Friday, July 27, 2007


Yep, the last time I took a vacation it was a good one, back-to-back weddings in Italy and Hawaii - but that was in 2003.

Since then I worked for the greatest wine store in California (K & L Wine Merchants), moved back to Texas, put in my time on the Texas distributor and large retailer side, launched TexaCali Wine Co. in 2005 - and the rest - well you know, here I am over two years later kicking it for Family Wineries and Sake Breweries who need marketing and sales in Texas.

Starting tomorrow - I am taking a VACATION - where there are no mosquitoes, summer humidity or even internet access for just a little while. I'm hoping to brush up on my golf game, 2 rounds in 2 years is pretty pathetic. CHEERS! Ali

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Best Winery in Mendocino!

Wine and Spirits Magazine
August 2007

93 points, Handley Cellars 2006 Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer

There's a hint of rose if you search for it, but this is not aggressively floral. Instead, it's fresh, chalky, crisp and clean, like biting into a fresh litchi. Firm acidity drives the wine, cutting right through the fruit to deliver its flavor into the meat of whatever is for dinner. It'd be delicious with Thai-style catfish with ginger.

94 Handley Cellars
2006 Anderson Valley Pinot Gris
There's coastal freshness to this wine's luscious fruit, and that freshness lasts. Plump and delicious when first poured, the citrus and nectarine flavors deepen and feel more structured the next day. It has the mouthwatering effect of a bite of crisp cucumber, with the textural roundness for fleshy fish, like roast halibut. (2,800 cases) (W&S 8/07) Handley Cellars, Philo, CA

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fort Worth Travel Section Speaks the Truth about Austin!

So all you Fort Worth Wine Freaks have been emailing me off the hook today...yes - June Naylor's article on what to do in Austin is RIGHT ON!! Might I add she knows her wines too! Read up - this was published in Today's Sunday Fort Worth Star Telegram. Cheers - Ali

"Austin Alternatives"

Haven't been down to the capital city yet this summer? Better hurry -- there's a lot to see and do. Here are five ways to while away the long days and hot nights.

Special to the Star-Telegram

...Cool off with a drink

3 No doubt, the happening nightspot this summer is the Belmont, with an interior conjuring vintage Las Vegas lounges and patios channeling 1960s Palm Springs. Margarita specials come on Monday, Wednesdays are about wine, Sunday nights mean summer films, and there's live music nightly. (305 W. Sixth St., 512-457-0300, At the serene Cork & Co. wine bar, you'll sip vintages you won't find everywhere else, and you can play funny little wine games if the spirit moves you. Do taste the Pelligrini 2005 Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County and the Crios 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina, and be sure to check out the excellent retail prices on bottles to take away. (308 Congress Ave., 512-474-3675,


Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday FUN

Mute Math - my favorite show at SXSW this year made an appearance on Letterman a few nights ago...these boys are from New Orleans and are amazing to see live. I'd compare them to a bottle of BenMarco Expresivo - EXPLOSIVE with vibrant, powerful and impressive flavors. Both the Expresivo and Mute Math will remind you of what you love most about wine & music. Heart-fluttering, racing excitement! Watch it and rock out...(oh after the Letterman spot is over, click below on "dallas" - UNBELIEVABLE.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This just in from the owners of Vine Connections...

Greetings from Mendoza!

Hope you are enjoying the warm days of summer while Nick and I are in Mendoza in the dead of winter – and it’s a cold one! We just finished tasting the 2007 vintage and it’s looking absolutely delicious. We are thrilled with the quality of the wines from the VC supplier team and we know you will be too.

June was quite the busy month for the US wine press! Great reviews of several VC wines have appeared over the past several weeks which of course we’re always happy with! But we are especially thrilled with a recent article published by the Wall Street Journal about the impressive rise of Argentine wines, specifically Malbec. It was another confirmation of what we’ve all known for the past couple years: Argentine Wine Is Hot!

Below is a copy of the article for you, along with the latest press on many VC wines. All of which can also be found on our website at

Click on the Publication Name to access the review.

