Congratulations are in order! In 2014 Texas wines gave another telling demonstration of their continued march towards national recognition. They won more medals at major wine competitions than ever before. These competitions pitted Texas wines against the best from California, Washington, Oregon, Europe and Australia/New Zealand and they continued a trend that started as recently as 2011 of winning more contests than in the previous year. Continue reading →
I thought Dean Fearing had a lock on the consumate preparation of Texas’ favorite game bird, bobwhite quail. However, funky Greenville Avenue American bistro Clark Food and Wine Co. is going to give him a run for the money. These birds are delicately grilled with ample seasoning and sever obediently when cut with a knife, although I recommend picking the leg up and sucking off every last meaty morsel. Continue reading →
2011 Carmen Carmenere ‘Gran Reserva’, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley $15
The problem with Carmenere is that it is difficult to ripen.That leads to wines characterized by green pepper aroma and taste characteristics. Plaudits to Carmen at having avoided this this problem in 2011 and producing a wine with just enough green notes to contribute breed and structure without the negative side effects.
This wine has a an opaque ruby color. Smoky coffee, clove, black pepper, raspberry and black cherry aromas and bouquet. The mouthfeel is full of luxuriant tannins, complex fruit flavors confirming the nose, medium acid and a medium long finish. Continue reading →
As we look to the new year for more excitement and rejuvenation, Andrew has a nice list of wines to start your 2015 off right.
2011 Col Solare Red Wine, Red Mountain, Washington. $75
This wine of the product of a collaboration between the Marchesi Antinori of Tuscany and Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington State. It is as blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec.
Although a Bordeaux blend this would never be taken as an old world wine. It is firmly fruit-driven and ripe, luscious fruit at that. It needs to be aged 5-10 years for best enjoyment but can be drunk today if infanticide is one of your sidelines. Continue reading →
A shower of leaves on my shoulder as I walked the dog this week confirmed — Fall is here. And although Fall in Dallas may be shorter than some commutes, the good news is that the area’s many seasonally aware restaurants turn over their menus. That gave me a sense of anticipation towards a media event at Del Frisco’s Grille in Uptown to showcase their menu changes.
Recall that Del Frisco’s is more than just the more popularly-priced baby brother to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. It is broader in concept, encompassing a more equal distribution of proteins, flatbreads and burgers.
We could not have started better than the Roasted Corn Bisque ($9 bowl, $7 cup), a redoubtable bowl of full-bodied corn soup bestowed with velvety smoothness by ladles of heavy cream and textural variance by slithers of tortilla chips scattered on top. To naysayers who object that corn is not in season, it is through the end of November. So slurp this dish avariciously.
A big theme in the new menu is sharing. Appetizers of Deviled Eggs with truffle-chive vinaigrette ($7.50), Pimento Cheese Fritters with chipotle ranch sauce ($9.50) and Grilled Artichoke with Continue reading →
Some weeks ago I wrote about a wine carrying the familiar “Go Texan” mark of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) that was made mainly (85%, as it happened) of non-Texas grapes. In the course of researching that story, I asked the TDA the minimum proportion of Texas grapes required in a wine carrying the Go Texan mark. They did not know the exact rule so I submitted a Freedom of Information Request for this information. Recently, they came back to me with the definitive answer: the minimum proportion of Texas grapes in a Go Texan wine is…Zero percent. In other words, you can put Go Texan on wine with grapes from anywhere.
This is not what I expected on the day that I first saw a wine with the Go Texan mark. Nor is it what the vast majority of consumers think Go Texan means based on the ones I have asked the question to (which is pretty much everyone that I have met over the last few weeks). The most common answer I got was that Go Texan meant 100% grapes. Seventy-five percent was another popular answer. Both numbers have a reasonable basis. One hundred percent is what common sense tells us. Seventy five percent is an existing federal standard for denominating a wine’s origin. The only people who answered zero percent were people who knew my predilection for asking trick questions. Continue reading →