Wish you could offer your guests a wallet-friendly wine promotion like Capital Grille’s new Generous Pour deal, which offers seven great wines priced at $25 a bottle all summer long? Smart shopping can help smaller operators get started on something similar, and the Great Values list from the 2013 Ultimate Wine Challenge is one place you can look to find affordable wines that will impress your customers.
It’s the fifth year for Capital Grille’s Generous Pour event, which offers patrons wines that have been rated at 90 points or above by renowned wine critics. The 49-unit upscale steakhouse chain’s buying power and sourcing expertise help it locate wines that do justice to its promotion.
“This event gives our guests the opportunity to enjoy truly delicious wines and explore their own perfect pairings at a price-point that is truly generous," says Capital Grille Master Sommelier George Miliotes.
You don’t have to buy wine at the volumes Capital Grille does to get in on the action. One option is to take advantage of wine rating events designed to sort the great from the good. Some of them produce a bang-for-the-buck ranking of value wines their contest discovered. We wrote about the value list produced by the Los Angeles International Wine Competition last month. Now we’re giving you a look at results from the 2013 Ultimate Wine Challenge. They reflect the preferences of the event’s 15-judge panel.
A total of 61 wines from around the world earned scores of 90 or above in the competition. In some categories—but not all—the judges awarded a Chairman’s Trophy to one particularly outstanding value wine. Here is a list of the wines so designated this year:
• Sparkling wine—world: Rotari Talento Rose NV Treno DOC (Italy), $13.95, 91 points.
• Sauvignon Blanc—world: Harbor Town Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough (New Zealand), $12.99, 94 points.
• Riesling—world: Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling 2012 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 95 points.
• Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris—world: Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Gris 2011 Finger Lakes (United States), $14.99, 93 points.
• Gewurztraminer—world: Handley Cellars Gewürztraminer 2012 Anderson Valley (United States), $18, 92 points.
• Chenin Blanc—world: Quail’s Gate Estate Grown Chenin Blanc 2011 Okanagan Valley (Canada), $15, 91 points.
• Albarino—Spain/Portugal: Albanta Albarino Bodegas Altos de Torona Albarino 2011 Rias Baixas (Spain), $18. 93 points.
• White Blends—Europe: Drassanes White 2012 Valencia (Spain), $10.99, 93 points.
• Moscato—world: Two Oceans Moscato 2012 Western Cape (South Africa), $9.99, 91 points.
• Merlot—world: Noble Vines 181 Merlot 2011 Lodi (United States), $12.99, 93 points.
• Malbec—world: Finca Las Moras Black Label Malbec 2011 San Juan (Argentina), $14.99, 93 points.
• Zinfandel—USA: Brazin (B)Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 Lodi (United States), $16.99, 92 points.
• Sangiovese-world: Ruffino 2011 Chianti Classico (DOCG) (Italy), $9.99, 92 points.
• Temparanillo—world: Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2007 Rioja (DOC) (Spain), $17.99, 93 points.
• Rose—Europe: Le Caprice de Clementine Les Valentines 2012 Cotes-de-Provence (France), $15.99, 91 points.
• Apertif—world: BarSol Perfecto Amor 2010 Ica (Peru), $18, 93 points.
The full list of high-scoring value wines can be found here. It contains plenty of valuable suggestions, particularly in categories where the judges did not award a Chairman’s Trophy. Some—Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir—are strong-sellers at restaurants, so it’s helpful to know which wines finished on top, special award or no.
You may need some help locating these vintages in sufficient quantities to stock your restaurant. Be sure to contact your local wine reps quickly to see if they can hunt them down for you.