It was a full circle on December 31. Just like 2006, I spent my New Year’s Eve at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Rancho Mirage, Calif., with my 13-year-old son, Jack, and my 9-year-old daughter, Isabel, and my mother and stepfather. The steaks were great, and we drank an excellent bottle of red: 2002 Lokoya Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon.
I loved the balance that the wine had, and it continued to change through the meal with currants, raspberries, minerals and hints of chocolate throughout. It was full-bodied, but very silky and pretty with fine tannins. It finished with lots of chocolate and fruit, which later changed to minerals and light wet earth. It was very Bordeaux-like, in the style of a 2003. I think the mountain fruit gives a lovely underlying austerity to the generosity of Napa. I would give it an outstanding score. It went wonderfully with my juicy, moist and flavorful porterhouse.
What was cool was that I chose the wine thanks to the advice of our waiter Danny Solares. Fleming's has very good wine lists, both the regular and reserve lists. But Danny had heard that I was coming in and brought a handwritten note of about a half-dozen wines that they hadn’t put on the list yet. “I read Wine Spectator and I wanted to show you some interesting things that you might also enjoy,” he said, when I was looking at the reserve list.
He explained how he loved wine and read the magazine. He also said that the wines that he had jotted down on his torn piece of paper had been some of his personal favorites, both in his restaurant’s educational tastings as well as bottles he had drunk and enjoyed himself.
I love it when I find a good waiter or waitress like that. Of course, sommeliers are great, but when a server goes out of his or her way to turn you on to a good bottle at a restaurant. It means a lot. Maybe even more? It’s from the heart.
So Happy New Year again to everyone, and thank you Danny, and the rest of you wine-loving waiters and waitresses!
Totv — La Quinta, CA — January 3, 2008 9:46pm ET
Philip Smith — January 4, 2008 11:36am ET
Bryan So — CA — January 4, 2008 1:46pm ET
Hoyt Hill Jr — Nashville, TN — January 4, 2008 2:41pm ET
John Miller — Windsor, CA — January 4, 2008 6:06pm ET
James Suckling — — January 5, 2008 12:28am ET
Kevin Andrews — houston — January 5, 2008 10:01pm ET
Steven Balavender — Tampa, Fl — January 6, 2008 2:52pm ET
Daniel Solares — Palm Desert, Ca — January 8, 2008 8:22pm ET
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