Subject:

Loire

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2014

    Stock Your Bar With These Summer Party Staples Recommended By Houston Somms and Bartenders

    As someone who loves to entertain and who loves to drink, I realized recently that my home bar is woefully understocked. When people come over, it's always the same thing: "Would you like tap water, gin, tequila or red wine?" Every now and then I'll have club soda or beer, and on rare occasions I mi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2014

    A Fantastic Rosé for Houston to Call Its Own

    Americans have a truly unique relationship with rosé. During the 1970s and 1980s, when middle-class Americans were becoming wine-aware for the first time in our nation's history, the wine industry aggressively marketed cheaply made "blush" wines to the masses. Lancers Rosé, Mateus Rosé, and "Whi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2014

    Soter Winery and Akaushi: A Tasty Pairing

    Eclipsed by the street construction taking place on the stretch of Westheimer Road directly in front of it, 60 Degrees Mastercrafted, the restaurant by master chef Fritz Gitschner, opened this past November to little fanfare. Since then, however, the roads have cleared, and a new patio has been fini ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2014

    Salade Niçoise: The Perfect Hearty Meal When All You Want Is Salad

    My family and I spent a lot of time in France when I was a child, and though I was never a picky eater per se, seven-year-old me wasn't super-enthused about foie gras or bouillabaisse. I was, however, a fan of salad, and my parents and I immediately managed to discover one that was available at pret ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 16, 2014

    Wine Foreplay: Prime Your Stemware before Serving

    Last week's "how-to wine" post was devoted to opening a bottle of wine. Sadly, it happens all the time. A well-intentioned wine lover brings a bottle of super-groovy Oregon Pinot Noir, biodynamic Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley in France, or old-school Nebbiolo from Barbaresco to a friend's o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2013

    Houston Bubbles: Your New Year's Eve Champagne and Sparkling Wine Buying Guide

    Let's just cut to the chase. As one of the largest retailers and wholesalers of wine in the country, Spec's nearly always has the best pricing, especially when it comes to higher-end bottles. Houston Chronicle wine (and sports) writer Dale Robertson once called the outfit "Houston's 800-pound wine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2013

    Our Top Wines for a Bayou City Christmas (And a Few Vino-Related Gifts)

    As I have done every year since I moved to Texas five holiday seasons ago, I'll be spending Christmas eve on Cow Bayou in Bridge City, East Texas (about 20 minutes up the road from Orange, where my wife was born). Uncle Tim will make his famous gumbo, spiked with his hard-boiled-egg-laced potato s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2013

    It's That Time of Year: Everything You Need To Know About Champagne and Sparkling Wine

    In the wine trade, they call it "OND": October-November-December, the last quarter of the Gregorian calendar and the 92 days of the year during which more wine is sold than in any other period of the year. And from the romantic dinner for two to the whole mispucha blowout, from the company holiday ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2013

    Houston's 10 Best Restaurants for Wine

    For decades, the Houston wine scene has been dominated by the California powerhouse: "California Chardonnay," "Napa Cab," and "Merlot" (in quotes because it denotes Merlot from California) have long been been Houston's go-to wines. And in many circles, they still are the most frequently ordered wine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2013

    Five Blind Wine Pairings, Five Sommeliers and One Fantastic Dinner at Philippe Restaurant Lounge

    Five courses, five sommeliers, two bartenders and a Master Chef of France. As far as wine dinners go, last week's Guest Sommelier Wine Dinner at Philippe Restaurant Lounge was nothing short of a tour de force. The dinner marked the finale of sommelier Vanessa Treviño-Boyd's wildly successful So ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2013

    Philippe Debuts New Catering Program with an Intimate Soiree

    It's Monday night, a night when I'm usually at home, puttering around the kitchen making something for myself while watching The Bachelor or Dancing with the Stars or whatever reality TV show I'm into at the moment. Instead, I feel a little bit like Cinderella going to the ball as I walk up the a w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2013

    Top 10 Wine Lists in Houston

    It's exciting to run across a well-priced favorite on a restaurant's wine list, or to discover something new as you dig through its pages. But there's more to making a world-class wine list than just stocking a cellar with Cakebreads and Chardonnays. To spotlight the best wine lists in Houston, we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2012

    What Is Terroir and Why Is It Important in Wine?

    One of the greatest examples of terroir is Parmigiano Reggiano, the unmistakable and incomparably delicious cheese made in the region of Emilia-Romagna (in northern Italy). They make a similar cheese, using similar methods, just across the Po river on the north side of the great waterway (which flo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 26, 2012

    Upcoming Events: Dia de los Muertos at Malo

    El Gran Malo is hosting a big, bad Dia de los Muertos party on Saturday, November 3 -- all day long. In addition to a giant Dia de los Muertos shrine on the patio, the gastrocantina will have crafts to make your own veladoras (Mexican saint candles), papel picado and more. In the early evening, mar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 26, 2012

    Eater National's Talia Baiocchi Joins Wine Spectator Team

    UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: We received word from Talia Baiocchi that this post has caused some confusion. She is not leaving her position as wine editor at Eater National. She is picking up a weekly column for the Wine Spectator in addition to her current job with Eater. New York-based, twenty-some ... More >>

  • Dining

    October 4, 2012

    100 Favorite Dishes 2012

    No. 1, Korean Braised Goat and Dumplings at Underbelly.

