avatar for Joseph Phillips

Joseph Phillips

Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits
Director of Wine Education / Trade Development
Master Sommelier Joe Phillips traces his love of wine back to two distinct individuals:a college professor who not only introduced him to wine but also to Guinness andChinatown, and a restaurant manager who was fixated on the thought of devoting anentire refrigerator to storing wine (before proliferation of portable “wine fridges”). Theseoutside influences lured Joe out of his sheltered, East Coast upbringing and tappedinto his sense of adventure. Once he caught the wine-and-food bug, there was noturning back. Before he realized what was happening, he was stalking used book stores,scouring the racks for any texts that were related to wine. Formerly a music teacher, Joeis passionate about breaking down complex subjects, such as wine, to help others learn.Upon completing his Bachelor’s degree at Berklee College of Music, he headed out toVegas to teach music to middle school students.A side gig at a restaurant exposed him to the budding sommelier culture there. Joe, whowas part of the opening team for the Bellagio, became a master sommelier during histenure there (under the mentorship of Jay James and Rob Bigelow). He is active examinerand educator for Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Sake Professional. Hepreviously managed award-winning wine programs for Aqua, Sensi, and Michael Mina.Before signing on as the Director of Wine for MGM, he created and implemented a winetraining program for Mina Group’s Las Vegas restaurants. He is currently Director of WineEducation for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.Voted Best Sommelier of Las Vegas in 2012 by Las Vegas Weekly, Joe is a knownpersonality in Sin City, but he likes to spend time with friends under the radar. He isalways on the lookout for the best off-the-beaten-path dive bar or ethnic restaurant. Ifthe place features live blues music, even better!