The Mark Wine News Winter '18 Volume 8.1 - Page 17

his Chateau Musar. I remember him teaching me the upcoming fi scal year. We are a large restaurant the proper way to use the natural light and at what group so we must be thinking far ahead and have a angle to hold the bottle to decanter his wines. I think plan. The big win is when guests come back because I remember seeing his wines on the list at Eddie V’s. our wine and beverage selections enhance their That’s where you started with Darden, right? dining experience. In the end I am selecting the BP: Yes, I have been with the company fi ve years total wines I feel I can get the larger team’s ‘buy-in’ with with three years as a Managing Partner starting off at clear reasoning as to why one wine may be added or Eddie V’s in Austin, TX and then opening a location in replacing another. McLean Virginia prior to moving to the home offi ce in MWG: What do you think is the current state of the Orlando, FL in the Wine Director role, in which I have wine industry and wine industry trends like Prosecco, been working for almost two years now. Red Blends and Malbec? MWG: What were you doing before that? BP: The wine and beverage industry is in an interesting BP: I was always into wine and have worked in every- state as Millenials begin to mix with and supplant thing from a local buyer in restaurants and hotels as a Baby Boomers. It is important to have off erings manager to F&B Director as well as working for a dis- that will attract both groups and all our guests. It is tribution company as a representative and even a bit important to represent current trends and the classics. We don’t want wine of hands on produc- or beverage programs tion experience. Most Eddie V’s that, upon fi rst glance, of my prior experience scare away or turn off a comes from indepen- guest, so recognizable dent restaurants in the and long standing manager and somme- classic producers are lier roles. always well represented. MWG: We would love The trends are well to hear about the wine represented along with education program at lesser known and harder Darden. to fi nd gems for the BP: We partner with more experimental guest the Society of Wine looking for something Educators for an diff erent. on-line self-guided Angels on Horseback (Seared oysters wrapped with fi g glaze and parmesan) MWG: And now please education program for all of our service team. We are fortunate to also tell us about the wine you want everyone to try? partner with The Court of Master Sommeliers. We BP: Blaufränkisch. It is a very important varietal with host a minimum of 100 managers per year at our a long history throughout, mainly, Eastern Europe. It is home offi ce for days of beverage education and most commonly known as a spicy Austrian red but it mainly the completion of the Sommelier Intro Course. varies greatly based upon region and producer style. It is know as Këkfrankos This is expected of every in Hungary, Lemberger in manager, at a minimum. I Germany, Franconia in Italy believe short, continuous to just name a few. It is a and often trainings will varietal that can produce build on a strong wine and juicy, fresh easy going spirits culture. wines, similar to a Beaujolais MWG: Guessing this is your or it can be seriously dense, favorite part of the job? dark, and tannic with plenty BP: Yes, wine education is of new oak infl uence. In the best part of my gig. I general, it is a food friendly enjoy getting back into the and fl exible wine in terms of restaurants and hosting pairing. I keep fi nding new trainings. I go to every new versions and producers and I restaurant opening and hold two wine classes with the goal of making our service teams hungry for more seem to really enjoy every one of them for what they are and most of them greatly over-deliver for the cost. knowledge. MWG: Can you tell us a little about how you select MWG: Wow! Thank you so much Brian. You’ve totally peaked my palate. I’ve got Blaufränkisch on my your wines? BP: Our entire beverage team, even those whom shopping list for my next trip to the wine shop. are not involved in wine programming, partake in our large annual tasting. We may review up to 800+ selected wines in one week as a starting off point for “I believe short, continuous and often trainings will build on a strong wine and spirits culture.” -Brian Phillips WINTER 2018 15