Texas Hill Country restaurant recognized for its 100 percent Texas wine list



One of the first restaurants to feature a 100 percent Texas wine list and currently boasting the nation’s largest selection of Texas wines on a restaurant list, Cabernet Grill has been named one of “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants for 2018” by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Cabernet Grill is one of only seven Texas restaurants to make the prestigious list, which recognizes establishments that represent the most dynamic experiences in wine-focused dining across the country. Offering an all-Texas wine list since 2006, Cabernet Grill features more than 115 different Texas wines and stocks more than 1,200 bottles in inventory.

Wines are carefully paired with a seasonal and locally sourced menu that reflects the Texas Hill Country cuisine, prepared by Chef Ross Burtwell whose culinary career spans nearly three decades. Burtwell partners not only with local vintners but also grape growers, farmers and craft beer and spirits entrepreneurs to showcase the best food and wine that Texas has to offer. He features his favorite recipes in his first cookbook, “Texas Hill Country Cuisine: Flavors from the Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurants,” which was published in 2014.

“We are honored to be named one of America’s top wine restaurants given our focus on being truly local in every sense of the word,” Burtwell says. “We strive to capture imaginative flavors and innovative wine and food pairings to create an exceptional Texas wine experience for our guests who visit the Texas Hill Country.”

Texas is the fifth-largest wine state in America, producing warm-climate wines well suited to Southwestern cuisine.

“From the get-go, we wanted to be ‘all in’ and support this fast-growing, young industry,” Wine Director Elizabeth Rodriguez says. “Our customers have proven time and time again that they enjoy Texas wines – in our first year offering an all-Texas wine list, we saw wine sales increase by 28 percent. We have never looked back.”

Rodriguez joined Cabernet Grill in 2005 and has been instrumental in selecting wines for the list, which represent nearly 40 different Texas wineries. As part of extensive staff training, she conducts weekly blind tastings, aroma workshops, Texas vs. the world tastings, winery field trips, food and wine pairings, and in-house “meet the winemaker” sessions to craft Cabernet Grill’s wine experience.

“It’s such an exciting time for wine and food in America and our 2018 list reflects that experimental energy,”  Susan Kostrzewa, executive editor of Wine Enthusiast explains. “Gone are the days of boilerplate wine lists and menus—the new wave of chefs and wine directors are going deep and unapologetically into single categories, as well as mining emerging cuisines and regions in a way that’s both fearless and thrilling for the customer. Secondary markets continue to blossom and drive trends, meaning that great experiences are accessible regardless of location.” The list of “100 Best Wine Restaurants for 2018” will appear in the August print issue of Wine Enthusiast.

Cabernet Grill joins other highly respected restaurants that have made previous Wine Enthusiast lists including Flora Street Café and FT33 in Dallas; Pappas Bros., The Pass & Provisions, Reef, One Fifth and Underbelly in Houston; and June’s All Day in Austin.

Located in historic Fredericksburg, Cabernet Grill opened in 2002 and has built a reputation for inventive Hill Country cuisine and the most extensive, all-Texas wine list in the country. Its Cotton Gin Village Lodging offers seven 19th Century log cabins, providing elegantly rustic bed and breakfast lodging in the heart of Texas wine country.

Cabernet Grill is open only for dinner service, Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 p.m. to close. Reservations are accepted for the dining room; outdoor dining is on a first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, call 830-990-5734. Cabernet Grill is located on 2805 South Highway 16.

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