Sip your way into sizzling satisfaction

Inside Feature

February 16, 2020

Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: FILE PHOTOS

For its first TasteMaker Dinner of 2020, set for Feb. 26, Ruth’s Chris Steak House could not have picked a better partner than Rombauer Vineyards.

After all, vineyard founder Koerner Rombauer’s greataunt, Irma Rombauer, was the author of internationally acclaimed cookbook The Joy of Cooking. His ancestors came from Rheingau, one of the most important of Germany’s 13 key winegrowing regions — in short, a world where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal.

Rombauer and his wife, Joan established Rombauer Vineyards in 1980. Still owned by second- and third-generation members of the family, the winery is known for sky high standards of excellence. From grapes to bottling, every process is carefully managed. Grapes are hand-harvested and meticulously sorted. Rombauer actually uses optical sorting machines that photograph and inspect each berry, and composts those that aren’t absolutely perfect.

And that’s just the beginning. For all of Rombauer’s wines, a basket press and peristaltic pumps — larger versions of those used to move blood during surgery — provide gentle handling every step of the way. Reserve red wines receive even kinder treatment, and are fermented and aged in as many as 25 types of French oak barrels.

In celebration of the intimate relationship between food and wine, the chefs at Ruth’s Chris have paired five unforgettable Rombauer wines with five delectable courses.

ctable courses. The dinner will begin with a luscious salad of Smoked Pork Belly with apple, fennel and walnuts, paired with a Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc, and continue with Pumpkin & Celery Soup accompanied by a Chardonnay. As a third course, the Mediterranean Chicken Fricassee, served with couscous, dried figs, plums, olives and lemon confit, and is paired with Rombauer Merlot. The main course, Filet Mignon with Garlic Herb Crust, will be offered with Cabernet Sauvignon. For dessert, a Rombauer Zinfandel will go alongside the sinfully rich Dark Chocolate Cheesecake.

According to regional director of sales and marketing Emi Espinda, this will be an exciting year for collaborations with vineyards and distilleries. “Our beverage team has secured an outstanding list of partners for the upcoming year, and we are pleased to confirm that the 2020 TasteMaker series will include 10 events,” says Espinda.

Make reservations today for the first very special TasteMaker dinner Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Hawaii. Priced at $120 per person, it’s simply perfect for sharing with a very special someone.


With five delicious courses accompanied by wines from famed Rombauer Vineyards in California’s verdant Napa Valley, the Rombauer Vineyards Wine Dinner’s main course, Filet Mignon with Garlic Herb Crust, is served with glazed baby carrots and vegetable risotto. Like all of the steaks served at Ruth’s Chris, it’s USDA Prime beef, tender and flavorful. Here, it’s lusciously paired with Rombauer’s famed Cabernet Sauvignon.


Guests who love sweets, and chocolate in particular, will be enchanted by the dessert course featured in the Rombauer Vineyards Dinner on Feb. 26. Ruth’s Chris’ Dark Chocolate Cheesecake is garnished with fresh berries and chocolate shavings, and is a scrumptious ending to a memorable meal.


TasteMaker events feature an evening of celebration with outstanding wines and spirits, and fabulous cuisine. “Our events are very successful, and it’s imperative to make reservations early,” says regional director of sales and marketing Emi Espinda. PHOTOS COURTESY RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE


TasteMaker dinners are held at more than 100 Ruth’s Chris locations. The next event highlights wines from Napa Valley’s The Prisoner Wine Co. and spirits from High West Distillery in Park City, Utah, scheduled for April 1 and 2 at Ruth’s Chris’ Honolulu restaurant, and on select dates at neighbor island locations. Then, on April 30 the event will celebrate Paso Robles’ JUSTIN Wines, which is known for its world-class Bordeaux blends.

Honolulu, HI 96813

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Hawaii's Best