Utah Wine – Ruth Lewandowski Wines, arguably Utah’s premier wine maker, might soon be making the leap to 100% Utah based production. The planting of Utah based vines has been long time in the making – and things are still preciously balanced – but keep your fingers and toes crossed with owner and winemaker, Evan Lewandowski, who writes the following:
“If you’ve been following Ruth’s progress for any amount of time, you’d know well that the endeavor has always been focused on the planting of Utah vineyards. I’ve been taking it slow, sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity. Finding the perfect patch of dirt to be planted under the perfect stretch of sky takes a minute, especially in Utah.
If you haven’t already heard, the spot has been discovered and for all other places I am ruined. It’s a town called Boulder, nestled betwixt Capitol Reef National Park and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. An astoundingly unique place, remotely located on the southern slopes of the Aquarius Plateau.
Naturally, nothing happens instantaneously in a town like Boulder but I’m slowly chipping away at the necessary steps in setting up a new vineyard in a place with zero history of commercial winegrowing. I’ll speak more in depth on the specific property at a later date – I’m still scared to death to give too many details should I find something prohibitive to planting. Soil samples are currently being analyzed. (that picture above is me carting off a bucket full of bagged earth). Irrigation and frost protection possibilities are being pondered, best options for deer fencing and gopher proofing considered. You know…the romantic side of wine. What I’m trying to say here is that its happening. Stay with me!”
Wine Spectator Wins – More than 20 Utah restaurants were recently awarded Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards. Here in SLC both La Caille and Spencer’s For Steaks And Chops both earned ‘Best Of Excellence’ awards, which highlight wine lists that “display excellent breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and/or significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation. Typically offering 350 or more selections, these restaurants are destinations for serious wine lovers, showing a deep commitment to wine, both in the cellar and through their service team.”
Five other restaurants in SLC also garnered the ‘Excellence’ award for wine lists that “typically offer at least 90 selections, feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Whether compact or extensive, focused or diverse, these lists deliver sufficient choice to satisfy discerning wine lovers.” These restaurants include: BTG Wine Bar, Finca, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Log Haven, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Scott Evans of Pago/Finca commented, “We are honored to be included in this year’s Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards. In years past, we were surprised to see so few independently owned and operated restaurants on the list, and we wanted to help represent those independent restaurants that are a big part of the wine community and continue to celebrate the growing wine interest in Utah.”
You can see the complete lists of award winners in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue or online at a href=”http://Restaurants.WineSpectator.com” target=”_blank”>Restaurants.WineSpectator.com.
Kimball Arts Festival – One of Park City’s largest Summer events is around the corner. The 48th Annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival returns this weekend, August 4th through 6th. Visitors to the festival should take note of a few foodie treats:
* Food truck round up – local food trucks along with live music near the top of Main Street. This years food truck vendors include Banh Mi Time, Rubadue’s Saucey Skillet, Bruges Waffles, and Black’s Sliders.
* Artisan food tasting – an area highlighting local food artisans with free tastings and product for sale. With Wasatch Creamery, Burton’s Maplewood Farms Maple Syrup, C&C Candies, and Julie Ann Caramels.
For more information see: http://www.parkcitykimballartsfestival.orgTexas De Brazil – Finally, while we don’t ordinarily cover chains, charitable efforts are always worthy of a nod. With that in mind, dine at any US Texas de Brazil Churrascarias during August and support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the same time.
Texas de Brazil patrons will have the opportunity to contribute any dollar denomination directly to St. Jude at the bottom of checks. As added incentives, guests who donate five or more dollars can earn a matching-value gift certificate Tuesdays through Sundays, while on Monday only, the gift certificate earned will be twice the value of donations made. Both options have a maximum earning potential of $50 and are valid for future visits. Texas de Brazil will match donations up to $25,000 and no purchase is necessary.
Founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review. Former restaurant critic at the Salt Lake Tribune. Stuart is largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words he doesn’t understand. Ate all the pies.