Wine is an integral part of what we do at the Windjammer Restaurant in Burlington, Vermont, because we truly believe that wine and food — when paired right — creates the ultimate dining experience. We take a tremendous amount of pride in being able to deliver this experience to our guests.
After tasting hundreds of different wines from all over the world, we made thoughtful selections that we believed paired well with our unique menu. Although our main focus is on domestic wine, diversity is also important in order to provide options. We dissect each wine and take notes on everything from body type to acidity levels to price. At the end of the day, the goal is to provide our Windjammer Restaurant guests with a quality wine that will complement their meal — without breaking the bank.
Offering value is a key component to our wine program because we know that great wine doesn’t have to be expensive. With that said, we also enjoy being able to offer several very special selections that come in at a higher price but deliver superior quality. The wines that make the list are those that we find offer the highest quality, best value, and most importantly, marry well with the food that we serve. Currently, our list is comprised of 150 different selections, 20 of which we offer by the glass.
Educating our staff about our wine list is as important as the list itself. It’s imperative that the staff understands the wine and can discuss and recommend them to our guests. Initially, we sit down with every member of the team and provide them with tasting notes on all of the wines that we serve by the glass and any new wines that we have added by the bottle. This gives the service team the following information: varietal type, origin, aroma, flavor profile, foods to pair with, acidity levels and any additional notes. Then, we taste all of the wines and discuss them as a group.
Beyond the initial training, we believe in ongoing education as well. We offer tastings to our staff weekly to keep them on top of the different varietals we offer and give them the chance to taste some of the obscure selections on our list. In addition, we enlist the assistance of our wine distributors monthly for a more comprehensive tasting. Most of the representatives are Certified Wine Educators (CWE certified) and really delve into the history of the wineries, wine making techniques, growing region and territory.
We take pride in our wine program at the Windjammer Restaurant and Upper Deck Pub, which was awarded the 2011 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. We hope you too will enjoy one of the best wine lists in Burlington, Vermont, hand selected to accompany our fantastic menu.