Jul 132011

The Capital Grille is highlighting several wonderful wines again this year during their ‘Generous Pour’ Wine Event, taking place at all 44 locations nation-wide from July 12-Sept 4, 2011.  Each of the nine wines was hand-selected by Master Sommelier George Miliotes, and are the perfect compliment to any of the dishes served at The Capital Grille.  The wait staff is highly knowledgeable about these wines and can make recommendations to compliment the dishes you order, however  Patrons can sample as many of the wines as they would like for only $25.  That is a  steal considering that if you were to buy all 9 bottles at retail price, it would be over $750!

This years’ selections were narrowed down from over 600 tried.  The wines that were excellent enough to be featured include:


  • Marquis de la Tour, Cremant de Louire Brut, France
  • La Cana Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain 2010
  • Chateau St Jean, Belle Terre, Sonoma, CA 2008

International Reds

  • Conte Brandolini, Vistorta Merlot, Fruili-Venezia Giulia, Italy 2006
  • Tarima Hill, Monastrell, Alicante, Spain 2009

California Reds

  • Freemark Abbey, Cabernet Bosche, Rutherford, 2003
  • Chalk Hill Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma 2006
  • Byron Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, 2009


  • RL Buller, The Portly Gentleman, Australia

I was able to preview several of the wines along with a fabulous five-course dinner hosted by The Capital Grill.  The food deserves a post of its own, so I am going to keep details on the food to a minimum so we can focus on the wines.   A complete review of The Capital Grille will be following soon.

First Course: Hors D’Oeuvres.  These items are not regulars on The Capital Grille menu, but they can be ordered for private parties.  The trio included Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Crostini, Smoked Salmon on Onion Pita Crisps, and Wild Mushroom and Boursin Crostini.  These were served with a sparkling wine called Marquis de la Tour, Cremant de Loire Brut.  This is a light, crisp and refreshing wine from France.

Second Course: Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers and Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes.

With the Calamari I tried the La Cana.  This Albariño wine comes from white grapes grown on very old vines  in Spain.  I thought this wine was light, crisp and somewhat fruity while still having a somewhat earthy hint.  This is a refreshing wine that went great with the spiciness of the peppers in the calamari dish.

With the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella, I tried the Chateau St Jean Chardonnay.  This is your classic chardonnay, with grapes sourced from a single vineyard in Sonoma.  The wine was rich and almost buttery, aged in Oak.  Fruity with a hint of nuts.

Entrees:  Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Shallot Butter.

Cedar Planked Salmon with Tomato Fennel Relish.

Accompaniments: Lobster Mac N Cheese and Sauteed Spinach

I tried three of the red wines during dinner.  Each was exceptional and unique.

The Conte Brandolini is an old-world Merlot, grown on vines over a hundred years old in Northeastern Italy.  Richy and silky with the flavor of berries.

The Chalk Hill is a Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Sonoma region.  This is a dense wine with a slightly mineral taste due to the volcanic chalk under the hillside where the vines grow.  It is also rich and powerful, going great with beef.

The Tarima Hill is a Monastrell wine, made from a newer variety of grapes grown in Spain.  This wine is brand-new to the United States and is making its exclusive debut for at The Capital Grille for the Generous Pour Wine Event.  Purple and velvety.

Dessert: Strawberries Capital Grille

Along with my strawberries, I tried The Portly Gentleman, a  dessert wine from the Land Down Under.  This is everything that a traditional Port should be, except it hails from Australia rather than Portugal.  Very sweet and fruity yet smooth.

So that is a run-down of what I ate and drank; I enjoyed everything.  The Generous Pour Wine Event runs now through September 4th so make sure you get down there sometime soon.   If you are into wine, this event is a must. Where else can you try wines such as these for only $25??

The Capital Grille
801 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis. MN 55402