The SOMM Journal

August/September 2014

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{ }  33 Which wine and spirits credentials do your sommeliers carry? At a minimum, Certified Sommelier (Level II) from the CMS; most are either Advanced or Master Sommeliers. Besides me, we have another Master Sommelier, Juan Gomez. In addition to our sommeliers, many managers and servers have also completed the CMS Levels I and II. What differentiates your beverage programs from those of other restaurants? There is very little if any replication between our by-the-glass offerings in any of the outlets—they are all different and specifi - cally designed for each restaurant. The idea is that if you are a guest staying and dining at The Breakers for a week, you'll experi- ence something different at every restaurant. What are the strengths of your wine cellar? Diversity and depth in categories matter to very discerning guests. We carry classified-growth Bordeaux, top Burgundy pro - ducers like DRC and iconic Napa Valley Bordeaux-style blends. What are the oldest vintages of Bordeaux you have on the list? 1928 Lafite, 1929 Pichon-Lalande and 1929 Palmer [from the Doris Duke cellar collection]. How does the resort's feature restaurant, HMF, differ from its former feature restaurant, L'Escalier? HMF is an entirely new concept designed by Adam Tihany and named for our founder, Henry Morrison Flagler. The food concept is tapas style, or sharable plates. The restaurant is still glamorous, of course, but much more casual than the sedate, formal style of L'Escalier. You can come in and have a glass of wine and one tapas plate, or have a full meal with multiple plates and multiple wines. Has the restaurant change affected wine sales? If so, how? It has. Wine sales volume has increased because we are getting many more covers from the new concept; however, spirits sales are also much higher than before. Wine used to be domi - nant, but now spirits and wine sales are about 50/50 in HMF. What price range does most of your wine list sales come from? In HMF, between $70 and $90 per bottle. What is your average per customer expenditure on wine and spirits? Using the Flagler Steakhouse as an example, where red wine sales are predominant, approximately $60 to $70 per person. What are your best-selling wine categories? By-the-glass is the best-selling category overall. New World Pinot Noir and red Burgundy both sell very well in all outlets. Are there any varieties that you wish were more popu - lar than they are at The Breakers? Riesling. We always carry a German Riesling by the glass, but I wish Riesling was a category that our customers sought out and not just ordered because they are looking for something off-dry. Recent white "discovery" varieties include Grüner Veltliner, Albariño, Torrontés and Moscato. What's next? Assyrtiko from Greece or dry Furmint from Hungary. What is the most expensive wine you sell by-the-glass? $120 per glass [a 1907 Malmsey Madeira]. What types of cocktails are currently popular? Who creates your signature cocktails? Classic cocktails from the mid-20th century are currently in vogue. Last year gin was popular; this year it is bourbon or domestic artisan whiskey. Our cocktails are created by a team of personnel on property with a lot of experience in mixology. I've heard in your down time, you like to drink single malt whisky neat and listen to heavy metal. Is this true? In my down time, I am a single malt drinker, yes. Heavy metal? At times. Other times, Buddha Bar. "I am definitely a Pinot Noir drinker. I also love dry rosé from almost anywhere. But Pinot Noir is my favorite grape." Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: The Bouchard Père & Fils Volnay Premier Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot from the Côte d'Or is served at The Breakers.

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