By Chris Macias
In honor of California Wine Month - which you can read more about in Wednesday's "Wine Buzz" column - the California Restaurant Association organizes a Best California Wine List Competition. Sacramento has fared well in this contest before, which included top honors for the Firehouse in Old Sacramento and the Melting Pot (a franchise that includes a downtown Sac location).
Now it's The Kitchen's turn for the No. 1 spot. The Kitchen tied for first place in the category for the single location category, sharing the honors with LA Prime steakhouse at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles.
Judges were looking for wine lists that reflected the bounty of varietals found in the Golden State, along with "creative wine promotions and events." Entrants were also required to write an essay about their wine program, and were ultimately judged by a panel from the Wine Institute.
The Kitchen's always been a kind of local headquarters for some of California's most coveted wines, including such high-end labels as Harlan Estate, Marcassin, Sine Qua Non, Bryant Family and Kongsgaard. But looking at a recently published list, it's not just about trophy bottles at The Kitchen but California wines with character, be it a Bokisch 2008 Albarino from Lodi or cutting-edge Scholium Project wines from Suisun Valley.
"It was illuminating to see how restaurants showcased the diversity of California wines on their menus and increased wine sales with creative promotions and staff education," said Nancy Light, director of communications for the Wine Institute of California, in a statement.
Call The Bee's Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253.