I had the unique opportunity and distinct honor this past week to interview Master Sommelier George Miliotes, Orlando native and Master Sommelier of The Capital Grille, also headquartered here in Orlando, Florida.
The Master Wine Tasting Event is going on now at The Capital Grille for the next 12 weeks. The first six weeks will feature wine from California’s Napa Valley, including a Bancroft Ranch merlot from Beringer Vineyards, a cabernet sauvignon from Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina and other Italian varietals as well as a pinot noir and other varietals from New Zealand’s Villa Maria Cellar Selection. The second six weeks will highlight a chardonnay from California’s Cambria Winery and Vineyards, an impressive collection from Spain (including a Jorge Ordoñez Muscat Alexandria) and several wines from Australia (including The Chook Sparkling Shiraz).
For more info about the Master Wine Tasting Event at The Capital Grille going on now: http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/videos/MasterWine2010/V1/main.asp
Who is George Miliotes?
Born and raised in Orlando, George comes from a family which have owned restaurants and have been active in the food industry in Central Florida since 12 years old. His first work with wine began at 14 with his family’s delis in the mall, where he began cleaning and reading the labels for the selection of wine in the back rooms, sparking his life-long curiosity and interest in the food industry.
With college, his extensive alcohol knowledge resulted in positive outcomes and after college, George went on to add even more knowledge about wines, and became a dedicated professional specializing in beverages and food.
With his knowledge he was able to travel to Argentina, Spain, Italy, and Germany to make the best product possible as Master Sommelier for The Capital Grille
What is a Master Sommelier?
George Milotes is one of 170 wine experts in the world to hold that title, given to a person only after 4 levels of testing in the Court of Master Sommeliers. The first test includes 45 minute questions about alcohol, how they are made, different laws, serving requirements, and temperatures. The second test is a service exam where a dining room is set up and the candidate is tested on canting wine, opening champagne, bordeaux vinetages, wine lists, as well as sales and humility. The third test is probably the most daunting: a blind test where three Master Sommeliers judge you with 6 wines, 3 white and 3 red, with 25 minutes to describe their origin, quality, year, and make. Quite a daunting task to accomplish and indeed an honor to be a Master Sommelier.
Master sommeliers place huge priority on teaching and educating people, technical terminology and the parameters to speak about wine and food.
What is the Master Wine Tasting Event?
What’s special about the Capital Grille is that the Capital Grille servers are trained in pairings for wine and dishes, with each having their own personality and way about it. The Capital Grille Master Wine Tasting Event allows the guest to have 11 different wines to try from around the world.
The beauty of this experience is that if you order fried calamari as appetizer, you will learn that it is not a italian cabernet, but the persecco from northern italy will go well with the calamari instead. When you order your steak and order a delmonico, you can order three different reds and you can figure out yourself what can go well with the steak and what will be pleasurable to you.
Tips for Newbies
When pairing wine with food
There are Two types of pairings between food and wine
Contrasting and Complementary
When you have a steak, steaks have a lot of richness and fat. You would want to cleanse the palate each time of bite, and
taste will not taste as good each time if you don’t cleanse the palate. The cabernet’s tannon cleanses the palate and tastes extra good with the taste of the steak. With the next bite of steak, it contrasts the richness of the steak and the tannon in the red wine.
If you order a rich lobster, a rich shell fish you will be paired a chardonnay aged in oak, also very rich and they work together very well
So two things to look at:
To contrast: to cleanse palate and make taste better
or to complement: take two things that taste well together
Fabolous opportunity to learn in the next 12 weeks about wine. For the next 6 weeks for 25$ for wine tastings , three of the wines can be tried in any amount, one would be 130$ per bottle, merlot, cabernet usually 150$ / bottle, merina cabernet from italy 150$ to 200$ for wine, but because of their work for pricing you can come in and have your server show you fabolous wines at a very good price for hand picked wines.
During the 2nd six weeks , they take italian wines and new zealand and then use spanish, australian and american wines.