Taste of Wine

Small plates, big pours and big news at Flemings

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is an unforgettable night of fun and flavor in a palatial setting where the culinary good life is toasted nightly. Set into a hotel/restaurant square in La Jolla off the I-5, Fleming’s is constantly offering attractive promotions to keep the excitement at a high pitch. And the perfect ringmaster for all this innovation is Casey Eades, the operating partner of Fleming’s.

“We enjoy presenting memorable times at Fleming’s he declared. If you’re here for a fine aged prime steak, we have lots of selections. There are four filet mignons to choose from, all prime to ensure tenderness, all seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper and broiled at 1,600 degrees to your preferred taste.”

Casey Eades (left) of Fleming’s chooses the wine programs: 100 by the Glass, Wine Flights and First Fridays. Columnist Frank Mangio joins him in a Prosseco in the wine cellar. Courtesy photo

An ideal way to taste the main menu is to go with selections from the “Small Plates, Big Pours” feature in the bar. Seven delicious picks are matched with an oversized wine offering. “We carefully choose a wine that pairs with the distinct flavor of each of our Small Plates,” Eades explained. “The wines are oversized 9-ounce pours. For example, the sliced Filet Mignon with Shitake Risotto, Chili Oil and Porcini Butter is paired with Talbot Pinot Noir 2010 from Santa Lucia Highlands, our most respected Central Coast Pinot. The pair is just $24.95.”

Other notable pairings included Wicked Cajon BBQ Shrimp with Dr. Loosen 2010 German Riesling; New Bedford Scallops with a Honey Glaze Vegetable Salad, paired with Kistler 2010 Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast; and New Zealand Petite Lamb Chops and Polenta Fries, matched up with Meyer 2006 Syrah from Mendocino. These premium selections are available for a limited time in the bar, so check with Fleming’s.

I complimented Eades on his work with the Fleming’s 100, an award-winning list of 100 wines by the glass, way more choices than most restaurants offer. With this amount of choice, both domestic and international, discovering a great wine at a value that will please, is an easy-to-do search.

Fleming’s First Fridays is drawing a buzz and hundreds of guests with its focus on the wine countries of the world. Earlier this month it was Napa Valley and to open June, Eades has chosen Chilean Wines. Twenty wines are featured along with tasting tips. The date is June 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost is $25 per person. Call in an RSVP at (858) 535-0078.

Got a special occasion coming up? Private dining is your way to go at Fleming’s. Whether it’s a five-course dinner or a cocktail reception, visit the website for a look, menus and wine lists. Visit FlemingsSteakhouse.com.

What ‘Taste of Wine’ readers are saying:

We always welcome comments from our growing number of readers, so please take a moment and let us know about wine and the column. Here are just a few that I recently received:

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“Thanks for the article on Fort Ross, I can see you delved into the history of the area with many interesting facts.” Linda Schwartz, Fort Ross, Calif.

“Thanks for the article on the Wounded Veterans benefit wine. Thousands of American Veterans do too.” Les Linkogle, Temecula, Calif.

“Asia is booming. They honor strong work ethics. Other Banfi wines to watch: Rosa Regale, Cum Laude and Centine. Love that smile in your picture.” John Mariani, Banfi Montalcino, IT.

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Wine Bytes

The Chula Vista Nature Center brings us a Food and Wine Classic from 3 to 7 p.m. June 2. With San Diego Bay in the background, food, wine/beer sampling, cooking demos, music and animal encounters should keep you entertained. Admission is $75. Call (619) 409-5900.

Encinitas Rotary Wine Festival is from to 5 to 8 p.m. June 2 in the Children’s Garden area of the Botanical Garden in Encinitas. Funds go to charities. There are three price levels $90, $135 and $500. There will be food and wine from area restaurants and wineries, music and auctions. Details at (760) 753-1977.

The Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival is June 1 through June 3. The big food/wine pairings are Saturday and Sunday. Call the Temecula Convis office for details and ticket info at (951) 491-6085.

SDSU Extended Studies is planning a class on French wines conducted by leading Advanced Sommelier Jesse Rodriguez starting Monday June 4 to June 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. on campus. Visit neverstoplearning.net.

North County Wine Company in San Marcos has a great tasting from Frank Family wines of Napa Valley from 5 to 8 p.m. June 8. Cost is $15. Call (760) 744-2119 for varietals.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator. His library can be viewed at www.tasteofwinetv.com. (Average Google certified 900 visits per day) He is one of the top five wine commentators on the Web. Reach him at mangiompc@aol.com.