Dallas born Jose Aguirre spent most of his childhood living in Ecuador before returning Stateside for university. Aguirre graduated from Colorado State with a restaurant and resort management degree and eventually went on to join the Hilton management-in-training program.
His career path started to get into focus during a stint with Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel in Miami, it wasn’t long before he realized his true interests lay in wine and restaurant operations. After a brief time on the hotel side, he ended up transferring to the hotel’s restaurant, Area 31. Working closely with the restaurant’s certified sommelier, Aguirre went about his wine education the old fashioned way: by “trying everything and drinking it all,” and worked his way up to managing the restaurant’s wine program.
After three years in Miami, Aguirre moved to South Water Kitchen in Kimpton, Chicago, where he was assistant general manager. As his passion for wine grew, he immersed himself in wine education and passed the Introductory Sommelier Exam, and soon after, the Level II Certified Sommelier Exam. He then moved to San Francisco as the wine director at Fifth Floor, staying with the team through the transformation of the Fifth Floor to the Dirty Habit.
In April 2014, he passed the Advanced Sommelier Exam. Most recently Jose has returned to the bay area after some time in Mexico and the East coast, taking over the reins of the wine program at Maum in Palo Alto.