My F&W
quick save (...)

Best Wines at Chain Restaurants

National chain restaurants are often more famous for their bottomless salad bowls than their wine lists. But some make a real effort to offer worthy bottles. Here, their best wines (with their wine-list prices):

Chain Restaurant: Houston's

Chain Restaurant Wine Lists: Houstons
© Andy Martin

Best Red

2009 Orin Swift The Prisoner ($42) Winemaker Dave Phinney's robust Zinfandel blend is a great pairing for a hefty steak.

Best White

2007 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs ($40) A California sparkling wine that's better than many Champagnes and half the price.

Chain Restaurant: Olive Garden

Chain Restaurant Wine Lists: Olive Garden
Courtesy of Olive Garden

Best Red

2008 Feudo Arancio Nero d'Avola ($24) Sicily's warm climate gives its native grape a lovely, spicy depth.

Best White

2009 Mandra Rossa Fiano ($24) Western Sicily is the source for this citrusy, unoaked white wine.

Chain Restaurant: Legal Sea Foods

Chain Restaurant Wine Lists: Legal Sea Food
Courtesy of Legal Sea Foods

Best Red

2008 Ridge East Bench Zinfandel ($39) American oak barrels add a soft spiciness to this juicy red.

Best White

2009 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc ($38) It's hard to find a better New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc than this crisp, focused white.

Chain Restaurant: The Capital Grille

Chain Restaurant Wine Lists: The Capital Grille
Courtesy of The Capital Grille

Best Red

2008 WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Noir ($64) A structured, earthy Pinot big enough for a steak, from a fantastic Oregon vintage.

Best White

2009 Tilia Torrontes ($28) The steal among wine director George Miliotes's whites is this floral, lively Argentinean.

Chain Restaurant: P.F. Chang's

Chain Restaurant Wine Lists: P.F. Chang's
Courtesy of P.F. Chang's

Best Red

2009 Boulder Bank Pinot Noir ($38) Aromatic herbal notes brighten the fruit of this elegant New Zealand red.

Best White

2009 Fillaboa Albariño ($33) Focused and zesty, it comes from a superb producer in Spain's Galicia region.

More Wine List Tips:

Published February 2011


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.