“Argentina’s Malbec Makes A Big Splash”, Wall Street Journal, June 2007

BenMarco: 91 Points, 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
90 Points, 2004 Expresivo, Wine Spectator, June 2007
Mendel: 91 Points, 2004 Malbec, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
91 Points, 2004 Unus, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
mapema: 91 Points, 2004 Malbec, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
Tikal: 91 Points, 2005 Patriota, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
89 Points, 2005 Amorio, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
La Posta: 90 Points, 2005 Malbec Paulucci Vineyard, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
Susana Balbo: 90 Points, 2005 Malbec, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
90 Points, 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine & Spirits, June 2007
Davis Family Vineyards: 94 Points, 2004 Bar D'Or, Sonoma County, California State Fair 2007
Gold Medal, 2005 Syrah, Russian River Valley, Guyzer Block, San Francisco International Wine Competition 2007
Gold Medal, 2005 Syrah, Russian River Valley, Guyzer Block, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2007

Next week we will be sending you some exciting news from Crios!

Thank you again for your continued support!
Ed y Nick

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fort Worth Wine Sale!

Please pass this along to all your fellow "Cowtown Wine Lovers!" Put a Cork In It - A wonderful neighborhood wine shop located near TCU is having a nice summer sale...

"20% off Mixed Case Sale is back. Now through July 31, you will receive 20% off when you purchase a case (12 bottles). If you want a specific wine, please email me to make sure it is in stock. Cheers, Chris & Deedra"

Check out their website for their phone number and address,

This shop carries many TexaCali Wine Co. wineries and has access to every bottle that's available to the retail market! Go buy some wine now! Ali

Monday, July 16, 2007

Breaking News...

This just in...the August Issue of Food & Wine highlights two TexaCali Wine Co. chardonnay producers for a feature article on Killer California Chardonnays!!

2005 Handley Cellars Anderson Valley Estate Chardonnay - STAR SELECTION

2004 Fort Ross - Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

" These 18 standout California Chardonnays complement a wide range of dishes— everything from delicate fish like sole to a classic roasted chicken." Read the article...

Cheers - Ali

Saturday, July 14, 2007

write more soon...

I've been in Dallas hanging out with my new nephew for a few days, heading back to Austin tonight after seeing PORTERDAVIS at the new House of Blues...look for a review of the Mercury Grill on Sunday - AMAZING DINNER ON THURSDAY NIGHT!! Cheers - Ali

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Hey Everyone, here's a little recap on the most recent Davis Family Vineyard awards - Guy Davis has been working his magic for us all to enjoy.

Late August look for new releases of Davis Family Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir and his Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. You might just want to have your favorite retailer reserve your stash ahead of time!
Check this out...

2007 California State Fair
2005 Syrah - Silver 90 Points
2004 Barn D'or - Gold 94 Points

Beverage Tasting Institute
2004 Zinfandel -89 Points Highly Recommended
2005 Chardonnay - 88 Points Silver Medal, Highly Recommended
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon -90 Points, Gold Medal, Exceptional

2007 Affairs of the Vine - Pinot Shootout
2004 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley - 94 Points, Tied for Second Place

2007 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
2005 Chardonnay - Silver
2005 Rose - Silver
2005 Zinfandel - Gold
2005 Syrah - Gold
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon - Silver

2007 Dallas Morning News
2005 Gusto Sauvignon Blanc - Bronze
2005 Chardonnay - Bronze
2004 Pinot Noir - Bronze
2005 Syrah - Bronze

2007 Los Angeles International Wine Competition
2005 Chardonnay - Silver
2004 Barn D'or - Bronze
2005 Zinfandel - Silver
2005 Syrah - Bronze

2007 Orange County Fair
2005 Chardonnay - Silver
2004 Barn D'or - Silver
2005 Syrah - Silver

2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition
2004 Barn D'or - Silver
2005 Syrah - Gold

Just watch this "It's a Vine Life"

A must see!!!

