Category Archives: Andrew Chalk

Is That Really a Texas Wine That You Are Being Served at The Texas State Fair?

texby Andrew Chalk

This week the 2014 Texas State Fair gets into full swing and one of the attractions is the Wine Garden Presented By Go Texan and Texas Monthly. The web site informs visitors that this “…is a great way to explore Texas-made wines”. I was excited that Texas wines would get such a prominent stage in front of so many potential customers. However, before writing about it, I e-mailed the state fair organizers to confirm that I fully understood the criteria for a wine to be considered a “Texas wine” for this event — the Texas State Fair. Per Federal law, a Texas wine is a wine that is made at least 75% from Texas grapes

The results amazed me. Not only may a wine have 0% Texas grapes to qualify as ‘Texas Made’ for the state fair wine garden, it does not even have to be made in Texas. Someone could buy finished wine on the California bulk market and ship it here in a tanker truck. Then, bottle and label it in Texas (probably with a label that makes it look as though it comes from Texas – cowboys, flags, etc.) and that would meet the criteria for it to be served at the Texas State Fair Wine Garden as a Texas made wine. As long as the seller has a Texas address, it would qualify. These bulk imports with misleading labels damage Texas grape growers and Texas wineries making wine from Texas grapes, as well as misleading consumers.   Continue reading

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Ziziki’s Unveils New Chef’s Selections On Its Menu

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by Andrew Chalk

Ziziki’s, the popular area place for Greek food has just put three brand new ‘Chef’s Selections’ on its dinner menu – and they are really good. At a recent media event I got to sample them and co-owner (with her husband Costa) Mary Arabatzis even gave me a peek at their significant Greek wine selection.

First of the new triple was Grilled Bronzini ($29), a whole Mediterranean sea bass grilled with a pronounced helping of garlic and served topped with a sauce of chervil, chives and dill. On the side was a mound of slippery orzo ‘risotto’ with the pasta nodules bathed in just enough butter to render forth sweet, creamy flavors. Careful seasoning finished it all off . Chef Costa thoughtfully provides a slice of lemon to squeeze on the fish if you are that way inclined (I was) and there is definitely some of his Sicilian mother’s side speaking through this dish.   Continue reading

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Give Yourself Over To Absolute Pleasure: The Rocky Horror Show Comes To The DTC

DTC's THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW - Cast - by Karen Almond (4)by Andrew Chalk       photos by by Karen Almond

“Part play, part rock show, part party” was how Director Joel Ferrell described The Rocky Horror Show to me last night after the showing at the Dallas Theater Center (DTC). His production certainly treats Richard O’Brien’s masterpiece as such. There are first-rate musicians belting out the familiar but pleasurable numbers. A strong and enthusiastic cast animating the story. And an engaging and contrived stage design to build it all on. Little wonder that row upon row of the audience were on their feet when Time Warp came around and all the audience interjections familiar to attendees of the film version (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) peppered the dialog as well. Sometimes these were used to good effect, as when an interrupted Riff Raff improvised “as that lady said” to a Frank N. Furter cross examination.   Continue reading

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Wine of The Week: Lafite’s Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon for $14

IMAG0074by Andrew Chalk

For reasons that nobody explained to me, it has been a week of tasting outstanding Malbecs. All of these came from Argentina, and some ranged over $100 for a bottle. However, for our Wine of the Week we generally look for something less than $20 and with Argentine Malbec the field is target rich.

Our recommendation this week is 2011 Amancaya Gran Reserva Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mendoza region of Argentina. It is actually a 70% Malbec-30% Cabernet Sauvignon blend from a winery called Bodegas Caro, which is a joint venture between the branch of the Rothschild family that owns Château Lafite in France’s Bordeaux region and pioneering Argentine winemaker Nicolas Catena.   Continue reading

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James Beard Foundation’s “Taste America” Comes To Dallas

chefs1by Andrew Chalk

This could be the dinner of the year. The James Beard Foundation is touring just ten American cities with their 2014 Taste America event and Dallas made the cut (the only Texas city to do so). No fewer than seven chefs who have either won or been nominated for a James Beard award, or have been invited to cook at the James Beard house in New York, will prepare food for a lavish reception and dinner dubbed A Night of Culinary Stars to be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel’s glorious Wedgewood Room on Friday September 26th. Proceeds from the event benefit the James Beard Foundation and Café Momentum, the local project that endeavors to give crucial job skills in the food service industry to at-risk young men from Dallas County Youth Village.   Continue reading

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Wine of the Week: An Opulent Malbec from Argentina for $16

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by Andrew Chalk

Malbec has become the de facto global Malbec producer over the last 20 years, producing luscious, fruit-driven wines in all price categories. Our wine-of-the-week this week is an example of the best aspects of Argentinean wine at a price that won’t break the bank.

The 2012 Saurus Select Malbec comes from Patagonia, in the southern part of Argentina. The southerly latitude contributes cooler temperatures to the grape maturation. Maybe this explains why this is a decidedly medium-bodied wine, in contrast to the full-bodied, ripe examples of Malbec that are common from Mendoza. That said, it is more complex than one would expect in this price range with smoky and herbal notes of thyme in the mouth and a long pleasant finish of dark fruit.   Continue reading

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Casa Noble Tequila Tasting at Komali

Komaliby Andrew Chalk

One press release I had to fire from our root vegetable-powered press release machine. Casa Noble is my favorite tequila. Its ageing in French oak barrels (not unlike a premium wine) give it a distinct and refined flavor.

If you plan to attend this food and tasting event do try to arrive early. Previous Komali tequila tastings have been packed to the rafters. The event is September 16th starting at 6pm. Give Komali a jingle to reserve your seat. 214.252.0200

 

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