• Dining

    August 16, 2012

    More Than Just Nolan Ryan

    5 food-related reasons to drive to Alvin.

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2012

    Report from TexSom: "Best Sommelier in Texas" 2012 Is Ryan Tedder (Dallas)

    On Monday, the organizers of TexSom, the annual Texas sommelier conference, announced the winner of the "Best Sommelier in Texas" competition, Ryan Tedder of the yet-to-open FT33 Restaurant in Dallas. David Keck of Uchi took second place in the annual event, now in its eighth year. The competition ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2012

    Fear of Wine: Oenophobia = Xenophobia

    In this week's New York Times dining section, wine writer Eric Asimov -- the Solomon of wine writing, as I like to call him -- asks: "Should a Wine List Educate or Merely Flatter You? [and] How Adventurous Should a Wine List Be?" His op-ed came in response to a flurry of blog posts that followed a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2012

    Wine Lost and Found in Translation with Sean Beck

    "The sommelier is there to 'translate' the wine" for the patron, says sommelier Sean Beck. Beck runs one of the city's most respected wine programs at Backstreet Café. "You're there to make the guests feel confident about their choice" of wine, he explains. In a city like petrochemical-based Houst ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2012

    Life Before Pinot Grigio: A Favorite Pinot Gris from Oregon

    Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio from northern Italy changed everything. I'll never forget the first time I saw a bottle of the wine in a Southern Californian gourmet super market in the 1980s. The bottle was not the classic green but transparent (a stroke of marketing brilliance) and showed off the w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2012

    Gumbo and Half Bottle of Riesling for a Lonely Diner at Brennan's

    Yesterday evening, when I found myself in the peculiar predicament of having to dine alone, I decided to treat myself to a bowl of gumbo at the bar at Brennan's, a landmark where I still hadn't eaten after nearly four years in Texas. Beyond the social awkwardness, dining alone for a wine lover can ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2012

    Have A Drink On Us: AC/DC Sells Wine Now, and We Had a Tasting

    Shout-out to the oenophiles out there, there is a new kid on the wine block these days, with the introduction of two varieties of vino geared towards fans of classic-rock band AC/DC. Now, I know what you are saying: Since their music goes so well with the hard stuff, shouldn't AC/DC be making their ... 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 24, 2012

    Eat Local, Support Local: The GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up Is Here

    Houston Restaurant Weeks is coming this August. But before you budget all your dining dollars to that worthy cause, remember that an equally worthy one is going on this week: The GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up. Each year, the GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up features restaurants across the state cooking ... 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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 18, 2012

    Mingle with the Stars and Taste a Buttload of Wine at TexSom

    Now in its eighth year, TexSom -- the annual Texas Sommelier Conference (August 11-13 in Dallas) -- has become a national phenomenon, selling out quickly and attracting some of the biggest names on the U.S. wine scene today. This year, Master of Wine Christy Canterbury will be joining the list of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2012

    A Shameless Plug for Finger Lakes Wines

    I'm no Jeremy Parzen, but I do know a little bit about wine. Growing up in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, I took the proximity and availability of local wine (and a decent wine education) for granted. When I was 21, "wine trailing" was a cheap way to get drunk. Tastings only cost a b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2012

    Sommelier Vanessa Treviño Boyd Doesn't Kiss and Tell

    Philippe sommelier and wine director Vanessa Treviño Boyd is not one to name drop. But even if she were, you really couldn't fault her for it. In conversation with her, once the ice is broken, she can rattle off a who's who of Burgundy and French-wine elites whom she counts among her most intimate ... More >>

  • 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 >>

  • Dining

    July 5, 2012

    1981 and Now

    The Top 12 Texas Junk Foods.

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2012

    Top 5 All-American Red Wines for July 4th Grilling

    It seems only natural to go All American for our Fourth of July recommendations. After all, wine -- and our nation's bizarre relationship with alcohol -- have been part of our history since the time of the Founding Fathers. "In nothing have the habits of the palate more decisive influence than in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2012

    Underbelly's Underpriced Wine List Gives Us More Reasons to Love It

    Because there is so very much to discuss when it comes to Underbelly, the subject of this week's cafe review, I found myself having to trim back significantly in certain areas of the review in order to get a broader point across (which, TL;DR, is that Underbelly is where it's all happening and you s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2012

    Like That Wine? Try This One: A Guide to Texas Wine Varietals

    In last week's cover story, we discussed the fact that Texas vineyards still stubbornly grow varietals that aren't suited to the Texan weather or soil -- well-known grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay. But they're doing it for a reason: Too many wine drinkers don't want to stray from the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2012

    The Perfect Sushi Wine?

    Even though we're still more likely to reach for sake or beer when searching for a beverage pair with Japanese cuisine, we increasingly look to wine these days to quench the thirst that comes in the wake of the marine and umami flavors of both classic and innovative Japanese cooking. And while we ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2012

    Eggs and Pinot Noir, a Guilty Pleasure

    Omelette Of all French dishes, the omelette is perhaps the most thoroughly representative. The French omelette is known far and wide, by reputation, at all events, and various are the parodies of the great French dish that are to be met with in the different corners of the world. In some places, om ... 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
  • 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 >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2012

    What's the Deal With "Old" Wine?

    So, what's the deal with old wine anyway? Wednesday's post on What are "Tannins" in Wine? got me thinking about the widely divergent ways Europeans and Americans perceive and approach the consumption of "old wine." Tannins and "tannic structure," after all, are part of what gives wine its longevity ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2012

    What Are "Tannins" in Wine?

