Restaurants Opting for One-of-a-Kind Wines and Spirits

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Foodies who expect a can’t-get-this-anywhere-but-here experience from their favorite Sacramento restaurant kitchens now have something to cheer about from the bar, too: Custom-blended wines and one-of-a-kind spirits are popping up on menus around the city.
     At The Press, David English’s midtown bistro, the wine list includes a house red and a house white, both custom-made for the restaurant by Perry Creek Winery in Fair Play. The Firehouse and OneSpeed Pizza also serve wines created especially for them.
     “We wanted something very drinkable and approachable in price. And we also wanted a local producer,” says English.  Part of the allure, he explains, is in the just-from-the-barrel experience. “There’s something casual about passing the carafe around the table that people really seem to like.” 
     At downtown’s Grange Restaurant & Bar, food and beverage manager Kara Stout traveled to Mexico to personally select a barrel of tequila from premium tequila maker Herradura.  “I selected one with a lot of bourbon qualities,” says Stout, who’d witnessed the popularity of another custom barrel: Grange’s house blend Woodford bourbon. “It’s a unique barrel that no one else will have.”
     She and Grange’s bartending staff created new recipes using the reposado tequila. One drink, which she describes as “like a tequila Manhattan,” features vermouth infused with some of the same spices traditionally found in Mexican mole sauce.