The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 34 of 152

D.C. ROUND-UP PHOTO: MARK FINKENSTAEDT Nadine Brown is Wine Captain at Charlie Palmer's Steakhouse in Washington, D.C. All American NADINE BROWN IS STEAKING HER CLAIM ON AMERICAN WINES by Scott Greenberg S ommelier Nadine Brown was on a very different career path before she was bitten by the wine bug. Originally born in Jamaica and raised in Puerto Rico, Nadine came to the mainland where she earned a bachelor's degree in social work at a college in Boston, using her degree to help with children with emotional challenges. A few years later, she relocated down to Washington, D.C. to be closer to her family. Ms. Brown took a "temporary" position in the front of the house at a popular upscale bistro, working her way up from hostess to floor manager in short order—and falling in love with wine along the way. Nadine's wine passion expanded quickly and she was determined to learn as much as she could about it from both a formal education as well as a practical perspective. In addition to reading books and attending classes, Brown credits a group of avid wine collectors with expanding her love and knowledge. She became a student not just of wine, but of the culture of wine and how it evolved through history. Nadine rapidly became a respected member of the professional wine community. In 2003, after working in several notable restaurants, she landed a position as wine captain at the newly minted D.C. outpost of Charlie Palmer Steakhouse. In 2005 she became director of the wine program. One of her biggest challenges in working with an allAmerican wine list is finding wines with, as Nadine describes it, "a sense of earth." She points to an example from Oregon: "The 2010 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch expresses that sense of place." Now, some ten years later, Nadine's warm smile, engaging personality and encyclopedic wine knowledge have made her one of the most well-respected sommeliers in town, as demonstrated by her RAMMY (a local restaurant association) award for Best Wine and Beverage program in Washington. 34  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2013 TP1113_034-65.indd 34 10/24/13 9:18 AM

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