If, like fine wines sommeliers only get better with age, Mark Sayre has a lot to look forward to. Already, the 30-something sommelier and beverage director at Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s TRIO has made a name for himself with such designations as Wine & Spirits magazine’s "7 Best New Sommeliers in 2010" (October 2010) and the title of Texas’ Best Sommelier (September 2007) crowding his impressive resume.
And the future looks just a bright since Mark is currently poised to become one of the youngest members of the international Court of Master Sommeliers, an elite group of wine professionals with a mere 170 members worldwide.
It all began with a taste of regal Gattinara in the Italian restaurant where Mark landed his first job in the restaurant world in his native Houston. "I liked it so much, I felt compelled to share the experience with my customers."
"The key to great wine is balance," says Mark with an ageless wisdom matched only by his passion for the fruit of the vine. "The same is true for a great wine program." Indeed, balance is the hallmark of Mark's hand-picked list, which consists of 260 wines and a remarkable 34 selections offered by the glass.
Today, Mark shares his knowledge through his stewardship of what is widely regarded as one of the top wine programs in the southwestern U.S. Whether it's Champagne ("the perfect food-friendly beverage," he says), grand cru Burgundy ("a crystalline windowpane that allows terroir to shine through"), or single-vineyard Barolo ("a category that has seen a quality renaissance"), Mark selects wines that will transport guests to the places where those wines are made. His goal is to provide "a voyage in a glass," poured nightly along the banks of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas.
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