I’m in Denver for a conference and I check in at the Cheese Cake Factory for a bite to eat. Kade is my server and he wins you over immediately with a winsome, yet sincere smile. (The service industry is in woeful short supply of people with personality and talent–this young man was refreshing change!)
I ordered the pork tenderloin with maple honey glaze and this wine but FIRST– I ask Kade about when the wine might have been opened, how long it has been sitting out etc. The wine was $11 by the glass so, as I explained, I would like to know under what conditions my $11 glass of wine has been handled. Kade–astute and personable gives a brief explanation of their high turnover and wines being dumped out at night rather than kept for the next day. But what separates brilliance from the rest, he says, “Let me get you a taste and you can decide...”
He brings back a sample of what I would be paying for and it tasted fresh, and actually slightly chilled. I proceeded with my intention.
This wine is from the Russian River and has nice tones of cream and fruity citrus. It is lively on the tongue with floral flavors that are hard to describe. This is a well made wine with a nice acid base and a finish of pineapple. I guess this wine to run around $24 a bottle based on the per glass charge and the routine minimal 100% mark up of restaurant wines. An internet search shows it to cost any where from $18 - $22 a bottle normal retail.
I liked it a lot and it was fine with my slightly overcooked pork tenderloin.
It turns out that Kade is a budding enophile and we engaged in enophilic banter as the tables filled around us. The pour of this wine was more generous than most restaurants–nice–and the glass was a tad better than the routine five pound-quasi wine glass–used at most restaurants.
Between Kade’s brilliant service and this fine wine, my solo dinner was most enjoyable!
So here’s to Kade and his affection for Gewurztraminer–raise a glass my friend!