Ah, the Generous Pour. When Jordanna approached me and asked if I would like to do a blog write up of this epic Capital Grille wine event – a sampling of seven fine wines hand selected by their Master Sommelier, George Miliotes – I was quite excited. As with the last time I went to the The Capital Grille for a blog write up, the entire check was comped – and I sent this post in for approval prior to publishing. Here is our experience:
All photos courtesy of my Soul Sister in Wine and Daydrinking, Carolyn Paine
We did our wine tasting in the bar area, although typically it’s designed to pair with an entrée. However, Jordanna generously sent out several bar bites for us to nibble on/pair our food with – which was a fresh experience for me:
Pan-fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers
Miniature Lobster and Crab Burgers
Both the above beauties paired with our first flight: the whites
Served from lightest to darkest, naturally
The first up: Carmel Road “Liberated,” Monterey, 2012 Riesling. A nice pairing for the crisp, buttery and light calamari, this Riesling was an elevated version of the overly sweet varietals I would normally avoid. It has a light, smooth mouthfeel and a nice fruity finish while not being overly sweet.
Next: the Atalon, Napa Valley, 2012 Sauvignon Blanc. This delicate bright blend was a perfect reminder of why I love Sauv Blancs. Grown in the Rutherford Valley of Napa Valley (coincidentally – Rutherford is my mother’s maiden name – hmmm, I wonder if we have distant relatives growing wine in Napa? But I digress), which is a region praised for its fine growing conditions.
The Byron, Santa Barbara, 2012 Chardonnay worked really well with the miniature lobster and crab burgers. The burgers were reminiscent of the Capitall Grille’s famously good lobster mac and cheese, with large, generous chunks of lobster and a seamlessly smooth and richly textured crab cake binding. The soft buttery texture was enhanced by the soft buttery chardonnay – with a lush flavor and notes of both fig and honey for a perfectly sweet finish.
I’m glad I took lots of notes, because this wine had a lot to say
Next up: the reds!
A fine selection, staged by Carolyn in front of the wine cellar. Note the signature Generous Pour glasses!
We started the reds with La Crema, Willamette Valley, 2012 Pinot Noir – debuting in its inaugural release. I enjoyed its full bodied, creamy mouth feel and sophisticated palate, which had citrusy notes and the bright crispness of a good Pinot. It paired well with our last savory appetizer:
Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzerella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes
By this point, we were reaching a bit of sensory overload with the wines, so naturally Jordanna sent out dessert to really complete our experience (there is a dessert wine which will be coming up shortly – spoiler alert – but I love a sweet/red pairing, so I started in with the rest of the reds)
Carolyn’s favorite: The Classic Crème Brulée
My favorite: Coconut Cream Pie
Allow me a brief moment to rhapsodize re: the coconut crème pie. It is a deeply textured journey of layers of fresh whipped crème, coconut crème, caramel accents, and the perfect graham crust. I could have eaten the whole thing, but thankfully I was able to eat a couple bites and put the spoon down (it wasn’t easy however, and I fully plan to go back and order just this plus a glass of wine so I can enjoy every last crumb). Both desserts were stars alongside the remaining three reds: the Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley 2011 Merlot, which was quite excellent, bold, almost like a cabernet, and with just a slight touch of spice at the end. The next red was quite exciting, as it was designed by Master Sommelier Miliotes and Heidi von der Mehden of Arrowood and is exclusive to the Capital Grille. A truly robust and classic Bordeaux, the deep, studied flavors were great with dessert but truly belong (quite fittingly) with a steak – so that may be another future trip to further explore the aforementioned pairing. Last of the reds – but certainly not least: a Kendall-Jackson “Winemaker Selection” Sonoma, 2012, Cabernet Sauvignon. A bold, punchy wine with notes of currant, this would have been a nice sendoff to the Generous Pour, if it weren’t for the final wine which was sent out to us: a delightful dessert wine, also by Kendall-Jackson:
Kendall-Jackson Late Harvest Chardonnay
I consider myself to be more of a ‘port after dinner’ than dessert wine girl. I may have to re-evaluate my life choices, because this tasted, as our server Maya noted, “exactly like sucking a honey stick from a farm.” A quick note on Maya- she was detail oriented, friendly, extremely knowledgeable about each and every wine and dish that we sampled. The Capital Grille prides itself on excellent customer service, which just enhances the entire dining experience. I can’t say enough about how enjoyable of a time we had, from start to finish. Thanks again for the invite – we will be back very soon!
Can I get a yaaas for excellent wine and company.
The Generous Pour is available for $25 with purchase of an entree from now until August 31