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Russell Masraff co-owns the Euro-American restaurant Masraff's on South Post Oak with his father, Tony Masraff. Tony is all about cigars, and Russell is all about wines. Together, they have created a loyal following.
1753 Post Oak Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056
Category: Music Venues
Russell Masraff: "I am not a wine geek, I just love wine. I either like the wine and buy it, or I don't. I try to keep it simple; after all, it's just wine. As a restaurateur, I do not usually have the luxury of holding wines until they reach some critic's 'maturity date.' I buy wines that drink well in their youth, unless I can find the occasional older gem and add it to the restaurant's collection. I do not have any philosophical quotes about wine. Wines are very subjective; drink what you like, drink a lot of it and don't be influenced by the ratings or by what other people drink."
"Here's five wines that will not only blow your mind, but which you will also find at our restaurant."
$15 or less
2005 Bernardus Pinot Noir Monterey County, California
It annoys me when "wine" people describe a wine with words that leave me guessing what they're trying to say. I like to keep it simple. This wine has a high level of drinkability — I could drink it till the cows come home! It is a lighter-style Pinot Noir that is elegant from the aroma to the finish. Give me a Muscovy Duck or perhaps a plate of sautéed chanterelle mushrooms to go with this wine, and I am set.
$30 or less
2003 Château Pichecan
This is a great introduction to Bordeaux or, more precisely, Margaux, because it shows you what to expect from a quality wine of Bordeaux without breaking the bank. Although I would consider this wine full-bodied, the Merlot and Cabernet franc soften it a bit, making it an extraordinary food wine. Osso buco would be the way to go with this.
$60 or less
2005 Meursault Blagny, Thierry et
The year 2005 was an outstanding vintage in Burgundy, and at that price point, this wine easily makes my list. While most Meursaults are a bit rich for my liking, the husband-and-wife team of Thierry and Pascal Matrot hit one out of the park with this one. It has a fantastic balance of oak and acidity that doesn't overpower the fruit. This wine would be perfect with fish in a classic beurre blanc.
$120 or less
2003 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon
St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
I am not typically a Cab fan, as it is usually just too overpowering for most foods, but this wine is just too good not to mention. The tannins are not overpowering for such a young California Cab, which I found a pleasant surprise. It's a perfectly balanced wine with a fantastic bouquet of dark berries and a silky-smooth, but long, finish. Like most Cabernets, this wine would definitely be best with a big fat steak, medium-rare.
1990 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou
I was incredibly fortunate to share a bottle of this wine recently, and all I can say is wow! It was one of the best wines I have ever tasted. This wine is not for the big Cab drinkers, as it's all about finesse. It is as close to perfection as you can find in a wine.