The lucky sommelier behind a selection of 700 wine varieties, a bottle count of 4,000+, an inventory amounting to half a million dollars is Daniel Toral, chef sommelier of The Setai, Miami Beach’s exclusive and diverse wine program.
Toral’s beverage philosophy is based on relatability; he ensures that his program highlights only the finest wine and spirits; those labels that are delicious enough to be served at his dinner table and to his own family and friends.
He thinks wine and spirits should be enjoyed over great conversation; it is meant to complement a meal, good company and induce a memorable experience. That’s why he takes great care in selecting the wine and spirits he recommends and serves guests at The Setai. He wants it to add to the guest’s experience. For the more adventurous palates, he pushes guests’ common comfort zones so they may enjoy new tastes.
Under Toral, The Setai’s wine selection features such rarities as Heidsieck Monopole’s Gout Americaine 1907, which was found off the coast of Sweden in a shipwreck.
The one bottle in stock sells is so rare, it literally is priceless. Because of the cold environment it was in – at the bottom of the sea – it didn’t spoil and actually flourished in the temperatures.
Toral received his degree from the Culinary Institute of America in 2003, and worked in New York City’s finest establishments like Washington Park and Thomas Keller’s celebrated Per Se. Though he did spend time in the kitchen, his appreciation for the social aspect of being part of the restaurant’s front-of-house quickly converted his taste from an apron, to a jacket and tie.
Toral’s career curiosity brought him to Miami, where he earned a bachelor’s of science in hospitality management from Florida International University in 2006. Soon after graduating, he began building his resume holding positions as assistant sommelier and sommelier at Karu & Y, beverage manager at Fratelli Lyon and beverage director at Miami’s acclaimed Sustain restaurant, before he joined the team at The Setai Hotel in the summer of 2012.