Impress dinner guests with the wine order with tips from Vanguard Wines President Eric Stewart.

By Eric Stewart, President of Vanguard Wines

Anytime a company hosts a business dinner, the pressure is on to impress from the moment everyone is seated through dessert. It's a time to show off industry expertise, as well as a cultured palate. But finding time to catch up on the latest wine trends isn't easy for most executives who are also balancing running a business.

Columbus' wine culture is certainly on the rise, and new, quality labels are showing up at dine-originals throughout the city. The newest wine to hit the Columbus market is one that will certainly shine at a client dinner. Sean Minor, a Napa Valley winemaker with a focus on producing wines to be consumed primarily at restaurants (known in the wine industry as "on-premise wines"), just signed a deal with Columbus-based wine distributor Vanguard Wines to bring his 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to the capital city.

When the server comes for the drink orders, ask if they have a bottle of this in stock. Then prepare to impress the table with these unique insiders:

This wine is meant for fine dining. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular wine varietals, but finding a high quality, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that is intended for restaurants is rare. This wine pairs perfectly with inspired dishes at five-star restaurants. It tastes like Napa Valley. The Minor family believes in wine that represents the region from which it was produced, known as site-specific viticulture. Many common Cabernet Sauvignons are California blends, but this one is exclusively Napa Valley. The grapes in the 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon are from sites throughout the region and were harvested at optimal maturity, then fermented so as to extract the fullest color and flavor. It's a great wine for wine reasons. Sean Minor has cracked the code for producing wines that exude quality and flavors of their regions at a great value. He loves wine, so he wants to share his creations with other enthusiasts who can enjoy them everyday. That's why he partnered with the wine lovers at Vanguard Wines, who work with him directly to bring Columbus this rare gem of a vintage.

Once guests are enticed by the host's knowledge of the wine's back-story, they'll be eager to taste it. They can expect the 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to be a deep ruby color with aromas of ripe blackberry, red and black currants.Blackberries and ripe plum will fill the mid-palate, entwined with black currant, mocha and black pepper, creating a full-bodied and rich wine experience. The soft tannins and sweet oak balance will allow for a long and lingering finish.

Picking the right wine and sharing the story behind the bottle can present an additional opportunity for the hosts to make an impression in front of their guests. Though it might not seal the business deal, it can certainly set an early tone for the meeting.

Eric Stewart is an OSU graduate, Columbus resident and the President of Vanguard Wines, a Columbus-based importer and distributor of fine wines. To learn more about Vanguard Wines, its portfolio or where to find its wines, visit or contact a member of the Vanguard Wines team.