September 2009


zinfandelZinfandel first appeared in the United States in the 1820s when Long Island nursery owner George Gibbs imported several grape vines from the Imperial collection in Vienna. One of the vines was Zinfandel. (The current thinking is that Zinfandel originated in Croatia where it is called Plavac Mali.) In the 1850s, Zinfandel made its way to California.

Source: http://www.beekmanwine.com/factsquotes.htm

TutankhamunIt is said that the first evidence of white wine in ancient Egypt is from Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Wine has been considered to be mainly red in ancient Egypt linked with the blood of Osiris, the God of resurrection. No text that refers to white wines from the Dynastic Period (3150-332 BC) exists. The first white wine from ancient Egypt was made near Alexandria during the third century AD. To investigate the presence of white wine in ancient Egypt, dry residue samples from King Tutankhamun’s amphorae were studied. This investigation into the existence of white wines in Tutankhamun’s tomb shed new light on the symbolism of white wine in ancient Egypt.

Reference: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17816727

Iron Horse WineryCEO Joy Sterling presents the wonderful offerings from Iron Horse Winery at The Carlton on Thursday, October 8.  One of Sonoma County’s most prestigious, small independent family owned wineries, Iron Horse was founded by Audrey and Barry Sterling in 1975.  Iron Horse had their award winning sparkling wines served at the White House in five consecutive presidential administrations!   In addition to highly rated wines and well paired cuisine, you will enjoy our charming host!  Joy is Yale educated, a former ABC correspondent and has authored four books!  As a second generation owner, she is taking Iron Horse to new heights!

Here’s the Menu:

“IRON HORSE VINEYARDS” WINE DINNER
Thursday, October 8, 2009 – 6:30 p.m.

With Iron Horse Vineyards CEO – Joy Sterling
Culinary offerings by Mark Swomley
$99 per person excluding Tax & Gratuity

IRON HORSE WEDDING CUVEE “BLANC DE NOIR”’05

SHELLFISH STEW
Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Oysters and Mussels in a rich Tomato Cream with sautéed
Ricotta Gnocchi, Red Pepper Coulis and Spinach Chiffonade

IRON HORSE “UNOAKED” CHARDONNAY’07
IRON HORSE “ESTATE” CHARDONNAY’08

SEARED SCALLOP
Served over Brioche Crostini with Smoked Cheddar Orzo,
Sun-dried Tomato Butter and Yukon Gold Gaufrette

IRON HORSE “ESTATE” PINOT NOIR’06

RACK OF LAMB
Served with a Wild Mushroom & Onion Risotto Cake, Bacon-Spinach Sauté,
Cabernet Demi-Glace & Roast Garlic Mousse

IRON HORSE T-BAR-T BdX3’05

VENISON LOIN
Served with Sausage-Fennel Ragout, Roast Corn Butter,
Bourbon Glaze and crisp Onion Straws

IRON HORSE CLASSIC VINTAGE BRUT’04

LEMON TART
With fresh Berries

Pittsburgh Business RadioI am trying my hand as a radio talk show host for the first time next Wednesday (Sept. 23) from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.  on Pittsburgh Business Radio, 1360 AM.  Just as there are many folks that think they could be successful restaurateurs, I have always wondered what it would be like to be the guy asking the questions on a radio talk show!  I am looking forward to this trial run fully cognizant that I could easily fail!

We will be talking about next week’s G-20 Summit and will interview Auditor General Jack Wagner and perhaps other distinguished Western Pennsylvanians that would like to be PA’s Governor in 2010.  Please tune in if you are near a radio or computer!

Fall Wine Dinners PittsburghFall Greetings from The Carlton!  I am pleased to deliver a phenomenal lineup of Special Wine Dinners for your seasonal enjoyment!  We are always pleased when a winemaker or vineyard owner visits and today, we are announcing four special wine dinners – with three of them presented by the principals of the Winery!

