Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My heads going to burst...

not because I had to many sips, the past few weeks and the weeks to come are INTENSE and I want everything to roll as smooth as possible. Maybe if I just type this all out of my head I can get back to sleep tonight. What's up? Well, due to the extreme HEAT in Texas during the summer months, the month of June is jammed with visitors - just before the weather turns dreadful. Here's what's on tap....

Tuesday June 5 -
Vine Connections tasting at The Parlor in Plano.

Wednesday June 6
- Veritas kickoff with Sigel's fine wine sales team and work day.

Thursday June 7
- Veritas Imports Grand Tasting at the Addison Sigel's location in 5-7pm

Thursday June 7 - Dallas/Fort Worth "Malbec Masters Tour" Winemakers - Susana Balbo, Pedro Marchevsky, Roberto de la Mota and Luis Reginato are here to represent Tikal, Luca, La Posta, Mendel, Susana de Balbo, Crios and BenMarco wines. A Trade Only Malbec Seminar complete with 2007 Barrel samples from Argentina is being held at the Gaylord in the afternoon (details on my website on Thursday).

Thursday June 7
- Masters of Argentine Wine Dinner at Lanny's Alto Cocina in Fort Worth, Lanny has created a fabulous menu paired with the winemaker;s wines - a chance of a lifetime to eat and drink with the greatest winemakers from Argentina (details on the website on Thursday).

Friday June 8
- Malbec Masters Tour happens in Houston, another trade tasting at the Uptown Park Tasting Room, then a consumer meet and greet tasting in the evening at the River Oaks
(details on the website on Thursday).

Friday June 8
- TexaCali Wine Co. is sponsoring the wines for the annual
The Culinary Institute Alain & Marie LeNôtre Scholarship Fundraiser in Houston.

Saturday June 9
- TexaCali Wine Co. tasting at Centennial Fine Wines on Preston Road 1-5pm - I'll be uncorking wines from Fort Ross Winery as well from Argentina!

Sunday June 10-Thursday 14
- Milla Handley, THE MILLA HANDLEY of Anderson Valley's Handley Cellars is coming to Texas to visit! Milla will be working with me throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Houston for
the week.

Thursday June 14 - 4pm
I'll be introducing new Pellegrini Family Vineyard wines to the Prestige Wine Cellars Houston team!

Friday June 15 - TexaCali Ali has a spa day somewhere in Austin where cell phones are not allowed.

I'm typing from Fort Worth right now, I'll be back in my office in Austin late
Wednesday night and update my website with all the details...hum, did I pay my Internet service provider this month yet??? I do think it's time for a new TexaCali Wine Co. staff member soon...Cheers - Ali

PS - A big thank you to everyone -
all 90 of you who attended the wonderful Argentine Dinner at the Limestone Grill last Sunday night - what an amazing dinner and room full of Malbec drinkers! I'll post pictures and details by the end of the week, so please check back!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Birthday Girl

More like Birthday Entrepreneur! Today I started the celebration by not answering the phone until noon. I'm bushed, tuckered out, WAYYYY TIRED, for a good reason - the last month has been non-stop greatnesss for TEXACALI WINE CO. in Texas!

Thanks for all the messages this week everyone, I've never felt so loved - so many folks who have inspired me along the way - I'm happy to hear it goes both ways. What a fantastic year end and a great beginning to another...

A big toast to the best year of my life ahead, a special thank you to MMM too - you always amaze and inspire me each and every day .....Cheers - Ali

Monday, May 21, 2007

A great reason to roadtrip to Boerne this weekend!

Asado...At the Limestone Grill!

AWEsome Dinner #63

“An Argentinean Feast in the Courtyard”

Sunday, May 27th | 6:15pm dinner

’06 Rose of Malbec, “Crios de Susana Balboa”, Mendoza

Yucca Frittes, Herb Chimichurri Dip

Bill of Fare

’06 Rose of Malbec, “Crios de Susana Balboa”, Mendoza

“Los Dos Empanadas”

Sweet Corn, Raisin, Toasted Almond, Green Olive

Minced Wild Boar, Roasted Cumin, Diced Potatoes

Queso Fresco Sauce

’06 Torrontes, “Crios de Susana Balboa”, Valle de Cafayate

Ensalada Patagonia Frio

Lightly Smoked Trout & Bowtie Pasta

Mandarin Orange, Toasted Pine Nuts

Limestone Grille Chimichurri Pesto

Las Brisas Unfiltered Olive Oil

’05 Malbec, “Crios de Susana Balboa”, Mendoza

’05 Malbec, La Posta, “Angel Pauluci Vineyard”, Mendoza

’03 Malbec Meritage, “BenMarco Expresivo”, Mendoza

“ASADO Argentina

Grilled Housemade Beef & Pork Chorizo

Marinated Grilled Beef Short Rib

Herb Rubbed Grilled & Sliced Beef Steak

Grilled & Sliced Leg of Lamb

Grilled Red Jacket Rosemary Mashers

Grilled Zucchini & Squash Slices

Classic & Spicy Chimichurri Sauce

’04 Bonardo, La Posta, “Estela Armando Vineyard”, Mendoza

“Pan Dulce Chocolate”

