July 06, 2015
The Capital Grille Celebrates Female Winemakers With Seventh Annual Generous Pour Wine Event

Orlando, Fla. – July 6, 2015 – The Capital Grille today announced that seven of California’s great female winemakers and collaborators, including award-winning actress Drew Barrymore, will come together to celebrate women and wine as part of the restaurant’s seventh annual The Generous Pour event.

The Generous Pour will celebrate the unique role women play in winemaking with this year’s offerings. From July 6 through August 30, 2015, for $28 per person with dinner*, The Capital Grille will offer eight remarkable wines crafted, designed or owned by women from some of California’s most acclaimed vineyards. Guests are invited to explore and enjoy as many of these remarkable wines and varietals as they like.

Nowhere is the rise of women in the industry more prevalent than in California. Women represent half of the graduates from the state’s top enology programs, and are employed as lead winemaker at ten percent of California vineyards.

“The Generous Pour collection is a celebration of the vital role women play in the growing wine industry,” noted George Miliotes, The Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier and one of only 229 in the world to have earned that prestigious title. “We are proud to feature eight exceptional wines created and shaped by seven extremely talented women, from highly-regarded California wineries,” he added.

Nearly one-third of U.S. adults who order wine in restaurants report that they are more likely to order a certain wine in a restaurant if they find its origins interesting. With this in mind, The Capital Grille brought together these seven distinguished women, each representing a distinct approach to winemaking.

Their wines were also selected with a storied vintage in mind including the national debut of Drew Barrymore’s Pinot Grigio, a delightful, crowd-pleasing white to share with friends and family.

Also to be featured is the first public release of the remarkable 2007 Kinton Syrah, exclusive to The Capital Grille for The Generous Pour event. “The winemakers at Kinton produced an incredible Syrah in 2007, a storybook vintage in the state,” said Miliotes. “One of the more notable wines in this year’s The Generous Pour line-up, nowhere will you taste the perfection of the 2007 vintage more than in a glass of this smooth Santa Barbara red.”

Join @CapitalGrille and celebrate female winemakers. #GenerousPour

The Generous Pour collection includes eight remarkable wines by seven talented women:

The Enthusiast. Drew Barrymore delights in a wine’s ability to bring people together. It is that passion which inspired the actress to establish Barrymore Wines in the coastal winegrowing region of Monterey, California. The debut of Barrymore Pinot Grigio can be enjoyed at this year’s Generous Pour and is the perfect way to begin your evening.

The Visionary. Julia Jackson, the youngest daughter of legendary winemaker Jess Jackson, is the visionary leading the Jackson Family Estates into the future. Having grown up in the vineyards of Santa Barbara, she has literally spent a lifetime learning about the art of wine and hand selected the wine from the Jackson family library to featuring exclusively at The Capital Grille for The Generous Pour event this year.

The Gardener. Marcia Monahan has always had a close relationship with the land. When not planting grapes at Matanzas Creek, she’s growing vegetables and herbs at home. Her respect for the land and sustainable farming practices makes her masterfully crafted Matanzas Creek Merlot one of the finest in the country.

The Spaniard. Laura Diaz Muñoz began her winemaking career in her native Spain before putting down roots in California, where her approach is influenced by her memories drinking Albariño in her native Spain and smelling the sea in every glass. Two of the wines featured in this year’s Generous Pour – Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon and the debut of her own Galerie “Naissance” Sauvignon Blanc – are sure to earn rave reviews from The Capital Grille’s guests.

The Conductor. Denise Shurtleff and her team direct every aspect of the winemaking process. From nurturing the grapes on the vine to bottling their exceptional wines, one tastes her dedication in every sip of Cambria “Julia’s Vineyard” Pinot Noir.

The Virtuoso. Lisa Valtenbergs, born with an acute sense of smell and armed with a degree in agricultural business with an emphasis in viticulture, was destined to become a winemaker. At Stonestreet, Lisa uses her skill to create remarkable wines, including the highly acclaimed “Bear Point” Chardonnay.

The Scholar. Kristina Werner has a master’s degree in viticulture and experience making wine in regions around the world. She brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to every wine she crafts and lives by the mantra, “Never stop learning and never get bored.” Her Bordeaux-style Arrowood Cabernet Reserve Speciale is one of a kind.