Thursday, October 8 – Iron Horse Winery
CEO Joy Sterling presents the wonderful offerings from Iron Horse Winery.   One of Sonoma County’s most prestigious, small independent family owned wineries, Iron Horse was founded by Audrey and Barry Sterling in 1975.  Iron Horse had their award winning sparkling wines served at the White House in five consecutive presidential administrations!   In addition to highly rated wines and well paired cuisine, you will enjoy our charming host!  Joy is Yale educated, a former ABC correspondent and has authored four books!  As a second generation owner, she is taking Iron Horse to new heights!

Monday, October 12 – Eberle Winery
We welcome back native Gary Eberle to Pittsburgh to savor the wonderful wines from his Paso Robles vineyard!  After Gary finished playing college football at Penn State in the 60’s he went on to LSU where he studied cellular genetics and then to U.C. Davis for work on a enology doctorate.  After co-founding Estrella River Winery (now Meridian), Gary decided to produce premium, small production wines in Paso Robles.  He began his own label with the release of the 1979 Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon.  Please join us in saluting the success of one of our own and I guarantee you will leave a big fan of Eberle!

Friday, October 30 – Bodega Benegas Wines
Vintage Import‘s Lee Kuehn presents the Bodega Benegas Wines from Argentina!  Argentina wines captured the attention of Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker in his August 2009 cover story!  He hailed the value and strength of these offerings and singled out the Bodega Benegas wines by giving 7 of their offerings scores of greater than 90 points!  Come and sample two Malbecs and some wonderfully blended reds paired with great cuisine!

Friday November 8 – Freeman Winery
We welcome Ken Freeman to The Carlton to introduce his prestigious small production Russian River Valley Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs to a Pittsburgh audience!  Ken has enjoyed a super successful career in business but was able to realize a dream when he and his wife purchased a small Russian River Valley winery in 2001.  Today his exclusive and highly rated wines are found at the finest restaurants and he has been heralded as one of the top Pinot Noir producers in the world!  We hope you can join us!

Check back soon for full menus of each Wine Dinner!  Hope to see you here!


51G6A3GACCL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

Here are some great wine books to add to your collection!

1. How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine

2. Wine Bible by Karen McNeil

3. Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 2009 Edition

4. The University Wine Course: A Wine Appreciation Text & Self Tutorial

5. Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food

6. California Wine Country: A Sunset Field Guide

7. The Wall Street Journal Guide to Wine: How to Buy, Drink, & Enjoy Wine

8. The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition

9. Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook

10. World Atlas of Wine

Source: http://www.winecountrygetaways.com/books.html

The Carlton RestaurantWe are excited to announce that we have signed a 10-year lease renewal for The Carlton Restaurant at the Bank of New York  Mellon Center.

I am proud to be continuing the restaurant’s traditions of a daily-changing menu, award-winning service and the most extensive and affordable wine list in western Pennsylvania. It is the convenient location of the building that makes The Carlton an easy destination for special occasions, business dinners and pre-game or cultural event festivities.  As part of this, The Carlton will undergo extensive upgrades and renovations beginning in the summer of 2010 (right after the Penguins win another Stanley Cup!) which will include subtle enhancements to the dining area and restroom finishes, as well as updated plumbing and more. Among the anticipated design changes is the addition of a wine display in every dining room.  I don’t believe there is another restaurant in the country that has more featured wine dinners than The Carlton, and we plan to continue the tradition.

We have enjoyed wonderful employee stability at The Carlton that encourages and builds relationships between our guests and our employees.  Fay, Russ, Enzo, Bobby, Tony and Doug are all servers with long tenure, and Janet, our maitre‘d, has been with us since 1984. Chef Mark is only the third person to serve in that position since we opened, and our manager, Bill Kunkel, started with us in 1986!

While I have enjoyed serving my industry and community over these many years, right now, my total focus is on preparing The Carlton for the next 10 to 20 years. We have renovations to plan. We hope to use part of next summer to improve our facility for our guests and then re-open with a renewed commitment to being one of the very best restaurants in our region. Despite the difficult economic times that have certainly impacted disposable income and traffic in fine dining restaurants everywhere, we are hopeful that The Carlton will continue to be pleasing our guests for many years to come!

Next Page »