The photos on the TexaCali Wine Co. website were all just updated into a SUPER COOL SLIDE presentation.

Just click on a picture, then roll your browser up to the left hand corner to allow "next" to appear then click away.

Here's the link
TCWC PHOTOS. Cheers - Ali (this one is of Robert Pellegrini and the gang at Cork & Co. in Austin!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Perfect Pellegrini Sauvignon Blanc Pairing

Over the weekend I made a Frittata from Ida Pellegrini's Family Recipe to go along with the Pellegrini 2005 Sauvignon Blanc - DELICIOUS. I totally encourage you all to do the same soon!! Cheers - Ali

A little about Ida...Ida embodies the spirit of the Pellegrini brand through her strong Italian-American values, making those who come her way feel like famiglia. Wife of second-generation patriarch Vincent Pellegrini and the mother of Robert, Richard and Jeanne, Ida has been responsible for entertaining the guests and clients of Pellegrini for more than 60 years. Her acclaimed culinary abilities are in evidence throughout the tasting room and Wine Club recipe cards. She is also an avid traveler who can sometimes be found leading Pellegrini wine trips. Ida has eight grandchildren.

Ida’s Frittata di Zucchini (Zucchini Omelet)

This easy and delicious egg dish may be served warm or cold. It makes a great main course for brunch or lunch, or cut into pie-shaped wedges or squares as an hors d’oeuvre (if serving in squares, put a toothpick in each).

1 onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
parsley, chopped
6 eggs
6 to 8 zucchini (medium-sized)
Olive oil
3 handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
10”x2” pan
2 Italian sausages, browned and crumbled (optional)

Wash and cut zucchini (quarter lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch ovals). Sauté chopped onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Add zucchini, parsley, salt and pepper and cook until tender.

Beat eggs well. Add grated Parmesan cheese to mixture and pour over zucchini, stirring gently to get eggs down to the bottom of the pan and around the edges. Form into a round pie shape. As soon as the bottom is solid and browned, put it under the broiler until the top is set and browned.

Ida’s Tip: Put a flat dish over the pan and flip the frittata over to check if the bottom is well browned. If not, put it under the broiler to brown. If the sausage is used, crumble and brown and add to the zucchini mixture while it is cooking.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Searching Online for TexaCali...

Each morning I check the stats on my website. Here's a little peek inside...Happy Monday! Cheers - Ali

Keyphrases used on search engines

40 different keyphrases


texacali wine

16.3 %


11.4 %

wight vineyard management

4.9 %

3.2 %

luis reginato

3.2 %

crios wine argentina

3.2 %

luca malbec

3.2 %

amazing texas wines

1.6 %

fort ross pinot 2003 rating

1.6 %

crios wine 2003 cabernet sauvignon pair with food

1.6 %

mapema malbec

1.6 %

crios rose of malbec

1.6 %

pellegrini unoaked

1.6 %

chateau la croix martelle

1.6 %

argentinians in the woodlands

1.6 %

luca pinot noir

1.6 %


1.6 %

chilled ginjo sake

1.6 %

storrs family winery

1.6 %

alison smith wine

1.6 %

1.6 %

rate sake

1.6 %

fort ross pinot noir 2003

1.6 %

cloverdale ranch cabernet

1.6 %

groove chardonnay

1.6 %

handal vineyards

1.6 %

crios rose wine

1.6 %

handley rose of pinot noir

1.6 %

susanna balbo & tikal

1.6 %

wine marketing texas

1.6 %

unique wine company

1.6 %

texacali wines

1.6 %

2005 lange estate pinot noir

1.6 %

sancerre 2003 roc de l abbaye

1.6 %

vrignaud chablis

1.6 %

domaine de vrignaud wine

1.6 %

fort ross vineyard

1.6 %

fort ross vineyards owners

1.6 %

susanna balbo malbec 05

1.6 %

pellegrini cuvee 107 wine

1.6 %

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Review in the Austin Chronicle TODAY!

