Happy Cabernet Day everyone! I started the celebration early. Last week I was invited to dine at Chicago’s most legendary steakhouse, Gibsons, with Wine Channel TV and St. Supéry. If there are two things that I am good at, they are drinking wine and eating steak. Going to events like this is my favorite part of food blogging.
The host of the lunch, Wine Channel TV, is a wonderful website and resource that educates readers about wine, without being pretentious. Jessica who runs the website is super sweet and she knows her stuff. I was so flattered to be included in the incredible luncheon at Gibsons with a wonderful group of Chicago women. I love how food and wine have a way of bringing people together.
Despite what you may think if you watch The League, Gibsons is an upscale bar/restaurant. I will never quite understand why the tv show The League makes it look like a bar, when it is really a classic steakhouse and a place to have a fancy dinner. The restaurant has a several different spaces: a bar with a piano, a large sidewalk patio, and dining rooms both upstairs and downstairs. It is a formal space with a laid back enough atmosphere that wearing jeans is commonplace.
We were seated in a private dining room in the upstairs of the restaurants. Our meal started out with a wedge salad, which is something that I love to order at a steakhouse. This salad was massive enough to be a meal, but so scrumptious that it was easy to finish. The homemade thick and chunky blue cheese dressing was the highlight of the dish. It was topped with a generous amount of crispy chopped bacon. Anything involving both bacon and cheese wins me over immediately. Did you know that Bacon Day is on Saturday?
Then it was time for steak, well, three steaks to be exact. Gibsons brought out samples of three of their most popular steaks: the filet, the Chicago Cut, and the New York Sirloin. The steaks were paired with the double baked potato, sautéed spinach, and asparagus. I could eat a Gibsons double baked potato everyday. It is creamy and cheesy on the inside, while the skin is crisp. We also shared a plate of the most irresistible french fries.
Let’s get one thing straight. Gibsons’ steaks are in a class all of their own. Literally. They are the only restaurant in the country to have been granted their own USDA Prime Certification. Each of their steaks is grass-fed and aged for 40 days. The bottom line is that these are tender, juicy, full of flavor steaks. My personal favorite was the filet since I tend to like leaner cuts of meat.
Throughout our meal, we tasted a selection of wine from St. Supéry. St. Supéry is the largest family owned vineyard in Napa. They have two vineyards, and they are committed to sustainable farming. Emma Swain, the CEO of the vineyard, joined us for the lunch, and taught us all about the wines. We tasted three wines, the Napa Valley Estate Elu, the Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
We started with the 2012 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. This was an easy to drink wine with hints of blackberry and pepper. At a retail price of around $35, this was the most affordable of the trio of wines. The Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was the most robust of the selection. This was a truly full bodied wine with a slight fruitiness. I like to pair a bold wine with steak, and I felt that out of all of the wines we tried Dollarhide was the best pairing for Gibsons steaks.
My personal favorite was the Elu, which is a red wine blend. Since blended wines are made from multiple varietals, these wines have a nice complexity. While I loved how the Dollarhide paired with the steak, the Elu is the type of wine that I would sip and savor at home on a cold winter night. The Elu retails for $75, while the Dollarhide is $100.
Want to hear more? Head over to Wine Channel TV, or the blogs of the lovely ladies that I lunched with: Christina writes Critiques, Jen writes Red Soles & Red Wine, and Lyndsey is a sports reporter.
As I am sure you know, the Napa Valley, home of St. Supéry, suffered a earthquake that caused damage to many vineyards. I am happy to say that St. Supéry is doing fine – they are even going out of their way to help their community. Just check out this Facebook update they made yesterday. Not only do they make fabulous wine at St. Supéry, they are kind people!
I am going to end this post with a suggestion. Don’t just celebration Cabernet Day, celebrate it with a wine from Napa. Wouldn’t this be a delicious way to support American winemakers at a time when they need it?