Saturday, August 30, 2008


Well Labor Day weekend this year is all about staying local. Today marks the first official college football watching party - which means TexaCali Ali will be cooking for a handful of rowdy fans. In fact, my guy is a huge OU fan, so this is the first time EVER that I'll be hosting Sooner freakshows. Should be interesting...

I've picked up a case of wines for the weekend - all under $20 and can be found at your favorite fine wine shop - just about anywhere in America. Here are a few wines to copy/paste and print off before you head out of the house today....

Crios Torrontes - always the BEST Torrontes on the market - soo great with spicy King Ranch Caserole during the 1st quarter of the game. $15

Fort Ross Rose of Pinot Noir - darker than Rose from the South of France, and a complete knock-out. This is perfect for those who desire elegance but softness in their wine glass. $17

Las Rocas - this Spanish red has always been a staple for any informal gathering at my place, just big enough and smooth enough to please the entire crowd. $11

Pellegrini Unoaked Chardonnay - Awesome juice from California's Russian River Region. If you hate heavy butter and sweet butter notes in your wine, then this is your bottle. $16

Handley Cellars Gewürztraminer - a tiny bit of sweet with a big swirl of asian spice...this is the wine to break-out for those fans that may just be getting into wine or can appreciate wines created in an Alsatian style. $16

BenMarco Cabernet
- Break this puppy out if you are grilling. I refer to this Cab as the "working mans Caymus". Yes - its terrific from Susana Balbo and Pedro Marchevsky down in Mendoza! $19

LaPosta Malbec
- I can never get enough of this wine, I open it one minute, turn my head and Whoosh - it's all gone. This is the malbec that goes first at all parties no matter what. A real sipper that just makes the food taste like it was cooked by Bobby Flay himself. LOVE IT. $18

Teira Dry Creek Zinfandel - damn good juice from one of the most enthusiastic wine guys in the business. Big ripe berrys and dark and lushes flavors just attack your tastebuds. One of the best values on the shelves today! $17

Go HORNS! - Ali
( - go check out "Friends of TCWC")

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Living & Drinking in the Moment


From the Wines of the Times...2007 Burgans Albarino

NY Times wine writer Eric Asimov reminded us that despite the fall and winter collections on display in retail stores across the country, there are still
plenty of summer sipping days left in the season. Which brought him, natuarally, to Albarino ("consummate summer wine") and a tasting of 25 bottles in the market today. Which brought him, naturally, to Burgans which ranked among the top in the tasting and by far a best buy in the line up.
This is the same wine that the Wine Advocate gave 90 points, saying "in terms of bang for the buck, it has no challenger... a sprightly nose of mineral, spring flowers, and lemon peel. Ripe, balanced, and concentrated, this is an ideal match for flaky fish courses."

Savor the end of summer...and stock up on Burgans!
Read the entire article here

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tomorrow night

ART ATTACK! Live Music and Local Art - Teira Sauv Blanc, Pellegrini Sauv Blanc & Family Blend plus Argentina's Budini Chardonnay and Cabernet are sponsors.

Even with all of the attractions that the city of Austin has to offer, how many people can hook you up with live art complemented by live music and complementary beverages? That is exactly what you will get if you come out to the Austin Art Garage and complex this Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Born out of a desire to help support the local art community, there will be a silent live art auction during band performances including Brazos and Sunset, while patrons watch artists paint live and bid on their creations.

Bids start at $10, and complementary beverages will be provided by Sweetleaf Tea, TexaCali Wines, Lone Star Beer and Bacardi, who will be there teaching you how to make your own Bacardi Mojitos! 21+ w/ ID's ONLY will be admitted

$10 Suggested Donation at the door, only $5 with RSVP!


Monday, August 18, 2008

On the deck with Guy Davis

Spent some time with Guy and Judy Davis last week - sipping on some bubbles on their deck overlooking the vines before dinner.

At dinner - he opened his new 2005 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and it BLEW ME AWAY. Take all you can now folks, this bottle of Cabernet is not going to be available very long. Gold Medals, Sweepstakes titles - you name it - the 2005 is just about the best wine I think he's ever made - and Guy's made a lot of great juice over the years!

Here's a quick view of his Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah vineyards located in the heart of the Russian River region in Sonoma. Cheers - Ali

At the movies...

