Think of a setting fit for a job promotion-celebration, and the first that comes to mind is the dark wood- and leather-trimmed interior of a classic American steakhouse. That timeless tradition of an indulgent steak dinner is usually paired with equally indulgent wine. It’s an occasion to shell out for the First Growths and cult Cabernets, the Cortons and prestige cuvée Champagnes. So it’s no surprise that those cellars hold stores of seriously epic bottles.
Just ask Jessica Norris, former wine director for Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in New York, who just received a promotion of her own: director of wine education for the entire Del Frisco’s Group. She oversaw an $8 million wine program at the flagship restaurant alone—and tasted some of the world’s finest wines in the process. F&W tapped her for her pick of 12 benchmark bottles worth splurging on to mark a career milestone.
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“I usually celebrate with bubbles, so I popped a bottle of Jacques Selosses Exquise as soon as I heard the good news,” she said. “These are transcendental wines, and any one of them is celebration enough. If you have the budget to be able to do all twelve in succession—instead of one or two a year—well, that would be kind of amazing.”