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Wine Tips & Etiquette

 

Welcome to ProWineGuide.com!

Take a tip from a pro: “Location, Location, Location” is the secret to finding the best bottle of wine for your budget. Throughout my 30+ years in the wine distribution industry, I have found labels that tie wines as closely as possible to their grape source to be the best indicator of quality vs. price. This closely parallels the concepts of farm-to-table sourcing of foods as a measure of quality. Working within your budget, check off at least 2 of these 3 items from the bottle label:
1) Region/Appellation (Ex: Napa Valley AVA, Sonoma County AVA, Bordeaux or Rhone Valley),
2) Sub-appellation (Ex: Rutherford, Alexander Valley, Haut-Medoc or Chateauneuf-du-Pape),
3) Estate or Chateau bottled and/or named vineyard.
You will often see unfamiliar wineries on wine lists. Fear not! These small production boutique wineries represent some of the best examples of their varietals. Having tasted wine from countries, regions, appellations, sub-appellations, estates and vineyards across the globe, I follow these very same guidelines myself when selecting a bottle.
And while you’re searching for that Goldilocks bottle to match your entree selection, think about beginning your dining event with a bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne. Bubbles pair with everything!
I believe that there’s a taste of time, place and passion in every bottle. Welcome to this timeless journey!
Dale Blankenship
Founder, ProWineGuide.com and Umami.Life

Restaurant Wine Rituals

The ritual of tasting wine from a bottle that you’ve ordered in a restaurant can be intimidating, so here’s a quick guide. Not just for show, it also helps you determine if a bottle is acceptable or tainted. Wines with traditional cork closures may occasionally exhibit the chemical compound TCA. These days, cork-tainted wines account for 4% or less of the wines to hit the market. A winemaker may opt to use a Stelvin closure (screw cap) instead of cork. The type of closure does not reflect upon the quality of the wine, only the preference of the winemaker.

Step by step, here’s the cheat sheet on the ritual:


1. Presentation of the Bottle

The wine specialist or server presents the bottle for inspection to the person who ordered the wine. Read over the label to ensure that it’s the wine you ordered. Feel free to touch the bottle to determine whether its’ temperature seems to be correct. Whites should be chilled, but not icy cold. Reds should have a slight coolness to them. If you’re satisfied with the bottle, nod your approval to the server.


2. Removal and Inspection of the Cork

The server removes the cork and places it in front of you. Inspect the cork and sniff it to make sure it’s in good condition. In rare instances, a wine may be so tainted the the cork itself will have an unpleasant odor. Even less often, the cork might be wet and shriveled or dry and crumbly. A cork that’s less than perfect suggests that air has infiltrated the wine and spoiled it. Don’t be too quick to reject a bottle if the cork raises your suspicions. Wait to smell or taste the wine itself. Corked wines can range from muted aromas/fruit to full-on wet, moldy cardboard aromas and zero fruit. TCA is an equal opportunity spoiler impacting wine in every price range. In other cases, the wine may need time to open up. If the bottle has a Stelvin closure, this step will be skipped.


3. Pour, Swirl, Sniff and Sip

The server pours a small amount of wine into your glass and waits. You swirl the wine in the glass, take a sniff, a little sip and then indicate whether you find the wine acceptable. If the wine is fine, you can nod your approval or say, “It’s fine.” If something is wrong with the wine, now is the time to return it. If you decide that the bottle is unacceptable, describe to the server what you find wrong with the wine. If the wine specialist or server agrees that it’s a bad bottle, he may bring you another bottle of the same, or he may ask if you would like to select another wine. Either way, the ritual repeats itself.


4. Serving the Table

If you accept the wine, the server pours the wine into your guests’ glasses and ends with yours.
Cheers!


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  • Sparkling & Champagne

    Taittinger Brut La Française

    France, Champagne Sparkling & Champagne / NV

    Pale gold color with fine, persistent bubbles. Aromas of peach, white flowers, vanilla and brioche. Flavors of fresh fruit and honey on the palate. Aged on the lees more than twice as long as is required by AOC law.

