Feb. 18 is National Drink Wine Day ... and we know where you should go!

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By Jennifer Primrose

February 18 is National Drink Wine Day ... and we want to know, how do you plan to celebrate?

National Drink Wine Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated nationwide annually to celebrate the history and health benefits of wine and a subtle reminder to enjoy a glass of wine. A reminder we personally don't need.

This day affords itself the perfect opportunity to open up that bottle of wine you've been storing in the cellar for that perfect occasion ... or better yet, why not celebrate by going to Season's 52 located inside Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.

Season's 52 gets its name from the 52 wines by the glass along with a rotating food menu by the season. The wines may also change by regions during seasons, as the restaurant featured an assortment of wines from Spain a couple seasons ago.

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We recently had the opportunity to visit Season's 52 for dinner and had the pleasure of speaking with manager Alex Gaibiselis about the restaurants wine program and selections the restaurant has to offer.

One feature you'll find at Season’s 52 is the “Drink them Before They’re Famous,” where the Sommelier seeks out the latest up and coming vintners from around the world. “These are wines we’re trying to turn the public on to. They’re really well produced wines that are served for a great value” says Gaibiselis.

One of the restaurants premier California labels comes from Lake Sonoma Winery and its winemaker, Kat Doescher. “It’s probably the best value Cabernet here,” he says. The vineyard is right next to Silver Oak and the cost in the restaurant by the glass or bottle is considerably less than Silver Oak. “That’s by far my favorite wine to drink,” he concludes, and at $13 a glass, it's a steal.

Garlic Pesto Chicken Flatbread and Artichoke/Brussel Sprout Dip goes well with white wine.

Garlic Pesto Chicken Flatbread and Artichoke/Brussel Sprout Dip goes well with white wine.

Gaibiselis also likes Don Miguel Gascón Winery's Malbec, which goes for around $11.5 a glass. “That’s what I usually start off with before the food arrives. It drinks like a Cabernet, but it won’t overwhelm you.”

As far as white wine goes, Gaibiselis admits he's not a huge fan of Chardonnay, but if he was to drink one here at Season's 52, it would be Cakebread's Chardonnay. And Season's 52 is one of the few places here in the Triangle you can order Cakebread by the glass. With a glass of this creamy, apple and melon flavored wine at your table, you can't go wrong.

Another Chardonnay he prefers is St. Helena's Markham Vineyards. "It's a great wine and from great vintners. It's got oak. It's got butter. It's a little dry. It's everyone's Chardonnay," he says.

And if you're feeling overwhelmed with choices, Gaibiselis recommends a good ole' fashion wine flight. You'll receive 3 glasses of wine filled with 2-ounces of pre-selected wines not on the menu. It's a great way to sample some wine as you peruse the menu.


Now you decide to head over to Season's 52 on February 18 to celebrate National Drink Wine Day – but what's that perfect wine and food pairing? Don't worry, Gaibiselis gave us a little insight.

For the red wine drinker, a Pinot Noir with your appetizer is a great way to start. As you move on to the entrée, a Cabernet or Shiraz are good options. Gaibiselis also suggests the Michael David’s Petit Sirah from Lodi as one of his favorites.These are all options with dishes such as the boneless short rib, filet mignon or New York strip.

Braised Short Rib pairs well with a Cabernet, while the Scallops and a Chardonnay are a perfect combo.

Braised Short Rib pairs well with a Cabernet, while the Scallops and a Chardonnay are a perfect combo.

For the white wine drinker, a Sauvignon Blanc will pair well with seafood dishes such as the shrimp and grits or sea scallops. In the mood for cedar plank salmon, consider a Chardonnay or branch out with a red and try a Pinot Noir. In the mood for the maple-glazed all-natural roasted half chicken? Try the Markum Vineyards Chardonnay – with just enough butter in it, this wine pairs perfectly with the chicken.

We hope this makes your taste buds water for some incredible food and amazing wine that can all be found at Season's 52. For reservations, click the link below and receive a complimentary champagne toast.