Special Wine Tasting at Paul Martin’s American Grill

Paul Martin's American Grill Short Rib Street Tacos

Paul Martin’s American Grill Hosts Founders’ Selects Wine Tasting Event

After receiving an email (yes, that is very much a thing!) from Paul Martin’s American Grill announcing a special wine tasting with simply paired appetizers for an amazing price of $20 per person, I immediately called my friend and asked if she and her boyfriend wanted to join my boyfriend and me. She excitedly said she didn’t want to miss it and was already making her reservations. Anyone who thinks email marketing is dead is wrong. People will follow who they want to hear from, whether that medium is on social media, email, or both. And, we took the bait!

The Wines

The event was well-organized with tasting notes for the wine and a place to write notes. With tasks placed upon me including tasting, eating, remembering to take food photos, and talking with our friends, the notes section didn’t get used as much as usual, so here are the tasting notes for the wines and food that Paul Martin’s provided for the guests:


North Coast California, Sauvignon Blanc, 2017
Along with lively aromas of mango, guava, a touch of ginger, apple and honey, this playful wine finishes with tart lime and a bright acidity. The consistent power to please makes it ideal as an aperitif or as the perfect pairing with a meal.


Russian River, Chardonnay, 2015
From the coastal hillside, this wine features zesty lime and lemongrass, along with sea spray and green olive savory elements. The citrus fruit forward entry leads to intense, deep fruitiness and multi-layered weight. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is fresh with a rounded texture, finishing long and perfumed.


Craggy Range Pinot Noir from New Zealand wine glass
Paul Martin’s American Grill tasting of Craggy Range Pinot Noir

Martinborough, New Zealand, Pinot Noir, 2016
Hand-harvested from selected blocks of the vineyard, this Pinot Noir exudes bright red fruits, spice, and notes of the forest floor. Enticing pure fruit aromas of red cherry and raspberry meld with rose and damp earth. A youthful fruit profile and lovely fine tannins creates an elegant dry finish. Best paired with poultry.


Napa, Zinfandel, 2016
This sophisticated Zinfandel offers delightful aromas of red fruits with a touch of spice and earth. Medium-bodied, it is alive on the palate with bright acidity and balanced soft tannins.


Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014
With a garnet color, this wine has an alluring nose of chocolate-covered strawberries, vanilla, nutmeg, truffle, and sage. On the palate, it has a broad yet delicate entry and offers cranberry flavors complemented by raspberry and savory black olive. Finishes with silky tannins, cedar and bramble flavors with excellent length and return.

Wine with the Food Pairings

With one of the first locations to open for this multi-location restaurant group conveniently located in my Northern California hometown, I feel like an insider because we knew about this restaurant before other ones opened in California, plus the addition of ones in Texas and Arizona. Some of the selling points of going to Paul Martin’s is the house-made and hand-crafted food, a well-executed quality wine list, and the ability they have to be a neighborhood restaurant with upscale flair while not being pretentious. Their food pairings were no different and went well with both the wine and the conversation with our friends perfectly. What was a simple wine tasting became an event, which they executed with ease.

Sauvignon Blanc pairing
blistered tomatoes, olives, basil, chives

Paul Martin's American Grill - Avocado Toast

Chardonnay pairing
smoked paprika, crispy prosciutto di Parma

Deviled egg with smoked paprika and prosciutto di Parma

Pinot Noir pairing
house smoked salmon, grilled crostini, horseradish cream

Smoked Salmon Crostini

Zinfandel pairing
roasted red peppers, white cheddar, tomatillo salsa

Paul Martin's American Grill's Roasted Vegetable Flatbread

Cabernet Sauvignon pairing
shredded short rib, cotija cheese, onion, cilantro, lime

Paul Martin's American Grill Short Rib Street Tacos

Visit their menu

Limited Space

With small and intimate tastings like this, space is limited and reservations tend to fill up quickly. Remember earlier, I mentioned that my friend called right away? Confession. I waited a few days and the open spots were already taken. I begged Jessica, the manager on duty at the time, on the phone that I really want to attend and could she please put me on a cancellation list. She did. But, I thought I’d never hear from her again. Good news! I was wrong! She remembered my desperation two weeks before and called to let me know they had room for us and didn’t let me down. When you know a good thing, don’t delay! Other people read the same email and took action. Wasn’t that the point, to get guests in to taste a select wine list and revisit the food if it had been a while, or reward those who come in regularly and are loyal fans? Well done, Paul Martin’s!

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