About Us

The Name   |   Phil Bilodeau   |   Aimee Murphy  

We're a boutique fine wine shop and bar, featuring eclectic and distinctive wines from all over the world. (Don't worry - we have craft beers and spirits to meet all your needs as well). We love what we do, turning people on to great wine and giving every customer the best possible experience. We look forward to seeing you!

The Name
Why Thief? "Thief" refers to a barrel thief, which is a long glass tube used to extract maturing wine from barrels for sampling at a winery. We chose the name to reflect that special insider experience, giving you access to wines you might not otherwise discover. Plus, the name's fun and interesting, hopefully evocative and memorable, not stuffy or boring - exactly what wine should be.

Phil Bilodeau, Proprietor & Co-Founder: Phil has extensive experience and knowledge in wine sales and education, strategic planning, marketing, and industry consulting. He is a certified sommelier and is currently Wisconsin's only candidate for the Master of Wine designation, the industry's most highly sought-after and difficult-to-achieve certification. Phil successfully passed the MW exam in 2012 and at some point will get around to doing his dissertation to complete the process.

Prior to moving to Milwaukee, he spent five years out in Napa and Sonoma, where he worked for Grgich Hills Estate, Trefethen Vineyards, and as Director of Communications at Sonoma County Vintners, a trade organization representing the region's wines & wineries. Originally from Boston, Phil spent five years in Minneapolis as a wine distributor (and in a pre-wine career, online producer for Minnesota Public Radio and editor for Horticulture magazine.)

Favorite wine: I'm a sucker for good Barolo, Burgundy (red or white), or dry Alsatian Riesling

Phil Bilodeau

Aimee Murphy, Director of Operations & Co-Founder: Aimee's got a rare mix of wine, restaurant, and hospitality experience. Previously Director of Hospitality at Hanna Winery in Sonoma County, Aimee has also worked in production at Testarossa Vineyards, a renowned Pinot and Chardonnay producer. Previously Aimee owned her own catering company, Bonne Bouche, for six years, managed front-of house at Restaurant LuLu in San Francisco, and been a hotel Director of Food & Beverage. Additional wine experience includes passing the Level 1 course of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Born and raised in California, Aimee has wholeheartedly embraced fish fries, the Brewers, and the genuine niceness of the people here. (She is withholding judgment on the winter.)

Favorite wine: I'll never refuse Champagne
Favorite wine implement: Champagne saber - who knew cutting the top off a bottle with a huge knife could be so much fun?

Aimee Murphy