Clos Pegase Winemaker Dinner at Max Amore June 17

Clos-Pegase-Winery-Dinner-at-AmoreClos-Pegase-Winery-Option-2by Brian Mitchell, Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group

I am very pleased to announce a special dinner with one of Napa Valley’s premier wineries and the winemaker responsible for those wines.  Join us on Tuesday June 17, for a dinner featuring the wines of Clos Pegase Winery and share insights and stories with winemaker Richard Sowalsky.

Richard will be on hand to answer question sand run through the wines and explain his wine making philosophies at Clos Pegase.  originally built in the mid-1980s Clos Pegase is known as one of the most picturesque wineries in all of Napa, but we like them because the wines are rock solid and delicious.  A rare appearance by this winemaker is very exciting, and pairing the wines with the cuisine of Chef Ted Burnett is always a treat for our guests.

Richard is only in town and available for this one evening as he will be working other markets the rest of the week. Please make your reservations now, as we have a very limited number of seats for this dinner and these events tend to sell out quickly.

Amore_GalleryPresents a winemaker dinner featuring the Napa Valley Wines of
paired with the cuisine of Max Amore Executive Chef Ted Burnett
special guest speaker for the evening will be Richard Sowalsky,
Winemaker Clos Pegase Winery

Tuesday June 17th, seating is promptly at 6:30
Course 1
Carpaccio of Prosciutto di San Saniele, sweet melon sorbetto
Sauvignon Blanc Mitsuko’s Vineyard, Carneros, 2011

Course 2
Butter Poached Maine Lobster, citrus zabaglione, gaufrette
Chardonnay Mitsuko’s Vineyard, Carneros, 2012

Course 3
Chicken Liver Mousse, local fruit compote, crispy chicken skin
Pinot Noir Mitsuko’s Vineyard, Carneros, 2010

Course 4
House Made Potato Gnocchi, braised oxtail, foraged mushrooms, pickled ramps
Merlot Mitsuko’s Vineyard, Carneros , 2009

Course 5
Red Wine Braised Beef Short Rib, truffled cream corn, whipped lardo crostini
Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2010

$125 per person
(not including tax or gratuity)
Seating is limited.

Please call MAX AMORE for reservations: 860.659.2819

140 Glastonbury Boulevard, Glastonbury, CT


Ramey Wine Cellars Dinner at Max’s Oyster Bar

Ramey-Wine-Cellars-at-Oyster-1Ramey-Wine-Cellars-at-Oyster-MENU copyThursday, April 10th ~ 6:30pm at Max’s Oyster Bar
Cuisine by Executive Chef Scott Miller
Course 1
2011 Ramey Chardonnay, Sonoma (Russian River Valley)
Stonington Sea Scallops Crudo | Littleneck Clams | Basil – Apple Gelee
Course 2
2010 Ramey Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley (Carneros)
2010 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard, Sonoma (Russian River Valley)
Poached Alaskan Halibut| Herb Fumet | Radish | Favas | Sea Beans
Course 3
2012 Claret, Napa Valley
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdo
Smoked Venison Tenderloin | Pickled Chanterelles | Juniper | Kale
2011 Syrah, Sonoma (Sonoma Coast)
Melville Cheese | Brioche Popover | Milk Jam | Rhubarb
$125 per person, not including tax & gratuity
Reservations Required. Please call: 860.236.6299

