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WHAT'S HAPPENING IN VINO?
Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya has a blog full of information and insight into the world of wine

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a personal perspective on the world of wine


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For restaurant reservations call 524-8466 or visit out website at https://vinohawaii.com/
Email Ann at ataketa@dkrestaurants.com for all event reservations
”Roasted Cracked Crab”    Sunday, April 1st

Crab created by VINO Chef Keith Endo!  As is the case on these kinds of nights, this special will be on a first come, first serve basis so come early!DungenessWe have had soooooo many requests, so here it is again!  On this night we will again be offering the VINO Roasted Cracked
 
Roasted Cracked Crab
roasted with brown butter, chili flakes and  basil
 
We will also be serving VINO’s regular menu as well.
Remember these specials run out quickly, so come early.
 
”Fresh Oysters”  Tuesday, April 3rd 
It is still oyster season in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s time to do it again!   VINO Chef Keith Endo has a really cool connection to get some really fresh, succulent oysters.  What would you drink with fresh oyster?
 
Raw
ogo, Maui onion & kukui nut
 
First come first serve.
This is in addition to our regular VINO menu
“A Quartet of Sicilian Reds”  Thursday, April 5th
 
Italy, like most wine growing countries of the world, offers many, very different pockets of wines to explore and or this tasting, we will focus on what the island of Sicily has to offer..  The topography and arid climate is different here than other regions. It’s been a long time of searching and networking to find the right quartet of wine to present and we are absolutely thrilled with this line up.   Please join us on this journey, I think it will show what true Sicilian wines can be. 

Portelli
This family owned estate was founded in 1863 in the southeastern corner of Sicily, west of Modica and Ragusa, the town of Vittoria.  The Portellis were, in fact, among the first growers in the Vittoria area and welcomed many others over the years. The Portellis have mastered the maceration and extraction to get the most out of their grapes—their wines are loaded with charm and luscious fruit while possessing plenty of structure on the backend. They grow two varieties: Frappato and Nero d’Avola, the latter known locally as Calabrese. Calabrese shows much more elegance here in the soils of Vittoria than it does in other areas of Sicily, where it tends to earn its keep as a wine of brawn and power. The Portellis are crafting Calabrese with elegance and refinement, country charm wrapped in suede”.
 
 2015 “Vittoria Frappato”
We normally look for the Frappato grape variety for its sumptuous, forward, pleasure giving fruit, akin to biting into a ripe, orchard fruit with its initial “crunch”. The vines were planted in 1982 in more clay dominated soils. This is certainly one of the finest examples of what Frappato can be and will help set a new standard for us accordingly.
 
 2014 “Cerasuolo di Vittoria”
Vittoria is the home of Sicily’s sole DOCG (Italy’s strictest form of wine certification), known as Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Cerasuolo is an enlightened blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, and the two grapes when blended create a harmonious symphony of flavor and texture. Well-made Cerasuolo has a medium-bodied, sensual, seductive personality, and the Portelli family has mastered this fine example of southern Sicilian charm”.  70% Calabrese, 30% Frappato, grown
in clay-limestone within the Classico (highest quality) subzone.

2015 Masseria del Pino Etna Rosso “i nove fratelli”
This wine captures Etna of old and its simple, peaceful life style, where it is hard to tell which century we are living in.  Their renovated, but traditional, old farmhouse features an old press and large fermentation vats made of lava stone.  Their old, terraced 120 year old vines are organically and biodynamically farmed at 2600 feet in elevation.   A blend of 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% Nerello Cappuccio is foot stomped in stone vats and then aged for fifteen months in 500 liter old barrels.
 
2016 Vignetti Vecchio Etna Rosso “Sciare Vive”
Husband, Carmelo Vecchio and wife, Rosa La Guzza are true locals to the Island. Their “Sciare Vive” Rosso—comes from 1.5 hectares (1600 to 2000 meters in elevation) and innately captures the rustic character of the wild countryside it is grown in and definitely the most interesting of the Sicilian red wines we have had to date.  90% Nerello Mascalese, 10% mostly white indigenous varieties (Minnella, Inzolia, Carricante, Grecanico, Catarratto, Malvasia) for aromatics, refinement and texture.
 
There you have it,  four sensational wines.
$35 a person (not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at ataketa@dkrestaurants.com

Sunday, April 8th 
WINE & FOOD WORKSHOP
 
Please don’t feel you needed to have attended any previous tastings.
 
