TN: Bern's steakhouse wine night

Some friends and I had a big dinner last weekend at Bern’s in Tampa, and we wanted to do a bunch of wine. I thought someone might be curious, plus this will save my notes for posterity. Here we go…

Seguras Viudas brut cava NV (2x 750): excellent start. Very soft and delicate but with some yeasty notes. We went cava instead of champagne to put some of those dollars towards later bottles. For a grocery store wine, this might become my new weekday night sparkler. Will be buying some of these soon. 14/20

2006 Weinbach, Cuvee St. Catherine, Grand Cru riesling (2x 750): well, I say 2x but really it was 4x as two bottles were corked, I’m told. I can’t detect TCA (lucky me!) so they were fine, but we settled on two bottles. Very nice. I’m new to riesling and still not entirely sold as, I’m sorry, they just all have residual sweetness that I’m not usually in the mood for. This was the oldest riesling I’ve had by far and clearly the best, but I’m not looking to load up on them anytime soon. Glad we tried it, I liked it, but I don’t think I’m a riesling guy. 12/20

2013 Didier Dagueneau Silex (2x 750: my first time having a Dagueneau and I chose this over Chave Hermitage blanc (a bottle of which is still the best wine I’ve ever had, so this choice was tough). In a word: great! It has the character that I search for in all wines which is difficult if not impossible to define; it was “smooth”. Easily best sauvignon blanc I’ve ever had. 17/20

2002 Bichot, Nuits St. Georges, 1er cru, Les Crots (2x 750): I like but don’t love red burgundy so this was an attempt to wine me over. An interesting note was a distinct and appreciable bottle variation between the two. Neither was flawed but one just “more” of everything than the other. 9 out of 10 at the table all preferred the same bottle out of the pairing. I liked this but still don’t think red burgundy lights my hair on fire, which is fine with me because otherwise I’d be setting my wallet on fire. 16/20

1983 Haut Batailley (1x 1500): here we go, perfectly aged BDX is probably what I love best about Bern’s. This was classic stuff from this fifth growth. I would have liked more concentration of flavor but this is the style that really suits me. 15/20

1982 Ridge Monte Bello (2x 750): this wine “only” had 70-something Parker points from a cool vintage. Alcohol was 11.5%. I had faith despite Uncle Bob’s score and we were well rewarded. Wine of the night! Everything you could want from a bordeaux blend. Not much room for improvement, I must say. Exactly what I wanted. 18/20

1978 Guigal Cotes du Rhone (1x 750): one of two wild cards the sommelier (shout out, Dustin!) picked out for us to toss on the table. Classic Rhone. If you like the style, you would have enjoyed this, no doubt. 16/20

1975 Comte Andre de Monpezat, Cahors (1x 750): I’m pretty sure this was the producer but slight chance I bungled this one. Second wild card, something like $40, and wow, what an overperformer. Probably #2 wine of the night. 17/20

Also had a 1933 madeira in the dessert room but let’s be honest, that was 5 hours after we got there, and not sure I gave it a fair shot. However, I remember thinking “this is dang good, but I could have just as well enjoyed Broadbent 10 year malmsey for $100 less”.

My only complaint? I don’t think I got the Bern’s cheese cracker!


Bichot from that era would be one of the last wines I’d open to try and convince someone about red Burgundy. Glad you had a nice night.


Great stuff, a few of us were just talking about how the old Ridge do so well at Berns, always a treat. Eager to get back.


:shushing_face: :shushing_face:


So sad that Chicken Bern has been removed from the menu!

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Did you get the macadamia nut ice cream? One of my favorite things there.

Thx for note on the Silex as Im holding a 13


We were there last summer and they weren’t making them. The cheese cracker maker position was still unfilled.


exactly :grinning: first rule of fight club is…


That was 15-20 years ago. I think the cat is out of the bag on this one :hear_no_evil:

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2x 750, sounds like that was a great meal!

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We’re headed there this weekend to sip through a couple of bottles.


@David_Baum nope, I went for the white chocolate ice cream and it was great. I’m sure the Silex could go longer but as that was my first time trying I don’t want to try to accurately predict where in its lifespan it was. I just know I liked it a lot.

@Nick_Gangas turns out they were indeed making the crackers. Talked to a friend at the table who got theirs, apparently somebody just snaked mine.


You gotta move quickly, those crackers are like crack. They be whack.

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Great notes.

And great timing! We were there two nights this week, my first visit. We went for some really old, off-vintage Bordeaux. Our Somm helped by identifying candidate bottles in advance. Some good fills, some not so good… but all good color. Only one of 7 (1907 LLC) was not drinkable with some prominent VA.

TNs and pics are on Delectable:

Night 1
1983 Rapet Corton Charlie
1929 Lascombes
1933 Margaux
1950 Ausone

Night 2
1980 Bouchard Corton Charlie
1906 Talbot
(1907 Leoville Las Cases - returned due to VA)
1920 Carbonneaux
1955 Belair (backup btl, replaced the LLC)

The Rapet, the Ausone, the Carbonneaux and the Lascombes were notable.

Great experience!


Mike Drop for the win!

How was pricing on the wines? They did a pretty significant increase during Covid from what I recall. Wondering if they have continued?


Nice line-up!!

I had that 1950 Ausone, along with the 1953, a handful of years ago at Bern’s, with Keith Levenberg and Charlie Carnes. The 1953 was phenomenal, but I really enjoyed the charm of 1950 as well, definitely more than Keith and Charlie liked it. A Chinon lover’s Bordeaux.

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Well done. I also like the idea of two visits in a week

great news !!

We had this last night. Quite lovely nose, but I think the palate on the Yon Figeac was more complete. We think it might have been a '28. Sadly the '57 Cheval was flawed as I was looking forward to that one.