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Sommelier Stories: How Bourbon Steak Cultivated Arizona's Largest Sommelier Staff
Jul 16, 2019
By Chad Howard, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage
How Bourbon Steak Cultivated Arizona's Largest Sommelier Staff
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Sommelier Stories: How Bourbon Steak Cultivated Arizona's Largest Sommelier Staff

An expertly paired wine can change dining to a memorable experience. Bourbon Steak, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, has been recognized as the Scottsdale restaurant with the best wine list by Wine Spectator. Recognition as Arizona's best wine list was achieved with a cellar of more than 600 wines and a battalion of well-trained sommeliers expertly recommending the perfect pour with any pairing.
Curating the perfect pairing can be a more complex undertaking than many realize. It takes expertise, earned with time tasting and training your palate to recommend the perfect pairing with your meal. The best sommeliers tailor their knowledge of wines into suggestions that cater to your specific tastes and preferred flavor profiles, then work to find that perfect match for your evening's menu selections.
Bourbon Steak has invested in the development of 13 sommeliers among our servicers and restaurant managers, who have achieved varying levels of certification. Most of us don't want to overthink a wine selection as if it's a test, but do want a bottle that will make their evening special. Our team genuinely loves to share their passion for great food and wine, and use the deep education they received with our guests. They take great pride in helping their guests select a great bottle of wine that meets their preferences and budget.
To be the best steakhouse in a competitive market like ours, our wine list and food must be top notch; but the real key to lasting success is having a passionate, knowledgeable staff to lead our guests through the ultimate dining experience. Andrew McLaughlin, General Manager of Bourbon Steak and a sommelier himself, leads his team in daily tastings of wine and tastes new menu options created by Executive Chef Sara Garrant. This daily investment in the education of the Bourbon Steak team, gives them first-hand knowledge to enhance the guest experience, visit after visit. Andrew and his team collaborate daily on how to enhance the experience of their guests. He is a passionate restaurant leader, truly focused on the customer experience by investing in his team on an on-going basis.
To keep up with the expanding expertise of our culinary geniuses, our wine list is constantly evolving to match the season, the menu, new trends and to make sure we stay top of class. The Mina Group, managing partners of Bourbon Steak, are intensely committed to quality ingredients. You can count on Bourbon Steak having the highest quality steaks in town - including real A5 wagyu beef imported from Japan. The rich, high quality of cuts of meat offered at Bourbon Steak require a high quality and imaginative wine program that celebrates the food its paired with, yet can still be appreciated on its own. With such a diverse menu that runs the gamut from fish to fowl to beef, from land and sea, our sommeliers have deep knowledge of our extensive wine list and will recommend a bottle that will pair perfectly.
McLaughlin says "To maintain the confidence of our loyal customers, we continuously invest in training our staff to make sure they always receive expert, personalized recommendations for dinner to appeal to their individual palate. We've built trust as a voice of authority in recommending wines for their dinner and don't want to lose their confidence. It is part of our service goals to make a night out a special occasion that you'll want to repeat again and again." The next time you are enjoying a night out in Bourbon Steak, we encourage you to take a moment and talk with our wine experts for their recommendations. You won't regret it.
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