Alexander Valley Vineyards pour wine for a guest. (photography by Lauren Meystedt)

Savor Dallas: For the Love of Wine


Savor Dallas celebrated its tenth birthday this past weekend, and did so in elegant fashion. As the brainchild of Jim White and and Vicki Briley-White, the gathering continues to be one of the most respected and cherished events for oenophiles, chefs, and food-enthusiasts alike.

Blessed with a picturesque evening, the Arts District shined its shoes and played host to knowns and unknowns in the wine, spirits and beer industries. Spread across The Nasher Sculpture Center, The Meyerson Symphony Center and the plaza of the Cathedral, the stroll was just that: a leisurely walk surrounded by art, nature, and friendly faces.

Aimee Sanborne, Adam Jones, Taylor Catalano, Jon Leach, Don Tapani, and David Sassano enjoy the Arts District Wine Stroll (left to right)
Aimee Sanborne, Adam Jones, Taylor Catalano, Jon Leach, Don Tapani, and David Sassano enjoy the Arts District Wine Stroll (left to right)

With people pouring wines from stalwarts like Cakebread, Duckhorn, MacMurray Ranch, and La Crema, everyone’s investment in the evening was rewarded. My personal favorites came by way of experimentation, particularly a Viognier from Texas’s own Becker Vineyards and Fall Creek’s GSM, a thoughtful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

While scenic, the patio at the Cathedral was a bit crowded and the Meyerson Symphony Center was a little loud. But these are  both good problems for Dallas. It means the festival outdid itself. My preferred venue was the Nasher Sculpture Center’s garden, where we sipped Stella Artois and snacked on hand made tacos from Campuzano. The atmosphere was both joyous and gregarious.

Jorge's mini tostadas (left); Savor's wine glasses (right)
Jorge’s mini tostadas (left); Savor’s wine glasses (right)



The Reserve Tasting at Savor Dallas is essentially akin to flying in first-class versus the alternative. Tucked away in a private room above the International Grand Tasting, the Reserve featured wines by the glass from labels typically associated with corporate cards and closing dinners.

With so many incredible options to choose from, we had to formulate a strategy. The Moët Rose and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label opened our oenological adventure, followed by small array of whites, including a 2010 William Hill Estate Bench Blend Chardonnay and a 2011 Newton Vineyard’s Unfiltered Chardonnay.

Moving on to reds, we found elegance in the 2011 Goldeneye Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, and we discovered a “cab lover’s pinot” with Wrath’s 2010 San Saba Pinot Noir. Both will be making an appearance in my home in the very near future. There were numerous Cabernets available to select (in addition to other varietals), with my personal favorites being Becker Vineyard’s 2009 Reserve Cabernet, a 2006 Silver Oak (which was much softer and rounder than its 2009 baby brother), and The Prisoner (a purple, inky, Zin-heavy blend recently acquired by Quintessa from Orin Swift).

As the event wrapped, we gathered a few bottles of water and headed down to the International Grand Tasting, the highlight of Savor Dallas, where we were introduced to an eclectic mix of restaurateurs, ranging from start-ups to staples. Put simply, very few experiences compare with the Reserve Tasting, immediately followed up with snacks from Dallas chef stars like Nico Sanchez (Meso Maya), Graham Dodds (Hibiscus), Michael Sindoni (CBD Provisions) and Pascal Cayet (Lavendou).