The Hotel Del Coronado, also affectionately known as the Del, is San Diego’s gift to the world ever since it opened in 1888 as the largest resort hotel in the world at that time. Since then it has hosted presidents, royalty, movie stars and other celebrities through its years of grandeur. In 1959, the movie “Some Like it Hot” starred Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. Six hundred and eighty rooms provide memorable views, with beachfront and high-end dining from seven restaurants. The Crown Room has always been my sentimental favorite for royal dining. It’s a masterpiece of architecture with a wood ceiling installed with pegs and glue. Not a single nail was used.
A colonnade provides beachfront access and the hotel is built around a massive courtyard filled with tropical trees and flowers.
The recent occasion that brought me to the Del was a wine and dinner presentation from Robert Craig Winery and its National Sales Director Adam Glatt, from Howell Mountain in Napa Valley.
Robert Craig has always strived to perfect his wines, planting wine grapes since 1978 in the wooded hillsides of Napa Valley. He is now known as “the Mountain Man of Napa Valley.” The lineup, paired with a custom Del menu included: Robert Craig Chardonnay 2014, with balanced acidity, a lemon-lime appeal and earth notes; Robert Craig Merlot Howell Mountain 2014, a deep, dark “Baritione” wine with notes of cracked pepper; Robert Craig Cabernet Mt. Veeder (one of my Top 10 Tastes for the 1st half of 2017) the flagship of the winery; and the Robert Craig Zinfandel 2013, a “top of the mountain” Zin, silky and smooth to the taste.
Make your plans for the next grand Del wine dinner on Aug. 8 with a lovely Napa Valley winery, Far Niente. For details on this, plus three more dinners with dates in September, October and November, visit hoteldel.com.
The Wine Spectator 2017 Restaurant Awards
Wine Spectator, the highest circulated publication on wine in the world, has announced the best wine lists from leading restaurants around the world. We looked closely at the three award levels for San Diego County’s restaurants as wine becomes more important to diners everywhere.
The Grand Award, the magazines highest honor, went to one restaurant in this market, Addison, at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Its wine cellar holds 8,500 bottles, mostly the highest quality French wines to match its cuisine. Close behind is the Best of the Award of Excellence and in San Diego they included: Marina Kitchen at the Marriott, Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe, PAON in Carlsbad, Stake Chop House & Bar in Coronado, Veladora in Rancho Santa Fe and Winesellar & Brasserie in San Diego. The Award of Excellence went to: Argyle Steakhouse in Carlsbad, Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo, Fleming’s Prime Steak in La Jolla, Sbicca in Del Mar, Seasons 52 in La Jolla, Solare in San Diego, A R Valentien in La Jolla and West Steak and Seafood in Carlsbad. A Taste of wine congratulations to all and to Wine Spectator for the fantastic research on this international effort. See more at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com.
• Meritage Wine Market in Encinitas has its Bordeaux and Bubbles from 6 to 8 p.m. July 21. Sip and taste four to six wines for special occasions. The cost is $30 per person, $20 for club members. Details and an RSVP at (760) 479-2500.
• By popular demand, Seasalt Seafood & Bistro in Del Mar brings back Ferrari-Carano from Sonoma in a special wine dinner at 6 p.m. July 26. This internationally acclaimed winery will be presenting the latest vintage Siena and Tresor, among others. The five-course dinner will bring out the best in these wines. Cost is $55 per person. Call today at (858) 755-7100.
• The Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo has a special Italian Wine Dinner with specialist Marcos Mizzau presenting the region and its wines, with menu creations by Chef Trevor Chappell. Cost is $80 per guest, includes all six courses and six wines. Reserve your place at tbrsd.com.
• Vittorio’s Family Style Trattoria in the Carmel Valley district of San Diego is planning a Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Winery dinner on at 6 p.m. July 27. Enjoy five courses with wines such as Sauvignon Blanc up to their great 2013 Cabernet. Vittorio’s has been selling out quickly so RSVP today at (858) 538-5884.
Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator. He is one of the leading commentators on the web. View his columns at //thecoastnews.com. Go to menu, then column. Reach him at email@example.com.