Top sommelier serves up wine offerings at Morels
By Emma Trotter
Just call Alexandre Brard your go-to wine guy. At 37, the certified sommelier has an impressive résumé. He’s held positions at Michelin three-star fine dining establishments including Las Vegas’ own Joël Robuchon, Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Switzerland and L’Espérance in France. The French native has a wealth of knowledge and hospitality experience that led him to his current position as wine director at Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at The Palazzo.
“The wine program is what motivated me to take the job,” he said. “It’s very dynamic. It’s already established here because of the Enomatic systems, and we have about 70 wines by the glass. We are constantly moving them and changing ideas, and working on cheese and wine pairings.”
Brard has certainly been busy since joining the Morels team, crafting unique offerings like the new pairings of mussels frites and Belgian ales and a Wine of the Week program. Brard’s day-to-day job includes ordering wines, trying new flavors and educating restaurant staff with blind tasting classes. Between all that, he’s training to be one of the elite few with Master Sommelier certification.
Of course, helping diners select the perfect palate-pleasing libation to pair with their meal is a huge part of his job. Whether they tell him their dinner order or the type of wine they prefer first, he always follows through. “I do make the guests remember their stay at Morels.”
With more than 700 wines by the bottle at Morels, selecting a perfect wine to fit your mood can be a little challenging. Brard points out a favorite of his, the Jean Foillard Morgon “Côte du Py” 2008 Beaujolais, a medium-bodied red wine. It’s made from the Gamay grape (whose vines are planted on the slope of the Py volcano) that features berry notes and spices. Although it can definitely be enjoyed on its own, it’s even more delicious with the right pairing of food. Try charcuterie, grilled salmon, lamb and cheeses.