Sommelier Rachael Lowe of Sixteen at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago - Biography

Chicago, IL

April 2011

Sommelier Rachael Lowe’s enophile urges have compelled her to crisscross the country, boomeranging her from Chicago to both coasts and back home again. From self-tutored server to Bouchon staff member and certified advanced sommelier, Lowe has wielded her wine key for many a satisfied diner since 2003.

Lowe received a B.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the Art Institute of Chicago; while in school, she also served at a small restaurant. The restaurant’s limited resources afforded Lowe a lot of independence when it came to selling wine, and she soon felt the tug toward the tangled vines of wine worship. But it was while preparing for an M.A. in Food Studies at New York University—and landing a job at Café Gray—where Lowe really got her start in wine. Café Gray led to jobs at both the Mandarin Oriental NYC and Gordon Ramsay at The London Hotel.

Eager student Lowe earned an advanced certificate from the International Wine Center; she also completed a 20-week viniculture course through the American Sommelier Association. But bottle ambition bid her to pack her bags and make a beeline for the hub of wine love: Napa, California.

In Yountville, she served as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s Michelin-rated Bouchon and French Laundry. Finally back in Chicago, Lowe is the director of wine and spirits at Trump International Hotel & Tower, overseeing all wine management at the hotel’s properties, including fine-dining, restaurant-on-a-cloud Sixteen. Her wine acumen has been awarded with the Rudd Scholarship for top scores on the Advanced Exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and in 2010, Lowe won the top prize at the Ruinart Chardonnay competition hosted by Ruinart and the Guild of Sommeliers.