    View Video

    $80

    Bottle

    Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut

    France, Champagne, Epernay Sparkling & Champagne / NV

    Floral and fruity variations. The elegance and finesse of an unwavering style.

    $90

    Bottle

    Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut

    France, Champagne Sparkling & Champagne / NV

    Distinguished by its’ bright fruitiness, seductive palate and elegant maturity. An elegant color of golden straw yellow with green highlights.

    $100

    Bottle

    Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut NV

    France, Champagne Sparkling & Champagne / NV

    Golden yellow appearance with tiny bubbles. Tightly knit with robust acidity and a streak of minerality, this offers subtle notes of white peach, plum and pear with hints of vanilla. The finish evokes a note of toasty brioche.

    $125

    Bottle

    Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé NV

    France, Champagne Sparkling & Champagne / NV

    Luminous color with copper hues. Expressive aromas of ripe strawberries, dried fruits, fresh baked pastries. Full-bodied, elegant and pleasing on the palate with a long finish.

    $150

    Bottle

    Veuve Clicquot Gold

    France, Champagne Sparkling & Champagne / 2008

    Each vintage is a single harvest chosen for its’ quality and expression of the House’s style. Vintages are carefully preserved for decades in Clicquot’s chalk cellars in Reims. The wine presents a brilliant, gold color with remarkable effervescence. Hints of toasted notes, lightly candied citrus fruit and dried apricots.

    $155

    Bottle

    Dom Pérignon Champagne

    France, Champagne, Epernay Sparkling & Champagne / 2006

    Only produced in years with an exceptional vintage. With at least eight years of cellar aging, the wine embodies the perfect balance of strong character and powerful presence. It’s structured, focused, firm and dense with a spicy, flowery finish present in each sip.

    $425

    Bottle

    Louis Roederer Cristal Brut

    France, Champagne, Reims Sparkling & Champagne / 2007

    Cristal uses harvests from the finest Grand Cru vineyards. The wine ages an average of 5 years in the cellars, then rests 8 months after disgorgement to mature. Silky texture and fruity aromas are complemented by a mineral quality with white fruit and citrus notes. Cristal can be conserved for over 20 years without losing its’ freshness and character.

    $450

    Bottle

  • Crisp, Light-Bodied White & Rosé

    Quintessa Illumination Sauvignon Blanc

    CA, Napa Valley Crisp, Light-Bodied White & Rosé / 2016

    Alive with aromatic complexity, texture and bright flavors. The fruit aromas of white peach, kiwi and guava interplay with fresh herbs, pink grapefruit and honey creating an intricate bouquet. The palate shows stone fruit, lemon zest and a touch of minerality, followed by a fresh, flavorful finish.

    View Video

    $80

    Bottle

    Vincent Girardin Pouilly Fuissé

    France, Pouilly Fuissé Crisp, Light-Bodied White & Rosé / 2016

    Aged on fine lees, lightly fined and filtered before bottling. The local soils flavor development of Fresh and fruity, this wine has a crisp, mineral character that gives an intense texture. It is balanced, ripe while still taut and crisp.

    $80

    Bottle

    LaDoucette Pouilly-Fumé

    France, Loire Valley Crisp, Light-Bodied White & Rosé / 2015

    The nose develops a natural range of subtle floral and earthy green plant aromas. Notes of stony minerals and lemon give the wine a beautiful structure balanced by a fruity roundness, with a finish marked by hints of citrus fruits.

    $80

    Bottle

  • Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White

    Flowers Chardonnay

    CA, Sonoma Coast Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White / 2015

    Aromas of citrus zest and lime-blossom are highlighted by honeysuckle and wet flint. The palate is heightened by a compelling, site-specific coastal minerality, textural salinity, and precise acidity that carry through the finish.