    Have you ever been to a wine tasting or dinner party and heard some blowhard try to befuddle and belittle an enthusiastic however neophyte wine lover by asking can you taste how smooth the tannins are in this [red] wine? One of the most common misperceptions in the wine world is that you can taste ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2012

    B[ring] Y[our] O[wn] B[arbera]

    In the aftermath of recent posts here at Wine Time on corkage and tipping etiquette, Lucio's BYOB and Grill seemed like an ideal destination for a working dinner with a colleague -- a demilitarized zone, as it were. After all, it has "BYOB" in the name of the venue. Not knowing what to expect in ... 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

    May 14, 2012

    Digging a German Red Quaffer from Pfalz

    Generally, when wine nerds like me think of fine wines from Germany, we think white: Mosel Riesling, with its enormous capacity for longevity and nuance, its bright acidity and vibrant minerality, is considered by many to be one of Europe's greatest wines. (Celebrity sommelier and winner of this yea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2012

    A Tipsy Mom is a Happy Mom: Mother's Day Bellini Bar

    If you're skipping the restaurant rush and looking for a way to jazz up to your annual Mother's Day Brunch, look no further. Two words. Bellini Bar. I know my mama would appreciate the morning buzz more than she would my not-so-famous quiche Lorraine (by the way, when did quiche become the official ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2012

    The Wine Lover's Bill of Rights

    We the Wine Lovers of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Meal, establish better Wine Pairings, insure enogastronomic Tranquility, provide for the common wine service, promote the quality of fine wine, and secure the Blessings of Vinous Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2012

    A Little Pork Fat and A Little Red Wine - Just What the Heart Needs

    Sunday night, 20 miles south of Houston, two culinary heavy hitters knocked it out of the park at the Revana Wine Dinner at Killen's Steakhouse. Chef Ronnie Killen and Chef Randy Rucker began preparing weeks in advance, tasting wines and developing recipes to pair perfectly with Revana wines. It w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2012

    Texas Wines Are Talk of the Town

    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 >>

  • 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 25, 2012

    The Chill: When Is Wine Too Cold?

    In the wake of the Twitter response to yesterday's post on "The Pour: Glass Half Empty or Half Full?" (in other words, when should waiters refill or wait to refill your wine glass?), I thought I'd post on another issue that wine lovers often face in restaurants: Wine so chilled that its aromas and f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2012

    Wine(s) of the Week: Austin Food & Wine Festival Preview

    Anthony Giglio is simply one of the funniest and most fun-to-be-around people I know in the wine writing business today. The New York-born son of Neapolitan immigrants, he loves wine, food, and life with a passion that spans the divide between old world and new. And whether he's guiding a tasting of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2012

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    Bear on Wine: Chapeau bas, as the French say (in other words, hats off), to Houston wine educator and Spec's veteran fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for his painfully frank post on bottle variation in one of the world's most coveted Super Tuscans -- Guado al Tasso by Antinori. In preparation for the Ho ... 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

    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

    April 3, 2012

    A Wonderful Time at Brenner's on the Bayou's Wine Revolution

    This past weekend, beautiful Houstonians donning flats and bright resort-casual attire, per the event's invitation, skipped out on their Saturday country club visits and spa days in favor of Brenner's on the Bayou's third annual Wine Revolution. Set in tents under the bright sun, amidst Brenner's hi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2012

    Wine of the Week: Your Grandfather's Chianti But I Like It

    Italian wine is our thing. And when I say that, I don't mean that we don't like and drink French, Spanish, and Californian wine. But when it comes to the wine that my wife and I serve and drink in our home, that we drink most often when we go out, and what we stash away in our wine cellar, Italian w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2012

    Wine Time: What To Do When Fine Wine Service Is Really Bad?

    Historically, a sommelier was a cellar master who managed a wine collection. He -- and I say he because in the pre-sexual-revolution era, the sommelier was always male -- tracked and tallied the sums of wine (originally stored in cask and later in bottle). Today, the word is used loosely to denot ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2012

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    WineSleuth Uncorked: Although we'd love to see some more wine bloggers join our ranks here in Houston, we've been geeked to see the steady posting by our city's local chroniclers of all things vinous. This week, stay-at-home mom Amy Gross shares her "ratatouille" moment -- otherwise known as an epi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2012

    Wine of the Week: Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir (Willamette)

    Of all the wine-growing regions in the U.S., none seems to make more sense to me than the Willamette Valley, Oregon (although the Finger Lakes in New York state comes in at a close second). When rich white dudes were inspired to plant French varieties in Napa like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Ch ... 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 14, 2012

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    After reading our blogging colleague Katharine Shilcutt's post about Robb Walsh's tasting and pairing of Texas Gulf oysters and wines last week at Oceanaire on Westheimer, we were geeked to see a post from a wine blogger's perspective by one of our favorite Houston wine educators, Sandra Crittenden. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2012

    Wine of the Week: Who Needs Another Merlot When You Have Cerasuolo di Vittoria?

    Did the world really need another Merlot and Chardonnay in 1995? Evidently, the Planeta family thought so, and when the younger generation of this Sicilian clan launched the eponymous winery in the mid-1990s, they delivered bold, oaky, concentrated, and highly alcoholic Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah ... 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 29, 2012

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    TX Wine Lover: As the still youthful Texas wine industry continues to grow and find its footing (shifting away from the California Chardonnay-Cabernet-Sauvignon-Merlot paradigm), a handful of European grape varieties (beyond the classics of Bordeaux and Burgundy) have emerged as winners. Their succe ... 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 >>

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