Wine at Canoe; Bourbon at the Sun Dial

Local restaurants begin a series of educational dinners
Canoe restaurant

Photo courtesy of Green Olive Media

Tonight two popular Atlanta restaurants will launch the first of a series of dinners centered on alcoholic beverages. At Canoe, beverage director Matt Bradford will lead a four-course wine dinner entitled How to Taste Wine; while at the Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View, chef Jason Starnes will prepare four courses paired with Four Roses bourbon.

The Canoe dinner, which begins with a sparkling wine reception at 6:30 p.m. and costs $85, will be held in the restaurant’s private dining room. There, Bradford—who has completed Advanced Certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers and his achieved his diploma with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust—will use a PowerPoint presentation to spark discussion about the systematic approach to tasting wine.

“When someone starts enjoying wine and really paying attention, the first step is to embrace the vocabulary: fruit flavors, minerality, acidity, tannins, and body,” he says. “The next steps are analysis; there’s visual, nose (aromatic), then palate. From that, you draw your conclusions and determine the quality of the wine, whether it fits your personal preferences, etc.”

Bradford says the idea for the class came from Canoe diners, who had heard how he educates the servers about wine, and wanted in.

“For a lot of people, the first measure of a wine is how much you pay for it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything,” he says.

Though the menu won’t be released before the dinner begins, Bradford promises seasonal items and both Old and New World wines. Tonight’s dinner is limited to 16 people, but Canoe will host a second, similar event if demand is high enough. Plus, two additional wine dinners are planned. On April 9, dinner will focus on 45th Parallel pinot noir, and on May 7, Italian reds take center stage.

For reservations for any of the wine dinners at Canoe, call the restaurant at 770-436-9292.

The Sun Dial Restaurant
If bourbon is more your thing, Tonight’s Four Roses dinner at the Sun Dial may be of interest. The evening begins with cocktails at 7 p.m., followed by four courses paired with bourbon, narrated by both Starnes and Randall Roberts, principal of Real Brands.

The menu includes bourbon-flamed sea scallops paired with a Louisiana Cooler, Manhattan-braised lamb ribs paired with an Apple Old Fashion, Southeast Family Farms skirt steak paired with a Peach Manhattan, and smoked chocolate pate with Four Roses single barrel on the rocks.

“The Atlanta food scene right now is burgeoning with such unique artisans and producers. We want to bring together the finest and showcase them for our diners, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience them,” Starnes says. “Small producers and artisans have the same passion in their craft as we do in our cooking. When you have that much love, excitement, and enthusiasm, you are producing an amazing product through the highest of standards.”

The Four Roses dinner will seat 40 people. The cost is $75 per person, and tickets can be purchased on Ticket Alternative. Future Sun Dial events include a local craft beer/growler dinner (potentially with Wild Heaven Brewery), an Arcadian Winery dinner, and a farm-to-table dinner with White Oak Pastures. The dates for these events have not yet been announced.