Get Generous Pours at The Capital Grille This Summer
Wine is definitely a beverage worth getting to know. Whenever I travel, I try to buy the local wines of the region, to get a sense of the local terroir. Washingtonians are a devout group of liquid locavores as well, who are known to drink local.
That said, sometimes it’s nice to drink outside of the box (not that I’m implying we should all drink boxed wines; that’s an article for another day).
Take The Generous Pour Summer Wine Event currently taking place at The Capital Grille from July 9th to September 2nd, 2012 at all 46 of its locations throughout the United States. An annual event, this event is in its 4th year and offers a rather unique selection of nine wines to pair with the food menu. The diner can pick and choose which wines go with what, or take recommendations from the very knowledgeable servers. A total of 12 ounces are allowed, any way to like to have them. All for $25 (with dinner).
The wines – made of unique limited-vintage varietals – have been selected by George Miliotes, one of only 186 Master Sommeliers in the world. This with-meal tasting option takes one’s taste buds on a trip around the world – literally – for the wines hail from the United States (California) as well as France, Italy, Slovenia, and South Africa.
Last night your Hedonista was treated to a private media dinner that allowed me to sample all nine of these wines, which are listed on The Capital Grille website, complete with tasting notes. There was also a special tasting menu prepared for me so as to highlight the wines (Executive Chef Partner Mark Schultz did a splendid job in this regard).
I can say with all honesty that they were all wonderful. Of course, that said, I had my top three picks, in order of preference:
1) The Lunetta Rosé, a sparkling rosé wine from Trentino, Italy – this wine went perfectly with the smoked salmon amuse bouche; salmon-hued itself with a lovely rhubarb taste that is as soft and light as the bubbles.
2) The 2008/2009 Simčič, Rebula, Goriska Brda-Slovenia – pronounced [sim' sik], this wine is orange in hue with notes of stone fruit of the same color: namely, apricot and peach. Notes of toasted almonds and honey abound; not surprisingly, this wine would go great with toasted nuts and dried apricots, but it also went fabulously with both the mozzarella and calamari appetizers.
3) The 2008 Ferrari-Carano, Mountain Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley – of all the “big reds” offered (there are four; two Cab Savs from California, one true Bordeaux from France, and one Bordeaux-style from Italy), my fav was this Cali Cab Sav. It’s more Old-Worldish than New World, with lots of smoky-woodsy-coffee-chocolate earthiness. It went great with both the sirloin and salmon entrées.
A couple of other general tasting notes to add:
- The 2009 Gary Farrell Chardonnay, a lightly straw-colored wine with tart apple and lemon notes, went perfectly with the rich Grana Padano cheese crouton presented as a crostini.
- The 2007 Villa Mt. Eden, Grand Reserve Pinot Noir from Russian River, California has notes of spicy cranberry that complement the salmon well.
- The dessert wine, a 2006 Kanu Kia Ora aged Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch, South Africa, went well with all three desserts – flourless chocolate espresso cake, cheese cake with summer berries, and the crème brûlée – but, hands down, it went best with the crème brûlée. The chocolate cake would also go great with the reds or a shot or two of espresso.
So if any of you hedonists out there want to take your palate on a trip around the world this summer, find one of the 46 locations of The Capital Grille and give it a shot … er, 12 ounces, actually.
Oh, and if any of you want to chat about wines with Master Sommelier George Miliotes himself (I will try to be on as well; my Twitter handle is @heedthehedonist), feel free to join in on the Twitter conversation taking place tomorrow, July 11 at 9 p.m. EST. George’s handle is @TheWineExpert, and the co-host’s handles are @MariePayton and @WinesofFrance for #winechat and #GenerousPour12 – a discussion that will begin with French wines and end with these nine wines that have been hand-selected by George for this summer promotion.