Chuck Warriner knows his wines, which is a good thing, as he’s the co-owner of the Dilly Café and the manager of the Dilly Wines & Gourmet wine shop in Mariemont. The former Dilly Deli, Dilly Café has been at its present location on the Mariemont Strand since 1996 (6818 Wooster Pike, 513-561-5233). Chuck and his wife, Robbie, found themselves spending long, hard hours at the restaurant and decided they wanted to mold it into a place that was comfortable, welcoming and fun to be in. With everything from wines and gourmet food from the shop, live music and delicious food from the restaurant, Dilly Café has become exactly what Chuck and Robbie wanted it to be. (Candace Miller-Janidlo)
CityBeat: What summer sipping wine would you be recommending to people right now?
Chuck Warriner: Today notwithstanding (author note: I spoke with Chuck on a gorgeously mild day), it’s normally hot and humid and heavy so you want to go the opposite with wines, something light and crisp, and white wines certainly fill the bill.
You don’t want a big, heavy red. We’re recommending the Frisk Prickly Riesling from Australia ($9.99). It’s slightly sweet and slightly spritzy; that’s the “prickly” part. And there’s a dry white wine from the south of France from Domaine du Pajot, Les Quatre cet Ages ($9.99). It’s a blend of four white grapes and it’s dry, light and crisp. If you’re grilling out a steak or burgers, a nice fruity Zinfandel works really well. We like the Plungerhead Lodi Zinfandel ($14.99).
CB: What is the best meal you’ve had out recently?
CW: Best one lately was at El Coyote Grill up in Anderson and I had their filet of beef, cooked just right and it was a wonderful, wonderful dinner. It was a pretty simple plate with horseradish mashed potatoes and a vegetable on the side, but all I really remember is the steak! It’s one of their specialties and they do it well. I hadn’t had it before and when I went there everyone said I had to get the steak and it was certainly worthy.