Inglenook Estate Wine Dinner at Max Downtown


Inglenook-for-FBThe Inglenook legacy began in 1879 when Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish sea captain, wine
connoisseur and entrepreneur, came to Rutherford, California to build a wine estate that
would rival Europe’s finest. When Niebaum’s grandnephew, John Daniel, Jr. inherited the
chateau and vineyards in the 1930s, Inglenook had already earned international acclaim.
In 1975, Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor purchased more than 1,500 acres of the property with profits from the film, The Godfather, and spent the next forty years reuniting the original vineyards, returning winemaking operations to the chateau, and restoring Inglenook’s illustrious heritage. “In America, so few things that are broken apart are ever put back together. Reuniting this property was truly a dream come true, both for my family and for Napa Valley.” Ultimately, all 200 acres of the estate were certified organic and in 2011, the Coppolas acquired the iconic Inglenook trademark and Coppola announced that henceforth, his celebrated Estate would be known by its historic original name, Inglenook. “Our goal has always been to make one of the world’s great wines,” says Coppola. “You don’t get involved with an Estate like this, without that as your goal.” The story of the Inglenook Estate reads like an epic novel. For the full history:                        Visit Inglenook’s interactive timeline here.
Tuesday, April 8th at 6pm
Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Sofia Blanc de Blancs
Colossal Crab Crepes
carrots, shiso, mango, curry
Blancaneaux 2011
Country Terrine
pickled vegetables, Morton mustard, raisin walnut crostini
Edizione Pennino 2011
Olive Oil Poached Arctic Char
applewood smoked bacon, cabbage, fennel pollen, beet dashi
Cask Cabernet 2010
Coffee-rubbed Dry Aged Ribeye
shortrib ravioli, crispy baby artichokes, chocolate cardamom jus
Rubicon 2009
Petite Fours for the table
$125 per person
not including tax & gratuity
Reservations Required. Please call, 860.522.2530

Thursty Thursdays @ Max (May 2014)


By Brian Mitchell, Max Restaurant Group Corporate Beverage Director

Updated June 1, 2014

June marks the fifth month of features for the Max Restaurant Group’s Thursty Thursday promotions, and as usual we are changing things up for the month. Whether you are winding down your week or getting your weekend kicked-off, this is a great opportunity to discover the fabulous sections of beers, wine, and cocktails at each of our locations.  Thursty Thursdays @ Max, just another great reason to join us.

Here is brief description of some of the promotion we are featuring throughout the month of May…

CooperNegroni-2Max A Mia in Avon will be making use of its patio this month and featuring happy hour on the patio (as seating permits).  We will have the classic Italian Negronis available for $5 (regularly $9), plus peach white or red wine sangria for $5, as well.  AS one final addition we will also have $3 Back East Amber Ale pints available for Happy Hour.  Max A Mia has also introduced a brand new Happy Hour menu for the month starting this week, so there is a lot going for Thursty Thursdays in June.

and Max Amore in Glastonbury, will each be going with what has become a fan favorite promotion for Thursty Thursdays, the 1/2-priced bottled wine offer.  Come into Max a Mia or Max Amore on Thursdays, and enjoy a selection from our bottled wine list at 1/2 the normal price.  Such a great value – with over 80 wines to choose from, you can have your pick from Italy, California and beyond. Chef Dave Stickney and the Max A Mia crew always have great choices on the menu, and ½-priced wines are just another reason to pay us a visit.  As always the discount applies to bottled wine selections, only.

As a side note – Max A Mia will be closing this Thursday May 1, for a private party.  1/2 priced wines will be available during the day and we will be back to normal schedule for the next Thursday promo.


Max’s Tavern in Springfield is getting an early start to the Kentucky Derby this weekend by offering a special Pear Julep for Thursty Thursday drinking.  Made with Four Roses Bourbon, this is slight twist on a classic southern cocktail featuring fresh mint, some pear flavoring and of course the Bourbon.  Sweet and smooth, plus refreshing and so easy to drink.  Come in and try one of our Spring favorites – the Pear Julep.

Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford will also be starting off its Derby Weekend early and offering $5 Russel’s Reserve Mint Juleps for Thursty Thursday, this week.  A classic Mint Julep is great and it is even better when paired with a 1/2 pound of fresh Louisiana Crawfish.  Thursty Thursday for May 1 is a minty julep and crawfish, all for $10.  Your inner Bubba loves it!

