Thursday, October 27, 2011
Fleming's Steakhouse in El Segundo is known for its steaks made with Prime beef but on a recent visit I was pleasantly surprised to find that they also have 100 wines available by the glass. This may be the largest selection of wines by the glass I have encountered anywhere in the region and is a customer friendly development. The list is regularly refreshed and the latest iteration of the "Fleming's 100" launched last month.
The list has a large selection of red wines, which naturally pair with steak, but also represents a broad range of sparkling, white and red wines. The bubbly selection includes a Blanc de Blancs from Schramsberg, which I consider to be the best producer of sparkling wine in California. The bubbles were small and continuous and the wine had a pleasant crispness to it. Not overly sweet, a good start while perusing the menus or having a salad to begin.
Another good option in the champagne and sparkling wine section is the Roederer Estate Brut Rosé, a sparkling rose from Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, north of Sonoma. This wine is made from pinot noir grapes and was fruit forward and pleasantly fizzy.
One of my favorite regions for red wine is Rioja in Spain. La Vendimia from Palacios Remondo is a Garnacha and Tempranillo blend. It is a well balanced rioja with fruit and leather aromas. This will get your stomach juices ready for the inevitable steak to follow.
The wines by the glass can also be customized into a wine flight of three wines (2 oz pours each). I enjoyed the flexibility of being able to try any three wines by the list. There were no restrictions that they had to be from some subset of the list or only preselected options; if it was on the list of 100 wines by the glass, you could include it in your wine flight. Especially in Southern California where diners often need to drive after their meals, it is excellent to have the option to not be forced into buying a bottle you won't finish or paying too much for a limited selection by the glass that may not have any choices you want.
It would be a shame to not try the Bone-In Ribeye when you come to Fleming's to work your way through the list of wines by the glass (hopefully not all in one visit). My dining companion and I split the steak, which was made with Prime beef. It was prepared a beautiful medium rare and was juicy and flavorful. The ribeye was simply seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs and then broiled. A steak like this will spoil you for meat at other restaurants.
Man does not live by meat alone, so we sampled the Asparagus and the Fleming's Potatoes. The asparagus was a great veggie component to our meat and wine fest. The Potatoes are a house specialty with cream, jalapeños and cheddar cheese. This was the one component of the meal I cannot recommend as I found them to be heavy and not that delicious. Stick to the baked potato or the french fries if you want a starchy component to your dinner.
With 100 choices, there is no excuse that you can't find something to your taste. Even better the sommelier listened to what I was looking for and was able to recommend several choices that met my parameters. Note that if you have wanted to try Silver Oak, but found it out of your price range, Fleming's list includes a Merlot from Twomey, its sister winery which shares the same winemaker.
This visit was hosted.
Fleming's: 2301 Rosecrans Avenue, El Segundo. Phone: (310) 643-6911. Website: flemingssteakhouse.com