Saturday, January 27, 2024

Steak Night, Fresh Catch and Wine Specials at Wine Bar Destin

Steak Night, Fresh Catch and Wine Specials at Wine Bar Destin

The Wine Bar - Destin 

Visiting our favorite getaway, Destiny Cove vacation rental in Destin Florida, we dined at The Wine Bar restaurant in Destin. 

We first discovered the Wine Bar in the Sandestin Grand Boulevard shopping center. It's adjacent to and affiliated with the Wine World wine shop that has an amazing and impressive selection of 100 point and first growth producer wines. We then learned they have four locations including this one, the Wine Bar in Destin nearby.

The Wine Bar Destin location is located at the Shoppes of Paradise Key (on Commons Drive across from the Destin Commons Center). In addition to the restaurant, they have the adjacent wine shop that also includes a cheese shop - a trifecta, all in the one location, just up the street from our neighborhood!  

The dining room offers casual fine dining in a rustic and quaint setting, intimate and slightly dark, with an adjacent bar and a private wine room for special dinners and private groups.

The Wine Bar restaurant offers a core selection soups, salads and small plates, with chicken, steaks and fresh seafood. They tout an award winning wine list, and and extensive selection of artisan cheeses! 

The wine list offers a broad selection of WBTG - Wines By The Glass; five Sparkling Wines, three Rose's, nine "Fresh and Bright Whites", and nine "Round Rich and Ripe White Wines". For red wine selections they offer seven :Soft and Fruity Reds", twelve "Big and Bold Reds:. 

And, for 'Happy Hour', from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily, they offer a 12 oz. carafe of WBTG selections for the price of a large glass, 8 oz.  They also offer a wine flight of Luxury Whites and one of Luxury Reds.

We ordered from the wine list a carafe specials the premium Brunello Montalcino of which they were out, so, we opted for a Barolo, a Napa Valley Red Blend, and a Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay.

As starters we ordered the cesar salad and the Beet Caprese Salad - heirloom tomatoes, roasted red beets, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, balsamic glaze (shown below).

For entrees, Linda ordered the Manchego Crusted Grouper, the Daily Fresh Catch Special with carolina gold rice, field peas, wild mushrooms, lardons, jalapeno and citrus beurre blanc.

Saturday night is Steak Special night so I ordered the Saturday Night Filet of Beef special, prepared Pittsburgh style, charred on the outside, medium hot pink center on the inside.

With the steak we ordered two carafe special red wines, a Red Blend and a Barolo, our second choice since the published Brunello di Montalcino was not available.

Aril Sonoma County Kick Ranch Red Blend 2017

This is from Aril Wines, founded in 2008 by Harmon and Joanne Brown to produce a small amount of premium, hand-crafted wines based on their Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard in Napa Valley. They retained renowned winemaker and viticulturist Ehren Jordan (Failla/Turley) as winemaker and vineyard consultant in 2014. He employed a simple philosophy of procuring optimal grapes and respecting them in the winery applying a minimalist approach to showcase place, balance, and elegance.

In 2018, the Jay family purchased the brand to continue the legacy and production. 

Aril produce four labels of Bordeaux varietals including this unique blend which includes Rhone varietal Syrah, all sourced from the Kick Ranch Vineyard that sits high atop Spring Mountain which separates Napa Valley to the east and Sonoma Valley to the west. 

Sitting on the western facing slope of the mountain in what is known as the Fountaingrove District in Sonoma County, it has vistas all they way to the Petaluma Gap to the west, which provides cool nights and foggy mornings. The producer site describes the vineyard rows planted to capture maximum sun exposure.

The Fountaingrove District is a sleeper of an appellation within Sonoma County, the 17th AVA, latest and most recent to receive American Viticultural Area (AVA) status in March 2015. 

The District takes its name from an historic area of northeastern Santa Rosa, the Fountaingrove District that was inspired by the legacy of California's original "cult winery." Of the 38,000-acres in the appellation 500 acres are planted to vineyards from five wine producers.


The Fountaingrove District sits in the middle of the Mayacamas Mountain range that separates Napa Valley to the east from Sonoma Valley to the west. It is bounded to the north by Sonoma County's Knights Valley AVA, Sonoma Valley to the south, Chalk Hill to the northwest, and Russian River Valley to the west.

This label is a unique blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Petit Verdot. It was aged in 33% new French Oak barrels for eighteen months. This was the six vintage release of this label. Only 275 cases were produced.

This was dark ruby colored, medium full bodied, concentrated full round red and black fruits with notes of dusty rose, leather and spice with hints of anise.

Azienda Agricola Icollirossi Barolo Monforte d'Alba Nebbiolo 2018

Icollirossi Barolo is a DOCG designated wine from the Piedmont region in Northern Italy.

One of the world's great red wines, Barolo is also one of the most distinctive, primarily due to the DOCG rules regulating the grape, how it is produced and the unique terroir of the region in which it grows. Wines from the Barolo DOCG must be 100% Nebbiolo. Barolo wines are noted for their ability to age and need to be aged for at least 38 months after the harvest before release, of which at least 18 months must be in wood.

Located in North West Italy, the Piedmont Wine Region has the largest area in terms of DOC and DOCG wines. Meaning “foot of the mountain,” due to its proximity to the Alps, Piedmont wines including Barolo, Barberesco, Gattinara, Ghemme and Gavi all benefit from the slopes and terrain characteristic of the region. 

Barolo production codes stipulate that vineyards must be located on hillsides, however a recent revision of the production code released in 2010 goes further to specifically exclude valley floors, humid and flat areas, areas without sufficient sunlight, and areas with full-on northern exposures.

Nebbiolo is the dominant grape variety for reds and produces wines with tannic and acidic qualities that can also have fairly high alcohol content. This distinctive combination profile makes distinguished and cellar-worthy wines of Barolo and Barberesco some of the most sought-after. 

This Barolo is from the commune of Monforte d'Alba, one of several  DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) communes in the northern Italian region of Piedmont.

Winemaker notes - "Bold and complex, I Colli Rossi Cru Monforte Barolo 2018 delivers rich flavors of dark fruits, spices, and earthiness. Powerful tannins and a long finish. Pair with lamb, beef, and game."

Bright Ruby colored, medium full bodied, layered flavors of blackberry and cherry with notes of earth, anise, tobacco and hints of cedar and clove spice with polished tannins on an expressive lingering finish.

RM 89

Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2022

This is an entry level label from the legendary Wagner Family wine portfolio, most known for their flagship Caymus brand. Mer Soleil is led by second generation Owner and Winemaker Charlie Wagner. It is sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA near the coast in Monterey County.

This wine is named for the sea and sun in recognition of the distinctive place where it is sourced. The Santa Lucia Highlands, 40 minutes south from Monterey in North Central coastal California are known for morning fog, bright sunshine and gusting winds and an extended growing season. Grapes stay on the vine longer, leading to the development of intense aromas and flavors. 

Producer's notes - "A lively flaxen gold, this wine features a harmonious nose that previews the playful balance to come on the palate. Scents of brown spice, toasted almonds, custard and light oak mingle with Meyer lemon zest, honeysuckle and a hint of apricot. Entry is round, as this wine's fruit and natural acidity build on each other, with echoes of brown spice, citrus and apricot enveloped in a creamy texture. A vibrant finish of lemon/lime showcases the distinctly bright acidity produced from the Monterey coast, leaving an enticing freshness that prepares the palate for another sip."

Aromas of baked croissant, apricot, lemon/lime and honeysuckle. Round and creamy on the palate with notes of lemon squares and fresh natural acidity. Creamy yet fresh, the wine is balanced by lively acidity and bright citrus.

A widely distributed, moderately priced, easy drinking Chardonnay.

RM 88 points.

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