Drinks flow at Caesars …

Some times when the Insider is on the road, it’s fun to get an outsider sommelier to do the NSI Quiz to get their perspective on the industry. Recently while in Las Vegas for Uncorked I got to sit down with Phil Park, the Director of Wine for all of Caesars restaurants, a big, demanding job, but one Park was bubbling over with enthusiasm. “I probably work 60-80 hours a week, more this week with Uncorked, but I love it.”  

And a tip of the hat to him, don’t know how he pulls off the stylish suits in all that heat, but I guess it comes with his 14 years of experience in Vegas. 

What was last night’s dinner?  A pause as he thought about it, then a short laugh. Nothing. I was too busy. 

Favorite drink? A Negroni. 

Favorite dining spot in Vegas?  L’Atelier by Joel Robuchon. I love French food and there’s nothing like L’Atelier’s style of cuisine.  

Seeing the PR gal’s face blanch at going with a rival hotel’s restaurant, Park laughed, I also really like BEIJING NOODLE NO. 9 here at Caesars.  

Favorite music? I’m an 80s guy, love new wave or whatever you want to call it. Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys, bands like that.  

Well, I can’t stand them, but my gal would love you, which made Park laugh.  

Favorite thing about living and working in Vegas? All my friends are here now. Love the cost of living in comparison to other cities. Great sense of community among service staff. Just love it.  

Any brush with celebrity? Not lately. Not unless you count our chefs Gordon Ramsay and Guy Savoy.  

What makes a great wine list? In a word, diversity. You want to cover all the bases, but don’t get so esoteric that people aren’t enjoying the wine. You may think it’s great, but if the customer doesn’t like it, who cares …   

Any wine, meal or place to visit on your bucket list?  I’d love to go around the world.  Too busy right now, but some day.  

Final thoughts? Like to say I really enjoyed my visits to Napa. The Harlan Estate visit was mind blowing. Of course the wines were amazing and they treated me so well. And I also really liked my time at the Kenzo Estate, found their wines terrific as well.