As a preview to CT Craft Beer Week (May 11-18th) Max’s Oyster Bar will be running a (TBD) selection of CT only beers at $5 for Thursty Thursday, May 15.  Plan ahead…

Max Fish in Glastonbury will be continuing the tropical drinking season by featuring more Tiki on Thursdays all month.  We love rum filled drinks and as such we will be featuring a few at great prices on Thursdays, all featuring the most popular selling rum in the world (yes I said bestselling rum in the world) Tanduay, which is made in the Philippines and sells in huge volumes all around the Pacific.  Now available in the US for the past few years, it is starting to gain great traction and is a perfect accompaniment to our Tiki drinks…

Tiki Bar

$5 Tiki Torch … a lovely fruit driven style of a cocktail featuring Tanduay Rum, passion fruit, and a splash of cranberry

$6 The Tremont. Think complex Rum Manhattan style cocktail…Tanduay Rum, Meletti amaro, Cinzano, and a dash of orange bitters

$7 Max’s Classic Painkiller. One of my favorite drinks – lovely coconut, orange juice and pineapple flavors mix with the barrel-aged Tanduay Rum flavors for a very drinkable drink that will make anyone more comfortable

$8 Palm Beach Hurricane – a real Tiki throwback, the Hurricane in this case is throwing a nod to our 10th newest location (The Cooper) which opens this month in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  Tanduay rum, Caruba dark rum, oj, pineapple, grenadine – yum!

Max Downtown of Hartford will be offering three options for its Thursty Thursday line-up in June…

1)  Meiomi Chardonnay for $10 a glass, the newest addition to the Wagner family’s

thumb_blue-point-mosaic-session-ipavarious productions.

2) Chef Hunter Morton’s’s Prosciutto and Pimiento grilled

cheese sandwich served with a Bluepoint Mosaic “Session” IPA for $8.00 (you get both for $8)

3) Or you could pick the Max Manhattan served on a “rock” for juts $5.

Anyway you look at it – three great offering at tremendous value from Max Downtown.


Max Burger in West Hartford will continue to offer 1/2-Priced Cans for Thursty Thursdays @ Max in May.  C’mon in and take your pick of any of our canned brews and get them at a 50% discount, all day and all night.  The canned beer has made a huge return among craft brewers over the past few years as many people have discovered that fresh beer really does taste better this way.  One of the most damaging things for beer is light and the can provides the perfect vehicle for getting all the flavor the brew master intended to your glass (or just from the can).  We agree and we also like the fact that this is a lighter and more eco-friendly way to transport beer.  We have a growing selection of great canned brews from across America, so join us each Thursday in May to taste your way around the canned section.Canned Beer

Guinness ShakeTrumbull Kitchen in Hartford will be featuring a few fan favorites on menu selection for Thursty Thursday this May 1.  Keeping it simple, Trumbull Kitchen will be featuring a Guinness Cheddar Burger for $5 or House-smoked wings for $.50 each, plus we will be rolling out Bar Manager Steve Temple’s famous Guinness Milkshakes for $5 (regularly $9), as well.  Get a shake and Burger or wings for a great Thursty Thursday kick-off.

Guinness Cheddar Burger – All natural beef, stout onions, kettle chips $5


House Smoked BBQ Wings – Great hill blue cheese dip, celery sticks .50 per piece


Spencerbottleglass-640x1029_cThis week Max Burger in Longmeadow, Ma, will be doing a 5pm tapping of the rare an lovely Spencer Trappist Ale, brewed at our one and only local Trappist Brewery in Spencer, Ma. (Keep in mind, there are only 9 Trappist Breweries in the entire world, and we are lucky ducks having one virtually in our back yard.  We are even luckier because they allow us an allocation every so often of their glorious beer.  Starting at 5pm, until it is gone – Spencer Trappist Ale, on draft at Max Burger Longmeadow. 





Beaucastel Rhone Dinner @ Max Downtown 2/24

by Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group


In 2006, I had the opportunity (and great pleasure) to travel through the Rhone Valley of Southern France and visit the famed estate and winery known as Chateau de Beaucastel, arguably one of the greatest producers of in the region.  Specializing in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but producing a tremendous number of other wines from the region, the Perrin family has been an integral fixture of the landscape for well over 100 years (see history below).  One of the greatest dinners of my life was at the chateau and included over 16 courses of regionally influenced specialties as well as modern creations, each paired with a selection from the Perrin and Beaucastel productions going back to the early 1970s, as well as some treats from the family cellar dating back to the 1950s (yes, it was pretty cool!).

