Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

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Vintage Texas: Once again this week, we lead with top Texas wine blogger and Houstonian Russ Kane, who contemplates the age-old conundrum of the modern era: "Can a red wine pair with sushi?" The answer: "Yep! Texas Hills Vineyard Barbera." A scientist at heart, Russ then offers his readers a fisheye view into his thought process: "I made my way to Whole Foods Market in the Montrose area of downtown Houston in the blaze of the afternoon. The thought in my mind was cool red-berry infused Barbera as I looked through the refrigerated case where the fresh-made sushi resided. Most of the offerings were either too light or what I thought might be too 'fishy,' as red wines tend to make fish taste even 'fishier,' particularly if the red wine has a high tannin load from aging in oak barrels. This is likely one of the reasons why most red wines are not the usual wine pairing partners for fish dishes. However, the Texas Hills Barbera was governed by crisp red fruit and only had a few stealthy tannins to offer." Japanese cuisine paired with a Northern Italian grape variety grown in the Hill Country? Only in Texas...

Wine Thoughts: Russ wasn't the only Houstonian pairing wine and sushi. Francophile wine educator Sandra Crittenden celebrated her husband's birthday with a pairing of sushi and Champagne, Perrier-Jouet N[on]V[intage] Grand Brut: "this Champagne was a pale gold with a steady stream of pinpoint bubbles. Floral aromas of jasmine and lime blossom were dominant with fresh-baked pastry and citrus notes. On the palate, it was dry with racy acidity balancing the mixed citrus flavors and long toasty finish." Racy acidity? Now, THAT's what I call marital bliss! The price isn't bad either: You can find the wine at the Houston Wine Merchant, Cova, and/or Specs for under $45.

29-95: We were thrilled to learn that Houston Chronicle sports and wine writer, bon vivant extraordinaire, and one of the nicest people in our industry, Dale Robertson, has begun blogging over at 29-95. So far, he's only been sharing his top picks for weekly wine events in the Houston area. But we're hoping that future posts will be devoted to some of his amazing enogastronomic adventures. He has wined and dined with the best of them and from what we hear, some of those meals -- both here in Houston and in France and Italy where he spends his summers -- are stuff of legend. Chapeau bas, monsieur Robertson!

Alice Feiring: Naked wine? One of our favorite American wine writers, Alice Feiring, has been previewing her new book, Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally (Da Capo 2011) on her blog. "When it comes to wine," writes Alice, "I can be polarizing. I don't mean to be; I just have unnaturally strong opinions. Take, for example, the supposedly provocative notion, 'Why add anything to wine that isn't necessary?' Though barely five feet tall, nearly one hundred pounds, that query, out of my lips, can spark forest fires of controversy, inciting far larger people to do battle with me." In the book, she chronicles her search for Natural wine and the fascinating people she meets along the way. And as with her last book, The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008), we follow along, wishing all the while that we could walk a mile of wine country road in her shoes. (I'll post a review of the book next week here at Wine Time on Eating Our Words.)

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