COLUMN BY PHILLIP SILVERSTONE
The Generous Pour has become a summer experience at Capital Grille restaurants where master sommelier George Miliotes hand selects seven remarkable wines to pair with the wine-friendly menu. From now through Aug. 31 at an additional cost of $25 for the seven-wine experience, we have an opportunity to sample wines that for the — most part — are only produced for the Capital Grille.
Mrs. Silverstone and I visited the King Of Prussia location for a sampling of the menu along with these splendid wines (236 Mall Boulevard, King Of Prussia PA 19406. 610 265 1415. the capitalgrille.com)
The smoked salmon starter was accompanied by the Carmel Road “Liberated” Monterey 2012 Riesling. The wine has a touch of sweetness in the German Kabinet style packed with luscious summer fruits and a crisp elegance. Speaking as a lifelong smoked salmon addict, the smoked salmon was fabulous. Staying with “fabulous,” the scallops were paired with Atalon’s Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from Napa. Not the typical Sauvignon Blanc one might expect, this is almost a re-imagining of the formulaic somewhat predictability of the varietal. My notes simply state: “Light and highly quaffable.” The perfect marriage for the scrumptious trio of scallops I tried. The handmade mozzarella cheese with heirloom tomatoes and balsamic vinegar was also paired with the Sauvignon Blanc, and the two worked so well together that Astaire and Rogers would have been envious of the partnership. The seared tuna came with a trio of sauces. I’m not a huge seared tuna fan and the sauces were a little bold for my palate, but clearly seared tuna fans will delight at these “dipping sauces.” But Byron’s 2012 Santa Barbara Chardonnay was a brilliant choice as tuna partner. I always avoid Chards like the plague, because they bore me to tears, but Byron revived my interest with their beautifully structured drink. A distinct pear and apple flavor combination that easily romanced the fish. Our filet steak was historic and fortunately our tasting portion didn’t put our digestive capacity into over drive. We were tutored throughout our meal by the knowledgeable, and affable Matthew, whom you should ask to be teamed up with during your visit to the restaurant.
The Generous Pour excelled with the steak-friendly wines. First, La Crema, Willamette Valley 2012 Pinot Noir delivered everything I lust after in Pinots. You can almost taste the soil in this not overly intense, dark fruit and hints of coffee infused (it isn’t, I’m just making a taste analogy) winning wine. The meat was also paired with Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley 2011 Merlot. For me, Merlot has always been the best man but never the groom. On rare occasions it does make it to the altar — and this is one of those occasions. A tall, dark and handsome groom indeed. Loaded with those seductive dark fruits we all enjoy in our serious red wines. We agreed that the meal was a masterpiece and just as I was resting my stomach on the table and contemplating a three-hour after-dinner nap, Matthew came sauntering up to the table with the most amazing lamb chops, which happen to be another of my favorite meats. And brave diner that I am, I soldiered through this final course with gusto. Arrowood’s “Catchwire” Sonoma 2011 Bordeaux Blend has all the stellar varietals we have come to know and love in the great chateaux of Bordeaux, headed, of course, by Cabernet Sauvignon. Tons of dark red berry fruits a touch of that tobacco smokiness and as smooth as a baby’s bottom. But wait! Matthew uncorked the final red of the evening, the Kendall-Jackson, Sonoma 2012 Winemaker Selection, featuring hand picked Cabernet grapes from K-J’s own vineyards. This was the equivalent of the grand finale of any 4th of July fireworks display. With bold, rich, dazzling displays of pyrotechnics from the glass in which it was poured. “Are we ready for dessert?” Matthew asked.
“…Er I think we are at capacity, Matthew” I responded. “But I’m bringing you the Kendall-Jackson Botrytis Chardonnay!” I agreed to sample the peach sorbet and what a closing act when enjoyed alongside the lusciously sweet late harvest tea colored erotically charged Chardonnay. It’s worth suffering our wicked winters knowing that the Generous Pour awaits us the other side of the bleak months. Cheers!
Mea Culpa: I must correct a couple of errors stated in last week’s column on my visit to the Finger Lakes. I referred to the Finger Lakes Wine Country rather than the Finger Lakes wine region. Subtle difference, but the former is in fact the name of a tourist authority in the area and I need to make the distinction that I was referring to the region itself. And my apologies to the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (www.FingerLakes.org) whom I referred to, incorrectly, as the Finger Lakes Tourist Authority.
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