While we will not be going quite that far back, we do invite you to share an evening with us at Max Downtown to experience a selection of the latest wines from this extraordinary family selection.  Wine from the California estate will be included, as well as top wines from the Famille Perrin range and Château de Beaucastel, including the rare white Chateauneuf-du-Pape, paired with dessert.  On hand to present the wines will be our Sommelier, Justin Gavry, Paul Nerz from Vineyard Brands, the import company for Beaucastel and Perrin wines (and a Château de Beaucastel alum), as well as myself.

The menu is selected especially for these wines and the evening promises to be a great experience, and as stated it Includes selections from Château de Beaucastel, Famille Perrin, and Tablas Creek.

Menu by Executive Chef Hunter Morton.
Wines selected by Sommelier Justin Gavry.

Reception – Passed hors d’oeuvres
Raddichio salad- buratta, mango, basil, black pepper, Meyer lemon

Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc Reserve, (Rhône Valley) 2012


Course One – scallop ceviche- yuzu gelée, fennel, Satsuma tangerine, tarragon

Tablas Creek Vineyards Côtes de Tablas Blanc, (Paso Robles) 2011


Course Two – Pork belly- smoked potato, black truffle, roasted garlic, confit marble potatoes, pork crumble

Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Nature, (Rhône Valley) 2011

Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Coudelet de Beaucastel, (Rhône Valley) 2011


Course Three – Roasted squab breast- braised cabbage, apple puree, crispy leg, curry jus

Château de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, (Rhône Valley) 2005


Dessert – Ossau Iraty – pears, walnuts, Stonewall Apari honey

Château de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Vielles Vignes, (Rhône Valley) 2006

$125 per person, not including tax & gratuity
Limited Seating
Call Max Downtown for reservations


Among the prominent people in the town of Courthezon during the sixteenth century was the Beaucastel family. In 1549, “Noble Pierre de Beaucastel” bought “a barn with its land holdings, containing 25 saumées at Coudoulet”. More than four centuries later, this remarkable domaine, known today at Château de Beaucastel, is producing what most people acknowledge to be the finest wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In 1903, a young chemical engineer and mathematics professor named Pierre Perrin, together with his father-in-law, began to restore the domaine following the ravages of phylloxera. His son, Jacques Perrin, took over the domaine in 1953 and introduced many innovations such as improved grape varietals, integrated pest control, and a flash-heat exchanger. Today, the third and fourth generations of Perrins, François and Jean-Pierre and Jean-Pierre’s sons Pierre, Marc and Thomas, continue in the tradition of their father and grandfather.

The vineyards of Beaucastel are treated as a garden: no chemical fertilizer, no chemical week killers or sprays are permitted. Organic fertilizer comes from compost and only a minimum of traditional sulphur-copper spray is used in the vineyards. The vineyard is planted in all the traditional grapes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardin, Bourboulenc, and Roussanne.

Thursty Thursdays @ Max A Mia – Vino e Salumi

prud barbaresco

Max A Mia in Avon will be offering for Thursty Thursday Vino e Salumi.  Each Thursday in February we will pick a new wine from our list and offer it by the glass along with a Chef’s selction salumi plate – all for $15.  And our intention is to showcase the best of what we have.  This Thursday we will be pouring the fabulous Prudittori di Barbaresco 2008 Barbaresco, one of the most famous selections from Piemonte, and a truly delicious wine (normally sold for $20 / glass), along with a classic salumi plate put together by chef David Stickney.

At Max Restaurant Group we are very pleased to announce a new initiative at each of our locations: Thursty Thursdays @ Max.  Come into any Max location on Thursdays and discover a great special only available that night.  Each month our locations will have new promotion that will be available on Thursdays.  These will change from week to week and month to month, so check back here or subscribe to our Social Media sites to get the latest updates on what we are offering.  Some of the creative offering may include drink and food specials, half-priced wines, or special tastings – the choices are limitless and are designed to give our loyal patrons another great reason to join us.  Whether you are winding down your week or getting your weekend kicked-off, this is a great opportunity to discover the fabulous sections of beers, wine, and cocktails at each of our locations.

Thursty Thursdays @ Max, just another great reason to join us.

Thursty Thursdays @ Max Amore – 1/2 Priced Wines

half pricedMax Amore in Glastonbury will be offering 1/2 priced bottled wine every Thursday night in February.

