At a loss as to which wine is for you? Or perhaps you just like to try new things? Either way, let Master Sommelier George Miliotes from Seasons 52 in Cherry Hill, N.J., be your guide to everything wine.
Miliotes attributes his obsession with wine to his first job, to keep the wine wall at his family’s restaurant in Orlando, Fla. stocked and the bottles clean. He was 13.
And so it began. George Miliotes had fallen in love.
With red, white, blush -- German, French, Italian, Spanish.
”I saw people getting excited about wines and it started me down the path,” says Miliotes.
Lucky, his little obsession has turned into a very lucrative career in wine.
He made a name for himself as the general manager of Walt Disney World’s California Grill where he not only created an award-winning wine list, but also one of the first lists in the country to offer 100 wines by the glass.
From there, Darden, the company behind Seasons 52, hired Miliotes and Chef Clifford Pleau to develop 52’s unique concept of fresh, seasonal food and an expertly selected wine list.
And the term expert is not thrown around lightly.
”It took 10 years of hard work, studying and practice to become a Master Sommelier. You have to be self directed. There’s no teacher -- you have to study and do it yourself,” according to Miliotes.
In fact, he’s one of only 142 Master Sommeliers worldwide.
So what does a Master Sommelier do with all that wine knowledge? Share it with the public, of course.
George came up with the educational program, Wines Before They’re Famous, to help customers find their perfect wine. The Sommelier carefully (and skillfully) chose five wines for Seasons 52 diners.
First is the Vinho Verde, a Portuguese white wine that’s low on alcohol and big on its apple, lemon flavor. Miliotes picked Vinho Verde because it’s a wonderful summer wine -- he envisioned his customers dining on Seasons' outdoor patio -- and it’s a compliment to most meals.
Bonus: It’s cheap (under $10)
”If you drink it and you’ve been turned on to something you can enjoy all summer long, then mission accomplished,” said the Sommelier.
Next is Mulderbosch Chardonnay (2005). This medium oak chardonnay usually sells for $60 a bottle, but Seasons is offering it to customers for $40 and it’s the only place in the country that you can taste it.
Paso A Paso Tempranillo. Tempranillo is the main grape of Spain. This red wine is not as heavy as a cabernet or merlot, but not it’s not too light and at $7 a glass you can’t afford not to give it a try.
The fourth wine on the list is a Roughe River Valley Pinot Nior. It boasts a sweet, ripe cherry flavor.
And finally, Planeta Tanineros Diablo -- a medium red wine, perfect with any meal. Miliotes is especially excited for people to taste this wine and is looking forward to his customers being some of the first to try it.
“What I want people to come away with is that there IS a wine for them at our restaurant. And it’s as much about price as it is about flavor. There’s something for everyone, every price range.”
So, go ahead, open your mind -- and your mouth -- to the exciting flavors of your perfect wine at Seasons 52, chosen by the Master himself.