Over the past several years the entrepreneurial spirit has grasped many spirit loving individuals throughout our state, taking hold in a variety of forms from wine to craft beer to quality spirits, even mead. Tonight from 6-8pm Sigel’s will welcome many to their Fitzhugh location for a celebration of all things Texas, including Post Oak Red Hots, the incredible gourmet Chicago-style hot dogs created by Chef/Owner Brian Luscher of The Grape.
Some of the libations to be tasted include selections from Lakewood Brewing Company, Duchman (including their stellar Vermentino), Becker and Pedernales Wineries, and spirits from Western Son Vodka, Deep Eddy Vodka, Balcones Whiskey, Waterloo Gin, and the recently introduced Silver Star Texas Whiskey. Guests will have an opportunity to taste 12 samples (all for free) and everything featured at the event will be specially sale priced, but you must RSVP here.
Each year Savor Dallas continues to grow, bringing residents from all over North Texas together for a weekend of wine and food celebration. This year, in its ninth, Savor added evening events at Trinity Groves, the Perot Museum, and a special evening at the Dallas Arboretum, bringing Dallas Blooms and wines from all over the globe together. However, the original tasting opportunities still remain the best, pairing some of the best chefs in the city together with wines and a plethora of spirits from all over the world at the big International Grand Tasting. This applies to the the special Reserve Wines tasting just before. I had a chance to attend both Saturday night as a guest of Savor Dallas.
Held for the second year at the spacious Irving Convention Center, the Reserve Tasting started at 5 p.m. with representatives from Moet-Hennessy, Numanthia, Cheval des Andes, and The Puzzle from Newton. Diageo poured incredible Rutherford dust filled BV Georges de Latour Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; Duckhorn offered its incredible Howell Mountain Cabernet;, and Wrath Wines poured a crisp and luscious, wax-capped San Saba Chardonnay. Some special spirits included a four-year aged Casa Sauza XA Limited Edition Gran Anejo Tequila. Comfortably spread out guests easily meandered from table-to-table, sipping and enjoying, while having the opportunity to talk about the wines with the representatives with ease.2 Comments »
Though next week is big Valentine’s night out, there are a handful of fun events going on this week that will put you in the romantic, celebratory, festive and fun spirit. Here are a few ideas for this week!
Tonight Grace in Fort Worth hosts a night all about the bubbles with Paul Goerg Premier Cru Champagnes, featuring Paul Goerg’s Ambassador of Champagne, Mario Rinaldi. The 7 course evening will feature everything from Hawaiian Ahi paired with Paul Georg Blanc de Blanc, to Soft Scrambled Eggs with Truffle and Paul Goerg Absolut Extra-Brut, a perfect combination! Reservations required, full menu here.
Bolsa Mercado hosts a special “Meet and Eat” Thursday night in celebration of Texas winery, Red Caboose, being named one of the Top 10 Hot Brands of 2012 by Wine Business Monthly. Wine Business Monthly creates this list each year to celebrate wineries that are innovative, adventurous and tasty. Bolsa Executive Chef Jeff Harris pairs Red Caboose wines with seasonal dishes like Gulf Coast Red Snapper with mustard greens and horseradish, and Roasted and Braised Cabrito with wines made from Texas grapes.
Starting Saturday through next week you can enjoy a surf and turf dinner for two at Ferrari’s Italian Villa in both Addison and Grapevine for only $99 total! Owners Jane and Francesco Secchi are two of the most in love owners in town…you can taste their love in the food….especially when their handsome and incredibly talented son, Chef Sefano Secchi, is in charge of the kitchen. You are guaranteed tasty food and an impeccably romantic atmosphere.
And, tomorrow is the start of chocolate week at Central Market with sweet bites available throughout the store for you to enjoy on the spot and pick up to take home to your sweetie.