Yes, that is right, every bottled wine on the list will be 1/2 priced from its normal offering.  A huge savings and great way to try many of the top wines we carry.  Max Amore’s Italian focused list has selections from every major wine region in Italy, plus favorites from California, Washington State and beyond.  Come in and discover your new favorite along with the spectacular menu from Chef Ted Burnett.

At Max Restaurant Group we are very pleased to announce a new initiative at each of our locations: Thursty Thursdays @ Max.  Come into any Max location on Thursdays and discover a great special only available that night.  Each month our locations will have new promotion that will be available on Thursdays.  These will change from week to week and month to month, so check back here or subscribe to our Social Media sites to get the latest updates on what we are offering.  Some of the creative offering may include drink and food specials, half-priced wines, or special tastings – the choices are limitless and are designed to give our loyal patrons another great reason to join us.  Whether you are winding down your week or getting your weekend kicked-off, this is a great opportunity to discover the fabulous sections of beers, wine, and cocktails at each of our locations.

Thursty Thursdays @ Max, just another great reason to join us.

Thursty Thursday @ Max Downtown – Silver Oak Cab for $18

silver oakMax Downtown in Hartford will be offering a new selection from its Wine by Coravin list.  If you are unfamiliar with the new Coravin device, and you are a wine fan, you need to discover the flexibility it allows us in offering more selections by the glass.  The Coravin is essentially a mini-cruvinet system, which allows us to literally tap a bottle of wine without removing the cork, replacing the air inside the bottle with inert gas as we remove the wine for you to taste.  This means we can tap and offer a large selection of wines without any adverse effect to the wine remaining in the bottle.  This week we will be featuring the fabulous Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, 2010, one of the most highly regarded California wineries, at he unbelievable price of $18 per glass!  Rarely offered by the glass, here is a great opportunity to taste without committing to a full bottle.

At Max Restaurant Group we are very pleased to announce a new initiative at each of our locations: Thursty Thursdays @ Max.  Come into any Max location on Thursdays and discover a great special only available that night.  Each month our locations will have new promotion that will be available on Thursdays.  These will change from week to week and month to month, so check back here or subscribe to our Social Media sites to get the latest updates on what we are offering.  Some of the creative offering may include drink and food specials, half-priced wines, or special tastings – the choices are limitless and are designed to give our loyal patrons another great reason to join us.  Whether you are winding down your week or getting your weekend kicked-off, this is a great opportunity to discover the fabulous sections of beers, wine, and cocktails at each of our locations.

Thursty Thursdays @ Max, just another great reason to join us.

Hélène Jaume Domaine Grand Veneur Wine Dinner Feb 5th @ Max Fish

y86fho0PAIiGLTgLma1WfDdRPbpor6gXzIbc1cza3Wh-IyEsFnqrtyHBpDOabhg4P77Fdn_INq-e9YkxwHpV5pGr8oISLU9b13ugnaHkNLvy3_VrfTR9S7UZQICX-QAqDzbMFOT0g38G=s0-d-e1-ftSome of the best and most interesting wine events we do often include personalities directly from the winery or vineyard.  For this event we have the great pleasure to welcome Hélène Jaume from Domiane Grand Veneur, one of he most exciting producers from the Rhone Valley in Southern France.  The family Domaine dates to 1826, and is currently run by Alain Jaume, Ms Jaume’s father, along with her two brothers.  A rare opportunity to visit inside a fabulous estate, she will guide our guests through the finely crafted and focused Rhône wines paired along with the cuisine of Chef Robert Peterson of Max Fish.

Rhone Valley Wine Dinner featuring
Domaine Grand Veneur Dinner and
Guest Speaker Helene Jaume, 2nd Generation winemaker

Helene Jaume

Wednesday February 5, 2014

Reception: 6:30
Domaine Grand Veneur Voignier, 2012
Scallop Crudo, cucumber, seaweed, ruby grapefruit
Steamed Shrimp Dumpling, bean sprouts & bok choy

Seating: 7:00
Domaine Grand Veneur Voignier, 2012
Poached Red Snapper, mussels, orange peel & saffron broth, fingerlings, fennel

Domaine Grand Veneur Vacueyras, La Garrigue, 2011
Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna, winter squash Spaetzle, Brussels sprouts, tarragon

