Category Archives: Andrew Chalk

Unusual Wine of The Week and an Inside Tip on One of the Best Wine Tasting Places in Dallas

IMG_20150119_200232by Andrew Chalk

Check out this wine, available at Dallas’ best Italian wine store, Jimmy’s, for $18. The 2013 Tramin Lagrein from Italy’s northernmost wine making region, Alto Adige. It is made from 100% Lagrein, an indigenous Alto Adige grape variety related to Syrah and Pinot Noir. I found the nose to resemble the lactic and cherry aromas of another Italian grape, Dolcetto. The wine’s representative, Josh Naquin of Republic National Distributing Company, said that with its nose of banana, white pepper and spices it reminded him of France’s cru beaujolais, the finest expression of the Gamay grape.  Continue reading

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Texas Wines Win More Medals At Out-Of-State Competitions Than Ever Before

by Andrew Chalk

Congratulations are in order! In 2014 Texas wines gave another telling demonstration of their continued march towards national recognition. They won more medals at major wine competitions than ever before. These competitions pitted Texas wines against the best from California, Washington, Oregon, Europe and Australia/New Zealand and they continued a trend that started as recently as 2011 of winning more contests than in the previous year. Continue reading


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Eat This: Texas Bobwhite Quail at Clark


by Andrew Chalk

I thought Dean Fearing had a lock on the consumate preparation of Texas’ favorite game bird, bobwhite quail. However, funky Greenville Avenue American bistro Clark Food and Wine Co. is going to give him a run for the money. These birds are delicately grilled with ample seasoning and sever obediently when cut with a knife, although I recommend picking the leg up and sucking off every last meaty morsel. Continue reading

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Wines of the Week

wineby Andrew Chalk

2011 Carmen Carmenere ‘Gran Reserva’, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley $15

The problem with Carmenere is that it is difficult to ripen.That leads to wines characterized by green pepper aroma and taste characteristics. Plaudits to Carmen at having avoided this this problem in 2011 and producing a wine with just enough green notes to contribute breed and structure without the negative side effects.

This wine has a an opaque ruby color. Smoky coffee, clove, black pepper, raspberry and black cherry aromas and bouquet. The mouthfeel is full of luxuriant tannins, complex fruit flavors confirming the nose, medium acid and a medium long finish.   Continue reading

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Eureka! In Greek Means “I Have Found It”

EurekaExteriorby Andrew Chalk

So said Archimedes, apparently while in the bath, although it is not generally considered to be an anatomical reference. In the modern context, Eureka! is a new eatery, open only about a month, in the new Uptown development 3700M (so named because of its address on McKinney Avenue).

It occupies the highly visible slanted corner facing busy Blackburn and McKinney so we expected it to be discovered quickly. Shrewdly, our media event had been planned for what turned out to be the coldest night thus far in 2015, 28℉, which made concurrent temperatures in Stockholm (37℉) look OK and London, at 52℉, positively balmy. Plus, it was a Wednesday, so we figured we would have our pick of plum tables. Fat chance! The place was packed, and there was even a line. Twenty and thirty somethings had braved the cold to down the food that we were about to discover. Additional customers appeared every few minutes to pick up takeout orders (a bravery award to the bearded guy in the blue t-shirt).  Continue reading

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Carso, In Granite Park, Brings Stylish Mediterranean To Plano/Frisco Corridor

bombaciby Andrew Chalk

I was delighted when I heard that Anthony Bombaci was to be the execuchef of the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park. It meant that Hilton was committed to food quantumly beyond the standard hotel fare and that Bombaci, who has kept the Hilton Anatole’s food operations sans SĒR humming smoothly until now, had a marquee restaurant added to his portfolio of the other food and beverage outlets (plus banquet service) at the new hotel. At a recent media event I finally got a chance to experience the new hotel and sample the food.

Carso is easily accessed via a door right by the complimentary valet stop. One step into the room and you notice the careful contrivance in the design. Lots of contrasting surfaces of white stone (redolent of the Hill Country), chocolate colored wood and sparkling metal offset by the soft fabrics of the chairs. Lots of nooks and pass-throughs deceive the eye about the room being a cube. It feels sophisticated and comfortable. The large bar area on the other side of the lobby echoes many of these themes but is more open, presumably for sports TV viewing.   Continue reading

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Wines for 2015

wine_glassby Andrew Chalk

As we look to the new year for more excitement and rejuvenation, Andrew has a nice list of wines to start your 2015 off right.

2011 Col Solare Red Wine, Red Mountain, Washington. $75

This wine of the product of a collaboration between the Marchesi Antinori of Tuscany and Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington State. It is as blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec.

Although a Bordeaux blend this would never be taken as an old world wine. It is firmly fruit-driven and ripe, luscious fruit at that. It needs to be aged 5-10 years for best enjoyment but can be drunk today if infanticide is one of your sidelines.   Continue reading

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