South Beach’s celebrated Meat Market boasts a glowing reputation for its chic, energetic ambiance and executive chef Sean Brasel’s exquisite fare. Now, new sommelier Sarah Almand gives patrons another reason to love the swanky steakhouse: an extended worldly wine list.
A California native, Almand has been working in the restaurant industry since age 16. After years of experience in San Francisco (including work at the Ritz-Carlton and Spruce restaurant) and Colorado, she moved south to work on the wine program at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in Aventura.
Now, Almand has revamped the wine program at Meat Market, keeping the big names but also incorporating small-production wines for the savvy consumer. This combination of recognized and esoteric keeps patrons happy and also gives them a chance to enjoy a new wine experience.
“I wanted to integrate all of the great wines I have worked with to give guests the chance to step out of their comfort zone and try something different,” says Almand.
Almand has also been successful at Meat Market because she analyzes and chooses the wines that would go best with Brasel’s acclaimed dishes. And, of course, she understands her guests and knows what they would appreciate.
Almand keeps the staff’s knowledge current through blind tastes. “Tasting memory is a powerful tool. My goal is to give each staff member an arsenal of 25 wines or so, allowing them to confidently explain and sell wines in all categories and price levels,” she explains.
Meat Market now features a series of wine dinners, which attracts winemakers to Miami and invites diners to explore and enjoy new wines and new cuisine.
Visit www.meatmarketmiami.com for more information.