    View Video

    $85

    Bottle

    Grgich Hills Chardonnay

    CA, Napa Valley, Estate Vyd Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White / 2013

    Our wines are 100% estate-grown, produced, and bottled. From cool American Canyon and Carneros vineyards in the southern tip of Napa Valley, this classically styled wine doesn’t undergo malolactic fermentation, preserving its natural acidity. Fermented and aged in French oak.

    $85

    Bottle

    Rombauer Chardonnay

    CA, Napa Valley, Carneros Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White / 2016

    Aromas of ripe apple, bright citrus and melon are layered with creme brulee, baking spices and a touch of butter. Vibrant fruit flavors balanced by fresh acidity meld with vanilla and toasted nuts on the creamy, smooth palate.

    View Video

    $85

    Bottle

    Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay

    CA, Napa Valley Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White / 2016

    Rich, yet elegant and complex wine. Fresh and lively on the palate, with rich citrus, apple, melon and tropical fruit flavors, it culminates in a long finish featuring pleasing mineral and spice tones.

    View Video

    $90

    Bottle

    Chateau Montelena Chardonnay

    CA, Napa Valley Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White / 2014

    Naturally low-yielding vineyards produce grapes with more intense, concentrated flavors. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged in both new and neutral small French oak barrels. Opulent palate with vibrant acidity. Minerality steps in on the finish with orange zest and the lingering richness of crème brûlée.

    View Video

    $95

    Bottle

    Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

    CA, Napa Valley, Carneros Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White / 2015

    On 68 acres near the northern tip of San Francisco Bay, Shafer harvests fruit for this classic single vineyard wine. Elegant aromas and flavors of melon, honeysuckle, apricot, pineapple, citrus zest, and flint. An abundance of exotic fruit is completed with bright acidity, seamless balance, and a long, mouth-coating finish.

    View Video

    $95

    Bottle

    Château de Meursault Meursault du Chateau

    France, Burgundy, Meursault Rich, Medium to Full-Bodied White / 2013

    A typical Chardonnay expression of Meursault terroir. Floral aromas with a hint of yellow fruit notes. The palate is balanced, complex and round. The minerality brings great length.

    $135

    Bottle

  • Fruity, Light-Bodied Red

    Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir

    NZ, Marlborough Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2015

    Fermentation with indigenous yeast. During fermentation, we punch down the caps to ensure gentle and complete extraction of tannins, color and flavors. Aged in French oak barrels (35% new) and matured for 12 months. A balanced and lively expression of Pinot Noir.

    $85

    Bottle

    Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir

    CA, Santa Maria Valley, Clark & Telephone Vyd Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2016

    The color is a deep scarlet-red with lush aromas of blackberry bramble, nutmeg, and hint of caramel. The wine is fresh and exuberant in the mouth with sumptuous strawberry jam, ripe black cherry, cranberry and warm gingerbread.

    View Video

    $85

    Bottle

    Flowers Pinot Noir

    CA, Sonoma Coast, Estate Vyds Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2015

    We use biodynamic and organic farming with native fermentation. Aromas of red berries and plum weave together with notes of anise. Flavors of cherry and peach on the palate with balanced tannins compliment a bright acidity that leads into a long, fresh finish.

    View Video

    $90

    Bottle

    Louis Jadot Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru Les Narbantons

    France, Burgundy, Savigny-les-Beaune Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2013

    An elegant wine of 100% Pinot Noir, showing an intense color more vivid than that of the “Villages” appellations. Red fruits dominate on both the powerful bouquet and the palate. Tannins show character, finesse and elegance.

    $95

    Bottle

    Château de Marsannay Rouge

    France, Burgundy, Marsannay Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2015

    Pinot Noir from a blend of several plots located on the Marsannay appellation showing all the richness, complexity and freshness of those terroirs. A fine nose around fresh fruits, slightly roasted. The mouth is well-balanced and supple with good fruits aromas.

