Wine of the Week: Elizabeth Abraham of SoVino

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A few months ago, Eating Our Words visited SoVino (507 Westheimer) for happy hour. Although we didn't love the happy hour specials, we were blown away with the wine selection. We decided it was time for another visit to this restaurant/wine bar. After all, since the name means "Southern Hemisphere wine," wine should be front and center.

SoVino is the brainchild of Elizabeth Abraham, who opened the restaurant with her former boss and business partner, Manfred Jachmich. You may recognize Jachmich as the veteran restaurateur behind popular restaurants like Ruggles Grill and Post Oak Grill.

So how did this University of Texas Law grad find herself in the restaurant/wine business? Blame it on the wine. One fateful night, Abraham tried Antinori Tignanello 1997. "I was speechless for about five minutes," she told us. "The moment I tried this amazing Super Tuscan, I had an epiphany." Following law school, Abraham took a job as a line cook at Morgan's Steakhouse, and the rest is history.

The night we visited, Abraham recommended the Tomero Malbec. This Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina was a nice complement to our Indian empanadas and escargot al chimichurri. "The peppery flavor in the Malbec highlights the spiciness of the chimichurri," Abraham explained.

We have had our fair share of bad Malbecs - some are overly peppery, with a harsh bite that makes your lips pucker. The Tomero is not one of these. It was deliciously smooth and fruit-forward, with a slight peppery finish. Abraham found this Malbec during one of her wine-buying trips to Argentina. We are happy to volunteer next time she goes if she needs another taster.

SoVino is known especially for its Malbecs. "We try to stock a mix of standard and new wines," Abraham told us. "We want you to find wines here that you can't find at Spec's or HEB." We bought a bottle of one of Abraham's favorites, Luca Malbec, to take home. Maybe we will have our own epiphany moment.

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