Luis de Santos

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Luis de Santos

Luis S. de Santos, the wine director for Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group – Las Vegas, Maui, Palo Alto and Chicago, holds the prestigious title of Master Sommelier. De Santos is one of only 51 American Master Sommeliers and the first of Filipino descent. There are presently only about 110 Master Sommeliers in the world. As wine director, de Santos creates and develops the unique wine lists for many of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants and provides their staffs with a thorough working knowledge of wine.

A certified sommelier in 1997, de Santos’ goal in life is to be part of the ongoing trends in the wine and food industry, especially the Las Vegas market. Before joining Wolfgang Puck at his restaurants in December 2001, de Santos was a wine director and sommelier for Charlie Palmer Steak in Las Vegas and at Hotel Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Sonoma, California. Prior to that, he was the beverage manager and sommelier for Pinot Brasserie in Las Vegas and the hotel sommelier for Gatsby’s Restaurant and seven outlets at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The Master Sommelier diploma is the highest distinction a professional can attain in fine wine and beverage service. Testing is focused on the areas needed for superior beverage department management, which include: tasting, theory, practical and fine dining room application, and also encompassing spirits, beers, cigars, as well as global wine knowledge. Becoming a master sommelier is a difficult task. To achieve this prestigious title, candidates must pass a rigorous exam given by the Court of Master Sommelier’s, an international wine society based in London. De Santos passed the Master Sommelier exam in March 2002.

De Santos uses his unique training to develop wine lists for Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants, including Spago Las Vegas, Spago Maui, Spago Palo Alto-California, Spago Chicago, Postrio Las Vegas, Chinois Las Vegas and Trattoria del Lupo Las Vegas. De Santos’ extensive wine lists feature a virtual tour of the greatest wineries, estates and domains throughout the world, including selections from smaller wineries difficult to find at other restaurants.

“The more I learn about wines, the more I find out how little I knew about wines,” said de Santos. He is a firm believer in the idea that the actions a person takes will be far superior, in terms of end results, if driven by consistent training.

When not at one of the Wolfgang restaurants, de Santos can be found spending quality time with his family or playing golf on the weekends.


   Published: August 2005