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Consumer Products and Services

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2014

    Rockstar Winemaker Pax Mahle Takes Houston by Storm

    A Houston wine writer considered himself fortunate to get an audience with rockstar winemaker Pax Mahle yesterday while the charismatic sommelier cum winery owner was in town to show his wine to buyers and speak at a sold-out wine dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. That's not to say that Mahle is p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2014

    What's an Urban Winery? Not Sure, But Now We Have One in Houston

    There are many things that make Houston a hip, cosmopolitan city. We have an incredible array of ethnic restaurants. We have a lesbian mayor. We have Johnson Space Center, the Texas Medical Center and plenty of universities. And now we have one more thing to solidify our coolness: An urban winery. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2014

    Osteria Mazzantini's Samantha Porter Tells Stories With Wine

    This week's cafe review takes a look at Osteria Mazzantini, a new-ish Italian restaurant from Mockingbird Bistro's John Sheely. I first went there on opening night, and though I enjoyed the food, I found myself most impressed by the creative and interesting wine list and the young sommelier who had ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2013

    The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink this Weekend: Tequila Fiesta, Opus One Wine Dinner, An Ice Cream Social & More!

    Tequila Fiesta @ Pico's Mex-Mex Restaurant All day Friday 5941 Bellaire Boulevard If you're still mourning the fact that National Tequila Day is only one day a year, dry your pretty little eyes, 'cause Pico's Mex-Mex is still celebrating! Their three-day tequila fiesta started on Wednesday, but it' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    Hey, Lady, That Ain't Champagne in My Glass!

    A few nights ago, I cozied up to the bar at the swank Hotel ICON on Main Street downtown to wait for a friend who was staying there. I asked for a wines-by-the-glass list only to discover that there was nothing by the glass that I wanted to put into my body (it was dominated by usual-suspect, high- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2013

    2013: First Year of the Post-CD Era?

    Things haven't been looking good for CDs for years now. Ever since the introduction of Napster and the first portable MP3 players, the format has pretty much felt doomed. Since the turn of the century, the CD has hung on valiantly, but its disappearance has remained a question of when, not if. 20 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2012

    What if Winemakers Listed Ingredients on Every Bottle?

    "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 >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2012

    A California Chardonnay without Sin

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2012

    Low-Alcohol Vermentino from California Makes Me Happy

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2012

    Natural Wine Becomes a Crime

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2012

    The Best Wine in Texas? La Cruz de Comal Pétard Blanc Tasting Notes

    "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 >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2012

    Infographic: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Texas Wine and 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 >>

  • Dining

    June 14, 2012

    Texas Wines: Behind the Cellar Door

    Not all the Texas wine you buy is made from grapes grown in our state. In fact, most of it isn’t.

  • Calendar

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    June 13, 2012

    Today's Cover Story on the Texas Wine Industry

    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 >>

  • Film

    May 24, 2012
  • Blogs

    May 21, 2012

    Red, White and Orange: More and More Orange Wines in Houston

    "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 >>

  • Calendar

    April 26, 2012
  • Blogs

    February 27, 2012

    From Defender of Wily Politicians, Serial Killers and Drug Dealers to Texas Winemaker

    "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 >>

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2012

    Wine of the Week: Natural Wine in Texas

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2012

    The Natural Wine Debate Gets Ugly

    "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 >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2011

    Last Minute Shopping: The 10 Best Online Retailers (Not Named Amazon.com)

    ​For a decade now, online retailers have increasingly grown their sales to the point they now rival traditional brick and mortar establishments. Let's face it, it's just easier to shop online if you have a computer, an internet connection and a desire to avoid crowds. You can sit there with a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    A Roundup of the 2011 Music Industry Based Strictly on Band Names

    XL/Columbia​Theologians love saying things like "Man is created superior to animals" and "Animals can't be equal with humans." And then we go scouring philosophy books to see if animals have immortal spirits and if this means we'll someday meet our pets in heaven. That's a bunch of horse dung. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2011

    Absurdity of Texas Wine Shipping Law Reaches New Heights

    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 >>

  • Music

    December 1, 2011

    Spinning the Black Circle

    Is the music industry stabilizing?