Domaine Grand Veneur Lirac Clos Sixte, 2011
Wild Mushroom-Barley Risotto, braised oxtail, bone marrow jus, crispy kale

Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape Les Origines, 2010
Pepper Crusted Lamb Loin, lamb shank bourguinon, baby roots, sweet potato puree, garlic bread crumbs

Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape, 2010
Cheese Course, pressed fig, smoked almonds

Truffles & Hazelnut Cream Puffs

$95 per person plus tax and gratuity

Please call Max Fish Glastonbury for reservations

860-652-3474 (FISH)

Click here to visit the Max Fish website

Terroirs of Mendoza with Jeff Mausbach February 19 @ Max Downtown

We are very pleased to announce a special tasting opportunity with a great wine personality and all around fun guy – Mr Jeff Mausbach.  

As Wine Education Director and Communications and Marketing manager for Catena Wines from Mendoza for 13 years, Mr Mausbach traveled the world preaching the gospel of the unique character of  high altitude Malbec from Mendoza, explaining the character and expression of its many different terroirs.  In 2010, he and several partners decided to produce their own labels and began Malbec 55, a wine company celebrating the workers who get their hands dirty while crafting the fine wines of the region.  Jeff-Mausbach

Mr Mausbach will be on hand at Max Downtown for an opportunity for our guests to meet him, discuss the Argentine wine industry and taste through a a cross section of Malbec wines from various vineyards in the regions and terroirs. Light passed hors d’oeuvres will be available to accompany the wine tasting.

February 19, 5:30-7:00

Meet and Greet with Jeff Mausbach

Wine selection:

TintoNegro Uco Valley malbec
TintoNegro Mendoza malbec
TintoNegro Limestone Block malbec
Angulo Innocenti malbec
Angulo Innocenti cabernet sauvignon
Angelo Innocenti unisono

cost is $35 per person plus tax and gratuity

please call Max Downtown for reservations 860-522-2530

Click here to visit the Max Downtown Website

Max Downtown Library Wine Added for the Holidays

by Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group

Several times a year, Justin Gavry (Sommelier at Max Downtown) and myself go through our library reserves and pull out selections that we feel are ready for addition to the regular wine list.  We do this as other selections that have sold through open up space both in our stock room and on our wine list proper.


It may not be as well known as it should, but at Max Downtown we keep a substantial number of selections in reserve off the wine list, allowing them to age and develop to optimum drinking levels before we add to the list.  This is a huge commitment on our part, both in inventory dollars and space, but it is a commitment that we feel makes our wine program one of the best around.  There are many wines that come available to us to buy, but are far too young to be drunk right away.  These wines – some California Cabernet, some Bordeaux, some burgundy and others, really can benefit from a number of years of cellaring to soften the tannins and allow for the flavors to reach their peak.

Below is a list of the wines that we have recently added to the Max Downtown wine list, many of which you will notice are in the range of 10 years old. We feel this is the best time for many of these wines, and we hope you will agree.

1) Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots Estate Red, Knights Valley 2002
2) Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots Estate Red, Knights Valley 2003
3) Joseph Phelps ‘Insignia’ 2004
4) Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 1999
5) Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2000
6) Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2003
7) Shafer Vineyards  Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2004
8) Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
9) Château Léoville-Las Cases 2000
10) Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
11) Two Hands ‘Ares’ Shiraz Barossa Valley
12) Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Ornellaia 2004
13) Elderton ‘Command’ Shiraz 2004
14) Avignonesi Riserva Grandi Annate, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG
15) Dominus Napa 2003 & 2004
16) Quintessa Napa 2005

Marguet Visits Max Downtown

Max Downtown in Hartford is very pleased to welcome Mr Benoit Marguet to our Tavern for an informal meet-and-greet on Wednesday, October 23rd.  Max Downtown has been a great supporter of Grower Champagnes and has listed the wines from Champagne Marguet for some time, now.

Benoit MarguetChampagne Benoît Marguet in Ambonnay is one of many extremely interesting small producers in Champagne. He is the kind of producer that you rarely find, unless you know exactly where to go.  

