On September 13th I had the privilege to attend a wine tasting at the famous Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston, TX. The event was well organized and enjoyable- akin to being invited into a neighbor's living room for a drink. It was held in a private room right off the dining room. There were five tables set up inside the room, each with four tastings of a Zinfandel wine. A sommelier walked guests through each tasting at their respective tables. A lovely presentation of charcuterie, cheeses, fresh honeycomb, and crusty bread was prepared to enjoy with premier bottles of Zinfandel chosen for the evening. Servers, dressed crisply in white shirts and long black waiter aprons, were also walking around, offering guests nibblies like seared duck and sweet potato, quail wrapped in bacon, and fried chicken on a stick. The fine, hot hors d'ouevers definitely helped to accent the elegant wine that we were sipping.
Some highlights and tasting comments from the evening are as follows. I found the A. Rafanelli 2011 Dry Creek Valley to be a watered down, but smooth tasting wine. I greatly enjoyed the Mounts "Old Vines" 2009 Dry Creek Valley Wine which tasted of very dark, black fruit and was very robust. Other highlights include a Robert Biale "Monte Rosso" 2009 Sonoma Valley which was spicy yet smooth, and tasted aromatic and fresh. The most elegant wine I tasted was a Hartford "Fanucchi-Wood Road Vineyard" 2011 Russian River Valley which had the dual benefit of having the aroma and flavor of oak and wood. If you are looking for a wine which literally feels like drinking silk then the Chase "Hayne Vineyard" 2009 Napa Valley is the choice for you!. Or if you prefer a wine that is as soft as velvet on the palate try the Elyse "Black-Sears" 2009 Napa Valley. For a fully luxurious experience bring home a bottle of the Turley "Dusi Vineyard" 2011 Paso Robles. This beautiful wine will be sure to take your next evening to great heights.
The Pappas chain is known for their sommeliers, elegant atmosphere and diverse wine menu. If you are looking to experience many new wines in one night then I suggest you attend the next tasting event!