The Breakers Palm Beach is both proud and fortunate to have one of the world’s best as its Master Sommelier. Virginia Philip became the tenth woman in the world (there are now 21), and one of just 178 in total, to earn the extraordinary accreditation of Master Sommelier. That achievement was complemented when she competed against 30 men and one woman to earn the national title of “Best Sommelier of the United States” in 2002, a title she holds by the American Sommelier Association.
Now in her tenth year at The Breakers, Virginia maintains and oversees the beverage department for 9 restaurants and bars and 14 wine lists for the property. Included is the 1,600-selection list at L’Escalier, the resort’s award-winning signature restaurant which has won the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award every year since its inception in 1981.
Virginia’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.
Ms. Philip has traveled extensively, broadening her knowledge of wines and spirits in Scotland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Greece and Canada and throughout the wine regions of the United States. Virginia has sat on the Board for the Court of Master Sommeliers.