Friday, February 10, 2012


Every now and then we need to reinvent ourselves, personally and professionally. The Sandy Butler Gourmet Market and Restaurant (on the way to Fort Myers Beach, FL) has just gone through their own reinvention.The restaurant now has a name, Shoals Restaurant and Wine Bar, and a private label wine to match.

I got to try all five varietals this week. The Sauvignon Blanc was acidic, with citrus and pineapple flavors. Maybe some caramel apple on the finish. Thumbs up!

The Chardonnay from Mendocino had a little oak and smoke on the finish but was much brighter than I was expecting. The Pinot Noir was light and easy to drink with red cherry notes.

The Merlot was not as jammy as I was anticipating. I got some smoke and bacon flavors along with currant and black fruit. The Cabernet Sauvignon also comes from the North Coast and it was easy drinking with mild tannins, cherry and toast.

All are great values at $7 a glass in the restaurant and under $20  a bottle in both the restaurant AND the market. In fact, Shoals has an entire list of wines in the restaurant, at retail pricing. Anyone who has had a dinner bill where the wine costs outweigh the food will greatly appreciate this. Shoals's still has a reserve list with specialty wines such as Trilogy and Silver Oak Alexander Valley, with a more typical restaurant mark-up. But that mark-up is still less than most establishments in Southwest Florida. The wine pricing along with the great new dishes at Shoals put this restaurant on top of the list of great values in the area!

There will be a three-course wine dinner ($40) to introduce the new wines and menu items on February 29th. Make reservations at 482-6765. I'll have more on the new menu soon.

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