A Quintessential Experience


Well, if you were despairing that you won’t get a chance to experience the swanky new Georgetown Capella hotel’s $3,500-per-person “Once In A Lifetime” wine dinner that was postponed indefinitely, you are in luck! There’s a new opportunity to visit the hotel for something special.

Executive Chef Jakob Esko and the hotel’s Grill Room restaurant have announced their revised wine-dinner concept. On May 8, guests will take part in a quintessential experience featuring the wines of Quintessa winery of California and food pairings handpicked by Chef Esko. Capella plans to host several wine dinners throughout the year.

The Quintessa estate, located in Napa Valley, is a favorite of the hotel’s sommelier, Will Rentschler. In addition to its stellar reputation for producing amazing red wines, Quintessa prides itself on sustainable growing methods. This excellence in producing wonderful tasting wines, as well as environmentally conscious organic farming, has endeared Quintessa to many a lover of fine wines.

When I spoke to Rentschler and Esko about the upcoming event, their excitement to share the winery’s new releases – and show how well they complement the cuisine of the Grill Room in an intimate setting – was evident. Quintessa’s own Larry Stone, wine director and educator, will be on hand to highlight what makes each of the wines a standout.

Chefs usually create food, with wine just an accompaniment. However, this night will be different. Chef Esko has designed four great seasonal dishes around the Quintessa wines. At the dinner, you will be led through four food and wine courses:

Quintessa Illumination

Sauvignon Blanc, 2012

Paired with diver scallop carpaccio, served with cucumber, radishes and soft goat’s cheese.

Quintessa Proprietary

Red Blend, 2010

Paired with herb-roasted quail, served with rosemary and potato gnocchi, chorizo and parsley.

Quintessa Proprietary Red Blend, 2005

Paired with bison strip loin, served with wild mushroom ragout, black truffle and spring peas.

Faust Cabernet

Sauvignon, 2011

Paired with dark chocolate Black Forest cake roll.

Capella’s Grill Room typically showcases creative seasonal dining. Diners enjoy views of the picturesque C&O Canal, with outdoor seating available.

The Quintessa Wine Dinner four-course menu is priced at $180 per person (excluding tax and gratuities). To make a reservation, call 202-617-2424 or visit www.thegrillroomdc.com.

Think of the Grill Room’s upcoming wine dinners as “Once in a Couple of Months” wine experiences. Once you have had your fill tasting the new Quintessa releases, why not head back to the hotel’s Rye Bar for a nightcap, go up to the rooftop infinity pool and look out over Georgetown or check in to one of the 49 luxury guest rooms and suites? You’ll make it your own quintessential evening. Cheers!

Shari Sheffield is a wine, food and lifestyle writer as well as a Wine Educator and speaker. She can be reached at shari@sharisheffield.com or www.sharisheffield.com.

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