Tag Archives: wine

On Its 50th Anniversary, Goody Goody’s CEO Surveys The Dallas Liquor Store Landscape

goody1by Andrew Chalk

In 1964, Joe Jansen bought a 15 by 20 foot Greenville Avenue liquor store named Goo Goo and changed its name to Goody Goody (in order to save the cost of buying a new sign). This month, Goody Goody is celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary at each of its 21 locations throughout Dallas, Houston and Longview. It is the oldest liquor store chain still owned and run by the founder, and has grown to annual revenue of $250 million. In the Dallas market, Goody Goody (including its wholesale business) is the largest liquor store chain.

I have bought a lot of wine at Goody Goody and always regarded them as a great source of bargains. At the same time, I have also found the company idiosyncratic. For example, look at its web site. What a sorry excuse for an e-commerce channel. Or consider the sea change of Dallas (1,3m people), Plano (275,000 people), Lewisville (101,000 people) and Arlington (380,000 people) all going “wet” in the past four years. Why no flurry of new stores?   Continue reading

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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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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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Wine of The Week: A Classy Rosé for Under $20

IMG_4656by Andrew Chalk

I bet that 90% of you have not had a Tavel. A statement that is semantically, but nonsensically, equivalent to your left arm having had a Tavel, but the rest of your body not having done so.

More reasonably, Tavel wines are hard to find in Dallas/Fort Worth, so many readers will not have tasted one. I urge you to change that! Tavel is a village in the south of France near the town of Avignon. Oenologically, it is famous for making rosé wines of distinctive character when young and tremendous ageing potential. The major grape varieties are Grenache and Syrah, but in this region Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan and more obscure varieties are also widespread.    Continue reading

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Wine of the Week: A Quality Spanish Red for About $12

torres, ibericos, crianza, a_2007, 75_clby Andrew Chalk
Ninety percent of the Tempranillo grape plantings in the world are in Spain. Increasing quality and good value have propelled Spanish Tempranillo all over the world. The best-known producing region is Rioja in the north-central part of the country.

The 2011 Torres Ibéricos Crianza, Rioja is an excellent example of good value Rioja. It has glorious forward, open fruit, in the mouth (like a bowl of raspberries). A hint of oak and a pleasant finish. It will pair well with lamb or goat as well as the usual repertoire of the more popular red meats. Try it with red sauce pasta dishes as well.   Continue reading

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Wine of the Week: A $20 Aussie Shiraz That Scored 90 Points for $13

IMG_20140819_180318by Andrew Chalk

What a bargain. A wine that scored 90 points out of 100 in the prestigious Wine Advocate (placing it in the top 5% of wines tasted) for $19.98 is rare enough indeed, but the Lakewood wine store with the wacko name, The Wine Therapist, is discounting it to $12.99 for a limited time.

2010 Mr. Riggs ‘The Gaffer’ Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia

The special price is the one that they offered at a store tasting two Saturdays back. They sold out. The reason for the resumption of the tasting price is that they just managed to secure new supplies from the distributor.  Continue reading

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Three Wine Finds

IMG_20140819_175926 by Andrew Chalk

1999 Artéis Champagne Brut ($50)

It is not often that one sees a Champagne this old and not for this price. But this newly introduced brand is the real thing. It introduces a new name into the Champagne market, Artéis and Co. which began distributing in the U.S. last fall. They now have four wines, this being the oldest.

This wine has a moderate yeastiness, long-lived bubbles and a vibrant acidity making it suitable for a wide range of food. The hardest thing may be getting it due to its small production. Currently Crave readers on one of their regular trips to a list that includes Colette in Paris, The Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood and Le Baron in New York as well as gastronomic destinations including Daniel in New York, Fig, FarmShop and Nikita in Los Angeles as well as Saison and La Folie in San Francisco.

Whoever is taking over from the inimitable Michael Flynn at the Mansion should give the U.S. importer a call and get some of this.   Continue reading

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