In addition to Wine 101,  we offer a Wine & Food Workshop class to further understand the  world of food and wine.
 
For this one, we will be tasting two trios of wine, looking to explore the differences between fruit driven, oak driven and earth/mineral driven. (We have some fabulous, new “discoveries” to show you).  Then we will serve a small food tidbit with each trio which will hopefully shed a different light on each wine on how it interacts with food.  Yes, this is another learning opportunity!
 
Please note—the last time, these classes sell out fast, so please act quickly.
 
In addition, tasting participants will receive a 25% discount on our regular VINO menu items from 5:30 to 6:30pm, right after the tasting, to make sure you get something in your stomach before leaving.  This tasting will be by reservation only.  Please call….524-8466 or email Ann at ataketa@dkrestaurants.com
”Paella Night”  Sunday, April 8th
 
Chef Keith and the guys make their version of paella and I don’t think you can call it classic, but it is soooo good!  Our guests went crazy over this the last go around!  You have to come in and try this one, it is as unbelievable as our roasted cracked crab!  It has been a VINO regular favorite.
 
This is in addition to our regular VINO menu
“Home-Made Pasta Night” Tuesday,  April 11th
 
Chef Keith makes his own pasta and each are terrific in their own way.  Here are the proposed specials for the night a completely new, different “look”.

Homemade Pappardelle
 shredded organic chicken, red peppers, pesto & pecorino romano
 
Fresh Cavatelli
Hamakua Ali’i mushrooms, fresh cracked pepper,
& OK Poultry egg
 
These specials will be in addition to our regular VINO menu & nightly specials and will be on a first come, first serve basis, so come early

”Prime Rib Night”  Wednesday, April 11th
 
Meat lovers—pay attention!   A few years back, our restaurant group set out to find a top quality steak to offer at our restaurants, especially centered on DK Steakhouse.  After many side by side blind tastings, we all wholeheartedly agreed on the “King Natural” steak.  It really is a good piece of (no growth hormone/no antibiotics) beef and one we are proud to serve.   The name has since changed to “King’s Natural” and the quality is still there!  VINO Chef Keith Endo decided—“let’s do a promotional to encourage people to come in and try its quality.”  Chef Keith decided to showcase a different preparation—Prime Rib.  As those who come to VINO’s special event days such as Father’s Day, this is really good prime rib and worth checking out.
 
8oz “King’s Natural” Prime Rib - $17.95
done VINO style
 
while supplies last, come early or reserve your Prime Rib with your reservation to be sure you are able to get the deal.
 
This is in addition to our regular VINO menu
Thursday, April 12th 6pm
 “Old World Sauvignon Blanc”
 
New Zealand has done a great job of pushing the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety back into the spotlight AND, in a big way.  It is, again an exciting time for this grape, as many places have revived their interest in growing and producing stellar examples. I have to say, quite candidly, this grape creates its most oenological magic in France’s Loire Valley and it has something to do with the soils and growing climate.  For this tasting, we focus on three of our favorites and one standout from northeast Italy. just to compare, as they each truly have something really interesting to say.  Join us on this journey!  Here is your chance to check out first hand what this grape variety can be.
 
2014 Denis Jamain Reuilly “Les Pierres Plates”
This is a wonderfully pure, remarkably light and ethereal Sauvignon Blanc—to me, one that is quite unique and riveting.  Certainly, a VERY interesting way to start this tasting.
 
“Reuilly is in Sauvignon Blanc territory, an ancient winemaking village that today has only about 300 acres in vines.  Our bottling, Pierres Plates, is from a specific vineyard with Chablis-like soil full of chalk, fossils and sea shells.  Try to imagine Sancerre grown at Chablis.  The fruit is lively, with white flower perfumes, citrus and minerality.  It has finesse and precision”.       
 
2015 Régis Minet Pouilly Fume “Vieilles Vignes”
Quintessential Sauvignon Blanc in all its glory and certainly one others can be measured by.
 
“His vineyards sit at 750 feet, surrounded by hills on the far east of the Loire River, and centered proudly on the prized limestone and clay of the Kimmeridgian chain. The scattered flint in these vineyards imbues the wines with a character quite distinctive from the neighboring village of Sancerre. In the eloquent words of KLWM Store Manager, Steve Waters, “You couldn’t ask for a cleaner, fresher, flintier, or truer expression of Sauvignon Blanc. Its mouth-watering acidity, depth of flavor, and fleshy texture will have you racing back for more.”
 