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2011

    Material World: Music to Rock Your Cyber Monday with Video

    In the late '70s, there was a movie spoof on Friday the 13th called Saturday the 14th. It was about as dumb as you imagine it would be. Well, insert punchline here because Black Friday is over, but we are still smack dab in the middle of Cyber Monday, where instead of being stampeded by rampaging sh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2011

    Top 5 Reasons Cyber Monday Is Better Than Black Friday

    To bastardize a line from Groundhog Day, "Well, it's Black Friday...again." It's that oh-so-magical time of year when the strong walk away from predawn shopping trips with armfuls of electronic goodies while the weak get treated by EMS for boot marks left by shoppers stampeding into Best Buy. Since ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2011

    5 Reasons You Should Skip Black Friday for Cyber Monday

    Well, it's Black Friday again. I sincerely hope you and your loved ones remain un-trampled and filled with holiday spirit or, if retailers got their wish, with carloads of merchandise. Since 2005, the nerdy cousin to Black Friday has been Cyber Monday. Traditionally, and I hesitate to even use that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2011

    Record Store Day Contest Coming This Afternoon

    ​When so many Americans will be camping out at Best Buys and fighting over big screen televisions at Walmart, music fans will be sleeping soundly in anticipation of Record Store Day's Black Friday events. The now annual day celebrating the stores that once carried the weight of music sales is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2011

    Wine Time: Wine and Sulfur Dioxide

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2011

    Wine of the Week: A Wine with "No Detectable Sulfites"

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2011

    Rice Researchers: Lack of Copy Protection Decreases Music Piracy

    A joint study between marketing professors from Rice University and Duke University has revealed that music industry efforts to reduce piracy through placing copy restrictions -- referred to as Digital Rights Management or DRM -- may actually serve to increase the very theft they wish to prevent. S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2011

    Is Commercial Radio Fading Into Oblivion?

    ​How many times has this happened to you: You're driving home from work. A song comes on. Drums. Guitar strums. A wimpy voice: "Say, oh, got this feeling that you can't fight..." You've heard this same song three times in 30 minutes, and it bores you to tears. Unlike the imaginary audience th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2011

    What's The Leading Cause Of Poor Record Sales?

    ​Last week, the music world laughed up a hiccup as Lil Wayne pranced around the VMA stage in nut-suffocating, Le Tigre-inspired jeggings. While that performance affirmed that Wayne is no fashion guru, his chart performance a week later reminded us that he's very good at something else-selling ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Texas Blanc du Bois

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Orange Wine (Yes, Orange)

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2011

    AB InBev Trademarking Our Area Code for Crappy Beer

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2011

    Pierre Celis, Brewer of Hoegaarden and Celis Beer, Dead at 86

    Flickr user wolfworld​Pierre 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 >>

  • News

    March 17, 2011

    Made in Texas

    Think all bourbon comes from Kentucky? Think again.

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2011

    Top Six Artist Vs. Record Label Feuds

    ​Pink Floyd has finally settled its lengthy dispute with their longtime record label EMI. The band, which signed to the label over 40 years ago, first took EMI to court last spring in an effort to clarify their existing contract. Floyd sought to prevent EMI from "unbundling" their albums by se ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2009

    Alcohol-Free Wine: Poorly Conceived Dreck

    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.

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2009

    Grammy Day at U of H Until 5

    Paul Wall: Also available for oral-hygeine advice. Today at the UH Main Campus on Cullen, The Recording Academy and the Grammys are putting on a Career Day for students in the college's music department. The Grammys hold these workshops around the country for students looking to take the leap into t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 1, 2008

    Don't Work -- It's Cyber Monday!

    Thought the holiday uber-shopping craze was limited to Black Friday? Welcome to Cyber Monday.Admittedly, the day was first a gimmick by Shop.org (they coined the term back in 2005), but over the years, more and more stores have jumped on board and as many as 82% of online retailers are offering spec ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2008

    National Cancer Organization Wants Hot Dogs Out of HISD Schools

    Photo by Robb Walsh Speaking of processed meats…okay, we’ll wait a second for you to stop drooling. Done? Good. Now where were we? Ah, yes… Speaking of processed meats, the good doctors at the Cancer Project filed a federal petition last week with the United States Department of Agricultu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2008

    National Cancer Organization Wants Hot Dogs Out of HISD Schools

    Photo by Robb Walsh Speaking of processed meats…okay, we’ll wait a second for you to stop drooling. Done? Good. Now where were we? Ah, yes… Speaking of processed meats, the good doctors at the Cancer Project filed a federal petition last week with the United States Department of Agricultu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2008

    Happy Record Store Day

    Today is Record Store Day, a nationwide promotion where independent music retailers want you to forget that your house is in foreclosure and gasoline is more expensive than champagne and buy some tunes using something other than a mouse. If you've forgotten how, don't bother asking your kids. It's r ... More >>

  • Music

    August 3, 2000

    Debt Releaf

    Cigarette companies get crafty

  • News

    October 1, 1998

    Bar Patrons

    Warning: Tobacco companies' advertising money may be addictive in Houston's club scene

  • News

    December 1, 1994

    Hard Habit to Break

    M.D. Anderson just can't say no to research funding from the tobacco industry

  • News

    February 17, 1994

    Dying for Dollars

    As the death-care industry booms and consolidates, Houston's Service Corporation International is leading the way

  • More >>
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