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2012

    Aggressive Pricing Makes Wine Go Down Easier in Houston

    As a Texan transplant (by way of southern California and New York City), I have always been impressed by the Houston's across-the-board aggressive wine pricing in restaurants. A few weeks ago, when I visited Osteria Mozza, the swank Los Angeles outpost of the Bastianich empire, one of the wine buye ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2012

    What Wine for a [California] Veggie Sandwich?

    The first time I had a [California] veggie sandwich (in California, they just call it a "veggie sandwich"), it was at the legendary Source on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. By the time I got there (an undergrad at UCLA in the late '80s), founder Father Yod and the Source family were long gone (as ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2012

    Giving Head: What Wine for Head Cheese?

    Of all the salacious nuggets that still thrill Babbo sycophants, the one that I regrettably can't erase from my memory is the tale of President Clinton and Mario Batali's testa, boiled pig's head. Evidently, in a celebration of the fratboy-sexist-misogynist mindset that drives the great brain (read ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2012

    This Woman Made Me Drink Merlot

    "The thing I like about the Houston wine scene," says the Houston Wine Merchant's Marcy Jimenez (above), "is the Gulf Coast attitude. We're a little more relaxed than the folks to the north of here." Marcy was born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island, New York. But she cut her teeth in the New Or ... More >>

  • Dining

    July 19, 2012

    Like That Chain Restaurant?

    Try this local one instead.

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2012

    Top 5 Red Wines to Serve Chilled in Summer

    Some are more apt to reach for white than red wine during summer months, and it's perfectly understandable: White wines are generally served chilled, red wines generally not. But when summertime arrives at our house, I find myself craving earthy red wines to pair with the smoked ribs we are offered ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2012

    Aromatic White Wines for the Foods of Summer

    Salade niçoise is a favorite summer dish at our house (and I've already made it twice since Memorial Day). Its simple summer flavors, combined with chunky olive oil-cured tuna and gently hard-boiled eggs, make for a nearly perfect balance of lightness and substance. While Bandol rosé is always g ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 31, 2012
  • Blogs

    May 29, 2012

    Muscadet: A Best Value Summer White Wine

    On a conference call with New York and Chicago last week, my colleagues were surprised to learn that it's already hitting 90 degrees Fahrenheit here along the Gulf Coast. They're still wearing evening sweaters, they said. I'm already in flip-flops and bathing trunks (even though we don't have a pool ... More >>

  • 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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 3, 2012

    Wine Time: A Favorite Wine for Easter Lamb

    When it comes to pairing wine with food, we live by two maxims at our house. 1. If it grows with it, it goes with it. (Motto attributed to the great New York restaurateur Danny Meyer.) Look to traditional pairings as rules-of-thumb. For example, the inhabitants of the western coast of France famo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2012

    Odd Pair: Extreme House-Cured Charcuterie

    Ever since the late 1990s and the advent of Molto Mario and his in-house salumeria at Babbo in Manhattan, extreme house-cured charcuterie has been embraced by chefs across the nation with seemingly unrivaled zeal. (Ever wonder why so many of them make "duck prosciutto"? It's because hanging ducks ta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2012

    Wine of the Week: An Albariño That Really Delivered

    Some people tend to drink more red wine than white during winter. At our house, we tend to drink more white than red -- year round. And it's not because we have an issue with red wine. In fact, some of our best friends are red wines. On Saturday nights at home, when I might treat myself to a black ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2012

    Wine Time: Sparkling Wines for Cocktails

    Back at the end of 2011, when we were writing a lot about Champagne and other sparkling wines for the holidays, reader John wrote us asking for advice on what sparkling wines to use for sparkling wine cocktails. "Since spirits and lemon juice and bitters mess with the subtleties of Champagne," he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    Odd Pair: What Wine Do You Serve with Your Baked Potato?

