Archive for July, 2011
There are so many things to celebrate today!
First and foremost, it’s baaaaack! The NFL Lockout is finally over! Football fans everywhere can take solace in the fact that Sundays (and Sunday nights, and Monday nights, and sometimes Thursday nights) will soon be filled with football fan fare and festivities.
Secondly, it’s the commencement of National Grilling Month! So, I thought I would combine these two occasions by featuring a mouth-watering recipe that also happens to be a favorite of Vernon Davis, starting tight-end for the San Francisco 49ers (as featured in Morton’s The Cookbook). He’s a big fan of our steaks…especially the porterhouse.
If you’re enjoying this cut at Morton’s, you’ll have to special order it. If you’re preparing it at home for a celebratory backyard barbecue this weekend, you’ll have to make sure and slice it in front of your guests…and make them feel like they’re VIPs, I mean MVPs. (If you want to take the safer route, you can instead serve four 12-ounce porterhouse steaks, which are easier to find and taste just as good.)
Herb-Crusted Double Porterhouse
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 48-ounce porterhouse, 2 ½ to 3 inches thick, or four 12-ounce porterhouse steaks
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons Au Jus (click here to get this recipe)
- In a small bowl, mix together the basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and oil and stir to form a paste. You will have about 1 cup of paste.
- Rub the paste on both sides of the steak. Let the steak sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal or gas grill or preheat the broiler and position a rack 4 inches from the heating element. Before igniting the grill, lightly spray the grill rack with cooking spray.
- The coals should be medium-hot for the charcoal grill. The burners should be on high for the gas grill. If using a charcoal or gas grill, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If your oven will heat to 550 degrees, do so.
- Grill or broil the steak for about 5 minutes.
- Turn, using tongs, and grill the other side for about 5 minutes, just long enough to sear both sides so that the herb rub adheres to the meat and starts to turn crispy.
- Remove from the grill or broiler and transfer to a roasting pan.
- If you used a broiler, heat the oven to 500 degrees. If your oven will heat to 550 degrees, do so.
- Roast the steak in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes for medium-rare or the desired degree of doneness.
- Put the steak on a cutting board and let it rest for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Slice the steak ¼ inch thick, arrange on a serving platter, and spoon Au Jus over the slices, if desired.
Here’s to celebrating the return of football and sign-off of National Grilling Month!
Make sure to stop by Morton’s during the football season to enjoy specially priced Bar Bites and cocktails* and catch the game in the comfort of our bar! Or get a group of buddies together and enjoy the action in our private dining room with state-of-the-art A/V theaters.
*Hours and availability vary by location.
Even though we’re best known for our famous steaks, at Morton’s we don’t spend every moment behind the grill! Equally important to us is our commitment to charity and the sports community at large. Not only are we honored to be the “Official Steakhouse of the PGA TOUR,” but we’re extremely proud of all the heart-warming charitable events that we host throughout the year at our 77 Morton’s steakhouses around the world. From football and baseball greats at our Celebrity Server dinners to beloved Hall of Famers at Lunch with a Legend (LWAL), the art of giving – and serving up great memories – is alive and well at Morton’s!
LWAL: Deacon Jones and Vince Ferragamo at Morton’s The Steakhouse, Downtown Los Angeles
On July 20, football-minded fans enjoyed a great meal with NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones and former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo who had the room laughing and smiling from the first course through dessert.
Regarded as one of the best defensive ends of all time, Deacon Jones has played for the LA Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Washington Redskins. Ferragamo, who dominated the field when the LA Rams went to Super Bowl XIV, has played for the Buffalo Bills , Green Bay Packers, and even played in the Canadian Football League. Both took time out of there busy schedules to come into Morton’s The Steakhouse in Los Angeles on Figueroa Street and interact with their #1 fans.
ESPN radio hosts, Mark Willard and Max Kellerman, asked Jones and Ferragamo how they felt about Farmers Field and LA having a football team again and both agreed it would be great for the community – especially the fans!
To listen to the Deacon Jones and Vince Ferragamo podcast visit http://espn.go.com/espnradio/losangeles/play?s=la&id=6787756. To view the ESPN slideshow, click here.
