Jessica Altieri, CEO and Certified Sommelier of Wine Channel TV had the opportunity in Chicago to experience this summer’s ultimate wine and food tasting experience, as The Capital Grille kicked off its ninth annual “The Generous Pour” wine event.
The tasting experience features seven acclaimed wines from California and Oregon. Selected to pair with the restaurant’s signature menu items, The Generous Pour wine experience is available for $28 when paired with dinner from July 10 through September 3, 2017.
The first wine I chose was what I call “summertime” in a glass. The WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2016 from the Willamette Valley, named for Oregon’s Willamette and Mckenzie rivers, is filled with bright pineapple, citrus and tropical aromas with a bright yet creamy finish. It was a perfect, bright pairing with the cold shellfish platter.
For the second dish, I went with one of my favorites, the bone in Kona crusted dry aged New York strip. I am a legendary steak eater, having grown up eating steak and eggs for breakfast before basketball practice in high school and college.
I paired it with two killer cabernets I chose from the #GenerousPour options- the big, bold and in your face Mt. Brave, Mt.Veeder, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with jammy blueberry and raspberry aromas. “At 1,800 feet atop Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley—where the sun is intense, the climate is cool, and the berries are small and flavorful—comes a big Cab consistently rated 90 and above from critics such as the famed Robert Parker”. – The Capital Grille
The second cabernet was the savory Arrowood “Sonoma Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon. “A bright, juicy blend of Bordeaux varietals from the valleys of Sonoma, Knights and Alexander, the historic Arrowood winery has set the bar for Sonoma County Cabernet with bright black cherry and black currant aromas.” – The Capital Grille
Both are two killer pairings, and the best part is you can order both wines and decide for yourself if you are more of a Napa or Sonoma Cabernet fan!
And for the finale, how could I pass up the decadent flourless chocolate espresso cake! I tuned into the live Capital Grille Facebook event recently where they suggested this cake with the Mt.Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a Perfect Pairing!
Here is a complete list of the wines and recommended pairings from The Generous Pour from The Capital Grille:
Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 (92 Points) – At 1,800 feet atop Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley – where the sun is intense, the climate is cool, and the berries are small and flavorful – comes a big Cab consistently rated 90 and above. Tasting Notes: Raspberry, blueberry and touch of vanilla with approachable tannins.
- Pairing Recommendation: Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged NY Strip with Shallot Butter
Arrowood “Sonoma Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (90 Points) – A bright, juicy blend of Bordeaux varietals from the valleys of Sonoma, Knights and Alexander, the historic Arrowood winery has set the bar for Sonoma County Cabernet. Tasting Notes: Black cherry and black currant preserves with undertones of chai tea and mocha.
- Pairing Recommendation: Seared Dry Aged Sirloin
Siduri Pinot Noir, 2015 (90 Points) – Willamette Valley is arguably the finest region in the country for Pinot Noir and Siduri’s 2015 vintage is perhaps the finest produced in Oregon in over 20 years.
Tasting Notes: Fresh red and blue fruit with allspice, a hint of white pepper and silky smooth texture.
- Pairing Recommendation: Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon with Marcona Almonds and Brown Butter
Edmeades Zinfandel, 2013 (91 Points) – From a pioneering winery with a sole focus on Zinfandel in the Mendocino Valley with vines planted over 60 years ago, this is the wine that helped put Mendocino, Calif. on the map. Tasting Notes: Ripe raspberries, cherries and red currants with notes of cinnamon and graham cracker.
- Pairing Recommendation: Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops
Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (92 Points) –
A balanced and savory ‘old world style’ of Sauvignon Blanc from the Bennett Valley in Sonoma, that delivers fresh brightness of fruit and lively acidity on the finish. Tasting Notes: Grapefruit, white nectarine, honeycrisp apples and dry lemon thyme.
- Pairing Recommendation: Jumbo Lump Crab Cocktail
Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay, 2015 (91 Points) – Long, sunny days and a cooler climate moderated by the Pacific Ocean of the Santa Maria Valley define this ripe but refreshing Chardonnay.
Tasting Notes: Fresh citrus, apple, and white peach with a hint of sweet oak.
- Pairing Recommendation: Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster Tails
Willakenzie Pinot Gris, 2016 (90 Points) – Named for Oregon’s Willamette and McKenzie Rivers to honor the mineral-rich sediment in which their vines are grown, it is understandable that Willakenzie’s motto is “dirt matters.” Tasting Notes: Pineapple, citrus, green melon and tropical fruits with a bright but creamy texture.
- Pairing Recommendation: Cold Shellfish Platter
Click here to learn more about the featured wines and the winemakers. Follow The Capital Grille on Twitter (@CapitalGrille), Facebook (www.facebook.com/thecapitalgrille) and Instagram (@TheCapitalGrille) and join the #GenerousPour conversation.
Stay tuned for more on The Generous Pour from The Capital Grille all summer long with Jessica Altieri and Wine Channel TV .