Passing through the region, Mr. Marguet will be on hand from 5-6pm to taste and discuss his family wines, spread the word about the individuality of small producer wines such as his, and to bring a bit of France to Hartford.  Champagne is one of the true luxuries of the wine world, but one that is affordable to anyone.  Celebrate these lovely wines and gain a bit of understanding about the region and it people from one of our favorite producers.

Organic farming is the preferred method at Champagne Benoit Marguet, utilizing plow- horses and minimal inputs create an environment that will produce outstanding grapes and preserve the land for generations to come.  The attention and commitment to these details show in the wine and create a quality divide that is quite apparent when tasting against most large production producers.champagne_marguet_horse

We will be sampling some selections from Champagne Marguet along with complimentary treats from the kitchen to pair.  Any and all are welcome to join us.

New Wines at Max’s Oyster Bar

by Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director

I am very pleased to announce several new additions this week to our wine list at Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford.  Both Bob Cooke, Managing Partner, and myself tasted these wines in recent weeks and felt they were compelling enough to add to the program.  We always look for wines that share that special combination of very high quality and that compliment the cuisine of Chef Miller.  These wines each fit this criteria.

Earlier in the week, we tasted the new releases from Domaine Serene from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  Domaine Serene enjoys a very high reputation for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production, and we were very pleased with selections of each.  Typically we will not rely too heavily on any single winery for multiple wine listings, but these wines were so good that we took both.  On the list for this weekend is the Domaine Serene Chardonnay Evenstad Reserve 2012 and the Evenstad Pinot Noir 2011.


The Chardonnay is delicious, plane and simple.  A generous, but very well integrated, layer of oak rides just under lovely flavors of ripe apple

and fresh pears – the combination coming across as beautifully balanced and elegant enough to enjoy with delicate (but cooked) seafood.  Not an exact replacement, but certainly on par with 1er Cru Puligny.


The Pinot Noir to me was just short of the Chardonnay in its overall quality, but quite good in its own-right.  For me, I enjoy the elegance of Oregon Pinot Noir, but still always want to see a bit of depth in the fruit and not a wine that is weak like “traditional” French Pinot Noir.  This wine has just that – lush, but not sweet, cranberry and deep cherry fruit, some spice and a balanced lovely long finish.  I would prefer the Chardonnay, first, but I’m not kickin’ this to the curb, and would be quite content with this and lovely piece of grilled salmon, or swordfish, such as is on the specials menu this weekend at MOB.

download (2)Also hitting the list shortly is a great wine that is a little hard to classify as it does not fall in any single varietal camp, but rather is among the new generation of finely tuned blends that have become quite popular, as of late.  The is the Blindfold White Blend from famed winemaker Dave Phinney of Prisoner Wine Co.  This wine has a big chunk of Chardonnay, with a great selection of Rhone-regional varietals thrown in.  Varietals such as Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier and Grenache blanc, plus a touch of Riesling and Semillon just for some added aromatics.  To me this wine is excellently balanced, with deep flavors of waxy apples – really loved his wine.

26187Additionally, I am very excited to be able to finally offer the fabulous Brut Rose from Billecart-Salmon Champagne, perhaps the most famous of the Rose Champagnes.  Over the past few years it has been a challenge to acquire this wine as the previous importer caused pricing and availability to be a challenge for us.  Now with a new importer, Billecart has become available for us once again – and so we have it starting this weekend.  Not cheap, but the elegance, the complexity of the fruit, the racy acidity, make Billecart all that and then something.  Had a good week?  Come celebrate with a bottle and dozen of the freshest oysters around.  You will be happy with that choice, for sure.


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Finally, if Billecart is not quite in your wheel-house, but you still love the beauty of sparkling rose wines, I have selected what I consider to be one of the finest Spanish selections – the Raventos i Blanc de Nit Cava Rose.  A favorite winery, this particular wine is a great value in the sparkling wine category.  Deeper fruit than what you might find in the champagnes, it delivers a lot of freshness and elegance.  Made from some less-than-familiar grapes (Xarel.lo, Macabeo, Monastrell, and Parelleda), the combination is really delightful.  Have this with some fried seafood apps or maybe some fresh tuna.


New cocktails for the fall are coming next week, on the menu starting Monday October 14.