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The Dish: Morton's Steakhouse Winemaker Dinner Series with Peter Mondavi of Charles Krug Winery

27-liter bottle of Charles Krug, Vintage Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 for a live auction benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation®

27-liter bottle of Charles Krug, Vintage Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 for a live auction benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation®

On the evening of March 3, 2012, Morton's Steakhouse on 65 East Wacker Place along with Peter Mondavi, Co-Proprietor of Charles Krug Winery, hosted the first of four dinner series in 2012 to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation ( This event has been ten years running and a popular (and insiders) draw at Morton's Steakhouse, as well as a fabulous way to give back to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

With six locations in Chicago and suburbs, Morton's Steakhouse is a beloved classic American steakhouse staple. This dinner, at $150 per guest is set only in the Chicago Wacker Place location and gives diners an exclusive chance to meet face to face with one of America's best and most prominent winemakers, Peter Mondavi. I also got the honor to speak with Mr. Mondavi about his tips about wine in our upcoming Easter celebrations.

Being that this event was a Winemaker Dinner, Peter Mondavi spared no expense in treating his guests to some of his wineries best selections. At the reception, Morton's Steakhouse wet our appetites with gorgeous classics like Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Belgian Endive with Blue Cheese and Tuna Tartar. Peter Mondavi chose the Charles Krug, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 to pair with the array of flavors.

After the reception and initial meet and greet with Peter Mondavi, guests were escorted to the intimate private dining room. There diners got hear from Peter Mondavi about the families history and how they became the winemakers for the Charles Krug Winery ( Also, guests got to meet Anne Cresyy Berkoff, Community Based Fundraising Manager from Make-A-Wish Foundation and watch a short film about how their donations can impact a child's life who is battling a life altering disease and/or disability. This was truly a dinner event to help those in need, as well as help remind us about how fortunate we are to be in the position to be able to give.

The salad course of Mixed Field Greens Salad was adorned with grilled colossal shrimp, toasted walnuts, blue cheese and apple and lightly drizzled with Dijon Vinaigrette. The refreshing salad was paired with the Charles Krug, Carneros, Chardonnay, 2010. Mondavi described the wine as less oaky and more of what a Chardonnay should be. It was a great and delicious pairing with the sweetness of the shrimp and apples.

For dinner, guests were given three wine pairings with an entree of Filet Mignon in Bearnaise Sauce, Chive Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Tomato Stuffed with Sauteed Spinach and Shiitake Mushrooms. The wines where all Cabernet Sauvignon, Charles Krug Vintage Selections from 1988, 1998 and 2008. It was a wonderful progression of wines that truly helped to enhance all the different textures and tastes on the dinner plate. I enjoyed eating the same thing of my plate three different ways.

The cheese course highlighted Green Hill Jersey Cow Milk Cheese, Roasted Wild Rice Gouda, GoreDawnZola Gorgonzola, Snow Drop Goat Cheese and oh-so fabulous, Charles Krug LOT XV Zinfandel Port. That to me was one of the most memorable part of the meal. The Zinfandel Port is a Limited Release wine which made it extra special.

After dinner, the live-auction for the 27-liter of Charles Krug, Vintage Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 began starting at $2,000. The bidding was lively and exciting with the winning bid at $4,500 and all proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Throughout the history of the Winemaker Dinner Series, it is said that the winners of the 27-liter will often host a private event to enjoy the wine charging guests and proceeds being donated to the charity once again. Giving back never tasted so good!

Check out the dates of the upcoming Winemaker Dinner Series with Peter Mondavi of Charles Krug:

$150 per guest Inclusive of tax and gratuity

Chicago (Wacker Place) Tuesday, April 3
Nashville Wednesday, April 4
Santa Ana Tuesday, April 24
Burbank Wednesday, April 25

Morton's Steakhouse has raised over $340,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation over the past ten years!

Read Peter Mondavi's tips on choosing wine for your celebrations and see all the photos of the event at


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