Inside the tent at the 33rd annual Auction Napa Valley the energy reaches peak level as one of 46 highly anticipated auction lots goes up for bid…this one happens to be from Dana Estates and includes three 3 liter bottles of their highly acclaimed wine and a trip for two couples first class to South Korea as guests of Dana Estates proprietors Hi Sang Lee and Jae Chun ….$100K, $200K, $300K, $500, $510K… Keen auctioneers Fritz Hatton, Humphrey Butler and Ursula Hermacinski stop bidding, saying once the bid got to this level Dana Estates owner Mr. Lee agreed to double the lot and give two complete packages away to the two highest bidders if they agreed? With a slap of a gavel the numerous children’s and healthcare charities that benefit from Auction Napa Valley just received over a million dollars, $1.2 to be exact, from one prestigious lot.
I was already intrigued and interested in the wine of Dana Estates, made by Philippe Melka and Cameron Vawter in the heart of Rutherford on an expansive organic certified estate. Seeing this outpouring of excitement about the consistently highly rated wine (Parker gave the 2007 Lotus Vineyard Cabernet 97/100 points) made me set an appointment to visit, taste and interview with Vawter immediately. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Dana Estates"Be The First To Comment
We dispatched Brad Murano, otherwise known as The Brad as in The Brad’s Adventures in Food, to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this weekend. He files a photo essay of the glamorous event.
The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen isn’t just about the chef demonstrations, informative seminars, and massive Grand Tastings, it’s about parties. Press, trade, chefs, attendees and fence-jumpers jocky for placements on the coveted lists. Here are some snaps from various F&W shenanigans and some famous peeps from Dallas with famous peeps from around the world.3 Comments »
If you are in the mood for some tasty wine, there are more opportunities than ever to enjoy some great wine, often with a tasty meal. Here are a few ideas to add to your calendar.
The next Dallas Wine Trail is tomorrow and a few tickets are still available here for $39.95 each. The fifth annual event taking place from 11am – 5pm tomorrow at all four of our Dallas wineries will include 3 tastes of the current release wines at each spot along with tasty food bites at each location. This is a great opportunity to meet the winemakers of Fuqua, Times Ten Cellars, Calais and Inwood Estates.
Tickets won’t be available at the door, so buy now if you can attend.
Nancy named The Grape as her #11 in the Top 100 restaurants in Dallas….and I couldn’t agree more as this neighborhood gem owned by Chef Brian Luscher and his fabulous wife with a great palate, Sommelier Courtney Luscher, consistently delivers tasty bistro cuisine paired with an ever evolving wine list, made only better while enjoying an evening on their Greenville Ave patio. Every Monday-Friday on that patio and in the bar you can enjoy 1/2 price wine from their by the glass list from 5:30-7pm, Monday until 8pm. An ideal way to start the week.
A must attend wine dinner happens Thursday June 13 at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse featuring Nickel and Nickel wines with special guest Jim Doehring, Central Region Manager for Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente, En Route and Dolce. Nickel and Nickel has become known for their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from specially selected sites throughout Napa Valley. The wines are robust, refined and always remarkable. $225, reservations required – 214-366-2000 Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities To Taste"Be The First To Comment
Dallas is a city that loves Napa Valley wine. It is one of the great aspects of being here and being a wine lover – you can go into pretty much any restaurant in town and see a number of recognizable Napa Valley brands. We also love our Texas wine, our Oregon wine, our Spanish wine, our French, Italian, Argentine, and so forth, but when in a pinch, a quality wine from Napa Valley is easy to find, with even some of the smallest producers finding their way on to our store shelves and wine racks.
And, the people are the real deal. Though the phrase “not bad for kids from the sticks,” coined by Jim Barrett of Chateau Montelena after winning the 1976 Judgement of Paris with his 1973 Chardonnay, isn’t quite the pace of Napa today, it is still a community filled with farmers embracing the friendships and camaraderie that made Napa what it is today. This is why it is so rewarding to see the Valley come together for a cause, and there is none better in Napa Valley than supporting the workers who help vineyard managers and winemakers create their legendary wines.