As the new year starts we throw around resolutions to save more money, get into better shape, eat healthier and, in my case, drink wine that is both affordable and delicious. If you are looking for a few options to start your year off with great taste, and without spending too much, consider one of these options….you’ll find that saving a few $$$$ never tasted so good. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Pali Wine Company recently launched a new program to bring region specific wines to the forefront at an affordable price. Their Pali Charm Acres Chardonnay from Sonoma is barrel aged for , but does not go through malolactic fermentation, creating texture without an abundance of butter or cream, and filled with with juicy lemon, ripe melon, apricot and tropical notes. Not overly complicated, but a great everyday wine to enjoy with friends or over dinner. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Affordable Wine for the New Year"2 Comments »
Whether you are shopping for your in-laws, your boss, your sweetie, or giving yourself a great holiday prize, these will pack an impressive punch and please any palate. Here are a few of my favorite wines ideal for pairing with everything from the holiday ham to crown roast to a gorgeous beef tenderloin. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Raise a hat to winemakers who hail from our great state, though may not make their delicious juice with in Texas. Like Dallasites Craig and Ambassador Kathryn Hall of Hall Wines in Napa Valley. Year in and Year out their Cabernet Sauvignon consistently delivers great taste, style and elegance with just the right balance of fruit with leather and cedar notes. Another winery from Dallas residents Dr. Clay and Brenda Cockerell continues to grow their portfolio, creating interesting, balanced and beautiful wines from Calistoga, CA in their Coquerel Family Wines portfolio. They recently introduced a plum and spice filled Merlot and steely Chardonnay into the portfolio, already containing Bordeaux style Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah and Verdelho. Texas natives Adam and Dianna Lee, owners and winemakers for Siduri in Sonoma Valley continue to rake in the ratings as each bottle of their varietally correct Pinot Noir from fruit sourced throughout California and Oregon packs an incredible punch of fruit forward and balanced flavor. On a recent visit to Willamette Valley a visit to Alexana, the sister winery to Napa Valley’s Revana and owned by Houston based cardiologist Dr. Revana proved to be one of the high points of the trip, tasting earthy, layered and mineral rich Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Dundee Hills. I expected nothing less as Dr. Revana’s Napa Cabs are also some of the best around. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Wine That Is Guaranteed To Impress"1 Comment »
Every year on SideDish, we like to devote our energy to supporting small local food businesses here in DFW. For the twelve days, we’ll be highlighting jams, jellies, pies, classes, wines, coffees, teas, and basically any food product made locally on Dallas (or close to it) soil. Today is Drinkables Day. If you’ve got a product that you want included, send me an email with your information and a picture. This list will often be updated, so don’t fret about deadlines. We’re here to serve you guys.
Coffeemaker Kevin Sprague makes top notch roasts in East Dallas. His Noble Coyote Coffee (David Hopkins expounds upon Sprague’s process in this Edible DFW piece, pgs. 24-25) is well balanced and fresh, and all the flavors are made from fair trade beans grown from using sustainable methods. Sprague also says he’s going to do something special for all you guys, because it is, you know, almost Christmas. He will:
What started 29 years ago by the French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) as an opportunity to taste the new release of the just harvested Beaujolais, the jammy, fresh and easy drinking Gamay wine always released the third Thursday of the month of November raced from the Beaujolais region of France to Paris in celebration of the year’s bounty, has grown into an incredible celebration of wine, food and festivity from all over the world and the largest Beaujolais and Beyond Festival in the United States.
The 29th annual Beaujolais and Beyond Festival took place Friday night at the Irving Convention Center, the first time to be held in the new event space, with 2000+ guests in attendance sampling wines from throughout France, California, Washington and Texas. I had a chance to attend as a guest of the FACC. The Texas table I am happy to say was the first I stopped by and continued to revisit to taste the delicious wines from Duchman Family Winery, including their lively Vermentino and rustic Dolcetto made from Texas High Plains grapes. Continue reading "2012 FACC Beaujolais Festival Went Well Beyond The Traditional"1 Comment »
Last week I gave some ideas for pairing the Thanksgiving meal with Pinot Noir, one of my favorite varieties to enjoy all the time, but particularly with this holiday meal. It is not the only option though, as across the country families have their traditional favorites that pair just perfectly with turkey and side dishes they have been making for generations. If you are still looking for that great bottle to open and to share, here are a few more suggestions beyond the much loved Pinot. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Syrah, Rhone wines and Rhone style blends are ideal with the Thanksgiving meal. Whether from Southern France, California, Eastern Washington or West Texas the bold flavors layered with spice and fruit are sure to pair with everything from the sweet potatoes to brussel sprouts with bacon to classic cornbread and sausage dressing.
Chemin de Fer from Lasseter Family Winery blends 49% Grenache, 38% Syrah, 13% Mourvèdre from their Sonoma Valley estate vineyards to mimic the Rhone wines they enjoyed traveling by train throughout France. Filled with raspberry, cherry and spice with balance, structure and elegance. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Thanksgiving Zin, Syrah, Grenache and More"
If you are in the mood to try some great wine the opportunities are endless the next few weeks in and around Dallas. Here are some great upcoming opportunities to taste.
