Where else? 
 MICHAEL WEST, Certified Sommelier
March 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 5                                                                                                                
                           Wine really is art.

Executive Chef
Richard Boyer

Executive Sous Chef 
Jose Salas

March 2015
Chef's Larder

Chef Chuck Wiley
Prepares his signature Salmon recipe

Mike West shares his favorite dessert wine —

What would we do
without fennel?

CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar

Limoncello di Capri

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Synopsis: Michael West, Certified Sommelier, Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, Arizona

Michael West has always had a knack for sussing out some prime wines. He learned about wine from Tucson’s most passionate collectors. So when someone at Dove Mountain posed the question—Why don’t we submit to get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence?—he, naturally, answered Why wouldn’t we submit, considering the ambience we have, the service level we provide? “The entry-level Award of Excellence gets handed out to anyone that has a decent list that’s crafted well and has solid selections,” West said. “So we decided to shoot for the middle-tiered one. The Best of Award of Excellence for collections with 400 or more labels. I said, Give me a year. I’m really going to focus on it.” West should know. He’s worked among Tucson’s biggest collections. It all started when he worked the behind the bar at Sam Fox’s Wildflower American Cuisine in Tucson “for a long stretch of time.” The corporate beverage director, Regan Jasper, always had a reserve list that changed. And he featured some great labels. One caused the light-bulb-moment. “We would taste wine after shift on the weekends when all the staff was there,” West said. “We opened some wine from Paso Robles’ Linne Calodo called Outsider, and that wine was just exceptional.” After Wildflower, West went to the Grill at Hacienda del Sol. The property had the largest collection of wine in Tucson, maybe even the state. “So for 2009,” West continued, “I really thought Dan’s Freestone Hill wine was one of the best things, if not the best thing, that I tasted throughout the vintage. When I met Dan shortly after I had a chance to taste that wine, I told him exactly that. I said, You know, man, that Freestone wine just blew me away. So, that was the foundation of our friendship.” West went out to Dutton-Goldfield Winery a few different times. During the 2012 harvest, West tooled around the Russian River with Goldfield in the vintner’s late-model BMW M-3. After a solid day’s work, the group came up with Domain Cuvée, a Dove Mountain’s exclusive.