Okay, yes, I'll admit it. When I heard that River Oaks was offering their wine list at 50% off on Monday I got excited. They have a pretty good wine list so I took this opportunity to try out some outstanding wines for a reasonable prices. I say REASONABLE because most restaurant wine list markup in this genre of restaurant are just offensive. Restaurants that don't markup in an unreasonable way: Napa Cafe, Majestic Grille, Restaurant Iris, Cafe 1912, Tsunami, thank you for that guys! But, I also know that restaurants do pay a ridiculous liquor/wine tax (24.25%) to the state. So anyway, yesterday we went out to River Oaks for a little vino & a snack. We started with a Rochioli Pinot Noir 2005 Russian River Valley. It had a beautiful translucent ruby color with aromas of black cherry, tea & hints of earth. The palate was delicate, medium bodied with ripe red cherry & bright acid. Our next bottle was the Carpineto 2001 Brunello di Montalcino. This is why I love Italian wines with a little age. The wine poured dark purple with a black core, aromas of barnyard, funk, forest floor, mushroom & black fruits. The palate was rich, dense, velvety & gave a long, long finish.
Two things are inexcusable when it comes to wine service at this level, or rather the level that River Oaks is portraying themselves to be at. One is improper temperature of the bottles. Both reds were served way too warm & required chillers, which I asked for. If they are going to serve warm red wine they should purchase more chillers or ask the table if they would like their red wine chilled down for them. I shouldn't have to ask, they should know better. Second, is a dirty wine glass. All three of our glasses that we were given with the first bottle were dirty. Not just "the dishwasher left some residue" dirty, I mean, greasy thumbprints & lipstick dirty. Again, a restaurant that wants us to see them of a certain caliber shouldn't allow this to happen. Eww.
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