The History of Wine Tasting Tuesdays

Wine cellar front

Every Tuesday evening, the sommeliers of the Firehouse Restaurant offer wine tastings. With a different theme each week, patrons can look forward to trying any wine from Pinot Noir to Zinfandel to Merlot while also having fun learning about where the wine comes from. The best part is that guests get to enjoy their wine in the historical atmosphere of the famous Firehouse wine cellar. These popular wine tastings have led to a loyal following for The Firehouse, and it attracts many newcomers as well.

General Manager and Wine Buyer, Mario Ortiz, is the inventor of Wine Tasting Tuesdays, and the reason people get to enjoy vintage wines each week. “We wanted to have a time for our guests to talk wine, learn about it, and enjoy it in our wonderful wine cellar while also showing our commitment to providing the most varieties of wine in the region,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz, a faithful employee to The Firehouse for over 40 years, has become a highly respected wine expert. His ideas such as Wine Tasting Tuesdays help The Firehouse keep a top-notch reputation for fine dining and quality wine. His expertise stems from his visits to Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, France, Italy, and the Foothills.

Each week Ortiz comes up with new and different themes for Wine Tasting Tuesdays. The Firehouse strives to give a unique experience each time, so changing the wine themes each week is important. “The most enjoyable part of Wine Tasting Tuesdays,” said Ortiz, “are the new guests that I get to meet. To earn their respect and confidence in our wine program, and when they come back for dinner or a glass of wine, is the most rewarding part.”

His method for choosing the themes? It’s a good mix of some his favorites and experiences he has had with wine, but most importantly, finding something that will connect to new guests as well as regulars.  “Wine makes for a great conversation and great memories.  Having wonderful food with it  just completes the moment.”

Join The Firehouse on Tuesdays for a unique and educational wine experience. Wine Tasting Tuesdays are held every week from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm for $15 per person. The Firehouse also does a weekly contest on Facebook for two free tickets.

Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tasting Tuesday Presents: Up Highway 50

untitledJoin us tonight as we savor wines from our proverbial backyard. Highway 50 leads to one of the first great wine regions in the U.S. with Amador County, Plymouth, and El Dorado being chock full of great varietals such as Zinfandel, Barbera, Viognier, and so much more. Check us out and try some Old Vine Zin from a vineyard that dates back to the turn of the century. See you at 5:30, $15. -PM

Published in: on March 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tasting Tuesday Heads to Southern Italy…..

……Sort of.  We will stay here at The Firehouse Restaurant and experience some great wines produced in some of the greatest parts of Italy that you may not always here about.  A white wine from Campania, reds from Scicily, Morellino di Scansano,  and Puglia. We will talk about cultural influences and history and how that has affected winemaking since before the Romans. Starts at 5:30, hope to see you there. $15 per person.

Published in: on January 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spanish Wine Focus This Week

A few loves of my life are my family, what I do for a living, and espicially the Spanish wines I get to taste. For many of you who come to the tastings we have here at The Firehouse, you know that sometimes I can ramble on a bit once someone brings up Rioja, or tempranillo, and garnacha. I had a chance many years ago to visit Spain and drive through the wine country from Madrid up to Rioja. No offense to my Napa friends, but the driving here is crazier.

Spain has a great heritage in winemaking and some of the most renowned aged whites come from here as well. The Spanish wine culture has a bit of this and that such as sparkling wines with Cava, light floral and fruity whites with albariño and verdejo, viura which ages for decades in oak before release, and reds that cover light zingers to deep rich super reds. The wine indusrty in Spain is starting to boom like never before and cutting edge wineries and winemaking are leading the way. Take a chance and have the next bottle you try be a tempranillo from Rioja, monastrell form Jumilla, garnacha from Priorat, or La Mancha blended wine. I bet you will have quite an experience as we did this past Tuesday. Next Tuesday we will take a journey to Southern Italy with the tasting, stay tuned……

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

California Wine Month at The Firehouse


Did you know there is an entire month dedicated to celebrating wine?  September is California wine month and dozens of wineries and restaurants plan to hold special events and tastings throughout the month.  The Firehouse is celebrating with a very special Chef’s Tasting Menu, and will feature a different California wine each Wine Tasting Tuesday.

Chef’s Tasting Menu:

Chef Deneb’s Tasting Menu features five delicious courses paired with exquisite California wines.  From the Dungeness Crab Cocktail paired with the 2008 Luna Pinot Grigio from Napa Valley to the Fromage Blanc Cheesecake paired with the N.V. Laetitia Brut Cuvée from Arroyo Grande Valley, there is something special for every palate.

Click here to view September Chef’s Tasting Menu.

Wine Tasting Tuesdays:

Join in the fun while learning!  Our sommeliers lead the tasting with a different theme every Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 pm.  Only $15 per person . . . or win two free passes during our weekly Facebook Trivia Contest.   For more information visit our website.

September 4: Napa’s Mountains

September 11: Coastal California

September 18: SoCal Wines

September 25: California’s Bubbles

Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tasting Tuesday Welcomes the Robert Biale Winery Gang!

Join us this Tuesday at 5:30 for some fun tastings of older and newer Biale gems. Specializing in Zinfandel, we will be able to hear stories new and old and what is coming up from them. Ever had Old Pato? Pollo Bianco? Pilgramage? Join us and see. $10, Tuesday @ 5:30 with me, Paul Marsh and some friends of the feather- Black Chicken anyone?

Published in: on October 20, 2011 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Celebrate the Côtes du Rhône AOC

Join us for great fun and conversation at the upcoming Wine Tasting Tuesday! Our sommeliers will lead the tasting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. for only $10 per person.

On September 13, 2011, we will be celebrating the Côtes du Rhône AOC.

This major appellation of the Rhône region of France produces approximately 419 million bottles and features numerous varietals including Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan and more.

These wines are known to be wonderfully hearty, full of character and great for pairing with food. Featured wines at this tasting may include M. Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes-Hermitage and Delas St. Esprit Cotes-du-Rhone.

We hope to see you there!

Published in: on September 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wine Tasting Tuesdays: Down (50)

Join us this Tuesday, September 6 as Firehouse Sommelier Mario Ortiz and special guest Tom Quinn, a representative from the Sobon and Shenandoah estates, discuss top-notch wineries located in the Foothills, down from Highway 50.

“The Sobon family (owners of the Sobon and Shenandoah wineries) are modern day pioneers in the wine world,” Ortiz said.  “Lee Sobon and his son Paul are the architects of these popular Amador County wines.  They’re a small family with a huge following!”

Along with a delicious blend of cheeses, those in attendance will also enjoy a variety of “big zinfandels and exciting whites!”

2008 Estate Reserve Zinfandel, Sobon Estate
2009 Fiddletown Zinfandel, Sobon Estate
2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Shenandoah Vineyards
2010 Viognier, Shenandoah Vineyards

Tastings start at 5:30 p.m. at The Firehouse and cost $15 per person.

Published in: on September 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday Tasting Limited! First 25!

This Tuesday we will have a guest speaker on “What Makes a Cult Wine,” so seating is very limited! We will taste a few wines from Napa and hear how some of the major cult wines came to prominence. I will share stories on Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow and a few others, as well as how ground swells of heresay and limited production can drive a wine to cult status. Please be here by 5:30 pm, as we are sure to fill quickly for the first 25. $10 per person. See you Tuesday. -Paul

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spring Whites and Rosés Tasting Tuesday

This Tuesday at 5:30 we break into Spring with a few fun wines to get us ready for the season ahead. What is a CDR Blanc? Show up on Tuesday and find out. $10 = lots of fun and knowledge.-p

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm  Leave a Comment