Lots of opportunities for the wine lover to get out and about around town to sip and savor, here are a few that look especially tasty.
This Friday and Sunday Veuve Clicquot Champagne rolls into town with their decked out Clicquot Airbus for a bubbly celebration of spring at Saint Ann on Friday from 3pm-8pm and Hotel Za Za on Sunday from noon-6pm with a sparkling pool party. The Airbus is rolling through the country bringing Champagne wishes to guests coast to coast raising flutes of Yellow Label Veuve at each stop along the way. Both events are open to the public with flutes available for sale throughout the days. Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities To Taste"
Gershwin filled the air as Dallas wine lovers, dressed to the hilt in black tie and glitz, took a turn back to the 20′s to celebrate the 22nd annual Cotes du Coeur. The ballroom of the Hilton Anatole was transformed into a glamorous setting filled with lavish red roses in crystal vases sharing space with hundreds of bottles of stunning wine from around the world. The tempting aromas wafted from the room, rising from the dozen chef stations situated throughout the ballroom, each paired with two award-winning wine selections. I had a chance to attend as a guest of The American Heart Association Dallas Chapter. Continue reading "22nd Annual Cotes Du Coeur Celebrated the Heart 1920′s Style"2 Comments »
I do love this time of year, both because spring in Dallas is always so beautiful and watching trees and flowers begin to pop just brings a smile to your face, and it is down time for many wineries so their top brass can travel to wine loving cities, like ours, bringing their tasty juice with them while hosting various wine dinners and tasting opportunities around town. Here are a few coming up in the next few weeks.
If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet do so now for Cotes du Coeur International Fine Wine Auction and Celebrity Chef Dinner. The annual event, the largest gala fundraiser for The American Heart Association, takes place Saturday night, April 6th, and features not only many of our favorite chefs in town, including Chef Chair Richard Chamberlain along with many of his buddies, like Jim “Sevy” Severson, Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun and David Holben, but a gathering of incredible winemakers and wineries, including Adelsheim, Ehler’s Estate, Siduri, Hall, Merry Edwards and Revana. Ticket information and additional details here. Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities To Taste"
As a general rule, I typically avoid dinners with more than five courses, because most of them tend to suck the life out of you. Any program that takes longer than the length of a Lord of the Rings movie to finish is not my cup of tea. But when the owners of Oak, Richard and Tiffanee Ellman, invited me as a media guest to their restaurant’s first formal wine dinner, there was no way I could decline. I knew it would be good. And it was.
Oak is typically closed on Sundays, but the Ellmans are planning to host fun chef dinners every six to eight weeks. Each will focus on a different region. “This is what we hope will become a habit,” said Richard, who has decided to give execuchef Jason Maddy complete creative reins. The first wine dinner was Austrian-themed, which was Maddy’s way of paying homage to Danube, the Austrian restaurant he worked for in New York City.
There are a slew of winemakers in Dallas this week from Sonoma for a trade event Tuesday, along with a handful of winemakers from all over the world in for Savor Dallas this past weekend. Luckily, many are also sticking around to host incredible wine dinners throughout town all week. Here is a sampling of a few options available with these winemakers this week, and a few tasty ideas for next.
March 20th Chef Graham Dodds of Central 214 partners with Duckhorn Vineyards for a Marbelous Beef 5 course dinner featuring all things meat, with luscious wines from the Duckhorn family. Selections include Braised Marbleous Beef Short Ribs with Goldeneye Pinot Noir and Cast Iron Seared Braised Marbleous Beef Sirloin Steak with Duckhorn Merlot. $90, reservations required - 214.443.9339.
If beef isn’t really your full focus, join Gary Farrell Winery and Abacus on March 20th for a special dinner with Winemaker Theresa Heredia and Chef Kent Rathbun for a four-course dinner paired with specially selected Gary Farrell wines. The menu includes Seared Rockport Skate Wing with Creamy Chickpea Panisse, Saffron Lobster Nage paired with 2010 Gary Farrell Russian River Chardonnay and Wood Roasted Pheasant Roulade Creamy “Popped” Quinoa, Green Peppercorn Jus paired with 2010 Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir. $120, reservations required – 214-520-0151. Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunties To Taste"
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 »
Every day should be the day to consider opening that “good bottle,” as life is short and meant to be celebrated. Here are a few suggestions that will please any palate that has a chance to sip them. A few suggestions were sent for editorial consideration.
A good bubbly is hard to beat. I just received a sample of Piper-Heidsieck Rose Sauvage which confirms this point. Juicy and fresh with expressive fresh pomegranate and berry flavors with a touch of ruby red grapefruit, fresh anise and spice. Though this is one of the oldest Champagne houses in France, their Rose Sauvage is anything but traditional, and pairs beautifully with sweet berry or chocolate desserts as it will with roasted duck or raw Ahi tuna. $55; available throughout Dallas wine and spirits stores including Sigel’s, Pogo’s and Spec’s.
