Monday, July 23, 2012

Generous Pour at The Capital Grille

*Sponsored post
Although you might not possess the wine cellar of a Master Sommelier, this summer you can experience wine as if you did. George Miliotes, one of only 186 Master Sommeliers in the world, is sharing nine of his personal favorites from around the world during the Generous Pour Summer Wine Event at the Capital Grille.  Imagine having the freedom to enjoy nine world-class and limited-vintage varietals all while savoring signature appetizers, dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood and house-made desserts. Make that dream a reality by unleashing your inner sommelier this summer for just $25 per person at dinner from July 9 to September 2.  The Generous Pour Wine Event offers guests a guide through the experience, with suggested pairings and wine tasting notes for each course ordered. Each wine was chosen from unique vineyards around the world by Miliotes. “I selected the wines for the Generous Pour Wine Event, relying on favorites from unique vineyards that I enjoy in my own personal cellar. Allowing guests to experience the wine paired with food, tasting notes and expert guidance from our servers, adds depth to the experience that a traditional tasting event would not provide. The best way to learn about wine is to drink it!”

While I have been to the 
Chevy Chase and Penn Quarter locations, I returned to the Penn Quarter location to sample this unparalleled opportunity and enjoy generous pours of the featured wines they chose.  The Generous Pour Wine Event introduces guests to some of the season’s newest wine trends, while also offering hard-to-find varietals and known favorites. Highlights from this summer’s signature collection of choice whites and reds are: 
  • Conn Creek Anthology, Cabernet, 2007 – The finest vintage of the last 50 years for Cabernet in Napa, this robust blend of Bordeaux grapes from 13 of the region’s top vineyards is Conn Creek’s crowning jewel. A rich and creamy wine to complement dry aged steak.
  • Ferrari-Carano Mountain Reserve, Cabernet, 2008 – The Capital Grille is proud to be hosting the exclusive debut of Mountain Reserve from Ferrari-Carano. With a mixture of aromas and a long, dry finish, this bold Alexander Valley Cabernet is the perfect accompaniment for Kona Crusted Dry Age Sirloin.
  • Simčič, Rebula, 2008/09 – Available exclusively at The Capital Grille, this wine, also known as "Orange Wine," is a 1,000 year-old style of wine production making a comeback. Highly aromatic, it is an ideal companion for appetizers and light fish dishes.
  • Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve, Pinot Noir, 2007 – One of Master Sommelier George Miliotes personal favorites, this silky and smooth wine, boasting flavors of strawberry, cherry, and toffee, pairs beautifully with Cedar Planked Salmon with Tomato Fennel Relish.
For dinner we enjoyed three courses organically paired with wines by our server, Adam.  We started with an amuse of ahi with mustard on a cucumber slice, that was easily thrown together by the chef.  It was a nice and light bite, but could have used a touch of salt.  The mustard provided a mild spice and we sipped one of my favorites wines of the evening, the Lunetta Rose Brut.  The soft pink hue of this sparkling wine is fun and the taste was not too dry as many bruts can be.  Already we were off to a great start.  Next, Adam poured us the Gary Farrell Carneros Chardonnay and the Villa Mt. Eden Pinot Noir to try with the appetizers of pan fried calamari and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella.  The calamari were perfectly cooked and had an elevated spin with the cherry peppers that paired excellently with the buttery chardonnay.  The house-made mozzarella was divine and I enjoyed the salt from the prosciutto and the balsamic-dressed tomatoes together with the mellow pinot noir.  I could have stopped here, as I was already feeling happy from the wine and my tummy was filling up. But I knew we had more courses to come.

For our main entrees, I chose the Cedar Planked Salmon that came topped with a tomato fennel relish.  I am not a huge fan of salmon, but I found this piece to be nicely cooked with flavorful char on the outside and delicate tenderness on the inside.  Keith ordered the Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin topped with a tasty shallot butter. Keith really enjoyed his steak that was dry aged for 14 days.  He was pleasantly surprised that there was not a strong coffee taste from the rub, rather a complex earthiness that added to the overall flavor of the meat.  It was unexpectedly tender and Keith remarked he would return to the Capital Grille specifically for this steak.  As accompaniments to the entrees we had sauteed spinach and a sinfully delicious lobster mac n' cheese.  I could have eaten the entire pan of that mac n' cheese.  With large lumps of sweet and tender lobster meat mixed in and crunchy breadcrumbs on top, this side was seductively fantastic!  To go along with this course, we tried four more wines.  Three reds to pair with the steak and one white to pair with the fish: Conn Creek Anthology Cabernet, Ferrari-Carano Mt. Reserve Cabernet SauvignonFalesco Assisi Rosso Sangiovese Blend, and the Simčič Rebula.  My favorite red was the cabernet sauvignon, which had a complex depth of layers that I found would also pair well with chocolate.  The "Orange Wine" had such a unique flavor, much different from anything I've tasted.  It gets its amber color from the grape skins that are left on during the wine making process, and almost had a light liquor taste to it.  The rebula went perfectly with my salmon and the lobster mac n' cheese, bringing out the sweetness of the seafood.

Finally for dessert we had the cheesecake with seasonal berries with a glass of the Kia Oro Chenin Blanc.  The cheesecake had a crunchy brûléed top and was nice and creamy.  The chenin blanc was a sweet dessert wine that rounded out the tart berries.  We also had the flourless chocolate espresso cake with another glass of the Ferrari-Carano Mt. Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  The chocolate and red wine is such a classic combination and was a nice ending to the meal. Overall, this was the best meal I've had at the Capital Grille. The service and attention was superb, the food was exceptional, and the Generous Pour wine event exemplifies the expert, personalized service that the Capital Grille is known for.  I highly recommend adding on this wine pairing to your dinner and enjoy the journey.

Total Rating: 4.7
Food: 5, Price: 4, Service: 5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:
Ahi
with mustard on a cucumber slice

Pan Fried Calamari

Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella
with vine ripe tomatoes

Cedar Planked Salmon
with a tomato fennel relish

Sauteed Spinach

Lobster Mac N' Cheese

Cheesecake
with seasonal berries 

 Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake 

Plus Keith ate:
Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin
with shallot butter

  The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

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