Friday, July 3, 2015

GEORGE MILIOTES, THE CAPITAL GRILLE, MATT SMITH, GRAPESEED WINE

THE CAPITAL GRILLE’S MASTER SOMMELIER GEORGE MILIOTES

George Miliotes, hasn't strayed far from his roots. Born and raised in Orlando, Fla., Miliotes began his restaurant career at Mr. Dunderbak's, his father's regional franchise, as a teen. After attending Depaul University he returned to Orlando and did stints at Chris’ House of Beef, a Best of Award of Excellence winner under his direction, and Disney’s California Grill, an Award of Excellence winner since 1997.

Today Miliotes is the master sommelier for the Capital Grille, a Darden restaurant concept based in his hometown, where he oversees the wine list for all 40 locations of the national steak house chain. With wine lists ranging from 300 to 1,000 selections, all 35 Capital Grilles that Miliotes entered in Wine Spectator's 2009 Restaurant Wine List Awards earned either a Best of Award of Excellence or Award of Excellence. Miliotes is also the food and beverage director for another Darden concept, Seasons 52, with locations in Florida and Georgia. They earn the Award of Excellence for their succinct yet exemplary bistro wine lists. Miliotes passed the demanding master sommelier examination in 2007.

OVERVIEW OF THE CAPITAL GRILLE

MENU PHILOSOPHY
Exceptional Ingredients, Artfully Prepared
It is our sole desire that everything, and we mean everything, that arrives at your table at The Capital Grille delights you. To ensure that experience, we use only the finest, freshest ingredients, artfully prepared in recipes designed to engage all of your senses. Let Executive Chef Jim Nuetzi tell you more in the video above.

DRY AGING
Long before our steaks meet the grill, they’re carefully aged and hand-trimmed on premises to achieve incomparable flavor and texture. Discover why our exacting, time-intensive dry-aging process is so very worth it.

ARCHITECTURE
While every Capital Grille restaurant is carefully designed to create an atmosphere of refined sophistication, some of our locations display unique details of which we are particularly proud. From historic architecture to exceptional finishing touches, allow us to share with you a gallery of our most noteworthy features.

Washington DC
A stately building worthy of our nation’s capital, with a stunning view down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol Building itself.

Downtown Chicago
An exceptionally grand entrance, located just one block from Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile shopping district.

Las Vegas
Modern angles and floor-to-ceiling glass give this unique location a spectacular view of the famous Las Vegas Strip.

NYC Chrysler
The Trylon Towers, designed by the late, renowned contemporary architect Philip Johnson, are a dramatic addition to the Chrysler Building, and home to The Capital Grille. The gleaming, seven-story glass and steel pyramid is unlike anything in Manhattan, and one of the most unique dining settings anywhere.

Scottsdale
The building’s design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, and guests dining on the outdoor patio enjoy a view of a magnificent spire (designed by Wright himself), dedicated to the famous architect.

NYC Wall Street
In the historic Equitable Building, what was once a mighty bank vault is now the highly coveted Calloway Room – an ideal setting for a private meeting or celebration.

Providence
Union Station, host to nearly 300 trains a day a century ago, became The Capital Grille’s first home in 1990.

Costa Mesa
Located in the acclaimed South Coast Plaza, this exceptionally grand entrance attracts patrons of the arts and shoppers alike.

Seattle
Built in the Beaux-Arts style, the historic 1910 Cobb Building in downtown Seattle is our home in the Pacific Northwest.

www.thecapitalgrille.com


MATT SMITH - VP WINEMAKING & OPERATIONS, GRAPESEED WINES

GrapeSeed connects award-winning winemakers to wine enthusiasts like never before. Their high-end, small production wines are meticulously made by winemakers who have received years of acclaim, awards and are recognized leaders in their field.

After more than a decade with Kendall-Jackson, Matt Smith joins GrapeSeed as Vice President of Winemaking and Operations. Over 20 of his red wines have received scores of 90 Points or higher from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, in addition to a slew of critical acclaim and 90+ Point scores from The Wine Enthusiast and Vinous.

What first brought you to winemaking?
I am originally from a suburb of Detroit, and as a French major in college I ended up studying at the Sorbonne. When I got back to Michigan I couldn't wait to return to France, so I worked in restaurants, saved up money and traveled the world–from Australia and New Zealand to Asia and the then–USSR–before I did finally end up back in Paris. I spent a few years working as a tour guide there. In my restaurant work I'd already fallen in love with Spanish wines, so I traveled extensively in Spain, too. In Paris, my closest friend's father had an amazing collection of St Emilion, so we had lots of opportunities to taste at family meals. In the states, again, I began to tend bar in Chicago and fell in love with California wines–especially red Zins from Sonoma County. When I relocated to San Francisco in 1995, the first place I wanted to visit was Sonoma. I'd taken a job with a French import/export logistics company that had a lot of wine industry clients, and I found myself working with people whose jobs I envied. Soon I applied to the Masters program at UC Davis, and began interning with David Bruce, Robert Mondavi and producers in Burgundy and Australia. My first job was with Kendall–Jackson, as a viticultural enologist, a position created by Pierre Seillan to allow winemakers to spend more time in the vineyard. It was a great experience, and I stayed at KJ for a decade, most recently as Winemaking Director for any and all wines that go into a Claret bottle–everything from California's North Coast, from Sauvignon Blanc to Zinfandel to red blends.

And when you're not winemaking?
Spend a lot of time with my family–in fact, I first met Dave at our kids' sports events. There's no place like Sonoma County for just enjoying what's all around you. Since moving to the West Coast I've known I wanted to live in Healdsburg. It's the crux of so many appellations. You can spend a day in Dry Creek Valley, driving down Westside Road. You can wander around in Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley. Wherever you go, you never quite lose that small–town feel. It's an amazing landscape–incredible mountain vineyards, peaks rising in every direction. We like every aspect of life here–from the people to the outdoor activities all year round, like canoeing down Russian River, watersports at the lake in Geyserville, tennis, baseball, etc. It's a great place to raise our kids.

GRAPESEEDWINE.COM

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