    $105

    Bottle

    Dmne Mongeard-Mugneret Vosne-Romanée

    France, Burgundy, Côte d'Or, Vosne-Romanée AOC Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2013

    Elegance, discreet tannins and an unobtrusive acid content meld to create a wonderfully mellow wine with substance that lingers long on the palate. Very aromatic, the wine highlights scents of cherries, strawberries and woodland undergrowth in an elegant combination of fruits and spices.

    $105

    Bottle

    Archery Summit Pinot Noir Premier Cuvee

    Oregon, Willamette Valley Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2014

    Bouquet of violet and hyacinth aromas intermingled with hints of cocoa, black licorice, freshly ground coffee beans and Santa Ana plums. Juicy blackberry and black cherry on the entry supported by fine grained tannins leading into a velvety finish with the essence of dark chocolate.

    $105

    Bottle

    Miura Pinot Noir Talley Vyds

    CA, Central Coast, Arroyo Grande Valley, Talley Vyds Fruity, Light-Bodied Red / 2010

    Ripe, rich, spicy and a bit less perfumed than our Santa Lucia Highlands bottlings, but perhaps more generous and voluptuous. This wine is largely from a Dijon clone (777) and a Pommard made using a modest percentage of whole bunches, native yeast, and punched down by hand.

    $125

    Bottle

  • Supple, Medium-Bodied Red

    Ruffino RSVA Ducale Oro Chianti Classico

    Italy, Chianti Classico, Estate Vyds Supple, Medium-Bodied Red / 2011

    Produced only in outstanding vintages and aged for 36 months. The Tuscan bouquet offers notes of violet, cherry and plum with a generous, fruity core accented by hints of chocolate and cinnamon. Full bodied and well balanced, impressive tannins leading to a lengthy finish.

    $80

    Bottle

    Rombauer Zinfandel

    California Supple, Medium-Bodied Red / 2016

    Entices with scents of raspberry, cranberry, licorice and spice. Lush and concentrated flavors of ripe cherry, dark berries and vanilla flood the palate, followed by touches of pepper and spice. Fine tannins and great length make for a satisfying finish.

    View Video

    $80

    Bottle

    Duckhorn Vyds Napa Valley Merlot

    CA, Napa Valley Supple, Medium-Bodied Red / 2013

    Aromas of ripe cherry, plum and black fig, underscored by hints of leather and cedar. On the palate, lush and supple with bright acidity and velvety tannins supporting layers of raspberry and black cherry with hints of coffee and chocolate on the long finish.

    $115

    Bottle

  • Bold, Full-Bodied Red

    Terrazas de los Andes Las Compuertas Malbec

    Argentina, Mendoza, Luján de Cuyo, Las Compuertas Vyd Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2012

    Intense purple color with violet shades reveals a ripe fruit character of blackberry, plum and red fruit marmalade rounding out with elegant notes of pepper, bay and cinnamon. Intense black fruit, great amplitude and marked sweetness on the palate. Fine, silky tannins deliver an elegant and complex mouthfeel.

    $85

    Bottle

    Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2015

    Dark red-purple in color with classic aromas of Rutherford dust, black cherries and a hint of red licorice. Sweet tobacco comes up in the background, along with dusty cocoa notes.

    View Video

    $80

    Bottle

    Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    The gravelly soils of the Silverado vineyards are derived from volcanic rock and ash, providing depth and structure to our wines. 100% of the estate is sustainably farmed. For this classic Cabernet Sauvignon, our vineyards deliver a balanced structure and velvety texture, black cherry aroma, flavors of ripe plum and hints of licorice on the finish.

    View Video

    $90

    Bottle

    Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Density and concentration sum up the palate nicely as tight-grained tannin is interwoven among layers of fresh raspberry, mint, and hazelnut. These slowly transition
    to a subtle richness of molasses and fig that’s almost chewy enough to sink your teeth into.

    View Video

    $90

    Bottle

    Stags’ Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Bouquet of dark plum, blackberry and hints of vanilla and cinnamon continuing through on the palate with dark berry and cassis. Seamlessly integrated oak and refined tannins provide a silky texture while fresh blackberry, hints of black pepper, cocoa nib and coffee add balance on the finish.

