Tag Archives: California

A Good Value Zinfandel

IMG_2698by Andrew Chalk

The 2012 XYZin, Old Vines Zinfandel, California ($16) is a good value, typical California Zinfandel. The nose has notes of plum, blueberry, blackcurrant and some French oak. In the mouth the wine is dry with good acid and the effusive fruit that is typical of young California Zinfandel. The fruit flavors repeat the fruits in the nose. Tannins are soft and supple. A very appealing style.  This wine goes well with barbecue and burgers. Crave Recommended.

Interesting appellation. I wonder why something more specific could not be used

I cannot find any local availability but it is available online.

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Bridlewood Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

IMG_1499by Andrew Chalk

Consider these popularly priced wines available now. The 2011 Bridlewood Chardonnay, Monterey County has a delicate straw color. A nose of lemon with hints of vanilla, wine gums and bread yeast. In the mouth it has a medium body, high acid and open effusive fruit. Retail price, SRP $15.

The 2011 Bridlewood Pinot Noir, Monterey County is classic Monterey Pinot Noir. Open, fruit forward, cherry and other red fruit flavors. Soft, smooth in the mouth. Very approachable. SRP $18.


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Ferre Ferrari Carano Dinner

IMG_1864by Andrew Chalk

I was fortunate to be a media guest at Ferré’s first wine dinner this weekend. The featured winery was California’s Ferrari-Carano and the guests enjoyed a set 5-course menu with matching wines in a private dining area of the downtown Fort Worth restaurant.

Pictures tell the story of the food below but check out the menu. Many of those wines are in such small supply a winemaker’s dinner is essentially the only way to get them short of going to the winery.        Continue reading

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Two Wine Finds With A Quirky Name

Cabernet merlot lily pad red jcmby Andrew Chalk

What do you do if the rest of the world calls you a frog and thinks that you are arrogant just because you have the best shrug? If you are French winemaker Jean-Claude Mas you turn the joke back to them with a wine that displays a refined idiosyncrasy and calls itself The Arrogant Frog.

The importer just delivered bottles of their 2011 vintage. The red, a ”Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot” blend with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Chardonnay. Both come from France’s beautiful Languedoc region on the Mediterranean and both come in screw cap bottles. These are unprepossessing wines in name and packaging but surprisingly refined in taste. Good winemaking makes a good value wine for $10.            Continue reading

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Texas Roussanne Wines Get Ranked

rouss-blind_set1by Andrew Chalk

You may recall that Crave conducted MoAT1 (the Mother of All Tastings No. 1) just a month ago where we pitted 16 Texas wines from the Viognier grape against two known stars from California and a French example. Texas took the top six spots, confirming an improvement in quality that I have seen happening over several years. Now comes news that TXWineLover blog, one of the best blogs about Texas wine, has conducted a similarly comprehensive tasting, but this time of wines from the Roussanne grape from Texas. Roussanne is a good choice. It has also been steadily improving and is also a wine grape originating from the southern Rhône region of France.     Continue reading


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California Foie Ban Set For July 1

by Steven Doyle

Foie gras has been produced since the early Egyptians discovered how savory the liver becomes when a goose is overfed. Since those early times foie has been elevated to another level, but not without a certain level of controversy. A California law enacted in 2004 which becomes effective July 1, 2012, prohibits the “force feeding of a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size” as well as the sale of products that are a result of this process.

This isn’t the first such ban on foie in the United States. In April of 2006 a city-wide ban on foie was enacted in Chicago the prohibited the sale and leveed fines up to $500. A great level of civil disobedience broke out in the city not too unlike Prohibition when booze flowed freely in the meaty city. During the time of the ban in Chicago it was reported that 46,000 pounds of foie was sold and the ban was eventually ruled “silly” by Mayor Richard Daley and was overturned.    Continue reading


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