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 >>
As Americans' perceptions of and relationship with fine wine continue to evolve, wine lovers in this country continue to expand the realm of fine wine and how they "apply" the increasing number of great labels that make it to their markets. Poolside, where "white Zin" and wine coolers once dominate ... More >>
A beginner's guide to Vietnamese cuisine.
How do you define a bistro? If you're going to stick to the traditional Parisian definition, a bistro (or bistrot) is a small, tidy restaurant that serves inexpensive wine and simple dishes in a modest price range. Those dishes are traditionally French "comfort food" recipes like coq au vin, boeuf ... More >>
Maverick wine importer Doug Skopp (above) and his Houston-based Dionysus wine distribution company first came to my attention via our mutual friend and Houston Chronicle sports and wine writer, Dale Robertson. "You've got to meet Doug," Dale kept saying to me. "He's the guy bringing in the Barberas ... More >>
A first look at the new Pappa Geno's in Bellaire.
Of the California winemakers who thrill me the most, three of them are bottling fruit grown in California's El Dorado AVA in the Sierra Foothills -- the heart of historic Gold Rush country. They've been attracted to the area, they tell me, in part because they've found older vines (some in vineyard ... More >>
Houston's top 10 vegan restaurants.
Long the bastion of boring chain restaurants and overly expensive hotspots, the Galleria has seen a resurgence in the past few years when it comes to food. Chef-owned-and-driven restaurants are upping the ante along Post Oak Boulevard while places like E-Tao and White Oak Kitchen Drinks are showin ... More >>
One of the pet peeves at our house is gooseberries. No, not the berries themselves. But the people who use the descriptor gooseberry when writing a tasting note. As one wine blogger put it, "New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc's classic description is smelling like cats' pee on a gooseberry bush. If you g ... More >>
This weekend, after-dinner conversation with family focused on presidential politics, the upcoming campaign, and politically hued media bias. Talk of Romney's "47 percent" comment got me thinking: Which red wine was in the decanter on the table seen in the now infamous candid video of Romney that ... More >>
"I never met a Rhône I didn't like," says Cousin Marty (a Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law professor of constitutional law, leading civil rights advocate, and my favorite cousin). Marty's always looking for great value in red wine, and Rhône is one of his go-tos. Of all o ... More >>
Last week, I sat down to chat with thirtysomething San Antonio native Steven McDonald, who recently returned to Texas from New York City, where he had been working as a sommelier at some of the city's top fine wine destinations. A former music educator, Steven is now working as a sommelier at Pappas ... More >>
Texas artists have a special rapport with European audiences. Anything rootsy is huge over there. One such act is Bayou Roux, the contemporary-Cajun Houston ensemble that is set to close the Country Rondez-Vous Festival in Craponne, France this weekend (or Festival du musique Country Rondez-Vous). ... 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 >>
Not all the Texas wine you buy is made from grapes grown in our state. In fact, most of it isn’t.
In the wake of Sunday's Texas wine seminar at the Austin Food & Wine Festival, organized and moderated by Houston wine writer Russ Kane, Texas wines seem to be on everyone's minds this week. Eatocracy (CNN): Food & Wine magazine executive wine editor Ray Isle, a Houston native, was a member of the ... More >>
At our house, we're already cranking up the A/C and bracing for the Texas summer. But with the arrival of the heat also comes my favorite time of our yearly gastronomic cycle, when fried and grilled foods are guiltlessly consumed in mass quantities. Summertime holidays -- from Memorial Day to the ... More >>
There is perhaps no dish that inspires connoisseurship among Texans as much as Frito Pie. Shrouded in mystique and lore, this mighty staple of rigorously authentic Texas gastronomy, speaks to the citizens of our state like no other in our culinary canon. By combining indigenous ingredients and form ... More >>
Anyone who's ever traveled to Italy or France knows that the romance Europeans eat their salad after the main course. In the French and Italian view, fresh lettuces, bitter chicory (like radicchio veronese), delicate white endive, and vinegar-based dressings are intended to cleanse the palate afte ... More >>
For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants. Most peo ... More >>
There's a lot riding on the launch of the new Uchi in Houston. Tyson Cole's Austin outposts -- Uchi and Uchiko -- stand apart as "destination" restaurants in Texas, venues that have attained national recognition in part because of Cole's success as a competitive chef on television and in part becau ... More >>
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 >>
Photos by Jeremy ParzenDuck fat fries at the Burger Guys.A few weeks ago, in the first part of this series, we quoted one of the top chefs in the U.S. today, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in New York, on the virtues of the fast food burger in our country. "There is something about these ingred ... More >>
Wine & Spirits: For the second year in a row, a Texan has been named one of the best new sommeliers in the U.S. by Wine & Spirits Magazine (last year, Houston native Mark Sayre brought the accolade to the Lone Star State). Austin-based sommelier June Rodil (previously wine director for Uciko and now ... More >>
Joe Dressner Tributes: There was a disturbance in the Force over the weekend when news broke, early Sunday morning, that iconoclast importer of "real" wines Joe Dressner (right) had succumbed to brain cancer at age 60. Dressner was "an importer whose advocacy of Old World wines made without c ... More >>
Let's face it: No matter how you dress or slice the meatballs (more on that below), if you have ESPN constantly streaming on monitors that hover above your bar and dining room, you are a sports bar -- even if you slap ristorante italiano onto the name of your restaurant. According to its web ... More >>
Hot dogs and their preparation command a quasi-spiritual reverence in our home. Great -- even extreme -- care is taken in preparing the condiments: Heinz Ketchup, Grey Poupon Mustard, Best Maid Sweet Jalapeño Relish, celery salt, and sliced half-sour pickles, in this case requested especiall ... More >>
Remember the "pink" and "blush" wines from the 1970s, like the one pictured right? They were mass-produced and mass-marketed blends of white and red grapes with high alcohol content (and often with added sugar) intended for the swinging cocktail set of the era. And while we all had a grand t ... More >>
Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, tradition, drunken relatives. Within every family, there are varying degrees of tastes in wine, so it's usually a safe bet to grab one red and one white to hit all the palates that will be surrounding the dinner table as you gather together to overindu ... More >>
Chef Edelberto Gonçalves has cooked up a hot spot
Luxurious Vallone’s most interesting new menu items arean early casualty of the war
Diners at Garson can now feast on Persian food without being hit on