On Tuesday, July 9th, more than 300 sommeliers, chefs, journalists, and other wine and food professionals came together on a steamy night at New York’s Lafayette—a first-time recipient of the Top 100 honor—to celebrate the Wine Enthusiast August 2019 issue that features America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2019.
True to the wide geographic reach of this year’s list, winners came from all over the country including Coa in San Juan, PR; Seven Glaciers in Girdwood, AK; Ario in Marco Island, FL; Caet Seafood Oysterette in Jackson, MS; The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis; Zoe’s in Virginia Beach; Adega in San Jose, CA, and Beholder in Indianapolis, among many others.
Guests were treated to 11 wines—and one sake—from importer Shaw Ross‘s varied international portfolio, paired with themed culinary stations from the team at Lafayette.
Danzante NV Prosecco Treviso greeted guests as they entered. A vegetable-heavy antipasti station was paired with La Scolca 2018 Black Label Bianco Secco (Gavi), Rapaura Springs 2018 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) and San Pedro 2017 1865 Selected Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). The night’s pasta station was anchored by cacio e pepe served from a giant Parmesan wheel bowl went with Marchesi de’Frescobaldi 2018 Blanco (Pomino) and Mouton-Cadet 2017 Réserve (Bordeaux Blanc).
A French-themed station of cheese, charcuterie and tarte flambée matched with a decidedly un-French lineup of Masút 2016 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Eagle Peak), Marchesi de’Frescobaldi 2015 Tenuta Perano Riserva (Chianti Classico), and Marqués de Riscal 2013 Reserva (Rioja). And a raw bar of crab claws, poached jumbo shrimp and raw oysters went beautifully with Château d’Esclans 2018 Whispering Angel Rosé (Côtes de Provence), Marchesi de’Frescobaldi 2018 Alìe Rosato (Toscana) and Gekkeikan Black & Gold Saké.
Showcasing part of Shaw Ross’s spirits portfolio, the cocktail bar served gin and tonics with Fifty Pounds Gin, a rum Old Fashioned with Barceló Imperial Rum, and a “Strega Mule,” made with Liquore Strega and Fever-Tree Ginger Beer.
As guests met, sipped and supped, the memorable night showcased the role that restaurants play in building friendships and communities.