when you spell restaurant right on the first try
Cheers: to keeping your signature love story alive
Every relationship is so different, yet each one has a unique love story about how two people met or came to be. Whether you ask a new couple still in their honeymoon phase or an older, more mature one experiencing empty nest syndrome, the retelling of their love story adds an entirely new dimension. It’s the sparkle in their eyes and that extra pep in their step that to me happens to be the richest component of a relationship, much like the makeup of soil adds character and many dimensions of flavor to a wine.
Last week’s promise was to “start making decisions like a winemaker,” so we chose Capital Grille because of their finest list of French wines. France produces more fine wines than anywhere else in the world and wine regions around the world have adopted French winegrowing techniques, so we went for one of their most famous northern Rhone reds.
For this week’s #Foodiechats #perfectpairings we chose a 2005 E. Guigal Hermitage (95-98 RP) from Northern Rhone Valley in Eastern France. The grapes of northern Rhone are the easiest to remember; all red wines come from only one grape, Syrah. We swirled our glasses, observed the inky-purple color and of course reminded each other to hold the wine in our mouths for a few seconds before swallowing. Among the world’s greatest reds they say Rhones are the most untamed, I agree. At first the huge, mesmerizing aromas and flavors suggest black plum, blackberries, smokiness, leather and believe it or not, I actually tasted pepper! The Hermitage also had a long evocative finish, which in my opinion makes it a wine to take notice of.
For our first course we chose the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella and Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers. The wine was so complex it poured forth so many new flavors by the minute, especially when shared with the zest of the Calamari. A wine that comes at you with a dagger of so many flavors begs for a hot night, chewy bread, and a dish loaded with garlic and wild herbs so we chose Filet Oscar with lump crabmeat and Salmon with our personal favorite sharing dish on the menu, creamed corn with smoked bacon. The result of pairing a Syrah with so much personality with the creamy, lemony flavors of the house-made Béarnaise from the filet and the spice of arugula over the salmon was downright thrilling. All the way down to the Cheesecake and Coconut Cream Pie desserts, Aaron filled us with just as much knowledge as he did calories. Thanks, Aaron for distracting us from experiencing true eater’s remorse.
Our server, Aaron, informed us of the climate and soil conditions behind the Syrah grapes of the 2005 Hermitage and how many old world growers make associations between the properties of the wines and the soil types that the grapes are grown on. For me, it was very helpful to think of soil as the makeup or love story in a relationship. Some start on rocky roads much like the gravel like soil of a Cabernet, where others seem to have much smoother, straightforward introductions much like the clay based soil of a Merlot. The question is, just how much does the soil affect the quality of the wine?
After doing research on the subject of wine and soil, I get the impression that truly great wine is made in the vineyard, not the winery. Just as in cooking, if you start with near perfect, in-season ingredients you wont need a top chef to pop out a delicious meal. On the other hand, the most talented chef in the world, when given inferior ingredients and vegetables that are out-of-season, will only produce a mediocre meal at best.
Anyone can drink wine and spend money on a rare or expensive bottle of wine at least once in their lifetime, but without the knowledge behind it, the soulful and more satisfying part of the experience is lost. For me, the beauty of wine comes from how it connects us to the land, to that unique place and then shows its signature through the grapes. We ended the night saluting to Capital Grille for heightening our experience with their knowledgeable staff and tonight’s lesson on soil affect.
Things to try at home: Research your wine and the soil in which the grapes come from to see if you can make an association between the properties of the wines and the soil types the grapes are grown on. For example, does chalky, stony, slate-like soils impart chalky, stony, slate-like characters to wine?
Thinks not to try at home: Never lose touch of that special, unique place or person that allowed you to be who you are today.
Wine tip: When it comes to wine we use words like “winemaker” and “winemaking,” however when it comes to quality wine these words are insufficient in countries like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. In these countries they think of these artisans as “winegrowers” whose activity is “winegrowing.”
Photo Credit: Jackelyn and Taki
Restaurant: Capital Grille
#Foodiechats Summer Kick-Off is on Monday, June 25, 2012 at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar! Our Theme is, “Sushi + Barbeque.” We will have Sushi Rolls and Barbecue complimentary of Union Sushi + Barbecue Bar.
The Foodie Fun will begin at 6pm CST with our #EatatUnion Instagram Contest!
Instagram Contest Rules
On Monday, June 25th, starting at 6pm CST take photos of Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar’s Decor, Food, Drinks, Crowd, or anything YOU think will gain Likes and Comments on your Instagram Feed!
Share your photos to Instagram with the hashtag #EatatUnion and #Foodiechats to enter, and share away to all of your other Social Media Channels too!
Winners will be announced at 8:30pm CST, and you need to be present to win! First Place Winner will recieve a $75 Gift Card and the Second Place Winner will recieve a $25 Gift Card to Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar! Good luck and may the best Foodie Photog win!
The fun doesn’t stop there!! We’re also honored to have amazing #Foodiechats Ambassadors who will be joining us! Let us introduce you! Be sure to follow them on Twitter and send them a hello!
As always, we look forward to Eating and Tweeting with you Live and Online for #Foodiechats! This is truly, Where The Foodie Community Chats Together.
A big Thank you to Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar for being an amazing host, yet again for our LIVE #Foodiechats event! Stop in and taste the amazing creations of Chef Chao and Team!