Category Archives: Wine

Texas Department Of Agriculture Caves In To Juice Mixers On ‘Go Texan’ Rule — What Are The Lessons?

 

by Andrew Chalk

After two periods of public comment the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) released their final response to my Fall 2013 request for a rules change to abolish the current rule (that a wine carrying the Go Texan logo on its label may contain a minimum of 0% Texas grapes). The essence of the ruling is that this practice will continue as the status quo. Continue reading

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Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Wine Tasting Could Be Wine Tasting Of The Year

wine1by Andrew Chalk

On Friday evening, January 24, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse will host its Château Angélus Wine Dinner. Widely known as Saint-Émilion’s leading wine, this label holds one of the longest histories of the appellation, reaching across eight generations of the De Boüard de Laforest family. With a silky, rich and robust style, Château Angélus captures the essence of the family’s passion for wine. In 2012, the estate earned the status of Premier Grand Cru Classe A. Only 24 guests will share in this exclusive dinner experience. Continue reading

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The Wine Poste to Host Special Wine & Pizza Event

wineOn Friday, January 24th the Wine Poste will continue its special food and wine tasting events with Chef TJ and his Wood-Fired Mobile Oven. Chef TJ will prepare personal pies for everyone in attendance, while the Wine Poste pours samples of four different red wines, all noted for their high acclaim and extreme value. Continue reading

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The New Zinfandel

by Andrew Chalk

Zinfandel is the Apple computer of wine grapes. No grape has a following like it. These oeno-moonies flock to San Francisco each superbowl weekend to attend ZinFest, AKA ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), a tasting of virtually every Zinfandel maker’s wines. The winemakers themselves are there pouring, connecting one-on-one with their reverential disciples. It’s a hugfest. Or it was. I attended reliably for a decade – and then I stopped. Continue reading

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Downton Abbey Makes a Wine With No Class

by Andrew Chalk

It is ironic that a series whose attraction is it’s exploitation of the ‘cleavages within the English class system’ should produce a wine that is so existentially flat-chested. This the first time that I can remember a film or TV series co-branding with a wine rather than, say, ‘Downton Abbey Happy Meal’ at McDonald’s, or the like. Unfortunately, the monetarily incentivised producers have chosen a simple uninteresting industrial level red wine, the 2012 Downton Abbey ‘Claret’ Bordeaux as their go-to-market proposition. The white equivalent, 2012 Downton Abbey Blanc, Bordeaux is even worse, except that you can chill it to conceal its flaws.

The red smells of green pepper. The positive there is that it does, at least, contain Cabernet Sauvignon, one of Bordeaux’s signature varietals. The coop, or other industrial producer, that made it, just did not let the grapes get ripe. Quelle domage. Failed winemaking 101. In the mouth, the message is linear, one-dimensional, simplicity. Insipid fruit, and a short finish.     Continue reading

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Black Box Wine Wants To Laugh With You (Video)

black boxby Steven Doyle

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

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TWGGA President’s Speech Replacement

Jim Backus as Bacchusby Andrew Chalk

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

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