Might I suggest a silky smooth bottle of Davis Family Vineyards Russian River Syrah while listening to porterdavis next time you're chillin'...Cheers - Ali


Live at Eddie's Attic

Austin voters missed the boat this year when Porterdavis didn't even make the Best New Band Top 10 at the AMAs, but this CD ensures they'll place high in the roots-rock category next year. They're a bit novel in format – three vocalists backed only by acoustic guitar, harp, and hand percussion – but Live at Eddie's Attic mixes solid originals and well-chosen covers with excellent vocals. - Margaret Moser July 6, 2007


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why did yankee doodle stick a feather in his hat and call it macaroni?

Back in Pre-Revolutionary America when the song "Yankee Doodle" was first popular, the singer was not referring to the pasta "macaroni" in the line that reads "stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni".

"Macaroni" was a fancy ("dandy") style of Italian dress widely imitated in England at the time. So by just sticking a feather in his cap and calling himself a "Macaroni" (a "dandy"), Yankee Doodle was proudly proclaiming himself to be a country bumpkin, because that was how the English regarded most colonials at that time.

In celebration of July 4th here’s a quick shopping list of American Wines…

  • Handley Cellars, 2004 Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc $17 - total porch sitting wine, pair with a plate of fresh Texas Goat Cheese!
  • Duchamp Winery, 2003 Slaughterhouse Syrah, Dry Creek $25 – break out this luscious Syrah with a nice Colorado leg of lamb off the grill!
  • Lange Estate, 2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, $20 - a bright, crisp perfect poolside sipper!
  • Pellegrini Family of Sonoma, 2005 Russian River “Eight Cousins” Estate Zinfandel $24 – pair this zingy zin with BBQ Chicken and Baked Beans!
  • Storrs Winery, 2005 Santa Cruz Chardonnay $20, ahh, luscious tropical fruit will make you substitute this for dessert!
  • Davis Family Vineyards, 2005 Barn d’Or, Russian River Syrah and Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Blend $25 – totally made for Texas Smoked Brisket!
  • Fort Ross Winery and Vineyards, 2003 Symposium $30 – this blend of Pinot Noir and Pinotage calls or BBQ Pork Tenderloin and Summer Squash.
  • Teira Wines, 2005 Dry Creek Zinfandel $17 - Burgers and Chili DAWGS – this silky fruit bomb will leave you lickin’ your lips!
  • Lewelling Vineyards, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $40 – IN CASE OF RAIN WINE, drink this one inside your nice air conditioned home and enjoy Napa Cabernet from one of the oldest Vineyards in St. Helena!

Now go sing along here!

Big Cheers to the American Wineries of TexaCali Wine Co., truly living an American Dream!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Summer Vacation Jackson Style...

My sweet Mom sent me this little factoid this morning...she's a retired elementary school teacher who's never had a sip of wine in her life. She did however drag me all over the East Coast each summer as a kid to see all the historical landmarks.

We visited Andrew Jackson's home a few summers straight - we're related, Mom's maiden name is Jackson...sounds like Ole' Andrew and I shared the same love for Chateau Margaux! If I could just get dear Mom to start sipping - sigh...I have no idea where she read this, but she sent it to my inbox before church this morning!

"Did you know that Andrew Jackson was a wine lover? His interest in other spirits is legendary. In fact, he operated several corn whiskey distilleries on his Tennessee plantations, including a 125-gallon distillery built at The Hermitage in 1804. However, Jackson also loved crushed grapes. While we have no evidence that he ever had a vineyard, we know he had a well-stocked wine cellar at the Hermitage mansion.

But what kind of wine did Jackson enjoy? Until recently, we weren't sure. But our archaeologists discovered that an artifact excavated years ago is actually the broken seal of a very rare bottle of wine from the Bordeaux region of France. It's from a bottle of Chateau Margaux, which was the finest and most expensive wine you could purchase in the 19th century. This claret red wine was one of Thomas Jefferson's most prized possessions." Cheers - Ali