TexaCali Wine Co. begins a new ad campaign in September. Please keep your eye out for this ad at all Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations throughout Texas. The ad is running in their monthly events program - easy to tear out and take with you when shopping for your favorite wines and sake...cheers - Ali

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fresh from the Garden

A little taste of summer a few days ago in Napa. Delicious! I've begun posting pictures of the trip on now. I've taken hundreds of photos and hours of video that needs a few hours of editing. Hoping to hunker down next week back in Austin to finish all of this for you all.
A few more hours left to play in the pool and soak up this happy summer break out in Cali...Cheers - Ali

Friday, August 08, 2008

Blue Skies Above Pellegrini Family...

A walk with Bill from Pellegrini - he took the group out to see and learn more about the beautiful vines of Olivet Lane Pinot Noir...check out the video below.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

In the San Angelo News...

Wines dominate with fruity flavors -

If Susana Balbo's name is on your wine, you are in for a treat. After 22 years of winemaking experience, Susana Balbo has become one of Argentina's most acclaimed winemakers, standing out in a field dominated by men.

Fortunately you can sample her wine without breaking the bank. Balbo's value-priced wine label, Crios, offers fruit-forward enjoyment along with surprising complexity.

"Crios" means "offspring," an appropriate moniker for wines that are meant to be enjoyed in their youth.

Crios Rose of Malbec 2007 ($11) is bursting with ripe strawberry aromas and flavors. This dry rose has a lot of body and a clean crisp finish. It pairs beautifully with Mexican and Asian fare.

Another winner is Crios Torrontes 2007 ($16). Torrontes, the most widely planted white wine grape in Argentina, is reminiscent of viognier.

The 2007 Crios version is excellent, with layers of peach, pear and citrus flavors, and a beguiling floral quality. The ripe fruit flavors imply sweetness, but the finish is dry and refreshing. This versatile summer sipper is at home by the pool, alongside a cheese plate, or accompanying salads and seafood.

Susana Balbo also bottles reserve-level wines under her own name. My current favorite is Susana Balbo Malbec 2006 ($29). This deep purple wine has blackberry aromas, smooth black cherry and plum flavors, and hints of chocolate. The distinctive flavors of malbec, Argentina's signature red grape, are bolstered by 10 percent cabernet sauvignon. Enjoy this dense and aromatic wine with beef or wild game.

Vianei Robinson can be contacted at Her column appears on Wednesdays.

Featured in the Dallas Morning News - 7/30/08

Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec 2007, Argentina

($11.99 to $12.99; Goody Goody, some Centennial stores, Pogo's, Central Market, Whole Foods Market in Highland Park)

This is the second time that the panel has fallen for this excellent, medium- bodied rosé with nice acidity (in May, it was a hit with our parmesan popcorn). It's from Argentina's famed Mendoza region, crafted by one of Argentina's first female winemakers. "It's got bright, expressive fruit," Mr. Pinnell said. Mr. Hendricks noted raspberry as well as strawberry flavors on the palate. Ms. Beck and Mr. Tidwell found it fruity without being too sweet. "It's great for a hot day," said Mr. Tidwell, who summed up the wine's rich berry profile as "yummy goodness," adding "the concentrated fruit will hold up to the heat."

A day with Medlock Ames and Pellegrini Family Vineyards

Just a few things we picked from the organic garden at Medlock Ames - stay tuned for a complete recap off the day a little later...Cheers - Ali

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Skeet Shooting and Teira

A little down-home fun with Teira yesterday in the middle of Dry Creek. The new Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot were so fun to drink - nice hot day under a shade tree smack dab in the middle of 30 year old Merlot vines. Cool. - Ali

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A funny beach...

Took the crew directly West on River Rd. which dead ends to the Pacific Ocean. Hooked a left turn and drove about a mile south and hit the most fabulous beach for the afternoon.
The temperature went from 90 degrees at the house located on Olivet Lane to 59 on the coast. We stayed for a few hours, playing paddle ball (I think the record was 35 hits between Daniel and Jen), collecting rocks and throwing back some great new beers from Hawaii and a nice little sauvignon blanc from the south of France given to us from my dear friend Mulan.

Here's a fun little shoot of the moment we all stuck our feet in the chilly water and black sands of the Sonoma Coast. Off to visit Teira today and do a little skeet shooting over the vineyards in Dry Creek!
Cheers - Ali