Sanford has always been a family business. After several fine-dining gigs in New York City, chef Sandy D’Amato returned home to Milwaukee to open Sanford in 1989 with his wife, Angie. The wine program earned its first Wine Spectator Award of Excellence the next year. The D’Amatos operated the restaurant until the end of 2012, when they sold it to longtime chef de cuisine Justin Aprahamian and his wife and fellow Sanford employee, Sarah. Maintaining family ownership has been important for the restaurant’s philosophy of honoring personal heritage through food. Today, Aprahamian uses family recipes and influences from his Armenian background for the seasonal menu. To make wine more accessible to diners, wine director Jeff Zastrow’s list focuses on great values. The 240 selections are organized first by price range and then by varietal, including 60 bottles under $50. There are also more than 40 half-bottles and about 10 wines available by the glass in either 3-ounce or 6-ounce pours. Selections are strongest in France, Italy and California, but New World regions are also well-represented.