The Grape hosts a special Chef’s Come-As-You-Are featuring Russian River Valley’s Copain Wines on Thursday, March 26. Chef de cuisine Sarah Snow will feature an intimate 3-course bistro menu to complement selected wines. Special guest hosts are Andy Bartee of Copain Wines and Jenny Davis of Victory Wine Group. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Sommelier
by Andrew Chalk
La Cantera Hill Country Resort is an absolutely spectacular sight in the southern Hill Country just north of San Antonio. The vast resort has a popular world-class golf course, private villas (casitas), six pools and a flagship restaurant Francesca’s at Sunset. As well as being close to the most rapidly improving culinary scene in the state, the resort is also part of it. Its extensive dining facilities make it one of the area’s largest customers for community-supported agriculture, Texas ranches and line-caught fish. And that commitment to Texas product does not stop at the edge of the plate. The resort also has one of the most extensive and carefully curated selections of Texas wines in the state.
by Andrew Chalk
If you work in the hospitality industry you serve humanity. You are bound to come across all types of people and accumulate some funny anecdotes over the years. I surveyed Dallas sommeliers about the soft underbelly of wine service.
Anthony Martinez at The Gaylord Texan handles thousands of wine orders a week. He still remembers the time that a table asked for straws and drank their wine from a straw. Another time, a guest tasted the wine straight from the bottle. Continue reading
Most diners are aware of the position of sommelier in a high-end restaurant. The waiter dedicated mainly to wine service, but also spirits, aperitifs, digestifs, cocktails, beer, coffee, tea, water and, sometimes, cigars. There isn’t a dedicated waiter for meat, or fish, so why wine?
It turns out that when wine is a very large part of a restaurant’s sales it becomes a full time job. Existing inventories must be maintained of a product that itself evolves as it gets older. A vintage wine that offered a diner a certain flavor profile this year may be unrecognizable just two years on. And yet, new supplies of that same wine vary, vintage by vintage, with the weather. Some wines, particularly European wines from temperate and continental climates, can differ out of all recognition from year to year. Thus, the sommelier has to stay on top of a product base that is forever shifting. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
The Master of Wine (M.W.) qualification is the most prestigious and demanding qualification in wine education in the world. In 60 years of the existence of The Institute of Masters of Wine only 312 people have passed the rigorous set of exams. Until recently none lived in Texas, let alone Dallas. However, all of that changed last week with the successful completion of the tough examination process by Dilek Caner, a Dallas wine educator. She had previously been a sommelier at Restaurant Alain Ducasse although her education was in economics, including a Ph.D. from New York University. That training doubtless helped her with her dissertation for the M.W. degree which dealt with US consumer and trade perspectives around Washington State Syrah. Continue reading
Many months ago we discussed the Indie Film, Somm, made with unprecedented access that takes the viewer on a humorous, emotional, and illuminating look into one of the world’s most prestigious, secretive, and exclusive organizations – the Court of Master Sommeliers and the massively intimidating Master Sommelier Exam. Continue reading
Last evening I caught up with sommelier Ryan Tedder at a thought provoking Italian wine tasting at Bob’s Steakhouse in Plano. I was surprised to see Tedder in the group, but the previous year’s TexSom winner is constantly improving his knowledge, along with a group of fantastic young enthusiasts and sommeliers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
I had not realy seen Tedder since he left FT33 as general manager/ sommelier, and was excited to sit down with him for a few minutes to discuss his most recent work in Dallas. Continue reading