Food and wine specials toast the summer

July 30, 2004

Greer Wylder

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar just announced the 2004

"Fleming's 100," its renowned top 100 wines-by-the-glass list.

Notable wines on the list include Cakebread Cellars 2003 Napa Valley

Sauvignon Blanc, Honig 2000 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon,

Murrieta's Well 2001 Livermore Valley Meritage, Swanson 2000 Napa

Valley Merlot and Wattle Creek 2002 Alexander Valley Chardonnay. In


addition, 25 bottles have been added to their reserve list.

Fleming's Director of Wine Marian Jansen op de Haar and local

Fleming's wine managers chose the "Fleming's 100" list. They attended

a grand tasting in the Napa Valley, where more than 5,000 wines from

around the world were tasted.

The new list features popular labels, as well as many hard-to-find

boutique wines. Fleming's award-winning wine list is in an

easy-to-read format, listing wines in order of intensity (light to

full). Fleming's offers "wine flights" -- a trio of 2-ounce samples

served in miniature carafes and poured into Fleming's custom-designed

glasses. Pre-selected "wine flight" cards are available, as well as

blank cards for custom choices. The samples cost one-third the price

of a full glass of wine. This allows guests to experiment with wines

before selecting one.

Fleming's also takes the guesswork out of food and wine pairing

with its "Discovery Dinners." The educational prix fixe dinners,

priced at $75, $100 and $150, include wines that complement each

course. Fleming's "Discovery Flights" allow guests to explore

varietal (wines chiefly made from one grape) tasting, and how diverse

a varietal can taste, depending on winemakers' styles and different

grape-growing regions.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is in Fashion Island at 455

Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach. (949) 720-9633.

Villa Nova Restaurant features views of Newport Harbor and hosts a

happy hour in the lounge from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. They

offer half-priced appetizers and discounted cocktails -- even

specialty martinis are just $5. The Villa "Novacane" (shaken, not

stirred) is a favorite mixture of Smirnoff vodka, a dash of Tanqueray

gin and a splash of Duckhorn King Elder vermouth, served with a

twist. Appetizer selections include calamari fritta, bruschetta

pomodoro, prosciutto di Parma and melon, and stuffed mushrooms and

shrimp cocktail. Villa Nova also plays live music from two of Orange

County's favorite musicians. Mike McKenna from Pure Imagination

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