2014 Diploi Sauvignon Blanc Voglar
What a unique, standout white wine.
 
Peter Dipoli represents one of the wine world’s pure talents, a pioneer in Alto Adige who is producing wines on a level beyond what anyone thought possible in this mountainous region. After much research and study, Peter determined that the steep, high-altitude (1500 to 2000 feet) slopes near Bolzano are ideal for the production of complex, age-worthy Sauvignon Blanc. His in-depth study of terroir seems to have paid off, as the Voglar bottling—a pure Sauvignon Blanc grown in limestone soils on near-vertical slopes, fermented and aged in acacia casks—is characterized by gorgeous exotic fruit with abundant minerality
 
2009 Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre “Ortus”
The Ortus bottling is produced only in exceptional vintages—so far—2003, 2005 and 2009.  This special wine is aged in 400 liter barrels where it undergoes malolactic and sees lees stirring daily.    It is then aged in old barrels for an additional year and then aged an additional year in the bottle before release.  This is the crown jewel of this venerable estate.
 
Importer Kermit Lynch says--Reverdy has “become the benchmark domaine of our day.  One of the things I love about it is that it leaves on the lips, not the palate, not the throat, but on your lips, a fresh little lemony whisper which makes it a fabulous complement to simple fish dishes”.
 
There you have it,  four sensational wines.  $27 a person
(not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at ataketa@dkrestaurants.com
 “Pizza Night”  Sunday, April 15th
When we reopened Vino in this new location, we installed a 650 degree pizza oven.  It really does make our bread and pizza taste so much better!  Chef Keith will feature two new pizzas and they will be on a first come, first serve basis, so come early!
 
Pulled Pork
red peppers and carmelized onions

Thai Chicken
bean sprouts, cilantro and peanuts

These specials will be in additon to our regular menu.
Hana Hou Menu
Tuesday April 17th thru Saturday, April 21st
 
We are continually asked when we will do another set menu, like we did for the last  Restaurant Week this past November.  Well, here it is!  Our Chef has created another menu worth checking out for five days in April.  I found some very interesting wines to complement the menu from around the world. Don’t miss out!
 
amuse
Pickled Beets & Radish
horseradish and honey cream
wine: Dr F Weins Prum Riesling “Estate”
 
first
Shredded Braised Short Rib “Tart”
mushrooms, onions, red wine demi and Robuchon potato drizzle
wine: Tenuta La Pergola “Il Goccetto”
 
main
Pan Seared Catch of the Day
squid ink pasta, cauliflower puree and scallion pesto
wine: Durban Vaucluse
 
sweet
Chocolate Panna Cotta
strawberry gelato
 
$39 - per person food
$13.95 - wine pairing by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya
 
“A Progression of Old World Pinot Noir”
Thursday, April 19th 6pm
 
I have watched Pinot Noir’s journey over the years in terms of public perception and it has really had taken decades for it to gain in prominence and popularity by the mass American market of wine drinkers. The only issue for me now, is how ripe and showy some of the wines can be, so I put together this tasting just to show different aspects of what this elusive grape variety can be from the Old World perspective.  Join me on this journey and hopefully, this line-up will shed some light you never would have expected.
 
2015 Gryphon Crest Pinot Noir
A VERY light, tasty, gulpable German “country” styled red, which happens to be made from Pinot Noir, grown in volcanic-loam soils within the Baden region.  This wine is certainly not Grand Cru by any stretch of the imagination, but it is really delicious and thirst quenching.
 
 
2015 Eric Chevalier Pinot Noir
This wine was certainly an anomoly, as fifteen years or so ago, I would question if these vines could even ripen Pinot Noir enough to produce a red wine. 
 
It is after all, the Nantais region we are spoeaking about. A very maritime climate not too far from the very cold influences of the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, there is also an interesting variety of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks, as this area once was ocean floor”.  Yes, this as light and pure as Pinot Noir gets.
 
 
2014 Guillemot Savigny-les-Beaune “Les Grands Picotin”
In comparison, this Burgundian Pinot Noir—fifty plus year old vines, grown in limestone-clay soils of the Savigny-les-Beaune appellation, is all about finesse, etherealness, transparency AND a rustic, surprisingly masculine core, despite the light color and pigmentation.  This is certainly what Pinot can be when crafted by at least eight generations who have toiled their land and mastered their craft.
 