El Rey Milk Chocolate, Tender Green Apples
Cinnamon Bread Pudding, Crema de Vanilla

$49.95 per person Reserve your

experience today

1-800-364-2138. email:

Saturday, May 19, 2007


THANK GOD IT'S SATURDAY!! Today and tomorrow are the first two days off that I've had in almost 33 days. What's on tap? A stop into a few accounts in Dallas to say thank-you, a baby shower for my sister-in-law, a drive home from Dallas to Austin - and finally a Saturday night with Mike. Sunday is going to be all about sleeping in and catching up on all the phone calls and emails I could not get to this past week while hosting Davis Family Vineyards throughout Texas. I'm back in Dallas on Monday...

Out of all those emails I've ignored this week - like over 1917 messages to be exact, many of them are asking about my best summertime white wines, so I'll put together a list for everyone on by Monday - so stay tuned. Cheers - ALI

Sunday, May 13, 2007

So exciting!!

Meet Guy Davis - Founder, Farmer and Winemaker of
Davis Family Vineyards. Please check the calendar on to find out where he is each day
while visiting Texas!

Our Chardonnay is consistently 90+ points each vintage
and this past year received "Top 100 Wines of the
acclaim and Our founder and winemaker
was singled out by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as one
of California's Most Dependable producers in their
feature "Chardonnay Greatness."

Mother nature was unusually cooperative this vintage and helped to make this perhaps our best Chardonnay to date. It was a late October harvest from two Russian River locations: the majority from the Dutton Ranch and the rest, a Meursault clone, from our estate vineyard. After small-lot, whole cluster pressing, 90% of the lots were fermented with native yeasts for increased complexity. 80% of the wine was barrel fermented using only Allier and Trancais oak, and just 1/3 of the barrels were new. The tight grain of these cold climate forests gives subtle flavor extraction and adds a toasty note without ever making the wines taste “oaky”. We did daily lees stirring early in the fermentation for added texture, then racked off the lees (using only gravity to preserve the delicate aromas) once malolactic fermentation was finished.

The result? Exotic tropical aromas give way to the benchmark citrus notes of this cool region, and in the mouth the layers of flavor unfold in a yin/yang-like dichotomy of lush fruit with crisp acidity wrapped in vibrant and rounded textures. Dee-licious!

688 cases produced.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Great Mother's Day Gift Idea

I'm in Houston for the weekend - 3 WONDERFUL chances to taste Crios (made by Susana Balbo) with me...
  • 12-3p Vino 100 - The Woodlands
  • 4-6pm Houston Wine Merchant
Sunday - 1-4pm Central Market

In honor of moms everywhere, a Mother’s Day special featuring wines from Susana Balbo --one of the world’s most talented female winemakers from Argentina.

Susan Balbo, also a loving mother of two, has created a line of wines as a tribute to her kids. Like children, the Crios (which means ‘offspring’) wines are charming, more youthful versions of her world class and highly rated estate wines.

The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, which represents Susana and her two children, and illustrates the support of each generation.

Crios Torrontes ’06--Enticing aromas that are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach pit, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. Try with fresh goat cheese and pesto!

Crios Rose of Malbec ’06 - A beautiful, deep, vibrant rosé color. Has a surprising amount of glycerin and body for a rosé wine, and beautiful aromas of fresh, ripe wild strawberries. On the palate, the flavors of strawberries and cherries come rushing in, accompanied by some spice notes and a clean, dry finish.

Crios Syrah Bonarda ’04—Made with near equal parts of each grape. Dark reddish/purple color. Intense aroma of black raspberries. A fun wine to try with a wide range of food delights and one that will delight even the most sophisticated connoisseur.

Crios Cabernet Sauvignon ’04--Intense, dark ruby color with enticing aromas of ripe, black plums and black currants. The ripe, vibrant tannins give the wine beautiful structure and an amazingly long finish.

Crios Malbec ’05— Brand new to the United States and first for Texas at Central Market. It has a beautiful purple color bursting with flavors of cherries and spice.

A wonderful Mother’s story and distinctive

wines you’ll love and trust forever.

Cheers to Mom!

Please stop by!! - Ali

Thursday, May 10, 2007

WOW - this just in...

Have you stocked up on Lange Estate wines from Oregon yet?

My favorite GUY is coming to Texas next week!

Oh Yeah - Guy Davis - the winemaker for Davis Family Vineyards is spending the week with us to show off his latest masterpieces.

Here are a few nights to join us in the festivities! Please join us at to taste through The Davis Family Vineyards spring releases: The line-up includes: Gusto Sauv Blanc, Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Guyzer Block Syrah, Russian River ZIN and the brand new Barn d'Or! A fantastic night of amazing wine and food (oh and a little suprise at the end!).

