Tuesday, March 31, 2009

24 hours in San Francisco - Always Love

I had the great pleasure of attending the 2009 Solomon Selections portfolio tasting last Friday in San Francisco. Along with Eric Solomon, over 30 producers from Spain and France arrived to show us their new releases. www.europeancellars.com 

Here are a few highlights from the sun-shiny day which started and ended in the Presidio National Park. A breath of fresh air certainly for me last Friday and now for everyone to enjoy... Cheers - Ali

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In the Dallas Morning News today...

"What to drink with Easter Ham"...
2008 Crios Rosé of Malbec, Argentina

($11.99; Select Centennial stores; Big Daddy's on Northwest Highway and in Arlington; Whole Foods Markets; Farpointe Cellars; Select Goody Goody stores; Central Market; Mr G's in Plano; Market Street) An amazingly versatile wine and a third-time panel selection. "It doesn't back down from the ham, and it effortlessly complements the sides," Howald said. "The tannins make it work," Tidwell said. "It's a red, without overbearing tannins." Pinnell noted the wine's cinnamon and Asian-spice notes, and Luscher liked its up-front cherry flavor, which complemented the sweet ham.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh my favorite ...

French Rose is about to land in Texas...I fell in love with the very first sip, I promise you will too. - Cheers - Ali

Bergerie de l'Hortus Rose de Saignee 2008

Appellation: Coteaux du Languedoc

Varieties: 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre

Vineyards: Mourvedre (situated under the Hortus cliff) has a south-west exposure; Syrah (situated under the Pic Saint Lopu cliff) has a northern exposure; and Grenache an intermediate exposure.

Farming Practice: Sustainable with organic practices (moving towards organic certification)

Altitude: 150-200 meters

Aging: Steel vats 

About the winery: A young agronomist studying at the University of Montpellier back in the 70’s discovered an abandoned piece of land nestled between two facing limestone cliffs. The grape vines had grown wild and the huge olive trees were ancient; it
 was obvious to Jean Orliac that this location had been cultivated in ages past, producing the classic Mediterranean trio - olives, wine and wheat, and that this would be an ideal site to produce a “Grand Vin,” the dream of this passionate man.

Starting with 5 hectares and acquiring another 50 soon after, Jean Orliac named his property “l’Hortus”, the Latin translation for “The Garden”, as an homage to the land and its tradition. Early on, his grapes were transported to the local Cave Cooperative for pressing; in 1990 his cellars were built which allowed him to vinify and bottle on his own property.


So excited to tell you about the Davis Family Vineyards dinner next Monday night! KRLD Newsradio 1080 has invited Guy Davis to host a fabulous evening at the Screen Door located in One Arts Plaza downtown Dallas...details below:

The KRLD Dinner Club will showcase the best that the North Texas wine and culinary scenes have to offer.
Guy Davis, the founder and winemaker of Davis Family Vineyards will be the guest of honor for the first event and will showcase his wines as only he can.  Be prepared, he is clearly passionate about his wines!
This event will be held on Monday, March 30. at the Screen Door from 7:00 - 9:30 pm. $125 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Space limited to 95 guests.

Featuring the culinary creations of Chef Fitzgerald Dodd, Screen Door and delicious tastes of Davis Family Vineyards with Guy Davis.

Guy Davis believes wine should be a natural expression of a specific place, the personality of a particular, carefully tended plot of earth that reveals the mood of Mother Nature in an individual year. This means special attention is given to everything. Vineyard locations must have perfect soil, exposures to the sun, and microclimates for world-class wine growing. Varietals must match ideally with each individual site, and then special attention is paid to the selection of clones and rootstalk. Above all else, they harvest at ripeness...that perfect balance of sugar, acidity, pH and, most importantly, maturity of flavors and tannins.

At Davis Family Vineyards, they have some pretty strong beliefs about wine. They believe wine is an essential element in a rich and passionate life. Guy says that wine adds an extra layer of flavors to both meals and to friendships. And like a lover, wine has a sensuality of perfumed aromas and silky, supple textures, endless charm and character that brings many pleasures to our senses and our spirits!