Every year since its start in 1981 Auction Napa Valley has done this by creating an event focused on food, wine and hospitality with opportunities for any wine lover to get in on the fun. The 4 day event of live auction lots, barrel auction, automobile raffles, and an e-auction online benefits children’s healthcare and education charities, as well as improving healthcare and workers assistance in the Napa Valley. I was able to attend this year as a guest of the Napa Valley Vintners, the organization made up of over 400 Napa Valley wineries that puts on the event each year. Continue reading "Auction Napa Valley Raises $16.9 Million for Healthcare and Youth Education In Napa Valley"Be The First To Comment
Every visit to Marfa, Texas leaves me astounded by its nature of entrancing virtues. The exquisite inhabitants and outlandish indulgences leave me reeling and feeling refreshed. My being, at its brightest and most fortuitous state, echoes and dips into the milky waves of nourishing splendor whenever I go to this reverent town, tucked amongst the sprawling desert landscape. My faculties, at their apex, grant me solace and fame, though only within my own experience of aesthetic and cathartic revival. In doing so, I see that I am but one minuscule grain of this grand city, and all the brighter for being so. Marfa transcends expectation and leaves all those fortunate enough to spend time within its boundaries with a warmth of soul and a fulfillment of experiential delights like no other place in Texas. So, with what earthly exultation I have left to expound, I share with you the extended culinary endeavors of Marfa that I have been so fortunate to enjoy.
I’ll leave the verbose diction behind me now as I relay part 2 of Marfa’s food offerings. As you may recall, I visited Marfa back in November and spent a very strenuous two days photographing and eating at every fantastic venue I could fit into my swollen belly. To tell you the truth, it was not difficult and I will not apologize for my indulgence. For this trip we were delighted to find several new food offerings from good ole Marfa, and a list was created that so delighted our proverbial palates we nearly brought the plane down with dizziness.6 Comments »
A loyal disher and her handsome hubby are headed to Hot Springs for a four-day getaway. She’s succinct:
I’m going to Hot Springs. Where in the hell do I eat?
Update: Tim’s wrote about McClard’s BBQ in Hot Springs.
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Frisky Frisco Pizzaiolo! Pizzeria Testa in Frisco has permanently hired Master Pizzaiolo, Michele D’ Amelio, who was recently crowned World Champion in the Italian Style Pizza Challenge at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Before the completion, Amelio couldn’t commit to a full-time gig at Testa because of visa complications. Once he became a world champion, he qualified for special visa the government grants to foreigners with special talents and—voila!—he’s now cleared to make pizza in Frisco. It’s a Caputo flour miracle! Go. Eat. Report. 8660 Church St. Frisco. 469-200-8015.
Happy Birthday, Driftwood. Hard to believe Driftwood is already celebrating its first year in business. To mark the occasion, they’re hosting a special Taste of Spring Dinner on April 15 with guest Chef Grant Gordon from Tony’s in Houston. Chef Omar Flores and Chef Grant Gordon will be serving a six course Taste of Spring Dinner with wine pairing for $150.00 per person plus tax & gratuity.214-942-2530.
Mais Gaúchos em Frisco! Estilo Gaucho, a new Brazilian steakhouse, is open in Frisco. Expect plenty of swaggering southern Brazilian cowboys armed with swords of prime meats and 1,300 wines. Sounds better than match.com to me! 8650 State Highway 121, Frisco. (Off of State Highway 121 and Preston Road at Stonebriar Centre) 214-618-6150.
Fuqua to France! Julia and Lee Fuqua of Fuqua Wines have organized a wine cruise up the Rhône River next November. Looks like something we all should do at some point in our lives. Check it out.
Tex-Mex Buzz: Neighbors close to Victoria’s Mexican Grill in the OC are loving what their eating. Have you been?1 Comment »
Elizabeth Lavin, D Magazine’s staff photographer, was out of town yesterday. She was eating barbecue and chatting with the owner of the place. She sent this picture with a message: “They are deciding now on a Dallas location.” The joint already has a small footprint in the area, but a their business plan calls for a huge hoof mark soon.16 Comments »
I asked a Dallas restaurant consultant who eats in NYC for R&D for some advice. He sent the list below the jump. Need some great cheap good eats for two gals at Lex and 49th. What do you think of his list?10 Comments »
Every year, the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show blows by at the Dallas Convention Center, bringing you a taste of foreign and exotic places to visit. It’s probably one of the most torturous expos for people with very few vacation days left in 2012, but fun for those who have time to spare. Last year, I watched a Fiery Foods Challenge and the winner of a cooking competition earn two tickets for a Yucatan vacation. Dang. Friends, this could be your chance to get away. I bet you’re already eyeing that two-night stay at Pearl South Padre Resort, which the Travel & Adventure Show is giving away as a door prize this year. The whole shebang runs from November 10-11 at the Dallas Convention Center.
