I remember when Chilean wine first hit the U.S. market in the 1980s. This South American spindle of a country came to the game with a winemaking climate as perfect as any in the world, low land and labor costs, and a small domestic market that meant there was an export-driven culture.
They took what sold: Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Chardonnay and Napa Sauvignon and just re-did it down in Chile. Even with the costs of shipping through the Panama Canal, Chilean wines were cheap and cheerful when they arrived in stores and on restaurant wine lists in the eastern and central U.S. It was a case of “anything you can do, I can do cheaper”. This strategy was effective at attaining a foothold in the U.S. market, the country’s primary export destination, but over time the Chilean wine industry started to experience the effects of outside competition and the country’s own economic success. Twenty years of virtually unbroken economic growth under a new democratic government meant that labor costs started to rise. Even more of a shock was the appreciation of the peso relative to the dollar. Simultaneously, competition increased from a re-emergent Argentinean wine industry bolstered by a two-thirds currency devaluation following a currency crisis in 2001. Australia also flooded the low end of the U.S. wine market with an endless succession of ‘critter’ wines. Continue reading
by Jon Alexis
Let me ask you a seemingly simple question: Why do we follow the rules? They tell us it’s a trade off. We give up the freedom to drive wherever we want at any speed. We gain the security of knowing that a car won’t plow into us at an intersection.
But what happens when following the rules offers no such safety? What happens when we do as we’re told, but we don’t get the safety we’re promised?
That, my friends, is the time for revolution. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
On any given day when driving past the boutiques lining Oak Lawn in Dallas you will spot plenty of activity. There you will discover hot finds on wine or cheese, or possibly even chocolate. This past Sunday we began the edible bucket list for 2012 and made a stop into Chocolate Secrets.
The chocolate shop has somewhat of an identity crisis. It wants to be this cool wine bar that serves up healthy slices of jazz most evenings. Chocolate Secrets also offers some of the best and certainly beautiful chocolate in Dallas. Continue reading
by Jon Alexis
Sick of salmon? Tired of tuna? Had it with halibut? Bored by bass? Don’t let our lack of a coastline fool you – we can get the finest seafood in the world in Dallas, Texas and with that means a variety of fin fish beyond the “usual”.
Here are five fish you may not be familiar with, but that are consistently available in Dallas. All are sustainable alternatives to some of the more overfished species we still see on nearly every menu in town. Continue reading
photos and interview by Joey Stewart
We had an occasion to do a tasting with Keith Webster of Webster Cellars. As is often the case with great wine makers the man behind the wine is ever bit as interesting as the wine itself.
Webster grew up in Germany (his father was a spy) and often found himself visiting neighboring countries such as Spain, Italy and France and recalls his first wine as a Spanish Madeira. This was his foray into wines, and was hooked on Old World vintages that were lower in alcohol, high in acidity and extremely well-balanced. Continue reading