Collection 86: Telling a Story Through a Bottle
Restaurants & Bars | 3 Min
A world-class array of wines and spirits tell worldly stories at The Pines as Collection 86 carries a unique tasting experience.
By Megan Garcia
Nestled away in a corner of Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel sits a treasure trove of stories. Tales that have stood the test of time around the world have found their home near the hillsides of Highland.
Its presence in The Pines Modern Steakhouse is subtle, but Collection 86 has made a resounding impact in the experience of Yaamava’ with a rare and unique award-winning cache of over 730 wines and more than 265 spirits.
Robert Rodriguez and Chris Moore, Assistant Managers of Beverages at The Pines, have combined storytelling and customer service into Collection 86. The treasure of wines, whiskeys and tequilas pays respect to the inception of the San Manuel Bingo Hall in 1986, and it has grown tremendously over the past few years to house the most captivating stories in the world.
“We've had such rapid growth and the tribe has done so amazing in the past 37 years that we want to pay homage to the fact that this is still a young enterprise, and the tribe has been able to do really amazing things,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez and Moore work closely with vendors across the United States to procure exclusive bottles for guests at Yaamava’ to experience. Chasing down the next story to add to Collection 86 can take weeks or months before being secured, but it’s a journey that Rodriguez and Moore will embark on with determination and pride each time.
They’ve channeled storytelling into the collection, with each bottle coming with its own story that Rodriguez and Moore have found or cultivated.
“My favorite one that we acquired was a 1970 Heitz Cellars Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon,” Rodriguez said. “It was one of the wines that was served at the 1976 Judgment of Paris, which was a blind tasting of American and French wines. There was a couple of different tastings going on around that time, but that was the one that completely changed the world of wine.”
The close relationships that Rodriguez and Moore have developed with vendors to bring exclusivity to Collection 86 has elevated the experience for guests. At the speed of a dial, a guest will find themselves enjoying sips of any bottle in the collection in less than 10 minutes – regardless of their location in Yaamava’.
"It was five [minutes] and then we expanded, so we added in two minutes because of the walking distance,” Moore explained about Collection 86’s goal to deliver bottles on the property. “I've been here 15 years and I know every corner in the building and I can get anywhere in the building in four minutes or less."