    View Video

    $90

    Bottle

    Frank Family Vyds Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    The Rutherford base shows with bountiful aromas of cocoa, red currant, cinnamon and blackberry. The wine sings with flavors of chocolate, kirsch and eucalyptus on a palate with moderate tannins and a long finish.

    $90

    Bottle

    Newton Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Concentrated and intense with hints of black currant, mulberry and aged tobacco. Firm, savory tannins and mineral notes round out the palate of this powerful, robust wine.

    View Video

    $98

    Bottle

    Groth Vyds Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley, Oakville Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2015

    Showing intrinsic black stone fruit nuances and the soft tannin structure. The texture of the wine is soft and supple with black cherry and blackberry flavors.

    View Video

    $100

    Bottle

    Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2016

    Hand-picked grapes from family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville are rounded out with small lots from other Napa Valley growers with spectacular mountain and valley terroirs. Aged in French oak barrels for 19 months. Ripe concentrated fruit flavors with hints of dried spice, medium to full body and supple tannins and a long finish.

    $110

    Bottle

    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Sonoma, Alexander Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Focused on striking a perfect balance between beautiful fruit, silky tannins and a lingering finish. Each vintage is crafted in a balanced house style to create a wine with restraint, finesse and the ability to age gracefully.

    View Video

    $120

    Bottle

    Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2015

    Aromas of black cherry, currants, berries and a hint of sweet oak. On the palate, the wine offers full fruit flavors and a silky texture that leads to a long, lingering finish with hints of red and black fruit.

    View Video

    $115

    Bottle

    Inglenook Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley, Rutherford Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2013

    Highly aromatic, the palate reflects the nose with fragrant nuances of red and black fruits all enlivened by exotic spices, notes of tobacco and a touch of dark chocolate. This wine shows great texture, a freshness brought about by balanced natural acidity and a long, rapturous finish.

    $125

    Bottle

    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Sonoma, Alexander Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2013

    The wine is full-bodied with aromas of black currant, orange zest and raspberry. The taste is rich and gives way to a mid-palate with breadth and depth, supported with acidity and dusty tannins.

    View Video

    $150

    Bottle

    Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2015

    Layers of rich, yet elegant flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, fig, currant and fresh cherry. Vibrant acidity, supple tannins and impeccable balance contribute to a round, plush mouthfeel, leading to a long, savory finish marrying rich fruit, French oak spice and a hint of dark chocolate.

    $160

    Bottle

    Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Showcasing classic Cabernet aromas of blackberry and blueberry with hints of baking spices and tobacco followed by layers of dark berries, graphite and cocoa powder on the palate. Full-bodied and dense with beautifully integrated oak and sweet tannins throughout the lingering finish.

    $145

    Bottle

    Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2015

    This wine is abundant in textural tannins, yet soft as velvet. A wide array of aromas and flavors including cocoa, cassis and vanilla.

    View Video

    $160

    Bottle

    Stags’ Leap Winery Investor Red

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2015

    Rich dark fruit with captivating notes of tea leaf, roasting spices of sage and rosemary with touches of herbs, cinnamon and clove on the nose. Generous, concentrated flavors of dark berries, plum, black cherry, strawberry and soft tannins and a juicy, mouthwatering acidity.

    View Video

    $85

    Bottle

    TPW The Prisoner Red Blend

    CA, Napa Valley, Oakville Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2016

    Features enticing aromas of Bing cherry, dark chocolate, clove, and roasted fig. Persistent flavors of ripe raspberry, boysenberry, pomegranate, and vanilla linger harmoniously, for a smooth and luscious finish.

    $85

    Bottle

    Cenyth Red Blend

    CA, Sonoma Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Elegant, classic Bordeaux-style blend shows lovely hints of spice on the nose that repeat on the palate where they co-mingle with white pepper flavors in delicate harmony. The finish is long, smooth with very fine tannins, ending with a lingering freshness of fruit.

