Wednesday, August 6, 2008


"On one occasion some one put a very little wine into a [glass], and said that it was sixteen years old. 'It is very small for its age,' said Gnathaena." Athenaeus, 200AD

Wines to be consumed at an upcoming steak night
Three of us are members of a very exclusive club, with a very simple name: Steak Club. The group formed out of habit and as these things tend to do it has taken on rules, schedules, and other traditions. The premise is quite simple, we gather at a different steakhouse each 3-5 weeks, order the house specialty for steak, or in the absence of a house specialty (already reducing the likely score) two order filets and I order something with a bit more flavor (ie fat). We sample unique appetizers or sides, though we always order mashed potatoes (seeing the word in print just made me think of Dan Quayle, I suppose it has to do with the upcoming vice presidential selections), another barometer of the quality of a chef. Then we finish with dessert, espresso and cappuccinos, and port. While we bask in the afterglow of overindulgence we rate the various dishes, service, ambiance, wine list, and value. I'll include some of our reviews in later posts, and will include reviews in real time as we continue our gustatory march through Atlanta.

The next steak night will take place in the next week or so and we're in the process of selecting the restaurant. This one is special because it is our second "deal night" where we celebrate the achievement of one of our members. The last one took place at the end of last year at Ruth's Chris and we brought wine. The restaurant garnered great marks for allowing us to bring two bottles of wine without a corkage fee (highly unusual). I brought a 2001 Silver Oak I received as a gift from a work associate and one of our other members brought a much older Italian wine (please forgive my not having the name, I'm going to have to look for it in my tasting notes) from the family cellar. There were great expectations for both wines, but primarily for the Italian wine. We were not surprised by the enjoyment we found in the Silver Oak, but were very disappointed by the other wine.

This time our Italian friend, determined not to be bested, and in an exhibit of great generosity has purchased a 2002 Nappa Valley Silver Oak for the occasion. I have done a bit of research talking to several wine merchants and have selected a 2004 Turnbull Cabernet. In rough numbers the Silver Oak Napa is around $100 and the Turnbull is $50. I've been assured by no less than two great merchants that I respect that the Turnbull should blow the Silver Oak out of the water. I'll be sure to let you know, if the Turnbull is even 80% as enjoyable as the Silver Oak the price difference should make it a must buy.

What's your go-to wine for special occassions?

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