I got invited to Carrabba’s headquarters last week to try out their new wine + food pairing called Tasting Tuesdays. I was a little hesitant initially because honestly, Carrabba’s doesn’t exactly scream “inspired” to me, you know? Granted, it had been years since I’d been there but that didn’t stop me from passing judgment, haha. I’m just being honest with you guys!
Luckily, I was totally proven wrong! Like that kind of “proven wrong” where you actually feel embarrassed for making assumptions. Turns out, it was really fun! I met with the director of beverages, Ken Lennox, who picks the wines that get included in the experience. Before I go on, let me just tell you: this guy really knows his sh*t. I’ve done my fair share of wine tastings and I always feel a little out of place.
The way he explained everything was so simple and accessible, it made it really easy to understand and I felt like I actually learned something instead of just watching an “expert” drone on for an hour.
Sure, we talked about how to taste wines “properly” and what to look for, but he really emphasized how they encourage people to taste their wine selections, which I loved. It’s not a right vs. wrong approach, it’s simply a way to see what you like. He made it clear that everyone’s individual experience will be different, and we should step away from the thought that experiencing wine has to be a super exclusive, fancy-pants thing. What tastes fruity to one person might taste more like vanilla to someone else. What I think pairs well with steak might not be what you like with steak. I like that it was more about the experience and having fun with it than about getting it “right.”
Also, can we please discuss the ridiculously sweet head chef, Jay? He was super talented AND as sweet as they come. Total southern gentleman and he can cook. I’ll let some pictures do the talking…