McGuire’s Irish Pub sits atop the region’s wine list

Congratulations to McGuire’s Irish Pub, 600 E. Gregory St., on its prestigious Best Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine.

The second-tier award won by McGuire’s imparts “special recognition to restaurants with lists that also display vintage depth or excellent breadth across several regions,” per the magazine. No other restaurant in the Pensacola area achieved the distinction for 2012. The closest to Pensacola is Segar’s Restaurant in Destin.

Amy Martin of McGuire’s said the award was the result of a special effort made this year by McGuire’s to reach the coveted “two-glass” award. She mentioned rewriting McGuire’s wine list and changing the cellar to bring in “a wider variety of worldly wines.”

Just 878 restaurants worldwide have received this distinction for 2012.

Four additional area restaurants received Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for 2012. They are Jackson’s Steakhouse and The Fish House in downtown Pensacola, the Grand Marlin on Pensacola Beach and Fisherman’s Corner on Perdido Key. The Award of Excellence is the magazine’s basic award, for “lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style,” per the website.

Also, four Awards of Excellence were won just across the state line in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Ala. Recognized restaurants there include the Sunset Cork Room, Cobalt the Restaurant, Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar and Villagio Grill.

The Fish House and Premier Beverage continue their Toast of the Coasts series of fine wine dinners on Sept. 20 with a visit from Jeff Papa or Rombauer Vineyards in St. Helena, Calif.

Papa will work with Fish House Chef Billy Ballou to present a dinner featuring three of his vineyard’s wines paired with a four-course meal, during which Papa will share his expertise with diners.

The menu includes Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay 2010 served with a three-cheese potato gratin topped with a spicy shrimp skewer; Rombauer Napa Zinfandel 2010 paired with roasted lamb over Israeli couscous risotto with squash, radicchio and parsley butter; Rombauer Napa Cabernet 2008 served with Indian-spiced chicken satays served over aromatic yellow rice; and for dessert, vanilla bean crème brûlée.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and reservations are required. The cost is $65 plus tax and gratuity, inclusive of all three wines and four courses. For reservations or more information, call 433-9450.

Source: Julio Diaz, pnj.com

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