January 2019's Favorite - The Pro Bowl of Wines Blind Tasting at Delmonico's Steakhouse

This month was JAM packed with tastings and I can’t even explain how lucky I am to have been invited to some of these because the wines were all excellent and on the higher end. The venues hosting these tastings around Cleveland were also top notch and as always, I find it hard to choose just one favorite. However, my absolute favorite overall wine tasting experience this month was at Delmonico’s Steakhouse ( part of the Hospitality Restaurant group ) for a number of reasons.

The most obvious reason would be the killer selection of wines that the guests were offered in a blind pouring setting. Tickets for this event were $200 per person ( which is a bit steep for Cleveland ), but with the generous pours, paired with some of the finest foods, it made that price tag well worth it. I am also a sucker for the “good juice” and don’t hate an opportunity to drink Opus One on a Sunday afternoon :) After a glass of Veuve Clicquot to start, the line up included 2011 Dana Estate Onda, 2015 Continuum Estate, 2014 Opus One, 2014 Spottswoode Cabernet, 2015 Le Dome, and 2014 Chateau Valandraud. Not one of these retails for less than $150… like I said, the wines were obviously outstanding.

The food paired with these wines was literally fit for a king. I can’t remember how big the bone in filet was, but it was bigger than my head and could feed a family. The setting was more on the intimate side and I am glad they arranged it this way , because the tasting was too exclusive to turn into some drunken party. Don’t get me wrong, the wine was flowing but I really enjoyed the conversation and the setting too.

The reason this was my absolute favorite was hands down because of the company I was seated with. i am learning that the people “making” the event is becoming a trend and I love getting to know fellow winos, or just fellow Clevelanders looking for a good time!

I was fortunate enough to be seated with the infamous George Schindler ( President of Hospitality Restaurant Group, Dan Greathouse ( President of Heidelberg Vineyards ), and Keith Morris ( Vice President of Sales for Cline Vineyards ). These men are crazy successful and KNOW THEIR WINE. Needless to say, that’s a tad bit intimidating. However, these gentlemen was so incredibly warm and welcoming, engaging, supportive of Wine Taste Cleveland, and just an absolute blast to hang out with the guess wines with.

Dan Greathouse led the event and did a phenomenal job walking us through the tasting notes of each wine and keeping the event interactive. I came out of the day very full of both new wine knowledge AND delicious foods and red wine. The day would not have been nearly as fun and successful without these gracious and hilarious men.

I also have to note how attentive the staff was and the manager, Chase Rhodes, was so accommodating he even found me a step ladder so I could get a perfect camera shot! My wine tasting buddy, Bill Gardlock, hand picked the wines and planned this event so I already knew it would be phenomenal, but he went above and beyond.

Thank you Delmonico’s, Hospitality Restaurants, Bill, Chase, Dan, George, and Keith for rocking and being this months'‘s Founder’s Favorite!!!