FORT MCDOWELL, AZ – We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort’s fine dining restaurant, Ember, has received Wine Spectator’s 2022 “Best of Award of Excellence.” The honor recognizes recipients that offer extensive selections with excellent breadth across multiple regions and significant vertical depth, and Ember is now one of 21 restaurants in Arizona – and one of 846 nationwide – to receive this award.
“That we won this award two years in a row, which also happens to be how long Ember has been open, is a testament to our entire staff’s commitment to excellence,” said Zac Gallo, Executive Director of Food and Beverage for the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort. “Dennis Payne, our Advanced Certified Sommelier, has curated a unique and comprehensive wine program that not only wins awards but allows diners to experience wines that they may not have tasted before. These wines, when thoughtfully paired with Chef de Cuisine Matthew Brake’s incredible menu and delivered by our knowledgeable servers, create a truly memorable dining experience.”
Ember’s wine program covers 22 countries, focusing on each country’s top wine-producing regions and most highly acclaimed vineyards. It includes more than 800 wines by the bottle and 26 wines by the glass – ranging from a strong California presence to France, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and Germany – along with an extensive list of unicorn, dessert and Ports-Maderia wines.
In addition, Ember has a page in its 37-page wine list dedicated to the world’s top 100-point wines. Curated for fine wine collectors, this list contains 32 critically acclaimed wines spanning more than two decades that have scored a perfect 100 points.
Wine Spectator began its program to honor the world’s best wine lists in 1981 and recognizes achievement across three categories – the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence, and the Grand Award – with recipients from all 50 states and more than 70 countries and territories.
The Best of Award of Excellence, which Ember has received, was granted to restaurants that went above and beyond in offering “around 350 or more well-chosen selections, with a vast array of wines from top producers, wide breadth of regions and vintage depts … who take their love of wine a step further, such as carefully designing the presentation of the list, training staff on wine to ensure guests have knowledgeable assistance, and giving diners an opportunity to learn more through curated wine dinners.”