A Winos Guide To Savor Dallas 2011

Savor Dallas, one of the biggest wine and food events in the Dallas calendar, starts on Friday. You can expect plenty of wine, spirits, food, art, and partying. As a veteran of the event,   I’m going to jig with the schedule and rank events from a wine lover’s point of view. The events aren’t just for experts; there are wine tasting seminars that look like great opportunities for beginners as well. Here is the schedule, for people looking for a fine wine time.

JUMP for the what you need to know.

Seminars

Beginners

“Savor the Perfect Pairing of Wine and Cheese”.

Paula Lambert, Founder and Owner of The Mozzarella Company and Michael Flynn, Wine and Beverage Director at The Mansion on Turtle Creek solve the vexing question of which wines to match with which cheeses for maximum enjoyment. This one should be good. I remember when I bought Paula’s recipe book years ago that it taught me how diverse a category cheese is and which one you choose can totally alter the recipe and culinary experience. Michael Flynn runs what may be the best stealth wine tasting in town (it’s every Thursday evening in the Mansion Bar – but I didn’t spill the beans).

Saturday 1:30pm at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. $55. Net Proceeds benefit the DFW Chapter of the AIWF.

For Everyone

Wine Panel

Karla Barber, Founding President of the Dallas Chapter of Women for WineSense, moderates a panel comprising Dr. Richard Becker, owner and winemaker of Becker Vineyards; David Hopkins, winemaker at Bridlewood Estate Winery, Kim McPherson, Owner and Winemaker of McPherson Cellars, Jon Concannon, owner and winemaker of Concannon Vineyard and April Cullom, Brand Ambassador for “Drink Ribera, Drink Spain.”

Tastings

The Reserve Tasting is unambiguously the best wine event of the weekend. All of the wines served must have a retail value of at least $50. Food is provided by the Sheraton Hotel. There are over 50 wineries represented, but here are some that I have tasted and can recommend divided into flights. The flights are listed alphabetically.

Sparkling wines

All the sparkling wines appear to be from Champagne this year. All are good, especially Krug.

Dom Pérignon, Epernay, Champagne, 2002

Krug Grand Cuvée, Reims, Champagne

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Blanc, Epernay, Champagne, 2002

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé, Epernay, Champagne, 2002

Chardonay

Beringer Private Reserve is a reference point for California Chardonnay. Ramey is a small producer with next to no marketing that survives solely on the strength of it’s products and the sophisticated people who buy them.

Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley, 2008

Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay, Napa Valley-Carneros, 2007

Pinot Noir

Two of Americas strongest Pinot regions are represented here (Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Sonoma’s Russian River Valley). The solitary Burgundy is a Premier Cru (roughly speaking, in the top 14% of Burgundy wine).

Archery Summit Premier Cuvée Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, 2007

DeLoach Vineyards O F S Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2008

Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuit St. George “Les Damodes”, Burgundy, 2006

MacMurray Ranch “Winemaker’s Block Selection” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon

All of these wines are at least 75% Cabernet Sauvignon. Most are from California’s Napa Valley but Clarendon Hills is one of Australia’s best wineries. This is a darned impressive list. You could do your own horizontal tasting of 2007 alone. Smuggle in a Texas grass-fed steak to go with them.

Beaulieu Vineyards Georges De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, 2007

Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2007

Clarendon Hills Brookman Cabernet Sauvignon, Clarendon, 2005

Concannon Vineyard Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley, 2007

Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley, 2004

Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, 2007

HALL “Kathryn Hall” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2007

Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, 2007

Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, 2005

Pine Ridge Stag’s Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

Ramey Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2006

Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Napa Valley, 2006

Bordeaux Style Blends

Cheval des Andes, Cuyo, Argentina, 2006

Mount Veeder Reserve Red Meritage, Napa Valley, 2005

Newton “The Puzzle”, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 2007

Quintessa Red Meritage, Rutherford, Napa Valley, 2007

Others

Numanthia is the only Tempranillo I ran across on the list, albeit a good one. The Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc is one of the late Robert Mondavi’s gifts to the California wine industry. Well oaked Sauvignon Blanc.

Clarendon Hills Hickinbothom Syrah, Clarendon, 2004

Numanthia, Spain, 2007

Robert Mondavi Winery To Kalon Vineyard Fumé Blanc Reserve, Napa Valley, 2007

Dessert

Canadian wines are produced in very small amounts so are unusual here. This is a good one. Try the Port with the cheese the hotel-provided cheese.

Graham’s 20 Year Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal, NV

Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada, 2007

Saturday March 19th, Sheraton Dallas Hotel. 5pm until 6:30pm.

Arts District Wine Stroll

This event also has a lot of good wines. The only problem is it is too short. You can’t get around the Arts District in two hours. I would like it extended to at least a week but even an extra hour would give people a chance to experience more.

Friday March 19th, Dallas Arts District, 5pm until 7pm.

International Grand Tasting

This is where all the celebrity chefs appear. The selection is stunning and there are lots of wines as well, but the restaurants are the stars. I shall be particularly interested to see what some chef-driven establishments do: Arcodoro and Pomodoro, Restaurant AVA, Kenichi, Luna’s Tortillas and The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.  A silent auction is also held, with proceeds to the North Texas Food Bank.

3 comments on “A Winos Guide To Savor Dallas 2011

  1. Thank you so very much, Andrew, for those very kind words about The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide! I really appreciate it! Michael and I are thrilled to be presenting this class that benefits the American Institute of Wine and Food Scholarship Fund. Hope to see you there.

  2. Pingback: Savor Dallas Reserve Tasting: Big Dog Wines Make the Cut | SideDish