To win a free pair of tickets, just follow the simple instructions down below. I’ll pick a random winner on Wednesday, 11/7, at noon.
Jump to view the schedule for chefs who’ll be there this weekend.
On my second venture to Marfa, I again found myself in absolute marvel of its energy, beauty and endurance. It is a strange little place, seemingly asleep and unkempt, but all the while buzzing with big city attitude and enchantments. Clean air and quirky sophistication abounds in this little big city. It wrapped me in its velvety overcoat, made no doubt from a designer you’ve never heard of. Marfa doesn’t need you, and at many times makes you feel like the awkward accountant who typically keeps his mouth shut in the office but decided to be daring at the Halloween party, and because of his social ineptitude has worn something disturbingly inappropriate. Either way, I set out to taste and here is what I have to tell.6 Comments »
I can never get enough of Willamette Valley. Each time I travel there, I return home refreshed and excited about the wonderful wines that are created in Willamette. The valley continues to be the gem of Oregon, creating stellar wines from vineyards resting in volcanic dirt planted some 40+ years ago when vineyard owners like David Adelsheim, Dick Erath, Dick Ponzi, and David Lett of Eyrie decided that Oregon was ideally suited for grapes to grow in the Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains and Newberg slopes.
Though much has changed since the first Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines were planted in the area in the 1960′s – with new, innovative and decidedly green wineries popping up throughout the valley – the casual yet elegant and welcoming atmosphere continues to define Willamette the most.1 Comment »
If you haven’t been watching what is going on in Washington State lately, you are missing out. Most oenophiles are well aware of the deliciously delightful reds coming out of Walla Walla, but head West, back to the continually expanding wine country just outside of Seattle for a taste of the wineries of Woodinville, Washington.
The town, best known as the headquarters of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, is now the home to almost 100 wineries and tasting rooms both from wineries based in the region as well as throughout the state, including many from Walla Walla that have established tasting rooms in this easily accesable town as getting to Walla Walla is a considerable hike inland to reach via plane and car transportation.
And these Woodinville wineries are impressive, many sourcing fruit from the prized, mineral rich Walla Walla soil, to make hearty reds like Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. I visited the area recently, both to explore the city of Woodinville and their wineries, and to attend an outdoor Lyle Lovett concert on the intimate lawn of Chateau Ste. Michelle, as their guest. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Woodinville, WA Wine"3 Comments »
In conjunction with July’s Best Suburbs issue, I’m traveling to 10 different ‘burbs in the DFW area for a semi-weird cross-city food tour. I’ll be documenting all my finds in these ‘Burbalicious posts that’ll be peppered throughout June and July. If you feel like your suburb deserves a shot at some SideDish love, email me and I’ll ask my Magic 8 ball if I should go. Last time, I went to Irving.
I didn’t think it was the brightest idea when Jason, the Web Editor, suggested that I find an ethnic restaurant in Sunnyvale, the whitest town in North Texas. Mary Dews, a previous counselor for the Dallas Tenants Association in the mid-1980s, filed a lawsuit against the city this year for perpetuating racial segregation and Sunnyvale’s maintenance of its all-white character. Memories of sitting across from skinheads in St. Petersburg’s subways suddenly came to mind when Jason told me to travel to Sunnyvale. It was one of the last suburbs on my list to visit. I dreaded the trip.
I figured it’d make big headlines if someone killed an Asian woman in Sunnyvale (or at least make it onto Frontburner), and Jason would inevitably feel terrible guilt for making me go there. That’s the worse that could happen, right? Yelp led me to a Wai Cafe, a restaurant that serves Chinese food and burgers. Entirely skeptical of this concept, Desiree and I drove 15 miles east of Dallas towards 3839 North Belt Line Road where we found the most fascinating Chinese restaurant I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting… in the whitest town of North Texas.
