Rising Star Sommelier Tara Patrick of Mourad - Biography

San Francisco, CA

May 2016

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Tara Patrick’s interest in wine began during her time as a manager of a small, neighborhood bistro and wine retailer during college. At 21, every night after service, Patrick and the business owner would open a bottle and discuss the story of that particular wine, the varietal, and the land from which it came. Combining sensory experience with culture, history, and science, Patrick found her wine education to be supremely gratifying. She ensconced herself there for five years, absorbing (and uncorking and pouring) everything she could.  

Next, aching to travel, Patrick bought a one way ticket to Nicaragua, and from there, traveled all over South America for a year. When she returned to Charleston, Patrick immediately took off  on a six- month journey cross country: destination San Francisco. When she arrived, Patrick got a job as a server at a Greek restaurant, where she met mentor Sommelier Jackie Horton. Continuing to grow, she started as a server at Michael Mina where she rose to sommelier within two years. At Quince, Patrick began as assistant wine director before taking over full directorship by the end of her year-long tenure.

Now, as wine director at Mourad, Patrick has re-conceptualized the program, expanding the wine list and integrating cocktails and spirits into the dining experience. She embraces the challenge and adventure of pairing with Moroccan food by pulling atypical wines from the Old World, her Napa backyard, and regions as far-fl ung as the Canary Islands.