During The Generous Pour, The Capital Grille servers will provide tasting notes and suggest pairings for each course, based on individual preferences. This will allow guests to craft their own personalized wine dinner.


April 24, 2013
Drew Barrymore Sings to Us About Wine

While at the Pebble Hill Food & Wine Festival, Esquire caught up with Drew who sang about Wine!

An interview is at its best when a question provokes the subject to see his or her own life in an unexpected way.

But it was even better for me last weekend. The opposite occurred when I sat with Drew Barrymore at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival.

I had come to this festival for reasons that I didn’t fully understand. And while under a huge white exposition tent, I approached the actress to ask about the new wine being introduced in her name.

One thing I know about wine. Everybody has his or her own personal entry point. I sensed that her wine meant something special to her simply because it’s a Pinot Grigio.

When it comes to the world’s great wines, Pinot Grigio never enters discussions. It’s a light white wine that knows how to refresh a warm spring or — better yet — hot summer day. It comes from a humble grape that blends into the moment, never tries to steal the scene, preferring to fit in, relaxed and comfortable.

Few people outside of a certain area in Italy would even think about starting a wine label around a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Because Drew chose to start with a grape that had absolutely no ego, I was curious if there was a moment that sparked the endeavor.

She poured two glasses, handed me one, and out of nowhere, asked: “What’s the best moment you’ve had today?”

We had just met, and therefore there was no way she could have known what a loaded question that was.

There were many people waiting to speak to her, and there was no time to explain that almost fifteen years before I had absolutely no knowledge of wine and gone off to learn about it at a restaurant called Windows on the World at the top of the World Trade Center.

So I didn’t tell her how two of the best wine teachers in the world had taken me in to show me how to become a sommelier so that I could write a funny story about a rookie serving wine above the clouds. It may have started out as a lark, but I quickly fell in love with wine, spent a couple of years learning all I could about it in what seemed to be an endless chain of parties and generosity, and, on a memorable night in 2001, actually did serve as a sommelier at the top of the World Trade Center.

Just as I prepared to write the story, two planes smashed into the twin towers, took the buildings down and more than three thousand lives with them, and wine just didn’t quite taste the same to me afterward, and I didn’t drink it very often.

The experience haunted me for the obvious reasons, and more. I couldn’t write about it, just couldn’t figure out how to balance the joy of all those lifted glasses and the tragedy that smashed into them. A lot had been invested. Years began to pass. At odd moments at three in the morning I began to question my very essence. If I couldn’t write about one of the seminal moments in my lifetime, how could I even call myself a writer?

It took ten years for the U.S. military to catch up with the man responsible for the carnage. And just as long for me to figure out how to write the story that I needed to write. It won a big award. Shortly afterward, I met the two guys running the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, and they invited me. As soon as I stepped into The Inn at Spanish Bay it felt like walking into the happy ether that had evaporated around me on September 11, 2001, that magnetic attraction of people who love to share the love of sharing.

“Let’s see,” I repeated Drew’s question. “What’s the best moment I’ve had today? So far I’ve met eight people who I’d never seen before this morning. I’ve hugged them, they’ve hugged me, and I may well be friendly with them for the rest of my life.”

She smiled — and I added: “It may happen with you, too.”

Drew glanced at the line of people waiting to see her and said: “We’ve got a few minutes to find out.”

We lifted glasses, clinked them, and I felt the Pinot Grigio roll around the inside of my cheeks. I was not that type of sommelier who liked to use phrases like “shows hints of citrus.” Wine was, and always will be, music to me.

“If this wine were a song,” I asked her, “what would it be?”

Her face pulled back, her eyes went skyward and her lips opened. It was a question she’d never been asked, and she liked that. But she didn’t have an immediate answer.

Instead she told me how she’d grown up in West Hollywood in “unfancy” circumstances. To one day get to visit a vineyard in Italy, to be on a little cigarette boat moving across Lake Garda, were revelatory moments in her life. She said she sought to create a wine that could balance anything that makes you want to complain about your day.

She took another sip, and started to channel Etta James.

Oh-oh, sometimes, I get a good feeling…

It felt like I had returned home and simultaneously started off on a new adventure.