We hate to brag, but we think our talented team at Michael's Wine Cellar may have had a hand in a major achievement at our adjacent Restaurant, Michael's On East. Here's the full announcement as Michael's On East receives its first-ever "Best of Award of Excellence" from Wine Spectator!
Michael’s On East Earns its First-Ever Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” Restaurant Award in 2017.
After 25 Consecutive Years in “Award of Excellence” Category, the Restaurant is Honored with an Upgrade in Award Level during 30th Anniversary Year Michael’s On East Among 3,592 Winners Worldwide; Full 2017 Dining Guide Revealed in Wine Spectator’s August Issue [Sarasota, Fla.] (July 27, 2017)
Michael’s On East has been honored for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator’s 2017 Restaurant Awards. The Restaurant is recognized among other winners from all over the globe as a top destination for wine lovers. After 25 consecutive years being recognized with the “Award of Excellence,” Michael’s On East won its first-ever “Best of Award of Excellence” honor this year.
“Our unique wine program is a true prize of the Michael’s operation, boasting 12,700 bottles on property. It’s certainly an outstanding time to be honored with this upgraded award as we marked our Restaurant’s 30th anniversary this past spring,” said Michael Klauber, Co-Proprietor of Michael’s On East.Klauber’s personal experience with the Wine Spectator restaurant award program dates back decades as he accepted the “Grand Award” in 1982 for the wine program he created on Longboat Key at The Colony. “Every detail at Michael’s On East is designed with our discerning guests in mind as they enjoy inventive cuisine with fine wines–often from winemakers we have enjoyed personal relationships with for many years! Our guests also have the unique benefit of purchasing wines they discover on the Restaurant’s wine list from our adjacent retail store, Michael’s Wine Cellar. We take tremendous pride in providing remarkable wine experiences for true wine lovers, and couldn’t be more excited to receive the ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ distinction this year,” Klauber added.“Restaurants continue to raise their game when it comes to wine, and we are particularly proud to present this year’s winners,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor & Publisher, Wine Spectator. “As wine becomes more important to diners, the Awards program is thriving—with an increasing number of entries, as well as growing print, digital and social audiences. Wine Spectator congratulates each and every award winner.”
Wine Spectator began its program to recognize the world’s best wine lists in 1981. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award—with 2,335; 1,168; and 89 winners this year in each respective category. The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Best of Award of Excellence recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions. The Grand Award is the program’s highest honor. The complete list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue, currently on newsstands and online at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com, where visitors can search and access exclusive content on the more than 3,500 restaurants. The full list is also available for free on iOS via the Restaurant Awards app, which allows users to look for dining spots in any location with maps, choosing by wine strengths, cuisine type, pricing and more. Follow the Restaurant Awards on Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.
About Wine Spectator Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches more than 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 18,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.
About Michael’s On East Michael’s On East was founded on April 27, 1987. Located at 1212 East Avenue South in Midtown Plaza, the iconic restaurant is open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, open for dinner 6 p.m. to close Monday through Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to close on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sundays, with the exception of Easter and Mother’s Day each year. The establishment is the winner of the 2009 Fine Dining Hall of Fame and received their 28th consecutive AAA Four-Diamond Award as well as the Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence in 2017. Michael’s On East is a contemporary fine dining restaurant featuring an extraordinary supper club atmosphere, inspired cuisine and an intimate piano bar. Michael’s Events & Catering is Sarasota’s premiere caterer creating memorable events from candlelit dinners for two to dazzling galas for 1,000. Michael’s Wine Cellar hosts more than 1,000 International estate-bottled wines including more than 200 domaine wines under $20, boutique spirits and craft beers. Michael’s Wine Cellar is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 941-366-0007 or visit www.bestfood.com.
Another Tale by Sean King of Michael's Wine Cellar... Among most of the people in my circle, I am known as the wine guy. (I know it’s a cliché, but if I had a $1 for every time someone asked me a variation of the question “Have you had this wine?” or “Do you like this wine?” …. Well you get the idea). Needless to say, people like coming to my house because of the good food, good conversation and good wine. If my guests actually have an interest in wine, inevitably the conversation steers that way.
We Have So Much in Common... A well-made wine is capable of so much. I believe interesting wines often start conversations that boring wines could never inspire. Captivating wines can bring a dynamic commonality to simple cheese and appetizer get-togethers that can make the evening much more memorable than a fancy four-course, sit-down dinner party… Wine is like almost anything else that will inspire discussion - whether it be cars, art, movies or food. Consider a group of guys sitting at an outdoor patio drinking beer. They won’t take notice of a brand new VW Jetta that is parked out front, but if a 1963 black-on-black MGB pulls up and parks these guys are likely to start a conversation with the owner which would lead to a discussion about their dream cars and the cars they have owned. If there are other guys around it is quite possible that strangers will join in because of the simple commonality.
