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Grub Steak team members, from left Brian Moody, Chris Haymond, Paul Schuetzle, and owner Hans Fuegi, accept the first "Silver Certification" award - for all their servers knowing wine sales basics - from Culinary Wine Institute's founder and CEO, Kirsten Fox. Photo by: Hunter Sax.
Nowadays, most restaurants place emphasis on the wine they offer to go along with their cuisine. While some customers enjoy wine with their dinner either way, according to Kirsten Fox, it is the servers' knowledge of the wine that seals the deal for others.

The Park City-based Culinary Wine Institute offers package deals on training restaurants and their servers to become familiar with the flavor, body and texture of the wines they offer. The company is an extension of the Fox School of Wine, founded six years ago by Fox.

She originally started her school with the goal of helping people to become more aware of the wine they were drinking. However, most people she met would ask her if she had spoken to restaurant owners that needed help with their servers' lack of knowledge of the wines sold at their establishments, she said.

"When I saw that need, it became a driving factor," said Fox. "I knew it had to be online and easily accessible for young people on phones, iPads, and anyone else not necessarily sitting at a desktop."

Grub Steak Restaurant in Park City was one such restaurant that felt the need to educate their servers on the wines being presented to customers.

The servers at Grub Steak participated in the "Level One: Foundations in Wine" program. It covers four subjects broken into segments: White Wine, Red Wine, Body of Wine, and Basic Table Service of Wine.

The "A is for Apple: White Wine" and "Tea for Two: Red Wine" segments teach servers all there is to know about red and white wines, comparing their flavors to the acidity of apples or black tea, which red and white wines are most ordered in restaurants across the country, and how to tell which wines are sweet, dry, light, or strong.


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The last two segments, "Same Weights, Great Mates" and "Basic Table Service," teach servers when to take the wine order, how to pair the wines with food on the menu, and how to properly present a wine.

To become certified, the restaurant was given a pre-test as well as one given to every server, and they had to pass the four 14-question subject pre-tests at 90 percent.

Fox said that the Culinary Wine Institute is not just for restaurants but to provide great basic wine information for anyone that sells wine, companies that conduct at-home wine parties, wine brokers and the like.

Info Box:

Grub Steak Restaurant

2093 Sidewinder Dr.

435-649-8060

Culinary Wine Institute

http://www.culinarywineinstitute.com

435-655-WINE