FORT MCDOWELL, AZ – The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort’s fine dining restaurant, Ember, has received Wine Spectator‘s esteemed “Best of Award of Excellence.” The honor recognizes recipients that offer extensive selections with excellent breadth across multiple regions and significant vertical depth. Ember is now one of 19 restaurants (out of nearly 9,000) in Arizona – and one of approximately 1,000 around the world – to receive this award.
“American restaurants are back in business, as patrons are eagerly returning to dining rooms across the nation,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher of Wine Spectator. “In this year’s Restaurant Awards issue, we reflect on how restaurateurs navigated this incredibly difficult period, and look ahead, with every indication that the coming year will be one of the most promising in decades for an industry we all love. It’s been a long road back, and it feels wonderful to celebrate restaurants and all they bring to the world of wine.”
“The ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ really belongs to our advanced sommelier Dennis Payne, whose 31 years of experience and painstaking efforts over the past year have resulted in this impeccable award-winning wine list,” said Zac Gallo, Executive Director of Food and Beverage for the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort. “Not only has Dennis cultivated an extensive wine and spirit program, but he ensures the proper care, storage and handling of our collection to maximize our guests’ dining experiences.”
Ember’s wine program covers 17 countries, focusing on each country’s top wine-producing regions and most highly acclaimed vineyards. It includes 517 wines by the bottle and 26 wines by the glass – ranging from a strong California presence to Barbaresco, Rioja, New Zealand, Argentina and Germany – along with 30 dessert wines from across the globe as well as 15 Ports and Madeiras.
In addition, Ember has a special page in their 37-page wine list titled “The Century Club,” 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.