Another Glass? Of Course... Last Monday in the Michael’s On East Lounge, Nancy from the Wine Cellar, Tyler the GM of the Restaurant, Kim Mancini and I met for some appetizers and to try a wine. Knowing full well that Kim and Nancy are huge Chardonnay fans, I opened a just-released 2015 Aubert Chardonnay. (Mark Aubert makes some of the most sought-after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California and the fact that Michael’s was able to secure a case is quite a testament to how important we are to the wine community.) I also chose this wine because Tyler is on the Aubert mailing list. After I pulled the cork and poured a little in each person’s glass our corner section was filled with toasty citrus blossom. None of us could not get over the complexity. It was both rich and refreshing and it started a conversation when Nancy asked how Mark Aubert can do this when almost no one else can. I said that what’s makes Mark a master. Tyler told stories of his last trip to Napa to a Chardonnay barrel tasting and Kim said, “I need to have Phil get me a couple bottles!” I talked about barrel delivery day that happens in early August when the truck backs up to the winery and off come 75 brand-new French Burgundy barrels and the smell of that toasted wood when I put my nose in the opening. As we were all getting up to leave a woman came up to me and asked “How does one get invited to your table?” I said: “You need to like well-made wine and then just show up. We are here most Mondays.”
This summer's Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club journeys advance as Michael & Terri Klauber and Ryan Hilton of Admiral Travel continue to surprise travelers with remarkable wine experiences in the bush, in addition to wildlife viewing on safari drives. Over the past week, the group has enjoyed spending time with Olive and Anthony Russell of Hamilton Russell Vineyards while on safari and an extravagent tasting at Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek. Our team in the Wine Cellar would be happy to introduce to you wines from both of these fabulous properties! Click here to browse wines from South Africa through our michaelswinecellar.com online wine shop. Stay tuned for more photos this coming week! We invite you to join the GCCC's next culinary journey(s) around the world: Sip & Savor Europe & Taste of the British Isles. Reservations are booking quickly for these 2018 adventures!
Disclaimer: Who knows what Sean King of Michael's Wine Cellar has to share this week! References to mature subject matter will be minimal, but possible. The good news? You should already be 21 years old if you're reading our michaelswinecellar.com blog! Love Affairs and One Night Stands with Wine by Sean King, Wine Specialist with Michael's Wine Cellar People who know me have often heard me wax poetic about the similarities between wine and dating. The analogy holds up in today’s world of higher alcohol and high extraction wines. Being in the wine business, I often taste 500-1,000 wines a year and – like that first encounter with a romantic interest - I know from the initial taste/conversation whether or not I want to spend more time getting to it/them better.
Wish they all could be California wines? I would love to take credit for comparing wines to dating, but I must confess it was inspired by the late Denis Mortet over lunch in San Francisco. We were trying wines and I gave him some Pinot Noir I made that I was proud of (Robert Parker gave it 95 points). I was eager to get Denis's opinion. So you all know: I loved his wines from Gevrey, France, and I was not alone in believing Denis was one of a handful of the best winemakers in Burgundy. I poured some of my single vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir into his glass and watched as he swirled it, smelled it and then tasted it. He then said it was “a little forward and whorish” and it didn’t remind him of any of the past loves of his life. It was a wine conversation I will never forget. The late Denis Mortet Fast forward to Michael's late last year. My all-star sommelier friend Dan from Chicago was in town for a couple of days and we were in the Michael's On East Lounge drinking wine. I brought a bottle of the 2006 Molly Dooker “Velvet Glove.” It’s a wine that costs about $175 and boasts an abc (alcohol by volume content) of about 16% because Dan is the ONLY somm I know that does not lie about liking insanely high alcohol wines with copious amounts of new oak. I told him that it was the “high class hooker of wines.” It is ripe, forward and downright slutty. It is a good dinner companion who you might want to spend the night with, but you won’t want to start a relationship with it. The next night we walked into Michael's Wine Cellar and selected a 2012 Jean Grivot Nuits St George “Aux Boudots.” We opened the wine and decanted it. Dan and I - as well as Michael - all agreed that this wine was really, really good.
A Woman of Substance Denis Mortet’s explanation of Burgundy goes something like this: Great Pinot Noir is all things sexy, seductive and feminine with a strong muscular backbone of integrity. Great Pinot Noir should be wines that a person will want to spend a lifetime getting know much like the great loves of our lives. Dan, Michael and I agreed that as delicious as the Grivot was, it was a wine we could date, but it certainly wasn’t marriage material and with that we raised a glass to Denis Mortet.
We continue to celebrate their Bordeaux Chateaux with a special online sale this spring. Please be sure to shop now as these "Bordeaux Madness" special prices are available only for a limited time. (Plus many of these extraordinary vintages are limited as well!)Click here to take advantage of special sale prices on these fine Bordeaux wines. BORDEAUX MADNESS BEGINS TODAY!