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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People are talking about us!

With only a month or so of blogging under our belts we are feeling comfortable in the blogoshpere thanks to our fellow bloggers. Check them out!

What’s My Deal
This local blogger is talking about our Wine Tasting Tuesday’s. She loved the good deal, the sparkling wine and Paul’s knowledge.

Stout Photography
One local photographer gets married at the Firehouse and another captures it on film and blogs about it! The couple got ready at the Citizen Hotel and the photos at both locations are beautiful.

Thanks to our fellow bloggers. Once we get better at this we hope to return the favor.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Me & the Society of Wine Educators

Wine Educators logo

This a guest post by Mario Ortiz, General Manager and Sommelier of The Firehouse.

The 33rd Annual Conference of the Society of Wine Educators was held July 27 through August 1, here in Sacramento. I was invited to participate on a panel of Master Sommeliers to discuss the characteristics and issues surrounding being named to Wine Spectator’s Grand Award wine list. The discussion included marketing, storage, corkage, style, size and mark-up.  It was an honor to be part of this panel, which also included:

  • Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier, Director of Educational American Chapter of Court of Master Sommeliers, NY
  • David Glancy – Master Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator, Wine School
  • Len Schults – Co-founder, CEO, Winequest.com
  • Paul Roberts – Master Sommelier, Estate Sommelier, Bond Estates, Harlan Estate, French Laundry, Per Sé, Bouchon and Ad Hoc
  • Alfonso Cevola – Writer and wine Director in Italy, “On the Wine Trails in Italy”

The discussion was passionate and knowledgeable. The group was particularly animated about Wine Spectator giving the Award of Excellence to a FAKE restaurant! The “restaurant”,  Osteria L’Intrepido, submitted a wine list with the following wines:

  • Amorone Classico “La Fabriseria” 1998 (Veneto) Tedeschi, 185.00 Euros. Wine Spectator Rating: 60 points.  “Unacceptable.  Sweet and Cloying.  Smells like bug spray.”
  • Banbaresco ASIJ, 1985. (Piedmonte) Ceretto, 135.00 Euros, Wine Spectator rating: 64 points.  “…Earthy, swampy, gamy, harsh and tannic…”

Following the riveting discussion,  some of us had lunch at The Firehouse with two M.S’s and two CWE’s Sommeliers. Paul Roberts, Master Sommelier, chose the 1998, Bordeaux, La Mission, Haut Brion from our cellar.  It was simply magnificent – with rose petals dipped in chocolate, tobacco and intense dusty tannins – with a long seamless finish.  My choice was to follow with the 2004 Bond Pluribus from Napa Valley – a Latour-like POWERHOUSE that has great balance, layers of rich black fruit and was enjoyed by all.

One of the highlights of the lunch was the agreement that Paul would partner with The Firehouse in one of our wine dinner programs (thanks to the 1998 La Mission, Haut Brion).  This will be one of the special dinners that you surely will not want to miss.  The World Famous Harlan Estates Napa Valley, Bond Estates Napa Valley and The Firehouse Wine Makers Dinner in early 2010.

Published in: on August 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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