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Fredericksburg grill is one of America’s top 100 wine restaurants, says Wine Enthusiast

Arianna Auber
Cabernet Grill in Fredericksburg is now a top wine destination in the U.S., as one of the featured restaurants on a prestigious Wine Enthusiast list.

The Cabernet Grill in Fredericksburg — one of the first restaurants to offer a 100 percent Texas wine list and now featuring the country’s largest selection of Texas wines on a restaurant menu — has achieved a lofty honor for its efforts.

It has been named on Wine Enthusiast’s prestigious list of America’s 100 best wine restaurants of 2018, joining six other Texas dining spots including Bullion in Dallas and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston.

“We’re loving spots in smaller cities that are impacting their communities; precise, tightly focused or seasonal wine lists; and the celebration of diversity and inclusion proliferating in the restaurant industry,” according to Wine Enthusiast’s introduction to the list.

Those are each things that qualify Cabernet Grill, in the heart of Texas wine country, for its inclusion. Helmed by Chef Ross Burtwell, the restaurant has curated an all-Texas wine list since 2006, with more than 115 red, white and rosé options currently available from wineries across the state.

The first year Cabernet Grill featured only Texas wines, wine sales increased 28 percent. It was a promising sign that people were willing to give the budding industry a chance, according to a press release. Now, Texas is the fifth largest wine-producing state in the country, specializing in warm-weather varietals like tempranillo.

“I find it personally exciting that our customers are now taking Texas wine seriously and are open to exploration of the various varieties that work well in our area,” Cabernet Grill wine director Elizabeth Rodriguez, who has been integral in crafting the wine program since joining the staff in 2005, said in the Wine Enthusiast piece.

But what makes the eatery truly stand out, according to the release, is that the wines are paired with Burtwell’s seasonal, locally sourced dishes for a culinary program that showcases flavors of the Texas Hill Country. Notable recipes from the longtime chef were featured in his first cookbook in 2014, “Texas Hill Country Cuisine: Flavors from the Cabernet Grill.”

Getting the Wine Enthusiast nod is quite an honor, he said in the release. 

“We strive to capture imaginative flavors and innovative wine and food pairings to create an exceptional Texas wine experience for our guests who visit the Texas Hill Country,” he said. 

Cabernet Grill, which offers dinner service only and has on-site lodging in the form of 19th-century log cabins, is located at 2805 South Highway 16. 

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