California's Rising Star!


Tuesday May 15, Mirabelle 6:30 Tasting, $35 RSVP to Mirabelle (
512) 346-7900

Wednesday - Private Dinner at Spanish Oaks CC.

Thursday May 17. Kirby’s Steakhouse 7pm DFW Airport North, 3305 E. Hwy 114, Southlake, TX 76092 , cost $85 Please RSVP to Kirby’s at (817) 410-2221

See you next week - Ali

Monday, May 07, 2007


If you are attending ZAP - please stop by to meet Steven Storrs and taste his GOLD MEDAL WINNING Rusty Ridge Zin.

I'll also be supporting Storrs Winery along wth Pellegrini Family - I'm pouring their 2005 Eight Cousins Vineyard Zinfandel -
Another Medal Winner!

Check out the new now too!

Oh and
after ZAP - here's where the party starts...

BEST BET IN AUSTIN: 9:00pm Red Fez - ZAP Afterparty
Head to the Red Fez to see Austin's hometown band "porterdavis" live and kickin' it after ZAP.

See you tomorrow in Austin! Cheers - ALI

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I broke a major rule tonight!

I made this rule for myself a few years back "never read wine books and/or wine magazines in bed". Yeah, sounds weird, but I tend to get all excited or anxious about reviews and new discoveries then can't turn my mind off to sleep.

Sleep is either a dirty word or heaven - a toss-up almost everytime I close my eyes. Tonight I carried the big ole May 31st Wine Spectator with the Rose cover into bed with me and of course read it over at least twice. This is what I found, so maybe typing it out here will take it out of my thoughts so I can fall asleep before long...

TexaCali Wine Co. Producers Reviewed...


2005 Crios Syrah-Bonarda 89pts. and Smart Buy Award
2005 Tikal Patriota (Malbec/Bonarda Blend) - 90pts.

2004 Fort Ross Chardonnay - 90pts.
2003 Fort Ross "Symposium" Pinot Noir - 92pts.
2004 Fort Ross Pinot Noir - 91pts.
2003 Fort Ross Pinotage - 91pts.


Loire -
2004 Jo Pithon Savennieres La Croix Picot - 89pts.
2004 Jo Pithon Quarts de Chaume Les Varennes - 94pts.
2003 Jo Pithon Coteaux du Layon-St-Lambert Les Bonnes Blanches - 93pts.

Burgundy -
2004 Deuz Montille Corton Renardes - 92pts.
2004 Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Pezerolles - 89pts.

And then there was the little quote in the 2005 Burgundy article - "The wines from Puligny-Montrachet reveal the district's typical finesse..."

Very exciting! Cheers and hopefully good-night to all! Ali

Friday, May 04, 2007

Living Jewel Lands in Texas!

Tozai Living Jewel

Quality Grade: Junmai

Seimaibuai: 70% (30% of rice grain polished away)

Rice: Omachi Yeast: Brewer's Original

Nihonshu-do: +6.5 Alcohol: 14.9% Acidity: 1.6

Brewery Name: Kizakura Sake Brewing Co. Ltd.

Brewery Location: Kyoto Prefecture

Tasting Notes:
The aromas are quite complex, showing white grape, anise, and a hint of sweet rice. These same flavors come rushing through the medium-bodied palate, which has a slightly creamy texture followed by a hint of white pepper and fresh herbal notes. The long, clean finish makes this both a great sipping sake as well as a companion to a wide range of foods, from fish and shellfish, to pork and light meats.

Notable Facts:
Kizakura Brewery is located in Fushimi in the southern part of Kyoto, the oldest sake brewing area in Japan. The local "Fushi-Mizu" or crystal clear, underground "Fushimi Water", is well-known for bringing out the full flavor of sake. And Kyoto's especially frigid winters, called "So-ko-bi-e", are ideal for creating stable, cold temperatures inside the brewery. This helps to keep fermentation temperatures low and extend fermentation time so that delicate flavors and aromas remain in the sake.

About Living Jewel:
The image on the label is a "koi", or Japanese carp. Ornamental domesticated carp have been bred for their bright colors for centuries in Japan. The combination of their vibrant colors, patterns, and shimmering scales has earned them the moniker " living jewels" among koi collectors and enthusiasts.

About Tozai: Tozai, literally translated from the Japanese as "East-West", is a collaboration of passion, skill, and experience by dedicated people from both Japan and the US. Vine Connections has partnered with Kizakura Brewery to produce the two latest Tozai sake, "Snow Maiden" and "Living Jewel". All Tozai sake are complimented by the beautiful artwork of prominent Kyoto -based American artist, Daniel Kelly. As America's leading improter of chilled, premium, artisanal Japanese sake, Vine Connections continues to bring you unique boutique sake that will thrill your senses. Kanpai!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


TexaCali Wine Co. Celebrates a 2nd Year Anniversary!

Help me celebrate this month with the following new releases...look for the following wines at your favorite wine retailer anywhere in Texas.




















Cheers - ALI