The SOMM Journal

April / May 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 97 of 108

{ }  97 { q&a } Richard Carleton Hacker: How does your new posi- tion differ from what you were doing at Guy Savoy? Phil Park: At Guy Savoy I was fortunate enough to enjoy some amazing wines. One of the biggest differences now is that I get to try some other styles with varying price points. What are your overall responsibilities? Anything wine-related. That includes creating new wine menus plus wine training for employees. I will also be training assistant restaurant managers in wine presentation and service. How often do you taste the wines? I am tasting every day, but there are a lot of wines here on property. I try to taste as much as I can, especially any inter - esting wines I haven't tasted before. There were many I had not been drinking, so I had to get to know our distributors' products better. Thankfully, I have a lot of people on my teams who do the tastings for our more established wines. I assume most of the spectacular wines are on Guy Savoy's wine list. Yes, Guy Savoy is where the jewels are, although it is French- heavy because it is a French restaurant. I should mention that at Old Homestead Steakhouse in Caesars Palace, Hitoshi Yuhara, the General Manager, poured a fantastic Orin Swift 2015 Mercury Head Cabernet Sauvignon for me using a Coravin system. I am working with Hitoshi to make their wine list more American and more interesting by adding some older California wines, and for those, I think the Coravin is great. We are using it at Guy Savoy, Nobu, and Mr. Chow as well. Any other immediate changes? I think many of the wine lists need a little more excite - ment and diversity, as well as some "fun" wines. I also want to train the staff to help sell them more effectively: We can have some beautiful wines on the list, but if the waitstaff can't sell them, and the customers don't know about them, then it doesn't work! King of the Castle RICHARD CARLETON HACKER INTERVIEWS PHIL PARK, DIRECTOR OF WINE FOR CAESARS PALACE WHEN I FIRST met Phil Park, he had been the sommelier at Guy Savoy in Caesars Palace since the restaurant opened in 2006. In charge of what has become a 20,000-bottle cellar of fine French wines, Park performed his responsibilities with finesse for some of the most demanding customers being served by one of the most exacting chefs at one of his most celebrated restaurants. Caesars Palace has now put Park at the helm of its entire wine program. I sat down with him at the recently-opened Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen, where Park had just implemented a by-the-glass program of 22 wines, to discuss his expanded responsibilities for all Caesars Palace restaurants and cocktail lounges. Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: PHOTO: RICHARD CARLETON HACKER Phil Park, Director of Wine for Caesars Palace, pours the Gusbourne 2011 Brut Reserve sparking wine from Great Britain at the opening of Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - April / May 2018