If your taste leans more towards a traditional bubbly, Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial is hard to beat. Very crisp and dry melding both citrus and floral notes with toasted brioche and a touch of creaminess. Lovely, lively and always consistently delicious. $45; available throughout Dallas wine and spirits stores including Pogo’s and Sigel’s. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Wine To Impress"
Though you just may have had the most romantic evening and meal of your life last night, there are still many opportunities to taste with your sweetie in the upcoming weeks. Here are few that top the list through February.
TJ’s Seafood Market has created a great draw for wine loving, fish eating fans, and next Tuesday they highlight this with a French inspired dinner featuring their gorgeous seafood paired with everything from Sancerre to Chablis to Red Burgundy paired with Bouillabaise, Mussels, Tuna, Salmon and more, $130 for dinner and pairings. Reservations required - 214-219-3474.
If you and your sweetie are whiskey fans stop by Sigel’s on Wednesday from 6pm-8pm at their Addison location for their Scotch Whiskey festival with tastes of everything from Laphroaig 18yr, Glenfiddich 21yr, Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, Dalmore 18 yr and dozens more…plus, everything is on sale.
Thursday, February 21, Domaine Wine Company celebrates Wine, Women and Art featuring the artwork by Jeanette Korab with a portion of any art sales donated to The Dallas Woman’s Forum. The evening will include champagne and wine tastings paired with bites from Scardello.
Wednesday, February 27 The Grape takes a trip to Spain for their monthly Come-As-You-Are wine dinner focused on Spain with Chef de Cuisine
Danyele McPherson creating a three-course meal paired with a variety of Spanish wines to make you feel like you are walking through the Bouqeria in Barcelona. As with all of The Grape’s Come-As- You-Are, join them anytime between 5:30 and 9pm for this special menu, and enjoy at your own pace.
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.
Last night I had the opportunity to join the monthly wine dinner held at the new location of TJ’s Seafood Market featuring the wines of Dallasite, Mike Merriman. I was a guest of TJ’s owner, Jon Alexis, who firmly believes the best food to pair with wine is seafood, confirming he is in the right business. Not being a huge beef eater, I have to agree. The nuances and layers of flavor you can extract from seafood, either served in its most natural sushi style state, or covered in rich and flavorful sauces make it the ideal canvas to highlight subtleties in various wines from whites to reds.1 Comment »
Though eating lighter and losing weight may be on your New Year’s resolution list, Dallas restaurants haven’t skipped a beat in creating some incredible wine dinners and tasting opportunities that will make you want to splurge just a bit. Here are some of the tastiest options coming up in the next few weeks.
You never know what inspires a chef, some love foie gras, some love caviar, some love truffle. It would seem Chef Graham Dodds of Central 214 loves goat, and when cooked well, I have to agree. Chef Dodds will present a Goat and Beer dinner on January 17 with Windy Hill Organics and Real Ale Brewing Company. The six course dinner will celebrate the flavors of the whole goat, from the cheeks to the loin to the shoulder to the shank, each paired with Red Ale Brewing Company beers. The dinner is $70 per person and reservations are required, 214-443-9339.
My doctor always says that getting more fish in the diet is key to a healthy lifestyle, and TJ’s Seafood makes this easier than ever by cooking the fish for you, as well as selling it. And, they only sell what is fresh and in season. On January 23 at their new location on Oak Lawn will host a wine dinner with Merriman Winery, featuring their highly rated estate grown Pinot Noir paired with scallops, tuna and salmon dishes. Mike Merriman, owner of Merriman Winery, will be on hand to speak about the wines and pairings. I am a huge red wine with fish fan, and Pinot is one of the best pairings with fish, so this is guaranteed to be a fun and flavorful night. Reservations required – 214-219-3474. Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities To Taste"
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 »
Matt McCallister is off to a brilliant start. This morning comes word that he is wasting no time in elevating the profile of his newly opened restaurant FT-33. They’ve announced three Monday night dinners featuring a wine pairing by a Master Sommelier from Texas. The cost is $125 per person, excluding tax and gratuity for a five-course menu with wine pairings. The talent, times, and dates are below. Continue reading "FT33 To Host Master Sommelier Wine Dinner Series"1 Comment »
2012 marks the 40th anniversary for one of Dallas’ best and consistently voted “most romantic” neighborhood bistros, The Grape. Throughout the past 40 years and through an ownership change, this little gem has stayed true to their opening idea of being a restaurant that celebrates classic bistro style cuisine with impeccable quality, while staying affordable, most recently coming from Chef/Owner Brian C. Luscher and his talented Sommelier/GM wife, Courtney Luscher.
