Heilman's Beachcomber and Bobby's Bistro Wins Best of Award of Excellence
Photo/Text by Donna Malloy
Maitre de George Penavis selects a bottle of cabernet sauvignon from Bobby's Bistro and Wine Bars' vast inventory of wine. "Reds are maintained at approximately 57 degrees, whites at 48 degrees" according to Jack Kerr, General Manager.
They say every idea has a birthplace. For fourth generation entrepreneurs, Bob and Sheri Heilman's idea of owning a vineyard was born in the Burgundy region of France. For over thirty years, the Heilmans dreamed of growing and producing their own wine, and in particular, the delicate Pinot Noir, which is difficult to grow and cultivate.
Because the Pinot Noir grape reflects more of the "flavor of the soil" than any other red grape, the Heilmans knew that the soil of their vineyard and the climate were critical factors. They found what they were looking for in the Yamhill-Carlton District of Oregon; 60 acres of land located on the same latitude as the Burgundy (Bourgogne) region of France and bordered by the Trappist Abbey . The Heilmans called it Foxy Rock; a local expression meaning sexy soil.
Wine sommelier Heilman makes the "final decisions" for Beachcomber and Bistro's 20,000 plus wine inventory, according to Maitre de George Penavis. And because their wine selection shows "vintage depth, with vertical offerings of several top products from major regions, or excellent breadth spread over several wind growing regions," according to Wine Spectator magazine, both restaurants received the Best of Award of Excellence for 2008. Each year, only 802 winners are selected nationwide in this category.
To qualify for this award, Heilman's wine list "must present complete, accurate wine information. It must include vintages and appellations for all selections, including wines available by the glass. Complete producer names and correct spellings are mandatory, while the overall presentation and appearance of the list is also taken into consideration," according to the judges.
Heilman's wine list offers a large selection of wines by the glass. "That's because of demand," according to Jack Herr, Heilman's General Manager. "Because we offer a large variety of entrees, customers want to choose a glass of wine that will compliment their dinner selection."
Also, special selection half bottles are available for your enjoyment. Prices range from $13 for a 2005 Mouton-Cadet White, Rothschild, from Bordeaux, France to $149 for a 2003 Mondavi/Rothchild's Opus One. And remember, because Heilman's wine list offers vintage selections, the list is subject to change based on availability.
You've selected your wine; the waiter uncorks your bottle tableside. Do you smell the cork?
Myth: When presented with the cork, sniff it for a preview of what's to come. According to the Heilman's Foxy Rock website: "There is little to be learned from the cork. The proof is in the wine. When presented with the cork, feel it to check for its integrity, read and match the branding of the cork to the bottle, and set it aside.
The ritual of cork presentation dates back to the late 1800's when root louse devastation to European vineyards severely limited the supply of good wines. As a result, restauranteurs removed labels on inferior wines and replaced them with labels from superior wines. In order to protect themselves, patrons would check the branding on the cork to ensure that what they ordered was, in fact, what they were served."
Myth: Most wines taste better with age. "Less than 5% of wines produced today are meant to be aged."
Myth: Wines should be decanted and allowed to breathe. "The answer varies; Young, tanic reds are better when allowed to breathe in a glass or decanter to soften the tannins. An older red reaches a stage in its life where it should be enjoyed soon after opening. You might want to allow most reds to breathe only for a short time to dissipate any "off odors." Most white wines are ideally served 10-15 minutes after opening. Visit Foxy Rock's website for more information at: www.foxyrock.com.
"It's in the nose" according to Herr. Now that you've become a wine aficionado, visit Bob Heilman's Beachcomber or Bobby's Bistro & Wine Bar and partner a vintage bottle of wine with the classic American cuisine they've been serving since 1948, entrees such as their fried chicken and chicken livers, in addition to a large selection of seafood and beef.
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