Reported by Wayne Pua and Spenser Dayoub, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Downtown Los Angeles (Figueroa). Photo credit: ESPN Los Angeles.
Celebrity Server with Ryan Howard at Morton’s The Steakhouse, Philadelphia
On Thursday, July 21st, 2011, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard hosted his 2nd Celebrity Server event at Morton’s in Philadelphia. The event featured Howard and several of his teammates, including Cliff Lee, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, and many more, who all graciously traded in their gloves and caps for aprons and notepads, as they spent their night-off of the field serving guests a memorable steak dinner.
Not only did they donate their time, but Howard and his teammates also donated signed jerseys and other Phillies paraphernalia to the silent auction. Additional must-have items included a jersey from Boston Celtics small forward, Paul Pierce, and a signed Muhammad Ali boxing glove. All proceeds from the event’s ticket sales and silent auction went to the Ryan Howard Family Foundation to support underprivileged families in the greater Philadelphia region. A sold-out crowd of over two hundred guests were in attendance to support the cause. Launched in 2009, the foundation focuses on “improving quality of life” for disadvantaged youth and families in the Philadelphia and St. Louis metropolitan areas through the development and implementation of programs that advance education, nutrition, physical fitness, and socio-economic status.
For more coverage of the Ryan Howard Celeb Server event, visit Phillychitchat.com.
Reported by Alexa Darrow, Cashman and Associates. Photo credit: Alexa Darrow.
LWAL: Pat Fitzgerald at Morton’s The Steakhouse, Wacker Place
Over 70 guests gathered in the boardroom of Morton’s The Steakhouse Wacker Place on July 26, as ESPN’s Waddle & Silvy broadcast live with Northwestern University Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald for another installment in Morton’s acclaimed Lunch with a Legend Series. Diners enjoyed a signature Morton’s menu, including the famed Single Cut Filet Mignon with béarnaise and decadent Double Chocolate Mousse, while Fitzgerald discussed everything from Northwestern athletics to Chicago sports.
To listen to the Pat Fitzgerald podcast visit http://espn.go.com/espnradio/chicago/play?s=chicago&id=6803561.
Enjoy this Q&A with Pat Fitzgerald from ESPN Chicago: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/colleges/post/_/id/3260/fitzgerald-nu-means-that-much-to-me.
Reported by Lindsay Rafayko, Empower Public Relations. Photo credit: Lindsay Rafayko.
LWAL: Morgan Wootten at Morton’s The Steakhouse, Connecticut Avenue
Morton’s The Steakhouse – Connecticut Avenue
ESPN980’s “The Sports Fix” hosts Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro set up shop at Morton’s The Steakhouse in downtown DC today in front of a packed house of fans anxious to hear the guest of honor and legendary local high school basketball coach, Morgan Wootten .
Coach Wootten, the most successful basketball coach at any level…ever, joined guests for a lunch of (appropriately so) the best steak anywhere. Those in attendance got the chance to hear the legendary coach reflect on his time at DeMatha Catholic High School in nearby Hyattsville, MD where from 1956-2002 he earned an all-time record of 1274-192, making him the winningest coach in the history of the sport. How’s that for legendary?
The live discussion covered everything from Coach Wootten’s watershed win in 1965 over then undefeated Power Memorial Academy to his take on the best and most memorable moments in local DC sports history. Wootten recalled friend and fellow coach Red Auerbach telling him after a painful one point loss in triple overtime, “You became a spectator Morgan. You lost the feel of the game,” and therefore, he was told, he lost quite easily in fact. Wooten went on to remind the crowd both at Morton’s and over the airwaves that no matter what you endeavor in your life, you have to keep the feel of your game, and you’ll never win.
Over the two hours Wootten received resounding applause from the sold out crowd, but we would be remiss as The Official Steakhouse of the Washington Redskins if we failed to mention another round of applause that erupted midway through a news break. Host Kevin Sheehan broke from his interview with Coach Wootten to announce that today the Redskins re-signed wide receiver Santana Moss, former Baltimore Raven Donte Stallworth, and the Giants’ Barry Cofield.
All told, it was a great day for Washington sports fans at Morton’s!
