Wouldn't anyone prefer a generous pour? Well, The Capital Grille poses the term not simply for quantity (eight glasses, that is), but more importantly for the experiential quality of a truly differentiated wine offering. Rather than being forced to marry into an expensive bottle, the restaurant offers a $28 buy-in with eight outstanding Californian 3 oz. wine tastings to complement your steakhouse meal.
With an emphasis on all-female winemakers, the mini wine dinner gives tasters a chance to see the contrasts between grapes and advance wine palates. A sauvignon blanc and cabernet are rarely placed at the same place setting, yet The Capital Grille offers the opportunity, if desired. Waiters exercise their wine pairing ability; if you select the porcini-rubbed bone-in filet with aged balsamic, the Matanzas Creek benchmark Sonoma merlot could suit your fancy. The Chilean seabass might be joined by the Galierie "Naissance" Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc by winemaker Laura Dîaz Muñoz.
I was lucky enough to be walked through the Generous Pour offerings by Master Sommelier George Miliotes. Only 215 masters exist in the world since the program's 1958 inception. Pretty impressive, huh?
Our table's favorite was the 2007 Kinton Syrah, whose purity is usually savored for the end of the meal. 2007 marked a storybook vintage in California. The experienced finish is a can't-miss opportunity at the restaurant. As George noted, "We drink our wines so young! Seldom do we enjoy a perfectly aged glass. Here's your chance."
The restaurant's signature summer event, now in its 9th year, is available through the end of August. I highly recommend the experience!