Virginia Philip


Master Sommelier Virginia Philip opens namesake Wine Shop
and Academy

(West Palm Beach, Fla.) Sep. 19 2011 — Master Sommelier of The Breakers, Palm Beach, Virginia Philip is opening her first namesake Wine Shop and Academy in early November, located on the corner of Banyan and Narcissus.

At nearly 1,800 square feet, and with 450 personally selected offerings spanning regions all over the globe priced as low as $10, the shop brings Philip's extensive and encompassing experience to the heart of West Palm Beach. The shop will also offer wine education programs utilizing Philip's extensive experience. Programs will range in focus from regional knowledge to food and wine pairings, as well as how to buy wine and build a cellar. Costs for the programs will be $25 to $50 per class, depending on the subject matter. A limited number of eight-week classes will be offered for those looking to immerse themselves in Philip's full range of knowledge.

Opening the store fulfills a long-time goal for Philip. "My career in retail began as a part-time wine clerk in Aspen, eventually leading to restaurant management at the Five Diamond/Five Star Award-winning resort The Little Nell in Aspen, but I loved that first job and promised myself that one day I would own my own store," she says.

Prior to moving to Palm Beach and joining The Breakers, Philip was the buyer for a chain of wine and liquor stores in San Antonio, Texas. She bought wine and cigars for 36 stores, purchasing wines at all spectrums of price points from jug wine to blue chip Bordeaux, Cult California and top end Burgundy. Recruited by The Breakers in late 2000, Philip moved to Palm Beach. The move allowed her to finish her pursuit of the Master Sommelier Diploma as well as be closer to family.

About Virginia Philip:

Philip's keen interest in wine began at an early age, leading her to take a wine course in college and work a summer at a New York State vineyard. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1989 with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to her arrival at The Breakers Palm Beach, Virginia worked at many accredited resorts and restaurants throughout the country, most notably the Five Diamond/Five Star Award-winning resort, The Little Nell, in Aspen, Colorado and was the wine buyer for 36 stores in San Antonio, Texas.

Virginia Philip became the tenth woman in the world to earn the extraordinary accreditation of Master Sommelier (there are now 21). This achievement was complemented when she earned the national title of "Best Sommelier of the United States" in 2002 from the American Sommelier Association. Virginia has also been on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers.

In her tenure as Wine Director for The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, Philip directed the beverage department for nine restaurants and bars and 14 wine lists, including the resort's prized 1,600-selection list, which has won the Wine Spectator's Grand Award every year since its inception
in 1981.

Philip has also recently been appointed the Wine Consultant for Azamara Club Cruises and Royal Caribbean International Cruises. Working with this company allows Virginia to engage her skill set, working with a wide diversity of wines from across the globe with this icon Cruise Ship Company.

Philip has appeared on "The Today Show" and "Food Network" and has been featured in Food and Wine, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Decanter. She has also traveled extensively, broadening her knowledge of wines and spirits in Scotland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, Greece and Canada and throughout the wine regions of the United States.