I am smitten with this Dark Horse Nero D’Avola, with its tart cherry, cranberry and spicy, peppery notes. Made by Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, I believe it’s the only Texas (and maybe US) winery making a Nero D’Avola wine. I love the high acid and soft tannins on this lively red.
Nero D’Avola is the most widely planted red grape in Sicily. Here in Texas, it’s grown at one of Brennan’s estate vineyards, Newberg Vineyards, just 10 miles south of the winery.
If you want to know more, check out this WSJ column on what could become the next Malbec.
While the big game certainly disappointed, thank goodness, the wines I enjoyed that night did not.
To kick things off, we started with some Gruet Blanc de Noirs — always love this sparkling wine from New Mexico. Light salmon color, toasty and creamy. Specs
As most of my wine friends know, I am a huge Chablis fan. Lucky me, this 2012 Pierre Andre Chablis was steely and super minerally with a hint of salinity— showing off its Kimmeridgien limestone soil. Twin Liquors.
This Bordeaux blend from Saint-Emilion — Chateau Pontet Plaisance St. Emilion Grand Cru 2010 — capped the night offering lots of ripe dark fruit, some green and leather notes, and well-balanced. Twin Liquors
You gotta love the guys at William Chris for making a wine with lipstick lips on the label. They celebrate women as much as they do wine, and we appreciate it. (Thanks Chris and Bill — true Texas gentlemen!)
The Emotion is always one of my favorites — an approachable red blend from Cab Sauv, Malbec, Cab Franc, Syrah and Merlot. You first get pretty floral notes on the nose, but this baby is full of fruit — blueberry, black and red cherries. Its soft tannins make it an easy wine to drink.
If you haven’t been to William Chris, it’s “Hye” time you do. Stop in, sit back, put your boots up, and enjoy their beautiful winery.
Tonight, while studying for our CSS exam, Jessica and I tasted this lovely Domaine de Javerniere Morgon. Morgon is one of the 10 Beaujolais crus, and its wines are made primarily from the Gamay grape.
The nose on this light red was highlighted with floral notes (think purple and pink flowers) with cherry fruit notes. On the palate, Cherry Sweet Tart. Super acid, fresh, lively.
Sadly, the Chateau des Jacques Morgon 2009 was corked. Boo.
Here’s a look at some wines (and spirits) I have enjoyed recently. Cheers!
Franz Etz Gruner
This is my Friday night (or any other weekday) wine. Love the acid, minerality, and slight effervescence on this little number. IAnd it comes in a liter bottle — great value! Specs.
Simonnet-Febrvre Saint-Bris Sauvignon Blanc
This is my go-to pairing with sushi when I saddle up to the bar at Whole Foods Market. Lots of citrus and minerality in this wine (without the heavy grapefruit and grassy notes of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that I don’t care for.) Whole Foods Market.
Les Vignes D’Alexander Chateauneuf-du-Pape
This Chablis is my Saturday night, let’s-have-a-party white. You’ll spend a bit more but it’s worth every sip. Lemon, herbs and salinity on this number - my kind of wine to set the stage for a lovely evening. Whole Foods Market.
The Chateauneuf-du-Pape, also from Whole Foods Market, has tobacco, earthy notes with soft tannins. Super nice.
And last, but not least, a little Red Handed Bourbon Whiskey, made from the fine folks at Treaty Oaks Distillery. This corn and rye whiskey has a nice touch of sweetness that I like. Check out my friend Matt McGinnis’ story on whiskeys in Austin Man magazine, which includes a review of Red Handed.
(I needed some whiskey after getting an ART treatment by Jake!)
With the ice and snow storm on its way yesterday, I made a pot of chicken tortilla soup with green chiles, and decided to pair it with this Salt LIck Cellars BBQ White.
Made by Duchman Family Winery, this easy drinking white has hints of green apple and grapefruit, along with pretty floral and peachy notes, which complements the spicy soup. I love the dry, crisp finish on this white.
Wine Enthusiast just named the Texas Hill Country as one of its Top 10 Wine Destinations for 2014. For my out-of-town friends, check out this trip giveaway from Wine Enthusiast and Texas Tourism.
What are you waiting for?! Enter to win a trip for two that includes airfare and transportation, your accommodations, visits to 12 wineries, and multi-course wine and food dinners.
Go here for details. And if you win, let me know and I’ll share a glass of Texas wine with you as we enjoy the beautiful Hill Country!
My tears are for joy — and sadness. I am thrilled to share the news that Perissos Vineyards & Winery in Burnet received “Best of Class” for its 2012 Aglianico at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Perissos is the only Texas winery to receive this honor since 2006.
I’m sad because this is the wine (2011 vintage) I bought last year on a road trip to Perissos, which bit the dust when our car slammed on the brakes to avoid a deer.
Congrats Seth and Laura on this great honor!
Vermentino is always a white wine that I look for on restaurant menus — something different from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Lucky for me, Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood makes a beautiful Vermentino, which is often on tap at Whole Foods Market wine bars and my go-to pairing with sushi.
The 2011 Vermentino has white peach and flowers on the nose, with grapefruit and lime on the palate. Love the acid on this wine, too!
Available at Whole Foods Market for under $20 (and a bargain by the glass!!)
Winebelly is a fabulous new addition to South Austin — this tapas and vino restaurant does not disappoint. The wine list is carefully selected by Ryan (who hails from my all-time favorite restaurant Bitter End and most recently Uncle Billy’s), including this French number I enjoyed last night.
The Marius Terret Vermentino by Michel Chapoutier has the perfect amount of funk you expect from a French wine, with nice peach, apricot and citrus notes. Medium bodied with nice acidity. Ryan says this may become one of his go-to “by the glass” offerings.
This wine would be great with both the parmesan truffle fries or the bravas fries (although a cold beer would be the perfect pairing with the chili pepper-spiced bravas fries).
The beet salad is amazing — feta mousse, candied hazelnuts, and a citrus vinaigrette.
The grilled lamb ribs with vegetable ragout, spiced pistachios and herbed yogurt is a perfect dish for cold winter nights.
Hope to see you at Winebelly soon — 1st and Oltorf.