Here’s at Le Chic Geek, we cover News That Really Matters* so when Michael was headed to the Miami Centurion Lounge’s opening, I asked him politely if he would mind imbibing the offerings to do a review of what you’ll get there.
*I’m pretty sure I stole this from a big news company with heavily guarded trademarks.
You’ll recall, he reviewed the San Francisco Centurion Lounge’s drink offerings. And while those were more Napa focused (gee I wonder why), this list definitely has some Florida touches.
Access to the Centurion Lounge is by having an American Express card. Centurion and Platinum Card holders enter free with two guests. Otherwise, it’s $50 per person with the American Express card.
Jeanne asked me if I might be
naïve and stupid brave enough to try all of the drink menu items at the newly opened Miami Amex Centurion Lounge.
Since I didn’t have enough cash to make good on the Superbowl bet I lost to her last January (Why did the Seahawks call for a pass play on the 1-yard line?!? Hand the damn ball off to Marshawn Lynch!), I figured this would be a starter to paying off my debt.
As it so happened, an Assistant General Manager from the San Francisco Centurion Lounge was in Miami to help with the opening day festivities. Since he knows my “regular” drink at SFO, he offered to make me an off-menu item consisting of Prosecco, grapefruit juice, a touch of St. Germain, finished with a grapefruit rind garnish, served in a champagne flute. It would have been rude to turn down a 9:30 am refresher beverage from my friend, so I started with that. Yum!
I decided to start with the cocktails first, then the wines, then the beers. I don’t know why, I just did. Maybe I figured that it would look less weird to other patrons than having a beer before noon. I dunno, I’m grasping at straws – just work with me here, would ya?
Navel Gazer: Absolut Mandarin Vodka, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau, Orange
A light drink, but with a slightly bitter aftertaste and kick. This would pair well with lunch (and ideally, not something too salty). Personally not my favorite, but that’s because I’m not a big fan of the Lillet Blanc aperitif wine.
Key Lime Gimlet: Botanist Gin, Lime Juice, Paradigm Lime Curd
Tasty, but very sweet. Almost too sweet. It was like drinking a key lime pie, which, hey, given the name of the drink makes sense. I consider this more of an after-meal dessert drink.
305 Special: Casa Dragones Blanco Tequila, Aperol, Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice
So named for the original Miami telephone area code, this specialty cocktail was in my opinion the best of the three. Refreshing, not too sweet, can be paired with a meal, but absolutely fine as a stand alone beverage.
After the cocktails, I was still standing (well, sitting, but you know what I mean), so it was onto the wines.
Prosecco: Nino Franco “Rustico” from the Veneto region, Italy
If you like bubbles, unless you are a Centurion card member (in which case you can have Veuve Cliquot) this is the standard serving. I like bubbles, but I thought this sparkling was just OK, but not spectacular. If I can’t have Veuve as a “lowly” Platinum card holder, then I much prefer the Mumm served in the SFO Centurion Lounge.
Pinot Grigio: Terlato Family Vineyards, 2013 from Sonoma County, California
I thought this wine was “young,” meaning the finish is not as smooth and the taste was a tad bland. Pinot Grigios are supposed to be light, but even though it was fruity with a hint of apricot, it was not as refreshing as I was expecting.
Sauvignon Blanc: Loveblock 2013 from Marlborough, New Zealand
This was my favorite of all of the white wine offerings. Refreshing, just enough body and flavor, but still light. I could drink this all day (you know, if I weren’t already drinking the rest of the menu for the whole day).
Chardonnay: Tangley Oaks 2013 from Sonoma County, California
Chardonnays have fallen off of my personal preference list, primarily because I find that so many Chards are over-oaked in the barrels, and this wine was no exception. If one is looking for a full-bodied white wine, then of the four options in the lounge, this is the one, but again, it’s very oak-ey.
Sangiovese + Merlot: Mazzoni Rosso Toscana, 2011 Tuscany, Italy
This red had a very “Earthy” finish, as is customary with many Tuscans and Super Tuscan wines. It had a strong bouquet and was tasty, with a hint of cherry/berry taste, but not quite as smooth going down. But if one is a fan of Tuscans, this is a solid choice.
Malbec: Bodega Tamari Reserva, 2013 Mendoza, Argentina
Of the three reds, this was my favorite. Full-bodied, but still not too heavy, also with a strong bouquet. Though a 2013 vintage, a mature wine with a smooth, non-Earthy finish.
Cabernet Sauvignon: The Federalist, 2013 Lodi, California
My least favorite of the three. I found this Cab Sauv to be a bit heavy, and the taste was overwhelming for my preferences. That having been said, if I were going to do a wine flight tasting on a future visit, I think all of the reds outpaced the whites on offer at the lounge.
As its name implies, this is a very light, watery tasting pilsner. Frankly, if you choose this beer, you might actually be better off with water.
As ales tend to be, this was a more robust beer, with full taste and body. A much better beer than the Presidente, in my opinion. My favorite of the three beers on tap.
Goose Island IPA
If one is a fan of hoppy beers, this is the best (and only) choice on tap for you. You can have any color you want as long as it’s black. My love of hoppy beers tends to wane after a while (or maybe it was after having 13 drinks), so I can’t say this was my favorite, but having had this beer before, I do know that I like it, I just wasn’t in the mood for an IPA at the time.
So that’s it intrepid Le Chic Geek readers. Thanks for reading along and joining in on the journey!
Anyone planning on visiting the Miami Centurion Lounge soon? If so, I’d love to hear your opinions and get your tasting notes for comparison!