Reported by Anthony Hesselius, Linda Roth Associates, Inc. Photo credit: Anthony Hesselius.
Today’s issue of “Wine Wednesday” introduces you to an incredible wine with an incredibly cool story. “Kung Fu Girl, Riesling, Columbia Valley, 2010,” featured on Morton’s Wines by the Glass list, is made by grapes harvested from a single rocky vineyard, resulting in a wine with lush aromatics and tons of flavor. Simply put…THIS GIRL ROCKS IT! And judging from its Facebook page, people are clamoring for more, from Albuquerque, to Georgia, to Toronto.
The winemaker, Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines, sports “big hair, big attitude and bold packaging” with his sought-after wines, which are also among the best values anywhere. Smith arrived in the Walla Walla Valley after managing rock bands in Scandinavia for 11 years. Originally from northern California, he has been involved with wine personally and professionally his entire life, and in 2009 was honored by Food & Wine as “American Wine Awards Winemaker of the Year.” As stated on the winery’s website, “He loves to drink wine!” and that “…despite his success, Smith remains a rocker at heart, with the 80-mph motorcycle habit to prove it.”
Kung Fu Girl is bursting with Asian pear, white peach and spring flowers. Apricot, pear, lime, and a pleasant minerality keep this off-dry wine at the perfect level of subtle sweetness. It’s a single vineyard Riesling planted in 1998 by Jerry Milbrandt, and the vineyard rows lie along a stretch of steep cliffs above the Columbia River. A cooler site due to river influence, the soils are composed of fragmented basalt, gravel, silt, and caliche deposited during ice age floods. This site produces fruit with sublime mineral character and the acid balance of which winemakers dream.
This wine is also very versitle and LOVES pairing with food. Spicy foods, rich foods, acidic foods…Riesling is a Sommelier’s friend. Off of Morton’s menu, it works well with our Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Sea Bass, Oysters, Prime Ocean Platter, Tuna Tartare, Shrimp Alexander, Chicken Christopher, Salmon….need I say more? PLUS, it’s a great wine if you’re heading out for a summer picnic. (Don’t forget to bring fresh berries. Riesling pairs wonderfully with fresh berries!) Or if you’re looking to stay in and cook, click on the Morton’s menus items listed above for the recipes.
I leave you with some of Smith’s most poignant sentiments…”Now stop thinking and start drinking.!” and, “It’s just booze – drink it!”
Certified Sommelier and Morton’s Beverage Manager
Last week, 13 Morton’s managers from various locations came together for “Morton’s University,” (MU) held at the company’s Restaurant Support Center (RSC) in Chicago, Illinois. This group of managers was the first to graduate from the newly revised four-day training program, and they all passed with flying colors!
While the RSC has been hosting MU for new restaurant managers since 2001, the program has been redesigned with a leadership development focus, and is now attended by managers at the end of a full 12-month training cycle.
The new MU is an interactive learning experience designed to build leadership skills within Morton’s four strategic focus areas: people, product, profit, and sales. In this high-level program, Morton’s managers bring their own experience to the learning environment, interacting with their peers and senior leadership to work through challenges, identify and capitalize on opportunities and hone their ability to lead within the Morton’s organization.
The program is taught first-hand by senior executives from the purchasing, finance marketing, development, HR, and legal departments. Instructors included Morton’s Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, Klaus Fritsch ; President and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Artinian; Sr. Vice President, CFO and Treasurer, Ron DiNella; Sr. Vice President of Operations, Kevin Weinert; and Sr. Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Roger Drake…to name just a few!
An exciting new feature to the program is the culminating activity, which gives managers a chance to apply key learnings from throughout the week. Participants work in cross-functional teams to conduct a SWOT analysis for a target location and develop an action plan based on key findings. But one thing about MU that hasn’t changed over the years is the behind-the-scenes tour of Stockyards, the purveyor of Morton’s prime steaks since it first opened for business back in 1978. It remains one of the most memorable highlights for our participants.
Morton’s is committed to the growth and development of its management team, as evidenced by a 12-month training cycle for all new managers that concludes with the Morton’s University leadership development experience. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the hospitality industry and becoming a leader at Morton’s The Steakhouse, click here to learn about how you can Be More. Be Morton’s.
Director of Training
Morton’s The Steakhouse
As National Grilling Month approaches its final week, do you find yourself running out of recipe ideas? Well, allow me to refill your arsenal of options. I wanted to share some unique..and simple!…recipes that use more creative ingredients and will be a nice complement to your grilled steak or seafood.
Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
(A hinged grilling basket makes cooking the potato wedges easier.)
2 pounds medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges each
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
- Light the grill.
- In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, simmer the potatoes until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
- Drain, transfer to a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, black pepper and cayenne.
- Grill over moderate heat for about 15 minutes, turning, until tender and lightly charred.
- Serve warm.
Zucchini and Summer Squash with Oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-by-2-inch sticks
1 pound yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-by-2-inch sticks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
- Heat the oil in a skillet.
- Add the zucchini, squash, salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until the vegetables begin to brown and are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
- Stir in the oregano.
Grilled Bananas with Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce
(This dessert is easy to make on a cleaned rack after grilling a main course.)
½ gallon favorite vanilla ice cream
4 firm-ripe bananas
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- Prepare grill.
- Peel bananas and halve lengthwise.
- In a shallow baking pan large enough to hold bananas in one layer, stir together butter and brown sugar and add bananas, tossing gently to coat.
- Transfer bananas with a metal spatula to an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals and grill until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. (If bananas are difficult to handle you may grill them on 1 side only.)
- Serve bananas like a banana split with ice cream and chocolate sauce.
I hope you have some fun with these recipes. I’ll be back next Friday to offer up some more tips and recipes. In the meantime, I’m curious to know…What’s the most unique food you’ve prepared on the grill?
Morton’s is the “Official Steakhouse of the PGA TOUR,” and there are several opportunities for our guests to celebrate this partnership, both on and off the course. In all U.S. Morton’s restaurants, we’re featuring exclusive “Above Par” wine selections, i.e. “golfer wine” selections. Earlier this month, I started featuring our “Above Par” wines, including Greg Norman Estates and Jack Nicklaus Wines. For this week’s “Wine Wednesday,” we conclude the series with Ernie Els, “Signature,” Bordeaux Blend, Stellenbosch.
The winemaker and managing director for the Ernie Els Winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa is Louis Strydom. On the winery’s website, his biography explains that “Louis has walked the long road with Ernie since the brands inception during 1999 and has been father to each and every wine produced.” He is a winemaker that is passionate about terroir and has a complete understanding of how his vines perform. His attention to detail comes through in the bottle!
Mr. Els embarked on this wine venture simply for the love of red wines, and he continues to be heavily involved in the tasting process at the winery. His hands-on approach gives his wines great focus and depth of character.
Like the other golfers behind our “Above Par” wines, Mr. Els is also an incredibly generous philanthropist. In 2009, he and his wife, Liezl, established the Els for Autism Foundation and are currently raising funds to finance the Els Center of Excellence. It’s a cause that’s close to the Els’ hearts, because their son was diagnosed with Autism. In a heartfelt message to those affected by Autism or supporting his foundation, he says, “Years from now, people may remember me as a golfer and a major champion. But I’d like also to be remembered as somebody who took the issue of Autism and did something with it. The rest of my life, I’ll be fighting this thing…I hope you’ll join me.”
And with that, I hope you’ll join me in saluting these talented and generous men behind our “Above Par” wine selections.
To learn more about Morton’s and the PGA TOUR, including exclusive restaurant events and opportunities to help support Birdies for the Brave, a PGA TOUR charity, please visit www.mortons.com/pgatour.
“Cubs fans are the greatest. These are the best fans by far.” – Andre Dawson
One of the greatest baseball players in history, Andre Dawson sat down with Cubs fans for the latest “Lunch with a Legend” at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Chicago at Wacker Place. After warmly acknowledging applauds from a sea of Cubs and Dawson jerseys, “The Hawk”, discussed his storied and accolade-heavy career during the live taping of ESPN 1000′s The Waddle & Silvy Show . During the legendary lunch, the former National League Rookie of the Year (Montreal Expos) and Most Valuable Player (Chicago Cubs) answered fan questions and hung out to take pictures and autograph memorabilia.
