Wine Time

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: Sparkling wine labeled as Champagne even though it wasn't grown or raised in Champagne (the region and appellation).

"I was grocery shopping at HEB in Sugar Land this morning when this sign caught my eye," writes Sandra.

I believe that this is deceptive as this is American-made sparkling wine and was definitely not made in Champagne, France.

I find this annoying because it just isn't truthful. It makes me wonder if I should believe that this particular lettuce is organic or that the beef that says grass-fed on it is really grass-fed. Can I count on HEB's honesty with other products when they are clearly misleading their customers with this price sign?

Sandra also continues her march through the appellations of France, with another excellent post on the wines of South Western France.

Blog on, sistah Sandra, we're loving it!

Bear on Wine: Speaking of France and Champagne, leading Houston wine professional (and fine wine buyer for Spec's) Bear Dalton has delivered a series of great posts on the bubbly stuff. And while we love his tasting notes (and tagging along on his extravagant schwag-fueled dinners with winemakers), it's his "Champagne quotes" that really turn us on:

Two warm bodies and one cold bottle of Champagne will produce something more wonderful than would happen without the Champagne. -- Helen Gurley Brown

My goodness, Bear, it's getting hot in here!


On the Wine Trail in Italy: Top Texas wine blogger, Dallas-based Alfonso Cevola is currently attending the week-long Napa Valley Wine Writers Symposium. But he still found time to weigh in this week with a poetic post about Heitz Grignolino, an Italian grape variety (GREEN-yo-LEE-noh) produced by the historic Heitz estate in Northern California.

With more than 30 years in the wine biz, Alfonso shares some interesting insights through his experiences in California.

And we're always suckers for vintage Ford Falcon porn.

Wine Skinny: And on the subject of Italian wine, Houston publicist Robyn Tinsley has just returned from yet ANOTHER trip to Rome this year and she's delivered another impressive set of tasting notes. Some of the wines are not available in the Houston market, but many are.

What's taking you so often to Rome, Robyn? Inquiring minds want to know!

Vintage Texas: If you're still reading, you're probably as much of a wine geek as we are. So you'll surely appreciate the following public service announcement delivered via top Texas wine industry blogger and author Russ Kane: "Researchers Find Way to Beat Pierce's Disease: Big News for California and Texas Wine Lovers."

Although Texas grape growers are challenged by extreme summer heat, their biggest problems are early spring frosts and Pierce's Disease, a bacterium spread by pesky leafhoppers.

We generally read Russ's blog for the juicy Texas wine industry gossip, but we were greatly relieved to discover that:

A team of researchers has found a way to ensure that your evening glass of wine will continue to be available, despite the potential attack of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf), a bacterium that causes Pierce's Disease (PD) and poses a significant threat to the California (and not to mention Texas) wine industry's valuable grapevines.

The solution? Scientists have developed new grape vine hybrids that produce "antimicrobial protein that can block Xf infection." The history of hybrid experimentation in viticulture traces its roots back to the nineteenth century here in Texas, and fine wine production wouldn't be possible here without it.

The news may seem like mere wine geekery. In fact, the breakthrough represents a huge step in building the fine wine industry here in our state.

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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen