"Bartender, bartender! My wine smells like farts!" No, this wasn't a George Carlin routine. It was me (and my not so inner wine nerd) as I sat at a bar at one of Houston's most swank joints, waiting to be seated for dinner. Honestly, I wasn't surprised that my wine smelled like a fart: It came fr ... More >>
"Ingredients," reports the back label on a bottle of Randall Grahm's Bonny Doon wines from California, "Syrah grapes, tartaric acid, and sulfur dioxide. In the winemaking process, the following were utilized: indigenous yeast, yeast nutrients, and French oak barrels. At time of bottling, this produc ... More >>
I just love that the good folks over at the Chamisal winery in the Central Coast of California call their entry-level Chardonnay "stainless." To anyone familiar with the science and art of winemaking, the term "stainless" denotes a commonly employed technique and associated style of vinification. B ... More >>
The beer wars are nothing new. Long before craft beer came along, the large macro breweries engaged in back-and-forth barbs, jockeying for position in the market. Usually carried out via marketing and commercial sniping, the battles all but amounted to multimillion-dollar re-enactments of schoolyard ... More >>
The winemakers behind Uvaggio Vermentino from Lodi have a theory. "If we grow the right grape in the right place," they write on their website, "we can manage to get by with our respective degrees in psychology and geography. (If one of us gets lost then other can figure out why.) However, when you ... More >>
If you follow along here at Wine Time, you know that we frequently cover Natural wine and the vitriol-fueled debate on Natural wine that often eclipses the wines themselves (and we have written about Natural wine in Texas here). The stakes in the Natural dialectic just got higher. Last month, a Eur ... More >>
"Pétard Blanc," writes La Cruz de Comal owner Lewis Dickson on his winery's website, "is a proprietary name and means 'white firecracker' in French. We call it that because of the hallmark natural acidity this wine always has and thus, its explosiveness on the palate." If you read our recent cover ... More >>
See our slideshow of Texas wines and wineries. In this week's cover story, we take a peek behind the cellar door to investigate some of the Texas wine industry's more frustrating secrets. Namely, that much of the wine bottled and sold in Texas is made from California grapes -- and that almost all ... More >>
Not all the Texas wine you buy is made from grapes grown in our state. In fact, most of it isn’t.
See our slideshow of Texas wines and wineries. The cover story for this week's issue of the paper, coming out online this afternoon, is an article on the Texas wine industry by my colleague Katharine Shilcutt and me. In the piece, we take a hard look at the challenges that Texas winemakers face. ... More >>
"Old man piss." I hate to say it, but it's the best descriptor to use to describe the color of many of the "orange" wines that are finding their way to our market these days. As you can see from the color of the wine in the glass above, orange wines aren't really orange: They tend to have a deep ... More >>
"The Wines Of Texas Are Upon You" may have seemed like a bland seminar title when compared with spicier ones like "Everything You Need To Know About Wine But Were Afraid to Ask" and "Super Star Wines." But the fact that the Austin Food & Wine Festival (which made its debut over the weekend) includ ... More >>
Vintage Texas: Top Texas wine authority Russ Kane chronicles the bankruptcy filing and botched sale of one of the state's leading wineries, CapRock, in Lubbock. According to his report, New Mexico winery Gruet has been ordered to pay $4 million for a breach of contract after bidding in a bankruptcy ... More >>
"I don't read anymore," said Dickson when I asked him to share his thoughts about the recent uproar in the world of Natural wine. "I did enough reading when I was an attorney." On Friday, I drove out to Houston native Lewis Dickson's Hill Country estate and winery, La Cruz de Comal, on the southern ... More >>
Wine Thoughts: There's so much groovy stuff happening this week in the Texas enoblogosphere. But we just have to open today's post with a nod to one of our favorite and most balanced wine bloggers here in our state, Sandra Crittenden, author of Wine Thoughts, who writes about one of our pet peeves: ... More >>
As we noted in last week's post on a new era of Nastiness and a call for civility in the Natural wine debate, it's not easy to define exactly what Natural wine is. As Eric Asimov wrote in his weekly New York Times column, there is no official definition or doctrine for Natural wine or Natural winem ... More >>
"Natural wine is wine to which nothing has been added," said the leading advocate of Natural wine in the U.S., Alice Feiring, when she visited Texas in October 2011 to promote her new book Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally (Da Capo 2011). She was speaking at an event in a wine bar, ... More >>
Photo by Jeremy Parzen.Giuseppe Quintarelli, one of the greatest winemakers of our lifetime, passed away on Sunday in the Valpolicella, Italy. He was 84.From the tiny village of Negrar in the picturesque Valpolicella (Veneto, Italy) to the upper reaches of the One-Percenter wine collectors in ... More >>
Photo by Jeremy Parzen.Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico is one of the greatest values in Italian wine today, but out-of-state retailers can't ship it to me in Texas... at least not legally.On Friday, one of the most bizarre press releases I've ever read found its way to my inbox. "The Texas ... More >>
Over the course of a weekend, volunteers with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo wash 20,000 wine glasses in two days. It's just one of the staggering statistics behind the annual International Wine Competition, the contest that leads to the Rodeo Uncorked! Wine Show and to a few lucky wineri ... More >>