I am a fan and visit The Grape often, as it is in my neighborhood and I am always guaranteed a fantastic meal and a great bottle of wine, usually involving their mushroom soup, a staple item that has been on the menu since the beginning, a gorgeous cheese and house-made charcuterie board, and whatever nightly special Chef Brian, or his talented sous-chef and Bravo Top Chef Season 10 star, Danyele McPherson, create in their Greenville Ave. kitchen. Here is what we had to say about The Grape in our October 1974 restaurant listings.
1 Comment »
The Grape. A unique and always crowded restaurant boasting 25 varieties of cheese and a menu of light entrees that changes daily. The tournedos bearnaise are a favorite. For a touch of pure excellence, try any of the homemade soups (fresh mushroom is the specialty). During busy hours, which is most of the time, service can be painfully slow. Unusual wine list. No mixed drinks. (2808 Greenville Ave./ 823-0133/ Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11:30-2:30, Dinner: Tues.-Sun. 6-10:30, open later on Fri. & Sat. for wine and cheese only/ No reservations/ No credit cards/ $$)
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"
Yesterday afternoon in the cooking studio at Central Market, four of Dallas’ favorite chefs came together to cook and compete for a great cause, each of their supported charities. The event was the second stop on a three city tour created by Allegrini wine asking top chefs to create the ideal pairing for their Palazzo Della Torre wine.
Chefs Tre Wilcox (Village Marquee – Texas Grill & Bar,) David Uygur (Lucia Restaurant,) Keith Hanks (Capital Grille Dallas,) and Francesco Farris (Zio Cecio Cucina Italiana,) tested their imagination and ingenuity making dishes to enhance the dry, earthy, slightly raisined Valpolicella wine. Continue reading "Allegrini Cook-Off For a Cause"
I love wines with scores higher than my IQ, so when the peeps at Ruth’s Chris in Fort Worth invited me to a meal organized in conjunction with Wine Enthusiast Magazine and accompanied by wines that scored 90 or more points out of 100, I jumped at the chance.
We started with a sparkling wine from Italy. Ferrari Brut Metodo Classico, Trentino is a 90-point non-vintage crisp sparkling wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes grown in the Trentino region in the northeast of Italy. This wine is designed to be a perfect substitute for Brut (dry) Champagne: Same grape, same style, same method of production. However, it is at a lower price point. It sells for around $25, and can be considered a good value. We had it as the pre-prandial and with the first course of warm brie and pecan tartlet with savory apple-mango chutney and guava sauce. This wine’s perfectly honed acid level enabled it to harmonize with and lift the cheese and pastry at the heart of this dish.
It was a packed house at Duo last night for a benefit to assist the family of Camilo Calderon, a General Manager at The Adolphus. He recently lost his sister to cancer and took over guardianship of her four children. Since he already had two children of his own he is now the (single) father of a family with six children. Fluent, a private concierge service helmed by (Gary) Jackson of WSJ fame and Lisa Moore, formerly director of sales and marketing with Stephan Pyles, organized the event. Duo provided the space, and Glazer’s the wine as a backdrop to the eight restaurants contributing and serving food. What did they all have in common? In his lifetime in the Dallas restaurant industry all of these chefs–Katherine Clapner,Mark McDaniel,Ke’o Valasquez, Joel Harloff, Tim Byers, Jeff Moschetti, Jon Thompson, Scott Tobey, Justin Box–had an association with Camilo. It is an event best told in pictures. Continue reading "Restaurants and Chefs Come Together for a Cause at Duo"4 Comments »
I am at The Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving attending a day of pre-program events centered around TexSom. TexSom is the best DFW-area wine conference of the year. TexSom Conference and the Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition were founded by James Tidwell MS, CWE, Beverage Manager at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in La Colinas; Drew Hendricks MS, CWE, Director of Beverage Education for Pappas Restaurants in Houston; and Guy Stout MS, CWE, with Glazer’s Distributors.
Next to me is a guy who works in wine retail who has come in all the way from Sylmar, California. On the stage is a speaker from New Zealand and two others from New York. The latter pair are with the Culinary Institute of America, so they are expert teachers as well as knowing their subject matter. Continue reading "TexSom Conference Kicks Off at Four Seasons Resort and Club in La Colinas"1 Comment »
Drinking an aged Chardonnay is not the norm, especially one that doesn’t come from Meursault or Montrachet in Burgundy. Most Chardonnay drinkers prefer to enjoy this white while it is still fresh and crisp, shortly after bottling when the wine matches it’s fruit flavors with vibrant acidity.
However, when made from high quality grapes with balanced acidity, smart use of oak, a hands-off terroir driven wine making approach and, perhaps the most important requirement, proper storage, a nicely aged Chardonnay from anywhere in the world has the ability to age upwards of 20 years. Brian Talley of Talley Vineyards, just south of San Luis Obispo in California’s Central Coast, is out to prove this by traveling to select cities to let restaurateurs and journalists taste his well aged wine, including Dallas last week. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Aged Chardonnay from Talley Vineyards"1 Comment »