Subject:

Vineyards and Winemakers

  • 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

    September 3, 2013

    Wine for Jews: Just Because It's Kosher Doesn't Mean It Has to Be Bad

    It's that time a year again: Like their brethren across the nation, Jewish Houstonians will make their way to their local supermarkets for last-minute kosher wine shopping. And like most Jewish Americans, they will find themselves ill-prepared in selecting the wines, partly because for most of them ... 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

    December 3, 2012

    Why Screw Caps Stink, Why They Rock and a Pinot Grigio I Dig

    "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 >>

  • 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

    September 14, 2012

    Climate Change, a Hard Fact for European Winemakers

    My wife, daughter, and I are on the last leg of a road trip that has taken us through ten of Italy's 20 regions, from the far northeast to Mt. Vesuvius on the western coast of the south, to the tip of the heel of the boot in Lecce (Apulia [Puglia]). Today we're in central Italy, along the Adriatic s ... 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.

  • 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 >>

  • 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 30, 2012

    Texas Wine Makes the Big Time at Austin Food & Wine Mag Fest

    "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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2012

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    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 >>

  • 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

    February 22, 2012

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    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 >>

  • 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

    January 23, 2012

    Must Like Texas Wine: The Wine Slinger Chronicles, a New Guide to Texas Wines

    Photo by Jeremy ParzenLeading Texas wine authority Russ Kane (left) and his wife Delia love meatballs. That's Russ with Coppa executive chef Brandi Key. Russ has called Brandi's meatballs "the best in town."​It seems inevitable that the authors of the two guides to the wines of Texas have name ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2012

    Wine of the Week: 2000 Valpolicella by Giuseppe Quintarelli

    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 >>

  • 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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2011

    What Do Wine and Saddles Have In Common? The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

    ​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 >>

  • 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 27, 2011

    Natalie MacLean's Unquenchable Search for the Best Cheap Wines

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Another Oaky Buttery Chardonnay

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2011

    Wine of the Week: A Rosé from the Texas Hill Country

    ​The more I read about Texas Hill Country winemaker and San Antonio endocrinologist Richard Becker, the more I am intrigued. Any doctor-cum-vintner who quotes readily from one of my favorite 20th-century American poets, Wallace Stevens, sounds like someone who puts more thought into the art an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2011

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    Know a Houston-based blog we should be paying particular attention to? Leave the address in the comments section below. ​TweetChat #TXWine: If you've been following along here at Wine Time, you know that Texas wines have been on our minds. We found out about the TweetChat #TXWines thanks to t ... 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 15, 2011

    Zelko Bistro Puts Female Winemakers and Craft Beer Front and Center

    Photo by Tam VoChef Jamie Zelko.​Zelko Bistro, although it's only been open for less than two years, has already garnered a reputation for its wine list: Aggressively priced, the list offers an excellent selection of wines between $28 and $46 a bottle. Chef and owner Jamie Zelko wanted it that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2011

    Wine of the Week: "Oaky May Be Bad, but Oak Is Good."

    ​If you're anywhere between 21 and 51 years of age (I'll be 44 next month), you were brought up with the notion that oak flavors were a sign of a fine wine. Back in the 1970s, when huge investment in the Californian wine industry began to take shape, the dudes in charge -- think Gallo and Mo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    Odd Pair: Carne Asada Tampiqueña and Nebbiolo

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Righting the Wrong of Rosé

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2011

    Wine of the Week: Truchard 2007 Carneros Pinot Noir

    At $11 by the glass, the Truchard 2007 Carneros Pinot Noir is a great value from one of California's most famous winemakers.

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2011

    An Afternoon of Free Wine at Archway

    Photo by CrosslersAn example of home winemaking supplies.​Take a late lunch tomorrow, if you can. And maybe bring along a designated driver. Archway Gallery (2305 Dunlavy, 713-522-2409) is hosting an afternoon of free wine in its Montrose space, and this isn't your typical gallery showing. Fr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2011

    Vintners Own Winery: Wine (in a Freaking Keg!) in the Heights

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2010

    Raise Your Glass to Texas Wine History

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2010

    $50-Plus Wine for $10 (And How the Hell This Is Possible)

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2010

    Wine of the Week: Israeli Wine

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2009

    Joe Lopez Is Ready for White Linen Night

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2009

    Japanese Chardonnay: The New Frontier?

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2009

    Texas Traveler: Bluebonnet Wine Trail

    While in Navasota lovin' on some alpacas, Texas Traveler had a hankerin' thirst. So we got on our trusty iPhone and found the closest winery, a funky l'il shack called the Purple Possum Winery. While in the air-conditioned comfort of the Purple Possum's tasting room, we met a lovely couple we'd 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.

  • Dining

    June 28, 2007
  • Dining

    August 30, 2001

    Getting Stomped

    Texas boasts the soil, the climate and the grapes for a strong wine industry. So what stands in its way? Bad taste and politicians.

  • Dining

    December 28, 2000

    Uncorking a Bargain

    A champagne buyer's guide

  • More >>
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