Image via HomeBrewers.com.No, that's not cocaine. It's potassium metabisulfite, one of the many forms of sulfites employed by winemakers for a variety of purposes.A post earlier this week ("Wine of the Week: A Wine with No Detectable Sulfites") inspired a lot of acidic (pun intended) discussi ... More >>
Photos by Jeremy Parzen.The Madoff segment on last night's 60 Minutes was made more palatable by a tasting of the utterly transparent Frey Vineyard's "Natural Red."One of the chief complaints often expressed by advocates, champions, and militants of Natural wine (with a capital N) is that ove ... More >>
To research her new book Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines, Natalie MacLean traveled to wineries in eight countries including Australia and Italy over a five-year period. Each chapter in Unquenchable pairs a wine with a day of the week and a meal. While the book ... More >>
Photo by Jeremy Parzen.The marketing campaign by Educated Guess wines is one of the most successful in recent history.Yesterday, after arriving at the Newark, NJ airport from Milan, Italy (where I admired a statue of Leonardo da Vinci across from the famous Scala opera house), I headed straig ... More >>
Above: Blanc du Bois grapes from the 2010 harvest at the Cruz de Comal Winery in the Texas Hill Country. To tell the story of winemaking in Texas today, we need to start with what happened in California back in the 1970s and the way wine has been marketed historically in the U.S. When I was ... More >>
White wine, rosé wine, red wine, orange wine... Orange wine? Qu'est-ce que c'est? No, it's not a wine concocted by Longhorn fans. (They call UT the orange tide? Call me Deacon Blue Nun). Orange wine is a loosely codified category of winemaking and winemakers who macerate the juice obtained ... More >>
Will you support the cause?It's one thing to sit and complain about the wretched restrictions the State of Texas has placed on the sale and distribution of craft beer. It's quite another to actually do something about it. And because Houston is a city of do-ers, five Houston craft beer lovers ... More >>
Filling a stein with Budweiser is tantamount to filling a Riedel glass with Boone's Farm, just FYI.Anheuser-Busch is counting on civic pride to make its next product a smash seller: beer named after America's various beer-drinking cities, based on their area codes. To that end, AB has alread ... More >>
On paper, this pairing breaks every rule of Wine 101. The heat of this dish -- the spiciness of both the marinade for the beef and the mole -- would overwhelm nearly any fine wine. The classic match would be ice-cold, dry beer served in an iced pony glass (perhaps even with a twist of lemon) ... More >>
At $11 by the glass, the Truchard 2007 Carneros Pinot Noir is a great value from one of California's most famous winemakers.
Flickr user wolfworldPierre Celis, the "King of Belgian White Beer", died over the weekend. He was 86. In spite of several unfavorable transactions with major brewing companies, Celis is widely considered one of the forbearers of the craft-brewing movement in America. His self-named brewery ... More >>
Think all bourbon comes from Kentucky? Think again.
Happiness is eight different wines on tap.I called my most wine-savvy friend upon receiving the invitation to the event. "Did you know there's a freaking winery in the Heights, just a few blocks from your house?" This was followed by a string of expletives (apparently she was not aware). I co ... More >>
Petrol Station gives Garden Oaks full-service charm.
The last few years I had the opportunity to live in both San Francisco and Napa Valley and work in the thriving California wine industry. Overall it was a very enriching experience; I learned a lot about the micro-climates that dictate Northern California's growing seasons, met some notable w ... More >>
foshydogFrom October 11 to 17, local taprooms, eateries, breweries and beer aficionados will join forces to pay homage to all the creative combinations of hops, malt, yeast and water - better known as beer. The first ever Houston Beer Week will be eight days of beer magic taking place in Hous ... More >>
A friend called about a week ago. She excitedly relayed the details of a Cameron Hughes Wine presentation she had seen at Costco that afternoon. My reply: "That sounds great, but I think you're leaving something out. There is just no way this guy is buying up someone else's high-priced fin ... More >>
The other Saturday, we went to a wine tasting at Block 7 devoted to Israeli wines. We hadn't really heard of Israeli wines but were assured that we would love them. A few glasses later, we were hooked. We even took a few bottles home, and it wasn't in an alcohol-induced shopping frenzy. In ... More >>
Is Houston about to become America's coffee capital?
Joe Lopez says he used to have an inferiority complex. That's hard to believe when you consider that the now outspoken San Antonio-based artist took on the Gallo wine company -- and won! Gallo in English is a family surname. Gallo is Spanish means rooster. Lopez found the rooster image a strong c ... More >>
Photo by Katharine ShilcuttWhile in Chinatown browsing the aisles at Hong Kong City Mall's grocery store, Hong Kong Market, last weekend, I ran across something interesting among the hundreds of bottles of sake: Japanese Chardonnay and Merlot, made by Chateau Mercian. It's highly possible tha ... More >>
Ben Stein leads a live world-premiere screening and discussion on American suds
Sutter Home Winery is a reasonably credible wine maker. Sure, to some people they may be one step up from Two Buck Chuck, but you have to think the wine makers at Sutter Home retain some shred of pride and dignity.Or not.
Our state is the top beer market in the country, so why are we falling behind in the microbrewery movement?
Texas boasts the soil, the climate and the grapes for a strong wine industry. So what stands in its way? Bad taste and politicians.
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