One of the better restaurant wine deals that I’ve come across in a while is going on now, through September 4, at The Capital Grille in Providence. The Generous Pour Summer Wine Event lives up to it’s name. For $25, with dinner, diners may have as many of nine specially selected wines as they like. You can try all nine or choose a few favorites for multiple glasses. I was a guest at a preview dinner where I decided on the former, tasting through the complete selection that The Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier George Miliotes has put together for this event.
The nine wines are an eclectic list from well-known names such as Freemark Abbey and Chalk Hill, to wines only available in the U.S. at The Capital Grille like the 2009 Tarima Hill Monastrell. Miliotes’s selections were well-paired with the restaurant’s dishes we ate. The dishes tend toward rich, heavier flavors (think dry-aged beef), even with items like their Cedar Planked Salmon or Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese.
The wines are:
- Marquis de la Tour Cremant de Loire Brut
- La Cana Albariño 2010
- Chateau St. Jean Belle Terre 2008
- Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché 2003
- Chalk Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
- Byron Pinot Noir 2009
- Conte Brandolini Vistorta Merlot 2006
- Tarima Hill Monastrell 2009
- RL Buller The Portly Gentleman
As with any food or wine experience, personal preference will vary. I enjoyed the Marquis de la Tour Cremant de Loire Brut as an opening wine, though I could also see it as an end-of-the meal drink with the Strawberries Capital Grille dessert. It’s light with some melon flavor and a lot of crispness. The La Cana Albariño 2010 was a perfect summer white wine and would go very well with a seafood appetizer. The Chateau St. Jean Belle Terre 2008 was a classic California Chardonnay in that it was heavily oaky for my palate and not to my tastes.
Of the reds, the Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché 2003 was the standout Cabernet Sauvignon when paired with the Capital Grille’s Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin. I enjoyed the Chalk Hill Estate 2006 but it just struck me as too big and tannic right now. The Byron Pinot Noir 2009 was a typical fruity Central Coast Pinot Noir, one I would gladly have again and should work with a variety of dishes, though not the Dry Aged Sirloin. The Tarima Hill Monastrell was delicious, but very young. It held it’s own with the sirloin but I would like to try it after a few years of age or against a lighter beef dish.
For me, the standout red wine was the Conte Brandolini Vistorta Merlot 2006. Harvested from 100-year-old vines in a small vineyard in Northeast Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), this was an elegant wine, beautifully balanced with a little spice. It may have been a touch light for the Dry Aged Sirloin but I’d be more than happy to have it again with steak, or perhaps lamb or duck. The final wine was the RL Buller The Portly Gentleman, an Australian wine made in the style of Port. I enjoyed trying it, but I would advise if you want Port, order Port.
George Miliotes, one of only 173 Master Sommeliers in the world presents his notes on the wine in a video online. “I believe that wine education must be experienced first-hand,” Miliotes said. “That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to provide a fun, wide-ranging wine exploration at The Capital Grille. We are especially pleased to bring our guests some of the world’s most exclusive wines this summer, for a delightful, educational taste journey.” Miliotes can be found on Twitter at @thewineexpert.
The Generous Pour Summer Wine Event runs through September 4 at all The Capital Grille locations. The Providence location is at 1 Union Station. The restaurant is also hosting a charity event on Friday, August 26 in conjunction with the inaugural Providence Food & Wine Festival (of which Dadekian is an organizer) to benefit Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy. Tickets and more information can be found here.