, helping them to expand their wine repertoire.

Outside of his wine pursuits, Mark loves to travel, cook, and spend time with his beloved cats, Nala and Nine. His travels often take him to Walt Disney World, earning him a reputation as a Disney Adult.

Brook Drummond

Strategic Advisor

With 20 years of experience in the wine industry, Brook Drummond has served in various roles including tasting room associate, private tour guide, private event host for consumer and trade, Wine Educator, National Sales Representative, Marketing Manager, and Estate General Manager. She has overseen growing, production, blending, bottling, and fulfillment processes.

Drummond has presided over two successful brand launches and has extensive experience in national and international sales and wine events. At Skipstone Estate, she had the opportunity to work with world-renowned Winemaker Philippe Melka. Drummond is passionate about sharing the rich stories of wines and their origins, striving to make fine wines accessible and enjoyable. She currently operates Attaché Consulting, leveraging her expertise to consult for food and wine lifestyle brands and non-profits.