Charlie Palmer Steakhouse | Washington
Charlie Palmer Steakhouse Sommelier Nadine Brown
was born and raised along the sunny shores of Jamaica and Puerto
Rico, where drinks like rum and coffee played an important part
in the culture but wine was almost absent. Brown’s initial
calling took her to Boston, where she earned a bachelors degree
in social work at Wheelock College and worked with emotionally disturbed
children for several years. When Brown moved south to Washington
DC to take a break from social work and began hostessing at Bistro
Bis. Brown found the energy on the floor addictive and never
looked back, learning front of the house from the ground up by working
as hostess, server, banquet captain, office manager and floor manager.
Remembering an exceptional meal at Aureole in New York,
Brown applied to work with newly opening Charlie Palmer Steakhouse,
where she manages manages an extensive all-American wine list.
Tips for Wine and Life
Sommelier Nadine Brown of Charlie Palmer Steakhouser –
1. Trust your instincts and your palate.
2. Smell everything, all the time, at the grocery store, at the
park, and in the kitchen.
3. The minute you think you know it all, you’re in trouble.
Stay current and never stop learning.
4. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to think outside
of the box sometimes. Don’t write something off without giving
it a chance. I’ve had some world class wines from Snake River,
Idaho to Greece.
5. Don’t be afraid to “down sell” – you
will make a customer for life.
6. Support the little guys as much as possible. The big names will
sell their wines regardless, but there are thousands of producers
around the world who do it for the love of the wine, who aren’t
chasing scores or even getting rich from their efforts.
7. Introduce your customers to the wonders of Madeira, Sake and
8. Don’t have a world class wine list and then offer sub-par
wines by the glass.
9. Remember that the wine program is not all about you. You are
buying wine for thousands of people with varying palates.
10. Be a mentor. All of us remember that one person who took the
time and took a chance on you.