Home > Bars and Restaurants, Food, wine, wine ratings, Wine Tasting > The Capital Grille Experience – Great Wine and Dine

The Capital Grille Experience – Great Wine and Dine

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

It is interesting how we experience things in life. Some things just happen, and some are long-planned and anticipated, maybe for no reason at all (as long as we get the experience we want before we cross the finishing line, we are doing good, right?). Same as Norton grape on my “to try” list for a long time ( see my last post on the subject), The Capital Grille was on the “to visit” list also for a while, at least from the moment the restaurant opened in Stamford. So finally this experience came through due to a combination of good circumstances – we had a good reason to visit (our anniversary), The Capital Grille was participating in Stamford Restaurant Week (as the restaurant is expensive, that makes it a lot more affordable), and The Capital Grille was running Master Wine tasting event, with 11 wines assembled by The Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier George Miliotes (you know by now that wines come first in this blog). So we decided that we have a great opportunity to see where the “we wine. we dine” motto of The Capital Grille will take us, and there we went.

What a great experience! (should I declare this post complete?). From food to wine to service we had a great time all the way. Talking about food, the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio appetizer had an incredible flavor profile combining razor-thin slices of Wagyu beef, Parmesan cheese, and fresh arugula. Next, I have to say that nice thing about ordering steak done to your liking is that in addition to the standard scale of rare-medium-well done you can specify something like medium-rare plus, which is more than rare but less than medium – and then it is even better when you get the steak precisely the way you wanted ( yeah, I know, this is what we typically expect – but how often our expectations had not been met?). All four steaks had being done perfectly as requested, and the sides were outstanding (for the personal taste, Roasted Mushrooms had been my favorite).

Now, let’s talk about wine. The Master Event selection included 11 wines from California, Spain, and Australia, which in turn consisted of 6 reds, 3 whites, sparkling, and dessert wines. I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of wines from 2003 and even 2002. All the wines were very good and considering that the price of the Master Wine Tasting event was $25, I believe it presented a great value. As this is mostly a wine blog, let’s take a more detailed look at the wines included in this tasting (I’m going in the actual order of tasting). For what it is worth, each wine has a “drinkability” rating attached.

The Chook Sparkling Shiraz, Australia – was not tremendously impressive, medium body dry wine with bubbles 🙂 – Drinkability: 7


Penfolds Bin 311, Thumbarumba 2008, Australia – I was recently surprised ( in a good way) by the quality of Penfolds Chardonnays. This particular wine was very nice, with a hint of oak and vanilla and a pleasant finish. Drinkability: 8-

Cambria  Bench Break Chardonnay 2006, Santa Maria, California – This was one of the two “best of tasting” wines – it had a very noticeable amount of vanilla, butter, and toasted oak, but all of it was extremely balanced. This wine had great finesse. Drinkability: 8

Botani Muscat 2008, Malaga, Spain – beat all expectations. Incredible aromatics, fresh floral and various citrus fruit notes, great acidity – very nice wine overall. Another “best of tasting” wine. Drinkability: 8


Triton Tinta del Toro Tempranillo 2008, Castilla y Leon, Spain – This wine was very dense and very earthy. In general, Toro wines are concentrated – and this one didn’t exhibit even a hint of fruit. I would guess it is either a food-only wine, or it needs time (probably both). Drinkability: 7

Avante Mencia 2009, Bierzo, Spain – Mencia makes some of the hottest wines right now. This wine was very interesting, light and fruity, with a hint of spicy cedar, with substantial tannins and a very, very long finish ( did I mention the long finish?). Probably will evolve with age.  Drinkability: 7+

Greg Norman Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Coonawarra, Australia – I have to honestly admit that I’m not a big fan of Greg Norman wines. This wine had a lot of eucalyptus notes and some dark berries, but it did lack an “umph” factor. Drinkability: 7

Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2003, Limestone Coast, Australia – same story as the wine before – lots of fruit, but not enough substance. Drinkability: 7

Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyards 2003, Napa Valley, California – interesting wine, a bit all over the place. Has fresh fruit and fresh acidity, soft tannins. Drinkability: 7

Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2003, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California – Best of the red wines. Very good fruit, tannins and acidity which leads to overall good balance. This wine was perfect with the steak. Drinkability: 8-


Jorge Ordonez Muscat of Alexandria Victoria #2 2007, Malaga, Spain – nice dessert wine, has lots of honey, white peach and pear notes, has medium acidity and not enough minerality. This wine perfectly complemented the Classic Creme Brulee dessert. Drinkability: 7

As usual, here are some pictures:

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio:

Dry-Aged Steak au Poivre with a Courvoisier Cream Sauce:

Roasted Mushrooms (Portabella, Oyster, Shiitake and Crimini):

And last but not least, Steak Oscar:

As I mentioned before, the service was excellent, thanks to Mike Sabini – all the wine and food were showing on time and in proper order.

All in all – there are still few days left in both Master Wine Tasting and Stamford Restaurant Week programs – get up and go, use a good opportunity to experience great wine and food – in the words of Capital Grille, wine and dine.

  1. September 2, 2010 at 12:24 am

    oh! sounds so fantastic!!!!! and… Happy Anniversary to you both!

    • talkavino
      September 2, 2010 at 7:33 am

      Thank you!

  2. levinpl
    September 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!!
    Everything looks amazing, but the mushrooms are … OH MY GOD!!!

    • talkavino
      September 2, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      And once you will try it for yourself, be sure to let me know what you think!

  3. levinpl
    September 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    It was amazing! Food and wine-gasm!!! Thank you for the info!

    • talkavino
      September 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      Perfect! Always glad to help!

  1. October 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm
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