At one point, Marc “Silvy” Silverman noticed that Dawson, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010, was wearing his World Series ring from 2003 with the Florida Marlins (they beat the Chicago Cubs in the semifinals). Silvy asked if Dawson, who currently works as a Special Assistant to the President of the Florida Marlins, felt guilty about beating the Chicago Cubs during the playoffs. Dawson admitted the toughest part was the reaction from Cubs fans.
“It was bittersweet. I couldn’t enjoy the moment because I really saw the hurt (from the Chicago Cubs fans),” recalls Dawson. “When you heard the hush that came through the ballpark and how the fans knew that it was just snatch away from them. Of course I was excited for the Florida Marlins organization. That’s where my loyalty was, but [Chicago] was a team I had followed throughout the whole season.”
Not only was Dawson one of six players to have attained 300 homeruns and 300 stolen bases for a career highlight, he redefined the meaning of a gentleman athlete and a team player. Or as Silvy likes to say: A CLASS ACT!
Still hungry? Click here to learn more about Morton’s ‘Lunch with a Legend’ series throughout the U.S.
Did you know we’re half-way through National Grilling Month? Even though we talked a lot about grilling in June, in celebration of National Steakhouse Month (aren’t all these summer holidays fun, though?!?), I’m always looking for a reason to talk about cooking, grilling and meat. That said, I wanted to share some of my favorite tips and recipes, and today is the first of three “Friday Features” in July when I’ll do just that.
While grilling is something I’m very comfortable with, I know it can be confusing and intimidating for some people. I made a video a while back that helps explain where to buy your steaks, what to look for, and how to best prepare your meat, and I thought it warranted another go-round.
I also wanted to show you pictures of the different cuts of steaks, because I know a visual can be helpful for some people.
If all of this is old news, and you want to test your chops on how much you REALLY know about grilling, I invite you to take this online quiz from TLC’s website. Don’t worry…no one’s being graded, and your dinner guests will never know how you scored.
Speaking of dinner guests, I’ll share some great grilling recipes during next week’s feature that will make you look like a Grillling Guru at your next backyard barbeque. In the meantime, feel free to search our blog for recipes and tips or look for Morton’s Steak Bible online or at your nearest bookstore!
As the summer heats up, so do the A+ list celebrity sightings at Morton’s The Steakhouse! Since announcing that we’re “The Official Steakhouse of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour” (this also marks Morton’s first official league-wide sports partnership!) some of the greatest and most colorful golf players in the world have dined with their families and friends at one of our 77 steakhouses.
From beautiful Oscar-winning actresses (Hilary Swank and Diane Keaton) and hunky actors (Rob Lowe and Bruce Willis), to prime-time comedians (George Lopez and D.L. Hughley) and legendary NASCAR drivers (Junior Johnson, Kyle Busch and Matt Crafton) you never know who you’ll sit next to at Morton’s!
