Abbott’s Grill recently learned that their wine list has received honors from the premier wine magazine, Wine Spectator for the second year in a row. The Milford restaurant was issued the Wine Spectator “Excellence Award” which is given to restaurants that boast wine lists that “offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style”.
Published 15 times per year, Wine Spectator offers an “insider’s view of the good life,” including fine dining, wine travel, and entertainment. With 2.8 million readers, the company also provides an online wine guide, WineSpectator.com, which boasts that it is “the most influential source of wine information on the Internet.” The website features more than 250,000 wine ratings, tasting reports, news and features, editors’ blogs, videos and original content.
Abbott’s Grill owner and longtime chef Kevin Reading has worked to create a wine list that his restaurant can not only he could be proud of, but one that can be just as creative as his cuisine. “We place a huge emphasis on unique cuisine at Abbott’s and what pairs better than exceptional, off-centered wine,” stated Reading. “We want to challenge our customers’ palate with every experience.”
To ensure that the restaurant is continuing to serve a spectrum of unique wines from around the world, Reading enlisted the help of wine manager and connoisseur, Bernard Knollinger, who made winning the award his personal goal since 2013. Knollinger has been a wine connoisseur for over twenty years and perfected his understanding of wines as he became a member of the Wine Century Club, a privilege given to individuals who have tried more than 100 different wine grape varieties. With over 1,200 members in the United States, Bernie is proud to say that over 50 of those members are from the state of Delaware.
“I always challenge myself to find something new, especially when the menu changes with each season,” stated Knollinger.
Hosting several wine tasting events each year in Abbott’s private dining room and on the secluded back patio, Knollinger enjoys sharing his love and knowledge of wine. Sampling wines from across the globe, he reminds event goers that “a good wine is something that you like to drink, whatever wine works for you.” On Saturday, September 13, Knollinger will be hosting his next wine dinner at Abbott’s in Milford featuring wines from Germany and Austria and on Saturday, September 20, he will host a wine dinner at the Laurel, DE location featuring wines from Portugal and Spain. When learning to pair wines with food, he advises that individuals look for wines from the region where the food originates from.
“I always look for wines from the country the dish was made from,” said Knollinger. “[Winegrowers] make their wines to match their food.”
For wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, Knollinger has two recommendations for wines that are unique and that will challenge the palate. For red wine lovers, he suggests Chandon, Pinot Meunier which is produced from a variety of black wine grapes most noted for being one of the three main varieties used in the production of Champagne. For white wine lovers, he suggests a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that permits a grapefruit, citrus flavor.
Abbott’s Grill is one of only two restaurants in Kent and Sussex County to hold the accolade of the Wine Spectator’s Excellence Award, with only nine being awarded throughout the entire state. Individuals can experience an introduction to the variety of wines that Abbott’s offers during their 1/2 price wine night every Wednesday at the Milford location. Knollinger is always available at Abbott’s to talk with wine lovers about the art of tastings and pairing.