CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you are a wine and food fanatic (and you wouldn't be reading these words otherwise), you've got to love what Jim Justice has done in breathing new life into The Greenbrier resort. Let's face it, the grand old lady was slipping before he stepped up and rescued this venerable and historic resort.
By renovating the rooms and public places, constructing a very tasteful casino and developing a world-class golf tournament, Justice is working tirelessly to upgrade the resort with the goal of achieving five-star status.
With all due respect to these achievements, I am particularly impressed with the efforts to elevate the wine program and cuisine at The Greenbrier. In addition to the elegant Main Dining Room, Draper's and Sam Snead's at the Golf Club, the resort has added In-Fusion (a pan-Asian restaurant), The Forum (Italian) and Prime 44 West Steakhouse, named after basketball great and state native Jerry West.
I've had the pleasure of dining at all of the establishments mentioned, and I can tell you that particular attention is being paid to making sure that the wine lists are specifically tailored to the menus of the various restaurants.
Should that come as a surprise? Well, the range of complex dishes prepared at the various dining venues is stunning, and it would be so much more manageable to keep just one well-rounded list and use it for each different restaurant.
But not at The Greenbrier. Through coordination and consultation among food and beverage president Jeremy Critchfield, executive chef Richard Rosendale and director of wine Heath Porter, the resort is able to tailor each restaurant's menu with wines that match and enhance the culinary focus. And since the menus are regularly evolving, the wines are constantly changing.
So, if you have not visited the resort recently, you should treat yourself and that special other person in your life to a little R&R at The Greenbrier. In fact, the resort is offering a few wine-oriented events this fall that should tickle your palate: