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Food and Drink Features

Oscar-worthy wines

The Johndrows of OKC find their Napa Valley wines a top pick in the entertainment industry.

Greg Horton February 1st, 2012

Every winter, some of the biggest names in the world of film gather in Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. Begun in 1981 by Robert Redford, it’s become a magnet for superstar chefs, as well.

This year, “Top Chef” alumnus Marcel Vigneron partnered with Johndrow Vineyards, owned by Oklahoma City residents David and Maryann Johndrow, to provide food and wine for cast parties at Sundance. Vigneron — whose brand of molecular gastronomy has been featured on “Top Chef,” “Top Chef All-Stars” and “Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen” — used Johndrow Cabernet to make infused pasta, while Johndrow Clarity Sauvignon Blanc and Johndrow Reserve Cabernet were poured for dinner guests.

It marks the second year in a row that wines by Johndrow, made in Napa Valley by winemaker Rob Lawson, were featured at Sundance.

“It’s been a great experience,” said David Johndrow.

In addition to Vigneron, Johndrow wines also were selected by celebrity chef Todd English, whose TV appearances include “Iron Chef USA” and “Martha Stewart Living.”

right, David Johndrow and Marcel Vigneron

English selected Johndrow wines for the official cast dinner for “The Surrogate.” Attendees included Helen Hunt and William H. Macy.

“The best thing about being at this event is that you’re working with artists,” Johndrow said. “Everyone is really good at what they do, and they care about their product. It’s what’s fun about this group — that, and everyone is having a blast.”

Johndrow wines received a major boost last year when Wine Spectator awarded its 2009 Clarity with an 89 score and “Best Buy” rating. The 2007 Reserve Cabernet received a 93 and an “Editor’s Choice” rating.

Calling the Reserve Cabernet an “exciting, handcrafted wine,” the editors wrote: “Layered and complex, this Napa Valley Cabernet unfolds dramatically, offering tiers of black cherries, blackberries, currants and licorice.”

The Johndrow wines are widely available in Oklahoma City. Clarity is available by the glass at Paseo Grill, 2909 Paseo; Red Rock Canyon Grill, 9221 Lake Hefner Parkway; and Stella, 1201 N. Walker.

Johndrow Reserve Cabernet is available by the bottle at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse, 7 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; Red Rock, 9221 Lake Hefner Parkway; and Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, 3241 W. Memorial.

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