Kiamie family restaurants win national awards for wine selection

Published 2:42 pm Monday, July 18, 2022

Two Oxford restaurants owned by the Kiamie family received recognition at Wine Spectator’s 2022 Restaurant Awards.

Wine Spectators, the world’s leading authority on wine, unveiled the winners’ competition last week honoring the world’s best restaurants for wine. This year’s awards program recognizes 3,169 dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 70 countries internationally. 

“I want to congratulate all 3,169 restaurants that earned one of Wine Spectator’s three awards for their devotion to all things wine,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “These awards not only guide our readers to dining establishments with impressive wine lists and outstanding service but also serve to honor restaurants for their achievements and commitment to maintaining pristine cellars. We are thrilled to reveal our 2022 Dining Guide, which points to places where wine drinkers are warmly welcomed.”

Of the thousands of eateries, The Sipp on South Lamar and YŪGŌ— both owned by Claire and AJ Kiamie— won for their selection of wines offered to patrons. This is The Sipp’s third Wine Spectator’s award for the third year in a row and YŪGŌ first ever win.

“We are very excited to receive the awards of excellence at both locations,” said AJ Kiamie. “Our staff spent countless hours developing what we hope is an extensive and fantastic list at both restaurants.”

The Kiamie family has been in the wine and liquor industry in Oxford since 1966. They carry their research and experience from their retail store, Kiamie Package Store, into their restaurants. Kiamie Package Store also helps supply The Sipp and YŪGŌ.

According to the Kiamies, they select each wine on our list and try to choose the best wines from each region while also constantly updating both lists with new favorites.

The Sipp is an American-style restaurant that offers 120, inexpensive wines sourced from California, France and Italy and 60 wines by the glass or taste.

“When we developed the Sipp, we wanted to design a restaurant with a great atmosphere and a diverse food and alcohol menu,” Kiamie said. “With our background based in wine and spirits, we focused heavily on having as many choices as possible.”

To pair with the 120 wines available, The Sipp has over 400 spirits to choose from. Despite already having a wide selection, The Sipp’s reserve bourbon list has also grown in effort to make highly sought-after whiskies available to the general public.

“Personally, we love to try new food, wine, and spirits and always enjoy venues with unique vibes, so we wanted to bring those things together and create new restaurants for Oxford to love,” Kiamie said.

YŪGŌ is the Kiamies’ newest restaurant that was started with the goal of bringing modern flavors and global cuisines to Oxford.

“Our newest venture, YŪGŌ, has been a lot of fun so far,” said Kiamie. “Our first date was at Two Stick when it was located where the Lyric is today and we have greatly missed Asian cuisine on the square,” said Kiamie. “Our talented kitchen staff has created wonderful Asian dishes with added twists of southern flair.”

According to Kiamie, YŪGŌ focuses on a large “by the bottle” selection.

“We offer over 350 wines by the bottle and 20 by the glass,” he said. “We also have 30 different sake choices available at YŪGŌ.”

Kiamie said his family and staff are thankful to Wine Spectator’s for the recognition they have been given.

“The awards are quite an honor to receive from such a well-respected magazine and committee of wine connoisseurs,” said Kiamie. “We certainly appreciate all of the hard work being recognized.”

For more information on The Sipp on South Lamar, visit the website at www.thesippms.com. For more on YŪGŌ, visit www.yugooxford.com.