Precept Wine has partnered with P.F. Chang’s to create two wines specifically for the restaurant chain. The wines are on the menus of all 214 P.F. Chang’s U.S. restaurants.
One of Washington’s largest wine producers has teamed up with a nationwide chain of restaurants to produce a set of wines.
Precept Wine, based in Seattle, worked with P.F. Chang’s to create red and white blends to pair with the chain’s Farm to Wok menu. The wines, known as the Walla Walla Project, are available in all 214 P.F. Chang’s restaurants across the United States.
The white is a blend that is predominantly riesling, and also includes sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc and roussanne. The red is heavy on merlot, and includes cabernet sauvignon and syrah.
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This is not the first time for this kind of collaboration for Precept. In 2014, Freeman created red and white blends for Alaska Airlines. Those wines taste better than wines typically do at high elevations and inside an airplane.
The P.F. Chang’s partnership came out of a meeting between Precept CEO Andrew Browne and P.F. Chang’s beverage director Mary Melton, who launched the idea over a glass of wine last year.
The wine is under screw cap, making it easier for restaurant staff to open bottles.
With Asian cuisine, Freeman had the challenge of designing wines to go with a wide range of flavors and textures, including sweet, sour, umami and spicy. Freeman said he started the blending in the vineyard, aiming for certain ripeness and texture. He made dozens of iterations of the blends.
The results prove themselves on the table, as the white blend goes remarkably well with hot and sour soup, and the red pairs surprisingly well with Asian dishes that aren’t traditional red wine choices.
“These are close to bulletproof wines,” Browne said.
The white took two blending sessions to nail down. The red was more complicated, taking 15 blending sessions to get right.
Freeman said acidity, sweetness, tannin and use of oak all became part of the equation. A taste test showed that Browne’s white blend pared better with food than a California chardonnay it was compared to. Freeman said he sees this concept working in other situations, designing wines to go with specific cuisine.
Both wines were made in small production with ability to expand quickly. The manager of the P.F. Chang’s in Kennewick said the wines have been quickly embraced by customers, partially because the servers have the confidence to recommend them, and customers trust the wines will pair well, so it takes the guesswork out of ordering.
Browne said he recognizes that having his wines featured so prominently at a national level means his wines will, in some cases, serve as ambassadors for the state wine industry, and he is comfortable with that role.
“It puts Washington on a pedestal,” Browne said. “Mary could have chosen any winery in the world, and she chose to come to Washington. That says a lot more about our state wine industry than about my company.”