Wine Director Emily Wines of Kimpton Hotels - Biography

San Francisco, CA

May 2012

It’s hard to imagine a woman with the surname “Wines” ending up as anything other than one of the country’s top sommeliers. And Master Sommelier Emily Wines has not fallen short of the calling.

Wines grew up outside of Seattle, and spent time living in San Luis Obispo, California, where she developed firsthand knowledge of the wines of California’s Central Coast. In pursuit of a more serious wine career, she moved to San Francisco to work at Elka Gilmore’s Elka. Then in 2000 she joined the Fifth Floor restaurant in downtown San Francisco. Under the mentor-ship of Rajat Parr, Wines was promoted within nine months to assistant sommelier and in 2005 took over the wine director position for the restaurant. (During her tenure, Fifth Floor’s wine list earned the prestigious Grand Award from Wine Spectator, as well as an “Outstanding Wine Service” award from the James Beard Foundation.)

In 2008, Wines became one of only 96 people in the United States to earn the designation of master sommelier. She was also awarded the prestigious Remi Krug Cup for passing all three sections of the certification exam on her first attempt (she’s one of two women to ever achieve this). In addition to consulting on the wine program for Fifth Floor, Wines now serves as master sommelier and director of wines for the Kimpton restaurants nationwide. A passionate educator, Wines hosts a “Wines on Wine” consumer tasting class at Fifth Floor, speaks at food and wine events, and hosts Bottle Battle dinners at Kimpton restaurants.