This summer, mix and match divine wines with the DC restaurant’s starters, sides, steaks and seafood.
By Kelly A. Magyarics
This has got to be the oenophile’s version of the kid left in the candy store.
“For just $25 at dinner, guests can sample unlimited pours of rare and limited vintages, each highly rated varietals hand-selected by our Master Sommelier. And, of course, the pours are generous,” says Managing Partner Adam Shapiro of The Capital Grille in DC.
The choice is up to you: sample all nine wines, or choose to re-taste one or several of your favorites. Servers will guide you through the experience, suggesting pairings for each course you order, and providing you with a take-home tasting note sheet at the end of the evening.
Each offering was specially chosen from vineyards around the world by the Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier George Miliotes, one of only 173 Master Sommeliers in the world. Recently, I tasted through the wines featured in The Generous Pour Event, all paired with cuisine from the menu. Here are some of my personal faves of the evening, along with a few suggestions from Capital Grille’s menu. But The Generous Pour is all about finding your own perfect pairings, so have at it and mix and match to your heart’s content:
Marquis de la Tour Crémant de la Loire NV with Smoked Salmon
Though this traditional method sparkling wine IS made in France, it legally can’t be called Champagne since it’s not produced in that region. But it is light, zesty and mouthwatering, with aromas and flavors of melon and crisp lemon. It’s a winning foil for the rich Smoked Salmon served on onion crisps with capers and dill mayo.
2010 La Cana Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain
Definitely fuller-bodied, rounder and more complex than other Albariños that I’ve tried, the La Cana offers a richness that’s balanced by a touch of acidity and an enticing peachy aroma. Try it with the Lobster and Crabcakes on the starter menu, or the Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Shallot Relish.
2009 Tarima Hill Monastrell, Alicante Spain
Never heard of Monastrell? It’s actually the same grape as France’s Mourvedre. It’s got blueberry aromas, a soft mouth feel and a pleasing vanilla oak finish. Its velvety (versus grippy) tannins make it a great sip next to melt-in-your-mouth Filet Mignon.
2003 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosche, Rutherford, CA
This is a wine made for red meat. It’s rich and intense, with spicy black cherry and dark plum, along with Cabernet’s signature intense tannins, blackcurrant and cedar. It’s absolutely divine with one of my favorite dishes of the evening, a Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Caramelized Shallot Butter. The bitterness of the coffee rub both matches the astringency of the wine’s tannins, and hey, Cabernet just works with a big hunk o’ meat.
Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on www.twitter.com/kmagyarics.