    Baked potatoes at our house are much more than a meal. They are a religion. We don't just do sour cream. We do sour cream-infused with freshly ground horseradish, a kiss of white wine, and kosher salt. We don't do "bacon bits." We do crumbled, crispy, center-cut bacon that's been fried the day bef ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2011

    5 Tips for Serving Champagne and Sparkling Wine

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.For the second night of Hanukkah, we made potato pancakes (latkes) and paired with sparkling Vouvray.​Even if you missed our Top 5 Champagnes Under $60 for the Holidays, you'll find that your favorite wine shop will have a tide of options when it comes to sparkling wine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2011

    Wine for Hanukkah, the Festival of Fried Foods and Olive Oil

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.Tomorrow night is the first night of Hanukkah. In the U.S., Ashkenazi Jews eat potato pancakes to celebrate the festival. Here and in other parts of the world, Sephardi Jews eat doughnuts.​You don't need me to tell you why we eat fried foods for Hanukkah, the Jewish fes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2011

    Top 5 Champagnes Under $60 for the Holidays

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.Remember: Champagne doesn't have to be white. Rosé Champagne is often considered the more "muscular" expression of the appellation. Look for Bollinger Rosé, Ruinart Rosé, and our favorite, Billecart Salmon Rosé.​Okay, folks. There's good news and there's bad news. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Odd Pair: Wine and Soup

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.​Whether we're making Tuscan ribollita, Mexican tortilla soup, or French soupe à l'oignon, wine is always a key ingredient at our house (where there's always a spare cup of wine in the kitchen). And while the sugar is the main component of the wine that adds flavor to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Domaine du Salvard 2010 Cheverny

    Photos by Jeremy ParzenThe 2010 Cheverny by Domaine du Salvard from the Loire Valley, France, is like the quiet, shy kid in the back of the class, with his nose in a book. But when he's called on, he's brilliant.​There is SO much wine in the aisles of Houston's wine shops these days. From Spec ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2011

    10 Thanksgiving Wines (That We Actually Drink)

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.Dolcetto can deliver character without overwhelming the palate or breaking the bank.​Yes, folks, it's that predictable time of year when everyone posts their Thanksgiving wine recommendations. Among the literally hundreds of blogs and feeds that I follow, one of my favo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2011

    Wine of the Week: A "No Sulfites Added" Texas Wine

    Photos by Jeremy Parzen.Houstonian winemaker Lewis Dickson produces wines with no added sulfites on his estate, La Cruz de Comal, in the Texas Hill Country.​There's good news and there's bad news. First, the bad news. In the wake of last Friday's "myth-debunking" post on sulfites in wine, I ... 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

    October 24, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Extreme Value from the Loire Valley

    Photos by Tracie and Jeremy Parzen.Little known appellations like this one -- Quincy AOC in the Loire Valley -- can deliver extreme value.​When people ask me about great value in wine today, I always point them to Spain, to Italy (and in particular, Southern Italy), and to the Loire Valley in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    ​Another Wine Blog: "Don't be a Wine Spectator," writes Amy Corron Power this week on the blog she co-authors with her husband Joe. Amy and Joe often express their skepticism when it comes to wine reviews and wine blogging, and Amy offers some good advice in this post: "The best way to tell ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2011

    Odd Pair: Turkey Chili, Fritos, French's, and Demi-Sec Vouvray

    ​Labor Day weekend found us in Orange, Texas, visiting with Tracie P's parents and family. Following our nephew Brady's football game, Mrs. B -- my mother-in-law -- had a lot of hungry mouths to feed on a rainy East Texas evening, including her three grandchildren, a six-months pregnant daught ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2011

    Odd Pair: What Wine Do You Serve with Doritos?

    ​When asked what factors had shaped his palate and his wine collection when he first began collecting fine wine, rockstar (literally, not just figuratively) and winemaker Maynard James Keenan answered: "Mountain Dew and Doritos. Like most American kids, that's what I grew up on." This was a fe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2011

    Wine of the Week, Part 2: Orange Wine by Nicolas Joly, on a Mission from Nature

    ​Yesterday, after we posted our Orange Wines 101 primer, Elgreco54 noted that "Joly does knockout stuff." As it just so happens, I tasted the new vintage, 2008, of Joly's entry-level wine, Les Clos Sacrés (the holy cloisters), over the weekend. (In France the wine is called "Les Vieux Clos," ... 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 29, 2011

    Odd Pair: Fish and Red Wine

    ​Whenever I am faced with a conundrum like the age-old question of whether or not it is imperative to pair white wine exclusively with fish, I look to antiquity. Indeed, in more cases than not, the ancients were much wiser and more well informed than we are. And as I pore over (excuse the p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2011

    Wine of the Week: a Modern but Balanced Chenin Blanc from South Africa

    ​We have a saying at our house: No wine without food and no food without wine. In other words, we never serve wine in our home as a stand-alone cocktail. It is always served within the context of a meal, whether we're entertaining guests or just cozying up on the coach for a Law & Order: SVU m ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 3, 2007

    Five Wines That'll Blow Your Mind

    The Vintage Mirrors the Year

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2006

    That's a Nice Wine, Shucker

    Julia Walsh Nothing goes with oysters like a good Sancerre. And a Muscadet. And a Quincy... In my first two years as a home oyster shucker, I have noticed my oyster-eating guests prefer Loire Valley wines with high acidity levels. I wondered: Why the Loire Valley? What about high acidity wines fr ... More >>

  • Dining

    December 28, 2000

    Uncorking a Bargain

    A champagne buyer's guide

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