Traveling as a guest of New Wines of Greece with All About Greek Wine founders Sofia Perpera and George Athanas a few weeks ago we had a chance to really taste the terroir of this pre-historic land and understand why wine has been made and exported in the country for thousands and thousands of years. Heading out of the islands of Santorini and Crete I found that the wines tend to be more complex and well rounded, pairing better with the heartier fare of the north like roast lamb, braised beef, baked fish with lots of roasted root veggies and wild greens. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: New Wines of Greece…Northern Greece and Beyond"2 Comments »
It is easy to get confused about the wines of Greece, mainly the varieties are hard to pronounce and if you don’t know where the wines comes from is you might get disappointed, as a Xinomavro (Ksee no’ ma vro) from the Naoussa region of the north tastes different than one from Amynedo, also in the north, but just on the other side of Mt. Vermion which divided the two regions, sitting at higher, cooler altitudes. Or an Assyrtico (A seer’ tee ko) from Santorini, made in stainless steel is completely different than one from Drama, often aged in oak for months. These are intriguing wines values for the price and the quality, made in traditional and more modern styles in the place where the Zeus, Dionysus, Athena and the Gods of mythology once reigned.
Part two of my Grecian tour with All About Greek Wines, as a guest of New Wines of Greece goes beyond the beautiful beaches of Santorini to taste and understand the wine that has been a part of the country since 4500B.C, starting in Crete. We have to remember that Greece, and her islands, was the heart of Western Civilization. They gave the world astronomy and philosophy, literature and music, painting and sculpture… and the art of winemaking. This is truly “old world” wine, as the country boasts the longest vine cultivation and wine production on an uninterrupted basis in the world.
The first known wine press was discovered on the island of Crete, thought to be used by the Minoan civilization in 2400 B.C., and with it artifacts that showed olive oil production with thriving exportation around the islands and throughout the Mediterranean. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: New Wines of Greece From Crete"
Just when you think you know a little bit about wine you travel to Greece and you realize there is so much more to learn. I recently returned from Greece, attending the 3rd annual New Wines of Greece Symposium and traveling throughout the country and the Aegean Islands as a guest of New Wines of Greece, traveling with All About Greek Wines founder Sofia Perpera and her husband George Athanas. The duo started their wine and spirit consulting company almost 10 years ago to help promote the wines of Greece to the international market, partnering with some of the best wineries in the country, many of whom follow the classic traditions handed down for generations while embracing modern techniques and operations.
Georgia Fisher is a reporter for D’s sister publications Park Cities People, Preston Hollow People, and Oak Cliff People. In May, she tagged along on a group trip through Iceland’s capital and countryside. She rocked my world when she enlightened me about Quiznos’ Choose 2 menu.
I figured a vacationing American couldn’t gain weight in Iceland, what with constant hikes and even glacier climbing on our menu. And from what I’d read of the food — which includes sheep’s head, dried fish, rot-cured shark, dead whale, and so on — I didn’t anticipate much comfort eating.
Yeah, I was wrong. Really, really wrong.
Icelandic fish is fantastic, and the country has some of the top restaurants I’ve ever visited. Ever. Imagine the best rib eye you’ve had in Dallas, for instance. Think about its richness, preparation, looks — everything. Then multiply that by two or three, and you’ve got cod (or lamb fillet, another specialty) from Hotel Budir, on Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
Jump for ICELAND.1 Comment »
She went to China. She ate dumplings. She’s hooked.
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Quick question that I’m hoping you/your readers will have some ideas on. I just got back from a trip to China and ate dumplings basically every night I was there. Any thoughts on a place with good dumplings in Dallas?
I just received an email from a reader. She asked if Ranchman’s Café in Ponder, Texas was still good. The small comfort food restaurant, which has been open since 1948, used to serve the best chicken fried steak and pies in the area. The kitchen used to pan-fry a thick T-bone steak. Now they use pounded patties. I haven’t been since October, 2009 when I wrote this post which includes a video of them making CFS. when I shot this video. Any of you been recently?2 Comments »