    $85

    Bottle

    Franciscan Est Magnificat Meritage

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Deep scarlet with aromas of dark cherry, plum, baking spices and coffee. Flavors open with ripe plum and black currant. Impressive structure shows a dense, full body with refined tannins. Extensive finish blends cassis with anise, tobacco, cocoa, and vanilla.

    View Video

    $90

    Bottle

    Girard Artistry Red Blend

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Aromas of vanilla and tobacco intertwined with black and red fruit notes. Palate notes of bright cherry on the front, vanilla and mocha followed by blackberry compote and finishing with leather and textured tannins. Well-balanced structure.

    $85

    Bottle

    Orin Swift Leviathan

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2016

    Aromas of coffee bean, smoke, dusty rose and fresh baked black cherry pie. Soft tannins rise to intense flavors of dark chocolate, raspberries and cherries. Finishes long with dark fruit character and mouthwatering acidity. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

    $85

    Bottle

    Italics Sixteen Appellations Red Blend

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2013

    Fruit, spice and earth characterize this signature blend. Up front, red fruits open and are held together by a lattice of oak spices.  The creamy mid-palate bring remembrances of warm chocolate tart drizzled with red fruit syrup.  The finish is long with sweet, supple tannins.

    $85

    Bottle

    Beaulieu Vyd Tapestry Red Blend

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    Blending five Bordeaux-heritage grape varieties contributes layer-upon-layer of aroma and flavor complexity. Generous core of blackberry and cassis expression, tame tannins add plush mid-palate texture. Deep plum notes blend with nuances of rose, forest loam and graphite.

    $90

    Bottle

    Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage

    CA, Sonoma, Alexander Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    We hand harvest Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other traditional Bordeaux grapes from select areas. Each batch is fermented separately and aged in the finest French oak barrels. After blending, the wine is returned to barrels to age an additional 12 to 20 months before bottling.

    View Video

    $90

    Bottle

    Charles Krug Generations Meritage

    CA, Napa Valley Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2014

    The vineyards of Charles Krug Winery are the foundation of Napa Valley’s oldest winery. Aromas of black cherry, coffee bean and blueberry segue to a medium-bodied wine with a long finish of ripe berry and toasty crème brûlée.

    $110

    Bottle

    Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz

    Australia, McLaren Vale Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2013

    Dark red color opens with notes of blackberry, black cherry, nougat and fresh baking spices. Across the palate, fresh fruit and a cleansing acidity, along with dark berries and notes of black pepper and incense. Tannins provide excellent length and depth to the palate.

    $85

    Bottle

    Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino

    Italy, Tuscany DOCG Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2012

    Fresh and refined, this opens with alluring aromas of wild berry, crushed herb, pressed violet and a whiff of dark spice. The vibrant medium-bodied palate offers sour cherry, pomegranate, licorice and a hint of white pepper framed in taut fine-grained tannins.

    $85

    Bottle

    Poggi al Tesoro Sondraia Super Tuscan

    Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri Superiore DOC Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2011

    Intense ruby red, this wine has subtle hints of exotic spices and ripe red fruit on the nose. On the palate it is plush, warm and full, with persistent silky and ripe tannins in the finish. Blend of mainly Syrah with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    $90

    Bottle

    Pio Cesare Barolo

    Italy, Piedmonte Bold, Full-Bodied Red / 2012

    Classic Barolo of 100% Nebbiolo sourced from family-owned vineyards and other exclusive vineyards owned by growers who have been providing grapes to generations of the Pio family. Excellent structure and harmony, mild tannins and balanced fruit. Immediately approachable, but has very long aging potential.

    $165

    Bottle

  • Salad

  • Light Appetizers

  • Cheese/Eggs

  • Soup/Rich Appetizers

  • Cured Meat

  • Pasta

  • Spicy Asian

  • Fish

  • Rich Fish

  • White Meat

  • Red Meat

  • Wild Game

  • Sweets