Throughout June, Morton’s welcomed…
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank
St. Louis Cardinals Mark Hamilton
Seattle Mariners Justin Smoak, Chris Gimenez, and Jeff Gray
Atlanta – Buckhead
Carolina Panthers QB and NFL Draft #1 overall pick Cam Newton
Boxing promoter Don King
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Dara Torres
Basketball player Jérôme Moïso- Owner of the Florida Panthers Cliff Viner
Boston (Back Bay)
Former MLB pitcher Pedro Martinez
Comedian and talk show host George Lopez
Movie director Guy Ritchie
NASCAR legends Junior Johnson, Kyle Busch and Matt Crafton
MLB VP of Baseball Operations and former MLB manager Joe Torre
Former President of Mexico Vincente Fox
Former NBA player Austin Carr
Texas Rangers’ Manager Ron Washington and players
Cleveland Indians Travis Hafner
Musician Wolfgang Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli
Cleveland Cavaliers President Len Komorski, GM Chris Grant, Head Coach Byron Scott, players Christian Eyenga, Samardo Samuels, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson
Miami Heat Udonis Haslem
NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashad
Actress Diane Keaton
Former Mayor of Dallas Tom Leppert
Comedian D.L. Hughley
Radio broadcaster for Denver Broncos Dave Logan
Former Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino
Rapper Ja Rule
Owner of Anderson’s Conn Valley and Ghost Horse Vineyards Todd Anderson
Cake Boss Buddy Valestro
Morton’s Board of Directors member William Anton
Former NFL player Herschel Walker
PGA golf instructor Butch Harmon
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki, Dominique Jones, and Brian Cardinal
Radio personality Sid Rosenberg
Actor, writer, and political personality Ben Stein
Mayor of Nashville Karl Dean
Former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister
Oscar-winning special effects makeup artist Greg Cannom
New Orleans Hornets Aaron Gray
Hollywood producer Randall Emmett
Jazz musicians Jeremy Davenport and Irvin Mayfield
Actor Bruce Willis
Former Mayor of New Orleans Ray C. Nagin
Senator Barbara Boxer
Washington Nationals Jayson Werth, Laynce Nix, and Rick Ankiel
Baltimore Ravens Terrell Suggs
Businessman Charles Keating
Washington Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan
CBS news anchor Angela Pellerano
Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling
Actor Rob Lowe
Golf legend Chi Chi Rodriguez
Seattle Mariners Miguel Olivo and Adam Kennedy
Los Angeles Angels pitchers Jered Weaver, Joel Pineiro, and Dan Haren
Members of the Dallas Stars
Retired English footballer Andy Cole
Avril Lavigne and Brody Jenner
Retired NHL players Sergei Fedorov and Chris Chelios
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Senator Robert Menendez
Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis
Former White House Press Corp Helen Thomas
Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizz
Matt Kuchar (Bethesda)
Joe Affrunti (Chicago – State)
John Jacobs (Scottsdale)
Jerry Kelly (Hartford)
Bob Tway (Hartford)
Scott Verplank (Hartford)
Ian Poulter (Hartford)
Kirk Triplett (Phoenix)
Rod Pampling (King of Prussia)
Tim “Lumpy” Herron (King of Prussia)
Patrick Cantlay (King of Prussia)
Nick Watney (King of Prussia)
Pat Perez (King of Prussia)
K.J. Choi (King of Prussia)
Bruce Lietzke (Seattle)
Last week’s “Wine Wednesday” blog post launched our “Above Par” wine series. I’m exploring the three incredible golfer wines that Morton’s is featuring as the Official Steakhouse of the PGA TOUR and started off the series with Greg Norman Estates.
For this week’s “Wine Wednesday,” I’m featuring Jack Nicklaus Wines, specifically the Jack Nicklaus, “Private Reserve,” Meritage from from Napa that we proudly offer at all U.S. Morton’s locations. (Click here for a beef tenderloin recipe that’s recommended as an entree pairing for this wine or search our blog for ‘beef tenderloin’ for other options.) As the story goes, Mr. Nicklaus had to be persuaded for several years before he decided to take the plunge into the wine world. When he made the leap, he chose to work with the esteemed Terlato family of Terlato Wines International.
So who really makes this wine? The winemaker who oversees day-to-day operations on the Nicklaus line-up is Marisa Taylor Huffaker. She is a winemaker in Napa whose main job is with Rutherford Hill Winery…a winery that has won many awards. Marisa was born and raised in wine country and has worked her way through the industry at such wineries as Piper Sonoma, J and has even spent some time in Italy to hone her skills. She graduated from the University of California, Davis, first with a B.S. in Chemistry and then an M.S. in Food Science/Enology.
But back to Jack…
His legacy includes not only a successful golf career and an impressive wine portfolio, it also includes golfcourse designer, businessman and philanthropist. He and his wife, Barbara, created the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the health, safety and well-being of children in their local community. And in 2010, Mr. Nicklaus, along with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, came together for “The Big 3” — a one-day event that raised an historic $15.1 million dollars for the Mountain Mission Kids!
Yet another impressive golfer wine (and golfer) that we’re proud to feature on our “Above Par” wine list. I’ll conclude this series next week with the story behind Ernie Els, “Signature,” Bordeaux Blend, Stellenbosch.