Where the winos go
Wineries across America are bustling with activity from August through November, as vineyards race to pull the grapes from the vine at the peak of ripeness for each varietal. Here in Preston Hollow, you can sample the fruits of that labor at many places, but DISH is one of only a precious few with a wine list that received the stamp of approval from Wine Spectator, making its list of “Where to Drink Well” earlier this year.
DISH’s list is robust, hitting all the classics from the buttery chardonnays and bright sauvignon blancs to the more tannic malbecs and merlots. This list is not for amateurs; they know their customers aren’t looking for Two Buck Chuck.
“These guests are very well traveled; they’re very well educated; they know what they want,” says Jerry McInerney, general manager of DISH. After a stint in Sonoma’s Wine Country, he should know. “Our guests know the winemakers. They’ve been to the wineries in Napa.”
The wine list, created by NL Restaurant Group sommelier Brandon Smoot, relies heavily on California brands that are recognizable to the average consumer.
“It’s a comfort thing,” McInerney says, explaining that many customers want to see brands they know they like, so they’re confident they’ll enjoy the glass. If you want the most well-known brands like Schramsberg, J Vineyards or Duckhorn, you can find it for sure. But for the more discerning and adventurous, there’s the Captain’s List.
“We have some hidden gems in each varietal that some people might not be familiar with,” McInerney says of the 20-25 bottle list that is updated seasonally.
The same can be said of the regular wine menu, which has some favorite staples that are flushed with a fleet of rosés in the spring, and then replaced by heartier red blends in the fall.
“Some we have to keep,” McInerney says. “We have a woman who comes every week, because we have Rombauer chardonnay.”
If you’re looking to splurge, the floral notes of Kathryn Hall’s 2011 cabernet can’t be beat, albeit with a $255 price tag.
Don’t expect DISH staff to try and up-sell you, though; they have been directed to find out “what excites a person and build a recommendation from there.”
Pro tip: Go on Wednesdays when bottles of all wines sold by the glass are half off.
8611 Hillcrest Ave.,
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