This morning at TexSom I didn’t drink a drop of wine but I tasted plenty of major wine flaws. At the same time, I also discovered another useful purpose for vodka. But I didn’t drink that either. Lest you think I’ve been dipping into something stronger, I’ll enlighten you: My nose got a major workout when I participated in unique blind tasting designed to illustrate some of the major faults and flaws in wine. The session, conducted by Gordon Burns and Eric Hervé, was one of the most instructive wine education classes that I’ve ever experienced. TexSom organizers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks did the tasting earlier this year in California and added the seminar to this year’s Texas Sommelier Conference at the Four Seasons in Las Colinas.
Gordon Burns and Eric Hervé are scientists with ETS Laboratories in St. Helena, CA. They normally spend their time analyzing wines for wineries and other clients for signs of spoilage. Today, they deliberately doctored eight glasses of vodka with the smell of eight common wine flaws detectable through smell alone. The vodka essentially acted as a solvent for the aromas. The audience of 300 wine professionals got to guess, from taste alone, what the flaws were.
Jump for the curious results.
The final session at Texsom yesterday was a tasting of eight wines from Greece. When I first heard this I almost cut out early. I have never had a good Greek wine. They give me memories of alcoholic, flabby, simple fruit bombs.
However, it was a good thing that I stayed. The wines presented were the biggest surprise of the day. Six of the eight were red, and they were the stars. However, each reflected the grapes from which it was made. Two of the best were wines made from Nemea, a region noted for its wine making by Homer (who may have described them as ‘yummy’).
Jump for the glorious details.4 Comments »
After two local email newsletters featured J. Black’s Feelgood Lounge in the same week, I had two friends ask me to go. One was seduced by the idea of the Bloody Mary bar; the other by the words “brunch” and “Austin” together in a sentence. I based my decision on the online menu, which looked like a solid field of tasty American dishes. And so with my Austin-loving friend I went for brunch on Sunday. It was a lot to, ehem, digest. Continue reading "Restaurant Review: Brunch at J. Black’s Feelgood Lounge in Dallas"5 Comments »
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Giving viewers all around the US an energized update and fresh recipes on the innovative and fine current culinary work in Dallas and in Texas, Chef John Tesar is a featured chef on Nick Stellino’s popular Public Television program Cooking with Friends this fall.
Chef Tesar will tape the show on August 17 at Chef Stellino’s studio in Los Angeles. The show will air on a date to be announced as Chef Stellino celebrates 15 years of his program.
“It is my great pleasure to be cooking with my buddy and talented chef Nick Stellino. This is the 15th anniversary of his show and spending time with Nick is always memorable and fun,” said Chef Tesar. “I will be preparing a steak dish with beef from my family’s ranch as a central ingredient. The dish is Lime and Curry Marinated Ribeye Steaks, with cucumber and honeydew melon chutney and spiced basmati rice.”
Continue reading "DRG Concepts Culinary Director Chef John Tesar to Appear on Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends"
Take this short test and tell us what kind of nut you are or if you are a nut at all. A short background:
The original study, commissioned by Fisher Nuts, asked more than 1,000 men and women to select their favorite nut and complete a battery of personality tests. Once the results were correlated, the study found that everyone fell into one of five distinct personality types
The five personality profiles are detailed below. (I could think of my own five, but we’ll play with their rules for now.) Hit it. Continue reading "Monday Morning Foodie Fun: What Kind of Nut Are You"5 Comments »
The next few weeks are going to be rough—Restaurant Week sucks the life out of restaurant news. I promise not to make every SideDish post about RW, but an interesting conversation about tipping servers during RW erupted under a post I put up on Friday. It gave me an idea.
If you are one of the lucky folks flitting around town and enjoying RW, I ask you to get the complete name (and a picture) of a server who performed above the call of duty. E-mail details of your experience to me (firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Best Server in subject line.). At the end of every week, SideDish will recognize said server. We’ll even find some prizes for them. Okay, stay alert. Go.3 Comments »
Andrew Chalk spent all day Sunday at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas, Texas. No he wasn’t lounging by the pool, he was hunkered down in a conference room along with a couple hundred wine professionals who trekked to Dallas for the Texas Sommelier Conference (TexSom).
Organized by the Texas Sommelier Association, the intensive two-day session attracts some of the best national palates in the wine industry. TexSom offers public and to-the-trade sessions to “promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and certification, and to raise public awareness about the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers.” The organization also sponsors the “Texas’ Best Sommelier” competition—and if you have ever attended a seminar at this event, you’ve surely noticed a few nervous competitors wandering the halls waiting for interview sessions with some of the great masters of American wine. Their reward? Scholarships for professional certification courses.
Anywhoo, the conference room was without WiFi for most of the first day so Andrew Chalk really had to work to find a connection with more than wine to file the following reports of his first day at TexSom below the jumperoo. Continue reading "Special Report: Texas Sommelier Conference in Las Colinas"1 Comment »