As part of its summer “Lose the Bottle” TV campaign, Black Box wines enlisted top comedic actors and filmmakers to create original short sketch videos that extend humor to online fans and consumers looking for reasons why they should convert to Black Box. The campaign message encourages wine drinkers to lose their bottle in exchange for Black Box’s many quality and convenience benefits. The filmmaking team was given creative freedom to write, act and produce five highly original and witty takes on the line of uniquely packaged premium wines. Continue reading
Category Archives: Wine
This Wednesday, the Texas Wine and Grape Grower’s Association (TWGGA) meets in Austin to hold their ‘Legislative Forum’. It’s a meeting to discuss all things legislative relating to the Texas wine industry. By a remarkable coincidence, I had a dream the other night in which Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, appeared and proceeded to replace the TWGGA President’s opening address with a speech of his own. I reached into the back of his rental car and glimpsed this text.
“Fellow Texas grape growers and winemakers. This year, the Texas wine industry stands at a crossroads. We know that we have regions that can grow grapes as well as anywhere in the world. We know that we have viticulturalists as expert as those in other regions. We know that we can make world class wines from those grapes, witness the success of TWGGA member wineries in the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition (a competition that is, in the view of many informed observers, the most competitive in the United States). Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
That is what Sabrina Houser has heard on “good authority”. She is with Dry Comal Creek Vineyards and Winery which I used as example when I wrote about non-Texas wine in the Texas wine section of a new Whole Foods Market in the Dallas area. If her source is correct, Whole Foods may be implementing a policy change whereby the Texas wine section will be populated only by Texas wines. California wine sold by Texas wineries will be moved elsewhere. This actually opens up the tantalising possibility of Whole Foods sourcing more Texas wines from more wineries (they could use the winners of our Viognier tasting or our Tempranillo tasting as a crib sheet to start off). Furthermore, it makes Whole Foods a leader in Truth In Labelling regarding Texas wines. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk photos by Robert Bostick
There is general agreement that Tempranillo is the red grape that has done best in Texas thus far. I decided it was time to do a comparative tasting in order to get an idea of how good Texas Tempranillo has become, and who is doing the best job with the grape. I put out an APB to every winery in Texas for their currently available Texas Tempranillos and received no fewer than 23 different wines from fifteen wineries in response. As with our earlier comparison of Texas Viognier, the tasting would be blind and the tasters would be volunteers from the Dallas sommelier community.
Seven sommeliers, plus myself, assembled at WinePoste.com in the Dallas Design District over several hours to sip and slurp our way through the wines. I excluded my scores from the results below as I was involved in the packaging of the wines into their numbered brown bags. Continue reading
Crave readers will recognize the above symbol as the distinctive, protected, mark of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) “Go Texan” campaign. The campaign even has its own web site, GoTexan.org. According to that site, the aims of the campaign are to promote Texas agricultural products. Under “Rules and Guildlines” the Department says firmly “Maintaining the integrity of the GO TEXAN mark is the key to preserving the powerful brand positioning GO TEXAN members enjoy. These guidelines are provided to ensure proper use of the GO TEXAN mark. If you have any questions Continue reading
High Plains Devastated – Central Texas Sees Good Harvest
The 2013 Texas grape harvest is a story of contrasts . The High Plains, the most important wine grape area, was hit by no fewer than five frosts in the spring, leading to a 90% decrease in grape output compared with last year. The frosts were, as consultant Bobby Cox wrote “timed to do maximum damage”. The Hill Country, Gulf Coast, and north east of the state saw much better, sometimes very good, conditions.
I posed six questions about the harvest thus far to every winery in Texas. Below I reproduce a selection of the responses that represent the overall picture. It is early days yet, as virtually every respondent remarked, so this report is preliminary. I will have another report around the end of the year. Continue reading
What do you do if the rest of the world calls you a frog and thinks that you are arrogant just because you have the best shrug? If you are French winemaker Jean-Claude Mas you turn the joke back to them with a wine that displays a refined idiosyncrasy and calls itself The Arrogant Frog.
The importer just delivered bottles of their 2011 vintage. The red, a ”Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot” blend with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Chardonnay. Both come from France’s beautiful Languedoc region on the Mediterranean and both come in screw cap bottles. These are unprepossessing wines in name and packaging but surprisingly refined in taste. Good winemaking makes a good value wine for $10. Continue reading