Ask for The Reserve List

The well-kept restaurant secret you need to get in on

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Drinking a great bottle of wine is life’s greatest revenge, but what are your options if you don’t have a cellar full of fine wine? Restaurants with credible wine lists may be harboring a well-kept secret—a Reserve List. So ask about one when dining out on a special occasion or when you just want to splurge on an exceptional bottle. A Reserve List offers limited, hard-to-get bottlings that often are available only to restaurants.

Gulfstream restaurant in Newport Beach has an excellent by-the-glass wine program, and the regular wine list offers nearly 40 bottles ranging from $32 to $135. I recently discovered its Reserve List and was stunned by its many treasures, making me feel like a kid in a candy store. Prices are fair considering the rarity of the wines. Examples included 2007 Hanzell Ambassador Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir (made from California’s oldest continuously producing pinot noir vines planted in 1953), 2009 Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang (arguably the world’s greatest Sauvignon Blanc), 2010 Caymus Special Select and 2005 and 2008 Joseph Phelps Insignia (both California iconic Cabernet Sauvignon wines).

Next time you’re feeling flush and want a remarkable wine, ask for this amazing list.

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