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Wines of the World


Born and Raised Exclusive Wine Dinner Series

Downtown dinner series features rare and lesser-known vintages

Posted on June 21, 2019

Housing one of the most stacked wine portfolios in the city, Little Italy steakhouse Born and Raised is putting it to good work with the launch of its Exclusive Wine Dinner Series.

Born and Raised Exclusive Wine Dinner Series
Born and Raised Bone-In Cabernet Braised Beef Short Rib

Sommelier Rafael Peterson, who has collaborated with wineries across the globe, is releasing rare and older vintages to pair with specially curated menus by Chef Ted Smith. Dishes feature the restaurant’s best cuts of meat, which are dry-aged in-house and individually paired with different wine selections.

There is also an educational portion of the evening after guests have dined, which includes a discussion about why these particular wines and vintages are rare or special, as well as background on the wineries and winemakers. As an added bonus, while some of the most iconic and well-loved wine regions, like Bordeaux, are being featured, the series also spotlights lesser-known wine producing areas by bringing the best options from each to the table.

The first dinner, hosted in late May, featured Chateau Musar, one of the most storied wineries in Lebanon. The second is on July 31 and will revolve around Feudi di San Gregorio, a winery from Campania, in Southern Italy. Wines from Campania don’t always make it very far outside of Italy, and it’s likely that many Americans have never tried wine from this region.

Interestingly enough, Campania actually houses some of the country’s oldest vineyards. It’s said that winemaking in the area can be traced back to 590 A.D. The Feudi di San Gregorio winery itself was started in the 1980s by husband and wife duo Enzo Ercolino and Mirella Capaldo, who focus on more esoteric regional grape varieties like Greco di Tufo and Aglianico, a grape that is catching steam in San Diego’s winemaking neighbor to the south, Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe.

As if on cue, the September 25 dinner will feature a winery from Baja California. Lechuza Wines was started in the Valle de Guadalupe by Ray Magnussen, who has since passed away, leaving the winemaking and cultivation to his daughter, Kris, and her husband, Adam. The winery has enjoyed a lot of success over the years — in addition to being a darling of several wine critics, it has become a fixture on the tasting room circuit and landed a few bottles on the hard-to-crack wine list at Thomas Keller’s iconic Yountville restaurant The French Laundry.

As of now, the final dinner will be on November 20 and will feature a breadth of bottles and producers from across Bordeaux. Access is limited to 15 people per dinner; the cost is $190 inclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant. 619.202.4577, bornandraisedsteak.com   Jackie Bryant

Born and Raised Exclusive Wine Dinner Series
Rafael Peterson

Photography by James Tran


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