Tonight Maguire’s Restaurant hosts Eric Titus, of Napa Valley’s incredible Titus Vineyards for a 5-course tasting dinner . I am a huge fan of the wine, founded by Eric’s parents in 1967 who ultimately left the winery to Eric and his brother, winemaker Phillip, who have won great acclaim for their expressive Cabernet Sauvignon, and maintained the philosophy that great wine starts in the vineyard and great working relationships require friendship, compromise, and in this case, brotherly love. Reservations required – 972-818-0068. Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities To Taste"
At Texsom 2012, Pedernales Cellars from Stonewall Texas provided some of the wine and the winery President, Fredrik Osterberg, gave a few moments for an interview.
I sent round my annual APB to every bonded winemaker in the state last week with a questionnaire about the 2012 grape harvest. Harvesting occurs from the east to the west so most of the eastern and central vineyards (mainly in the Hill Country) are already picked by now and the western wineries (mainly in the High Plains around Lubbock) are being picked very soon.
The replies were stunningly uniform and positive: 2012 will be a massive harvest, possibly the largest on record and will be of very high quality across all grape varieties. That is the consensus although there were some less positive and more cautionary voices. Here is a sample of responses.
3 Comments »
Yesterday I attended TexSom, the international wine conference held at The Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving. At lunch I was seated at the same table with a woman named Lindsay (last name redacted) who runs a restaurant in Austin. She tells our table that buying local is critical in Austin. “Chains just don’t survive,” she said referring to restaurants. I asked her whether the same spirit translated into consumer wine choices. After all, Austin is in the center of the Hill Country AVA (American Viticultural Area). “They don’t give a sh*t,” she shot back. Austin is weird. They love their local food movement, but apparently their aren’t many “vine huggers” in the area. Dees this mean Texas wine is lacking some credibility?
Oh you must go below to know. Continue reading "Report From TexSom 2012: “For Sale In Texas Only” Label on Wine Bottles Misleads Consumers"7 Comments »
It’s Friday and you’ve started to rely on my posts to get you through the weekend. This is good. This is very good. Lucky for you, I’ve picked out the best ways you can waste your time actually doing something.
Late Night at Scardello is exactly where you want to be tonight. If you love cheese (and, c’mon, who doesn’t?), drop by Scardello after hours to drink bubbly and builds build-your-own cheese plate. Live jazz starts at 8 p.m.
You guys are probably well aware KRLD Restaurant Week presented by Central Market is next week, but did you know that there’s a “Preview” this weekend from August 10 through 12? These restaurants will offer their same three-course prix fixe menus for $35 a person (with a portion of each meal still going back to charity). To get a preview of Restaurant Week, make a reservation at one of these 48 eateries right here.
Jump for more.
August is here, and it’s brought with it the possibility of burning your hands on your steering wheel and warm water from the cold water tap. Ah, life in North Texas. About the only living thing that loves this heat is okra. You’ll find okra on just about every produce table at every market in town. If you’re not an okra fan, fear not. The variety at individual markets has suffered a bit, but you can still get every locally grown summer fruit and veggie you’d like. You just have to know where to go, and when to get there.
Celebration Farmers Market: Reeves Farm, Josh Heddin Farm, and Joy Farm will all be here Saturday. The list of available produce includes tomatoes (smaller varieties that are less heat sensitive as well as some unusual heirloom varieties), cucumbers, okra, squash, peppers, melons, corn on the cob, red beets and fresh hulled peas, some organic tomatoes, cucumbers, and white and black eggplant. As usual, Holleman Farms will have pastured eggs and whole chickens, as well as the ever-popular Red Wattle pork. Evidently, chickens get lazy with the laying in the heat. With hens laying fewer eggs, you’ll have to be up when the rooster crows if you want any. Come early! They’ll go fast.
Jump to locate your favorite local produce and artisan foods.1 Comment »
Last Friday, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas held the latest in their monthly wine tasting series. This one was themed All-American Wines,which consisted of wines from across the country and included some of the states that you don’t normally think of as wine producers. As a result, there were wines from Connecticut, Virginia, and Arizona as well as California, Washington, and Texas.
