California Pizza Kitchen wine tastings

I was at a Californa Pizza Kitchen last month and not intending to have wine with my food, I went ahead and had a small serving any way – since they were free.

Trying to get ahead of other casual dining chain restaurants, CPK has launched its new redesigned wine list nationwide and looking to start a new “wine culture” at its restaurants.

To give diners a glimpse they are offering free wine tastings to diners ages 21 and over. Each week two featured wines are chosen and offered as tastings.

The selection of wines were handpicked by the restaurant’s co-founders/co-CEOs Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax. Most selections on the new list are priced under $10 for a glass but still considered high quality for their price.

The selection includes:                                 

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-Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Chardonnay

-Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay

-Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

-La Crema Pinot Noir

-Stags’ Leap Merlot

At my visit, I tried the pinot grigio, a white wine for those unfamiliar with wine, and the pinot noir, a red.

I’m not big on white wines and even though the Santa Margherita was tasty and a little woodsy, it was too sweet for my wine taste.

The La Crema pinot was nice and smooth for a more dry and bitter wine but it had the right amount of dryness which is not easily accomplished in many reds.

It’s nice to see CPK step it up to compete with the many smaller upscale restaurants that are more able to switch up their wine offerings. I wonder if they’ll also start offering pairing suggestions too.

Now, can I just have a truly small side salad for like $3 with my pasta? Please….

Subway’s Buffalo Chicken sandwich

If you haven’t read any of my other posts, then I must say it again – I LOVE BUFFALO! The sauce that is.

So when I heard Subway had a new Buffalo Chicken sandwich and were offering a footlong for only $5, I couldn’t resist trying it.

The chicken, including everything except the sauce, was pretty much just like any other chicken sandwich at Subway – chopped “grilled” chicken strips and any veggie fixin’s you want.

The sauce was what I was most curious about anyway. And though the buffalo sauce was not dissapointing, it wasn’t anything spectacular. Actually, I really think it was just Frank’s Hot Sauce brand.

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What definitely didn’t add anything else but soggy bread to the sandwich was the light ranch dressing they drizzle on top of the buffalo sauce, I’m assuming so you get a whole “buffalo wings and sauce” experience.

The sauce didn’t have that bold zesty ranch flavor and I’m guessing because it was light, it was thin and watery so it dripped throughout and out of the sandwich.

I don’t think I would try this sandwich again. I’ll do better adding jalapenos to one of their regular grilled chicken sandwiches to get more flavor or just head to Hooters.