Seafood & American Cuisine
"This is the quintessential champagne; refreshing & crisp with light fruit and butter tones. Madame Veuve-Clicquot, the widowed owner of the house, was instrumental in establishing champagne as a favored drink of the upper class and nobility of Europe."
"This sparkling wine is more like a vintage Champagne as it is fuller bodied with buttered toast & ripe fruit aromas. Domaine Chandon is owned by Louis Vuiton - Moet Hennesey, and has sister wineries in Australia, Argentina and Brazil."
"Gratien's Brut Rosé Champagne is light and refreshing, showing fresh red fruit, red roses and a slight creaminess on the finish. Rosé Champagne is the highest priced category of sparkling wine in the world due to its expensive and laborious method of production."
"This is an offering for lovers of old world style wine as it is bone dry, crisp, mineral driven and slightly earthy. The Fevre family has a history that dates back over 250 years in the Chablis region, and was instrumental in returning Chablis back to high quality from the ocean of boxed wine that was produced under its name in the 1970's."
"Flowers chardonnay is medium bodied and moderately dry with a buttery and creamy finish. The Flowers family were former nursery owners who draw upon their years of horticulture experience to create perfect Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards."
"The Duckhorn is medium bodied, dry but fruit forward with a touch of oak treatment. The Sauvignon Blanc is blended with a touch of Semillon to enhance the body of the wine and emulate the style of white Bordeaux."
The first sentence of each description is the wines flavor profile...
As you would describe it to a guest.
"This Pinot Grigio is light and bright, with more flavor and intensity than most Italian Pinot Grigio offerings. Scarbolo offers a different option to the mass produced Pinot Grigio's of Italy, using sustainable viticulture (organic grapes), hand harvesting, lees stiring and low sulphur."
"The Blue Slate Riesling is typical for Germany, as it is light, crisp and off dry. Blue Slate refers to the slate soils of the Mosel River Valley, a source of this wine's high minerality and intense flavor profile."
"This Pinot Noir is typical to California, as it is fruit forward, medium bodied and smooth. Hartford Court utilizes their proximity to the Pacific Ocean to create delicate & elegant styles of Pinot Noir."
"The Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful, fruit forward and full bodied. Mike Grgich, the owner and winemaker, was inducted into the vintner hall of fame in 2008."
"This Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend is medium to full bodied, fruit forward and easy drinking. "Left Bank" refers to the style of red wine, Cab/Merlot blends, that are traditionally produced on the left bank of the Gironde river, in the Bordeaux region"
"This wine is moderately dry for a California wine; still showing ripe fruit, spice and richness. Less than a thousand cases are produced every year and a touch of Viognier is blended in to enhance the aroma and flavor."
The second sentence is an interesting fact about the wine...
Which is necessary to capture the Forbes 5 Star rating.
The first sentence of each description should be utilized when pairing and recommending wines to guests.
MASTERING YOUR WINES BY THE GLASS
"Swanson Merlot is fruit forward, moderatly dry and medium to full bodied. The family made its fortune in the frozen food business, only to move to Napa and begin Swanson Vineyards in the 1980's."
"Our Malbec is full bodied, medium dry and fruit forward with dark fruit and baking spices. The Mendoza region of Argentina utilizes the melting Andes snow as a water source to produce the high quality Malbec in a desert climate."
"This dry rosé from the south of France is fruit forward, light, refreshing and a versataile pairing for food. As one of the premier vacation destinations in Europe, Provence uses its vibrant tourism industry to promote and sell its most notable wine: dry rosé."
Forbes Beverage Service Standards
The wine list is tactfully presented to the appropriate person(s) at table (handed to the host or the person designated by the host);
All aperitifs and cocktails requested for the table, bar counter or lounge, are served within five minutes of being ordered (unless staff graciously advises of longer preparation time);
A sommelier/wine steward's assistance is offered or available;
If asked for a wine recommendation, the staff seamlessly offers thoughtful suggestions to assist with the guest's choice.... "If you enjoy full bodied reds from U.S., try our Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon… It comes from one of the finest family producers in Napa Valley. The winery is owned by Mike Grgich who was inducted into the vintner hall of fame in 2008. It is an excellent compliment to rich, heavy dishes like our Chili Rubbed Rib Eye."
Staff can make knowledgeable and helpful wine recommendations... The why is just as important as the what: "Since you stated you like lighter, off-dry wines, may I suggest the Riesling. It hails from Germany, known for their high quality off-dry wines and pairs great with food due to the high minerality and good acidity."
If asked for a beverage recommendation, the staff seamlessly offers thoughtful and creative suggestions... "Our William Fevre Chablis is a great pairing for our swordfish... However, if you prefer red wine, try the Patz & Hall Pinot Noir… It has good balance and a lighter body so it compliments this light seafood dish even though it’s a red wine."
Wine assistance & recommendations are offered in a warm and interesting manner, with no sense of pretension;
Wine service includes relevant or noteworthy details, never becoming overwhelming (fun facts, interesting notes about the grape varietal)... "Here is your 2014 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley [the bottle is held facing the guest while the taste is poured]. This wine comes from all estate owned vineyards, is blended with a small amount of Merlot and Petite Verdot and is made by Mike Grgich, a vintner hall of fame inductee."
Wine service always includes demonstration of the label and pouring at the table with the label of the bottle facing the guest [see above examples];
Wines are served in varietal-appropriate stemware (one style glass is not used for all styles/varietals of wine);
Throughout the meal, all beverages are readily refilled and never empty more than 30 seconds; the guest never has to pour from their own bottles;
In the case of a wine pairing, wine is poured prior to food being served;
Wine service includes the offer of a tasting sample;
Beverages are served and cleared on trays;
Throughout the meal, table is attentively maintained. Soiled glassware, stir sticks, empty beverages and beverage garnishes are removed as necessary [additionally, unused glassware should be removed as soon as possible].