Exploring Spain through wine at Milwaukee restaurants

Orry León, co-owner of the Spanish- and Portuguese-inspired restaurant Amilinda downtown, said half of the wine drinkers at Amilinda love Spanish wines and are thrilled they’re on Amilinda’s menu, while the others are completely unfamiliar with them.

That’s where servers step in to ask, “What do you usually drink?” Then they can suggest a Spanish wine that will appeal to diners.

But what León really likes is when customers try the wine that’s their server’s favorite — which varies from server to server.

“It’s just like when you’re traveling,” he said. “You go to the bartender and ask, ‘What’s good here?’ ”

It’s not the restaurant trying to sell a more expensive bottle, he said, it’s just helping the customer try something new. “We enjoy it; we want you to enjoy it,” he said.

Amilinda carries at least 30 types of Spanish wines, on a list of up to 55 bottles (the rest are Portuguese). Any bottle is available by the glass, thanks to the Coravin.

“Before you buy that $100 bottle of wine, I can give you a taste,” León said.

Read more…