July 26, 2011

Generous Pour Summer Wine Event at The Capital Grille

UPDATE 6/27/12: The Capital Grille's Generous Pour Wine Event is back this summer. Seriously, it's a great deal on a crazy amount of good wine, when purchased with dinner. The deal runs from July 9 - September 2. Check out the restaurant's website for this year's wine list. Cheers!

Several weeks ago we received an invitation for a complimentary preview of The Capital Grille’s Generous Pour Wine Event for 2011.

The Generous Pour is available at any Capital Grille from July 12 - September 4. During the event, you pay only $25 per person - when ordering with dinner - and get to try as much as you want from nine pre-selected wines (red, white and sparkling).

All the wines were chosen by Master Sommelier George Miliotes, one of only 170 wine experts in the world to hold that title. Servers will also be available to pair each wine with the food you order. Alex was our server at the Broad & Chestnut location and he was awesome.

Overall the Generous Pour experience was fantastic. For a night out to a high-end restaurant, this is a no brainer at only $25 (remember the food is regular price). Miliotes said it would normally cost $750 to purchase all nine wines at retail. They are listed at the bottom of this post along with some brief notes we took and thoughts on which wines really stood out.

Miliotes was available during our special tasting via a webcast to explain his selections and to answer live questions from participants at Capital Grilles around the country. We were also able to ask questions by tweeting directly to Miliotes' twitter handle, @TheWineExpert, using the hashtag #tcgpour11. Miliotes is active on Twitter and we suggest you ask him questions, too, using the same hashtag since it's live for the entire event. Another cool thing about using this hashtag is that you can go back and see other people's questions and his answers over the past few weeks.

The food we sampled was excellent. The bone-in kona crusted sirloin was far and away the best. The addition of an incredible caramelized shallot sauce made it one of the best steaks I’ve had in recent memory. The lobster mac n' cheese as a side was phenomenal too.

Here are the nine wines offered during The Generous Pour:

1. Marquis de la Tour, Cremant de Loire Brut, France, a sparkling wine. Miliotes said sparkling wines go with a diversity of foods and therefore are a perfect match when served with apps.

2. La Cana Albariño, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain 2010. Made from 45-year-old vines leading to more intense but refreshing flavors. Our favorite of the whites.

3. Chateau St. Jean, Belle Terre, Sonoma, CA 2008. A heavy oak chardonnay and our least favorite. For us, it didn't stand out from any other regular chardonnay.

4. Freemark Abbey, Cabernet Bosché, Rutherford, 2003 (direct from the winery). Best area in Napa for cabernet, according to Miliotes.

5. Chalk Hill Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma  2006. Named for the volcanic chalk under the vineyard's hillside surface and is one of Sonoma Valley's best. The mineral flavor did stand out, giving this a really unique flavor. Worth a try.

6. Byron Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, 2009. Even though salmon isn't normally paired with red wine, Miliotes suggests pairing this with The Capital Grille's salmon since its fattiness and topping of tomato fennel relish is a unique and perfect match with the light pinot. We didn't try the salmon but others in our party loved it.

7. Conte Brandolini, Vistorta Merlot, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy 2006. From 100-year old vines in Northern Italy.

8. Tarima Hill, Monastrell, Alicante, Spain 2009. This wine is exclusive to Capital Grille through August. Miliotes said it tastes like a mix between pinot and cabernet. Monastrell grapes are not a traditional wine base, making them favorites for the 25-30 yr. old set who are less worried about drinking age-old classics, according to Miliotes. We absolutely loved this wine. Knowing you can't even buy it in stores yet made it extra special.

9. RL Buller The Portly Gentleman, Australia, Port. Miliotes said Australians make good dessert wines because they take more risks with their wine making. This port was very delicious for two people that generally aren't port drinkers, and Kristy especially loved it with the flourless chocolate cake.

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