2015 Jean-François Ganevat Pinot Noir “Cuvée Julien
Ganevat is truly one of France’s New Age superstar winemakers for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  His vineyards are smattered throughout the hills of the Jura in eastern France at different elevations and aspects.  Owner Jean-François honed his craft at Jean-Marc Morey in Chassagne Montrachet before coming home to his family’s winery.  This particular cuvee comes from vines planted in 1977, whole cluster fermented and aged for one year in barrel, this should be a real treat.
 
There you have it,  four sensational wines.  $33 a person
(not including tax or gratuity).
By Reservations only….524-8466 or email Ann at ataketa@dkrestaurants.co
Sunday, April 22nd
WINE 101
 
Every month we schedule one WINE 101 class with a theme AND each month is different.  Classes will start promptly at 4:30 pm.  This class will help you learn about wines and wines and foods for home use!  Please don’t feel you needed to have attended any previous tastings.
 
Theme:  A Taste of the Mediterranean
 
Everyone is familiar with Californian wines and many are familiar with Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne.  This will be, instead, an opportunity to taste wine from the Mediterranean basin, produced from indigenous grape varieties.  We have worked hard to get these wines and we want to share them to help you see what’s out there. Just another learning opportunity!
 
Please note—the last time, these classes sold out in a day, so please act quickly.
 
In addition, tasting participants will receive a 25% discount on our regular VINO menu items from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, right after the tasting, to make sure you get something in your stomach before leaving.  This tasting will be by reservation only.  Please call….524-8466 or email Ann at ataketa@dkrestaurants.com
“Cart Night” Sunday, April 22nd
 
I have always had the burning desire to serve Mediterranean “small” plates on carts wheeled throughout the dining room, just as Chinese restaurants do with their dim sum.  Small plates, you can see and choose from.  We used to do this once in a while at our old location across the hall.  This will be our seventh cart night at our new location.  The first six were a hit, that’s for sure.

Opening at 4:30 for cart night only!  The carts will start rolling at 4:45 until 6:15 or until they are sold out… so come early!  Regular menu service will begin at 5:00 for cart participants and the door opens for regular diners at 5:30.

 
We will announce the foods shortly.
 
just a different way to have fun while dining!
 
This special will be in addition to our regular VINO menu

”Sommelier Wine & Food Workshop” 
Sunday, May 20th
 
SOLD OUT, WAITLIST ONLY
We have put together a sommelier driven “Wine & Food Workshop” on this night. Wow!  What a golden opportunity to learn something about wine and food pairings first hand from some of Hawaii’s finest talent, at VINO. 
 
 This should be a most memorable, historic event and this is how it will work.
 
The guest sommeliers will be in their own room and they start at 3:00 pm.
  •  there will be seven wines, served blind (foiled & numbered).The sommeliers will have fifteen minutes to taste through the wines to assess their attributes.
  • they will then each be served the appetizer and asked to pair one of the wines they have just tasted.
  • Each sommelier will then present their pairing to the participants in the next room, who are enjoying the same appetizer 
Participants will be seated at 3:30 pm in our main Private Dining Room.
 
Menu to be announced, but will consist of…
  • Amuse Bouche
  • FIRST COURSE (to be paired by each sommelier)
  • LIGHT SALAD COURSE
  • NEXT COURSE (to be paired by each sommelier)
  • PASTA
  • DESSERT
Our sommeliers…
  • Sean Isono (Advanced Sommelier & Sommelier, Halekulani Hotel)
  • Chris Ramelb (Advanced Sommelier—2016 Rudd winner)
  • Rick Lilley (12th Avenue Grill)
  • Justin Sugita (Luck Belly/Livestock Tavern)
In addition, we will have a couple of Hawaii’s premier wine professionals
  • Micah Suderman (Manager, Azure Restaurant, Royal Hawaiian Hotel & the Echanson Provinical of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Hawaii)
  • Kevin Toyama (Wine Manager/lead sommelier, Halekulani Hotel)
there to color commentate on the pairings, NOT by person, but by the specific wines chosen for the pairings.  This is NOT a competition and is just meant to be a fun forum/workshop for wine professionals to come share their thoughts and insights with us, so we can ALL learn from the experience.
 
The cost will be $135 per person (not including tax and gratuity).  It will be very limited seating so attendees and interact with the sommeliers.  I am so excited about this learning opportunity!