Please send your questions about wine pairings with food, specific or general questions about wine & we will personally respond to you.
Do wine glasses matter?
Very much. Part of the pleasure of wine is its color and aroma, so wine glasses should be clear, and large enough to let the aroma develop, at its best when the glass is half full.
How do you tell if a wine is corked?
A corked wine is not one that has bits of cork floating in it - that is just due to a crumbly cork and won't affect the flavor. Nor is it a wine that is off due to other faulty culprits such as: Oxidization, Brettanomyces, Sulfur Dioxide. It is also certainly no simply a wine that is just not to your liking. Corked wine has been stopped with a defective cork, which leaves a musty, dank smell and flavor in the wine. It cannot be predicted, and it is not the fault of the grower - it is simply due to the chemical known as “TCA” or “2,4,6-trichloroanisole,” which is a chemical which is used in the cork making process. A fully corked wine will smell pretty awful (think wet cardboard and moldy basement). A mild case of corking will flatten and deaden the fruity qualities of the wine. If you're not sure if a wine is corked, swish it around the glass, as contact with the air oxidizes the wine it will exaggerate the corking effect. TCA is one of the reasons behind the move toward screw caps and box wine (both of which may take away some of the romanticism of opening a bottle at the table, but will certainly prove to be not only common, but practical as well.
Where can I find Organic wine?
Like many of wine’s little lessons, we need to be careful about what I would call “clever marketing.” First, there is a difference between an organic wine and a wine that is certified organic. The later is more important. A certified organic wine has gone through many tasks, regulations and fees to make sure that both their growing fields and their winemaking facilities are up to government standards that allow them to obtain this certification. Almost all wines in this country and most of the world for that mater are practicing organic farming. In fact some if not most wineries have moved into Biodynamic farming which takes organics to a whole new level. As a customer you are certainly welcome to insist that any wine you drink is certified organic. However, it is best to keep in mind that grape growing as a whole in the world is a fairly eco-friendly practice, which means that you will be only limiting your choice in wine and paying the premium to do so.
What is the best wine to serve with shellfish?
Thank you so much for your interest in our restaurant and specifically our wine program. Talking wine will always be one of the favorite parts of my job. In response to your question, I would like to let you know that pairing wine with food is first and foremost an art and not a science. There is never any one answer to your question and there will always be more than one opinion. I wish I could give you a straight answer to "What pairs best with shellfish?" I can, however, give you some general guidelines for choosing the wine. First question to ask yourself is do you want a wine that is going to compliment or contrast the food. For example if you have a steak au poivre with mushrooms, do you want a heavy red with earthy flavors to compliment or do you want a lighter red with higher acidity that will help cut through the heavy food flavors? The next step is to look at the dish itself; in particular the sauce that goes with it. Imagine the taste difference between a lemon poached coctail shrimp and a spicy Asian stir-fried shrimp. They are both shrimp (shellfish) dishes, but would obviously have very extreme flavor profiles and would require different wines to match. My final advise would be to imagine tasting the dish you are trying to pair and try to imagine what your palate would crave at that point. Please feel free to email or call me with the exact dish that you are looking to pair and I would be happy to discuss further. Cheers John Gardner
How many different kinds of wine do you have?
We have over 950 selections on our Cellar list. We offer 25 wines by the glass.
Do you have a corkage fee if we bring in our own special bottle of wine?
The corkage fee is $15 which may be applied to the cost of a wine ordered off our list at the same meal.
What is the proper temperature to store wine?
Our Cellar wines (both red and white) are stored at 55 - 60 degrees and 60-70% humidity. Consequently a wine removed for the cellar will take a few minutes to chill or warm to proper drinking temperature.