Wine Bars That You Should Experience Before Your 40th Birthday

Wine Bars That You Should Experience Before Your 40th Birthday

Gourmet burgers, cocktails infused with fruits like pomegranate, salads of organic greens numerous wines by the glass, entrées of scallops, Korean duck, and lobster flatbreads, alternative menus for the vegan and lactose-intolerant, generous servings of side dishes with deliciously unusual combinations and old-fashioned milkshakes are not what you would normally find in a wine bar.

Over at Seasons 52 Fresh Grill and Wine Bar and Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar, you would find those – and more – freshly prepared and artistically presented. It used to be that burgers and grilled meats were categorized as “fast food” and one couldn’t imagine how they would be “appropriate” on a wine bar’s menu, like drinking champagne out of a paper and eating a flatbread plain.

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill and Wine Bar combines rustic cooking that is lighter – no item on the menu is over 475 calories – and naturally compatible with wine, found in entrées such as Grilled Flat Iron Steak (with roasted tomato, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and red wine sauce) and Braised Short Rib & Cheddar (with pickled beet, horseradish sour cream, cilantro and red onion).

Its signature flatbread comes in several varieties:

  • Blackened Steak & Blue Cheese with caramelized onions, cremini mushrooms, and spinach.
  • Roasted Roma Tomato with basil ribbons, fresh Mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Salumi Piccante with roasted Roma tomatoes, basil pesto, dry-cured Salumi artisan sausage, and fresh Mozzarella.
  • Grilled Garlic Pesto Chicken with fresh Mozzarella, roasted red peppers, balsamic onions, and arugula.
  • Artichoke & Laura Chenel Goat Cheese with roasted peppers, spinach leaf, and balsamic onions.

The servers at Seasons 52 can always suggest which wine in their extensive selection would be perfect for pairing with any of the mentioned flatbread flavors but there’s no reason why you can do the choosing yourself. The sheer number of white wine varieties can make your spin even before you sip one. Take a look at these:

White Wines

1. Chardonnay

  • Indaba (West Cape).
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Mimi (Horse Heaven Hills).
  • Greg Norman Estates (Eden).
  • Carmel Road (Monterey).
  • Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva, Casablanca (Chile).
  • Markham (Napa).

2. Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

  • Santa Julia (Mendoza).
  • King Estate (Willamette).
  • Conte Brandolini, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Trimbach (Alsace).

3. Pinot Blanc

  • Sellbach-Oster (Mosel).

4. Sauvignon Blanc

  • Brampton (West Cape).
  • Spy Valley (Marlborough).
  • Honig (Napa).
  • Bayten (Constantia).

5. Riesling

Selbach QbA (Mosel).
Selbach-Oster Kabinett (Mosel).
Sokol Blosser Evolution (American MV).

Red Wines

1. Merlot

  • Juntos (Alicante).
  • Anna’s Vineyard (Slovenia).
  • Ray’s Station (North Coast).
  • St. Francis (Sonoma).
  • Robert Mondavi (Napa).

2. Pinot Noir/Gamay

  • Mirassou (California).
  • Macedon (Macedonia).
  • La Crema (Willamette).
  • Jolie Saison Gamay (France).
  • Schug (Sonoma Coast).

3. Zinfandel

  • Ravenswood (Napa).
  • Mauritson (Sonoma).
  • Ravenswood Teldeschi (Dry Creek).

4. Tempranillo

  • Sierra Cantabria Crianza (Rioja).
  • Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva (Rioja).

5. Cabernets and Bordeaux Varieties

  • Château de Parenchère (Bordeaux).
  • Markham Cellar (Napa).
  • Glenelly (Stellenbosch).

For a wine bar, the selection of beers at Seasons 52 is unbelievably extensive, too. Only Budweiser and Bud are American brands; the rest are imported, craft or specialty beers (this list, incidentally, is not as extensive as that which may be found in the official website so do check that one out for the complete listing):

  • Stella Artois
  • Guinness Stout.
  • Harpoon Raspberry Hefeweizen.
  • Yuengling Traditional Lager
  • Amstel Light.
  • Sierra Nevada.
  • Sam Adams Seasonal.
  • Corona Extra.
  • Notch Session Saison.
  • Grey Lady Ale.

The handmade refreshments at Seasons 52 include Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade, Ginger Agave Soda, Half & Half (Lemonade and Sweet Tea), and Mint Lemonade. To go with these and/or the wines, Seasons 52’s appetizer menu has such a wide selection that you may be tempted to make a smorgasbord out of these delicious starters (view the rest of the appetizers on the official website):

  • Roasted Shrimp Scampi Skillet (roasted plum tomatoes, garlic butter, bruschetta, and parsley).
  • Hummus Duo (Hawaiian sea salt lavosh, minted edamame hummus, and roasted red pepper hummus).
  • Ahi Tuna Tartare (layered wasabi-avocado mousse, Hawaiian sea salt crisps, and tropical salsa).
  • Panko-encrusted Stuffed Mushrooms (with lump crab, roasted spinach, and shrimp).

Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar’s 18 Wine Varieties

Although the 18 varieties of wine – by the glass – and 17 local beers (eight on tap) of Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar are extremely enticing, don’t forget to sample the menu highlights; doing otherwise will be regretful. Here are some of the dishes you may want to consider (ask your server for any wine pairing recommendations):

  • Samburger with Thousand Island Dressing, Nueske’s Maple Bacon, and American Cheese.
  • Zinburger with Zinfandel Braised Onions and Manchego Cheese.
  • Sweet Potato Fries with Yogurt Dressing.
  • Roasted Chicken Salad with Pomegranate, Goat Cheese Dressing, Organic Greens, and Marcona Almonds.
  • Zucchini Fries with Ranch and Parmesan.

And take note of some of the excellent suggestions for pairing such as:

  • Ahi Sandwich and Alamos-Chardonnay.
  • Kobe Burger with Los Dos Garnacha Syrah (Blend).
  • BLT Salad with Sebastiani-Merlot.
  • Chinese Chicken Salad with Tangent-Pinot Grigio.

These Burgers Will be Perfect with Wine

The menu varies locally from one state to another – depending on availability of ingredients and taste preference of residents – what is served in Atlanta may not always be available, or if at all, in New York’s Huntington Station. Below are some of the burgers done to perfection at each Seasons 52 restaurant (all use Certified Angus beef and American Style-Kobe ground fresh daily):

  • El Diablo: pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, caramelized onions, and fire-roasted jalapeño.
  • The Carburetor: your choice of turkey or beef patty with Thousand Island dressing, tomato, cottage cheese, and lettuce, this burger is served without a bun (you may also substitute the beef patty with a turkey patty).
  • The Ringer: pepper jack cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, hot onion rings, and mayonnaise.
  • Hava Chicken Sandwich: avocado, mayonnaise, tomato, and Havarti cheese.
  • Clint’s “Almost Famous” Veggie Burger: pea shoots, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise, and smoked Mozzarella.

Check out their Facebook account for regular updates on new locations, discounts, “Burger Feature” of the week, and the Happy Hour schedule of the Zinburger location nearest to you.

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