Rick began his wine career at age 21 speed tasting wines at the Glyndebourne Opera house in England.  “The opera house was known for fast fine dining as it would serve a five course meal during a 90 minute intermission.  My job as a cellerman was opening and decanting pre-ordered wine to ensure they weren’t corked,” explains Rick Rubel.

Opening and tasting an average of 100 to 200 bottles a night, Rick’s curiosity and palate were peaked.  After tasting a new wine he would do research on it – and by the end of the year he began to be able to discern the various nuances wines and his knowledge had grown considerably.

With his new appreciation for the restaurant and wine industry, he returned to America after a summer in England and secured a job with the Unique Restaurant Corporation (now the Matt Prentice Restaurant Group).  It was here he had the opportunity to apprentice under Madeline Triffon, the first female master sommelier in the United States and then chair of the American chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Rick spent the next 10 years working with Madeline and fine tuning his experience, reaching a wine director level.  Together they worked to create, manage and develop over 14 restaurant beverage programs including the #6 Chophouse and Coach Insignia restaurants in Detroit.

Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Rick completed the sommelier certificate course in 1997 at age 28, in 2002 the advanced examination, and in March of 2006, he will sit for the Master’s exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers, the premier international examining body for wine service.  The Master Sommelier diploma is the ultimate professional credential anyone can attain worldwide.

Committed to variety and exploration of wines, Rick’s goal for The Charleston Grill is to enhance the global representation of the wines and to introduce a style section to the list that will provide clients with a “map” to the hidden treasures in the cellar by taste profile. “With over 1400 different selections of wines in Charleston Grill’s cellar, it’s easy to overlook a great wine,” says Rick “These treasures often remain hidden because the winemaker is not well known or the volume produced was very small.  The treasure map approach will allow guests to explore new wines in styles that they love at a variety of price ranges from deal to decadent.”