Missing from the pictures is the 2011 Duchman Family Winery Dolcetto, Texas. Continue reading "Chalk Talk: Pappas Bros Hosts All American Wines Tasting"
The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGAA) hosted the 2012 Lone Star International Wine Competition on June 4-5 at the Grapevine Convention Center. Co-Chairs, Michael Zerbach and Barbara Werley, and twenty-three judges from Texas and California judged 514 entries from all over the world. The Lone Star International Wine Competition is three competitions in one – Texas Competition, International Competition and Limited Production Competition.
Awards were given for Grand Star – Best of Show – in all three competitions in the Red Wine, White Wine, Fortified Wine, Late Harvest/ Dessert/Ice Wine, and Rose’/Blush Divisions. Eleven wines won Grand Star – Best of Show. Fifteen wines were honored with a Double Gold Award. Gold medals were given to 36 wines, Silver medals to 171 wines, and Bronze medals to 203 wines.
Howard and Amy Davies will never be accused of following the crowd. They started growing grapes in 1999 and opened Arché Winery in Montague County in 2007. They didn’t choose either of the two major grape growing areas in Texas–the High Plains around Lubbock and the Hill Country–to plant their vineyard. They didn’t choose the native or hybrid grapes that withstand Texas temperatures and pestilence. However, their commitment to quality was unwavering. The result is that Arché is turning out wines that rank with the best in Texas and inspiring others to grow grapes in their part of the world. Howard and Amy have even persuaded one of their sons, Grayson, to join the team as winemaker (their other son, Patrick, also makes wine in Paso Robles, California). Recently, I visited the winery and took a walk around the vineyard as well as tasting the wines.4 Comments »
Anyone familiar with CVNE knows the name stands for Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España. Those who don’t are confused as to how to pronounce the famous Rioja which has belonged to direct descendants of Real de Asua family since 1879.
This week, North American Sales Director and family member by marriage, Sam Ferraro, was The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Dallas to talk about the wine. The name has been altered to read Cune on the page. The winery, in the spirit of rather being rich than dead, embraced it (you can do that if your product overtakes the historical memories). Ferraro has increased US sales by over 700% in his first year on the job: From 2,000 cases in 2010 to 15,000 cases in 2011 (still relative peanuts in the largest wine market in the world) but he sees this as only his first step. Ferraro told us the story of how he entered the wine market. It’s a classic. Continue reading "Chalk Talk: Checking Out the Wine List at Oceanaire Seafood Room and Notes From a Tasting of CVNE Wines"
Lee Park was the place to be last Sunday. Over 1,000 people showed up for sold-out Mixin’ It Up On The Boulevard, a massive food event organized by Chefs For Farmers. The two women credited with pulling together all of the details are Iris McCallister and Christina LaBarba. This dynamic duo coordinated over 40 chefs, 20 farmers, wineries, breweries, mixologists, and artisan producers and pulled off what appeared to be a flawless afternoon of celebration. Chefs for Farmers, a group that supports local farmers, chefs, and businesses, donated 100 percent of the proceeds to Meal On Wheels of Tarrant County and Water for Chizavane.
Each chef was paired with a local vendor. Guests were encouraged to make donations at each station to help them raise money for an item (refrigerator, etc) the vendor was trying to buy. The chef list was impressive: Fearing, Pyles, Rathbun, Derry, Natera, Houser, Provost, Harris, McCallister, to name only a few. The public sampled the food, talked to the participants, and listened to DJ sounds and the band Sugarfoote & Co. At one point Dean Fearing took the microphone and sang along. Elizabeth Lavin captured the day with her Nikon.
Jump for her shots.9 Comments »
The Earth Day idea started with an original focus to think green, live green, be green…but over the years it has transformed beyond this idea into one of also living local, eating local, and supporting local (along with living a healthier lifestyle with a focus on sustainability). Miele, German based producers of the high-end kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners, has embraced these ideals in every aspect of its business, carrying the principle of bearing responsibility for generations to come. With this comes their focus to help their customers live a better life with the help of their tools. Last night at their Dallas gallery showroom in the Design District, Miele hosted a “Better Living” dinner with Chef Uwe Muller, adjunct instructor at Dallas’ Le Cordon Bleu who recalls growing up in his native Germany with Miele appliances in his home. I was an invited guest. Continue reading "Miele Celebrates “Better Living” In Time For Earth Day"3 Comments »