The atmosphere of Screen Door is reminiscent of "The Great Room" in a Southern mansion of days gone by.  Along with rich woods, luminous chandeliers, signature china, and custom uniformed waiters, this makes Screen Door the perfect place to present this fantastic Winemaker's Dinner. Executive Chef Fitzgerald Dodd's touts a "Then & Now" Southern menu concept. Here you'll find old friends that will take you back in time, as well as a new generation of dishes that think in fresh ways about Southern cuisine.  Housed in the new jewel of Downtown Dallas, One Arts Plaza, Screen Door is just steps away from the Performance Arts Center.

Monday, March 16, 2009

catching up...

Sorry Sorry - no posts over the past few days I know! I had Medlock Ames winery in tow with me all over Texas last week, what a fantastic line-up to show off to Texas. The wines are truly a gift from all things good on earth. I urge you all to look and ask for Medlock Ames, they are creating everything that is right in the wine world. Thank you Kenny for your time and enthusiasm for Medlock Ames wines - we loved having you here!

As for the next week, I'm not promising any new posts...2009 has been more hectic than one could have ever planned. Texas - well those who drink in Texas are doing so more than ever these days - business is good. Though I firmly believe it (record wine sales) has everything to do with the killer brands TexaCali Wine Co. has the pleasure of representing in Texas! www.texacaliwine.com - do you know what the Argentine Wine of the Month is??

I'm stepping away for a few days, on my list of things to do like...defensive driving to take care of that ridiculous speeding ticket I received while driving Etienne de Montille around Texas last fall, a new lawn to cut - weeds to pull, yoga classes to start again, logo contest winners to track down, a big IT project to finish (PC to Mac!), a haircut and color that is way overdue, this tiny thing called SXSW is this week (I would love to catch Gomez, The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, Perez Hilton Day in Austin for sure!), 2008 taxes to figure out oh and this new little heavenly event I need to start telling dear friends about and begin planning - my wedding. A HUGE CELEBRATION!!! Cheers - Ali

Monday, March 09, 2009

Did you know???

Medlock Ames Winery

Green Initiative: Rather than building fences, Sonoma’s Medlock Ames created wildlife corridors to allow wild pigs, deer, bobcats and mountain lions to pass through its vineyards without damaging the vines or themselves.

Wine to Buy: 2006 Chardonnay ($30) Though full-bodied, this creamy Chardonnay is elegant and focused, with lemony flavors that end on a mineral note. (Food & Wine Magazine)


Friday, March 06, 2009

Congrats to the 2009 TexaCali Wine Co. Logo Winners...

Here's a look at the 1st place winner...click on the logo image to enlarge.

Please go to www.texacaliwine.com to see the other winners, and find a bottle of wine to hunt down at your favorite wine shop. Have a great weekend everyone and thank you all for your votes and enthusiasm for this online contest! Cheers - Ali

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

This is important..

Thanks to all of you that have voted already. The last day to vote is tomorrow for the a new TexaCali Wine Co. Logo.

Please click on this page link below to vote and forward it to your friends!


...the winners will be announced on March 6...$1000 for 1st place!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Crios Torrontes and Old Navy

The past few days & weeks were fueled by exciting relationships, new acquaintances, incredible wine, fun Sake classes and miles of Texas travel. The months of January and February were also slightly sidetracked by a case of laryngitis and bronchitis, a missing dog that was stuck in a bathroom for 5 hours, a fender-bender caused by a cement pylon (a 2nd in 12 months) but welcomed by fluffy beds from 10 different hotels and or family guest rooms, as well as 50 friendly Texas accounts (at least!) and finally brought to happy-tears by one old faithful "Crios Torrontes".

So why the subject title of "Crios Torrontes and Old Navy"? Well, they've both created tears-of-joy at one point in my life. What??? Yes, back when I was in between jobs in the very expensive city of San Francisco, my high-fashion dreams turned into "low-fashion" after a big job lay-off. I recall walking into Old Navy with just about $40 bucks to spend on an outfit to help me out in the new season. Seeing a handful of items that deemed high-fashion enough that were priced at incredibly great prices almost brought me to my knees in thanks that day. Needless to say, my new outfit received compliments and I wore my new low-fashion proudly, but did shed a few tears of gratitude in the Old Navy check-out line (girls you know what I'm talking about here). I'm pretty sure I still have a shirt hanging in my closet today from that purchase.

Back to the story...I ended my last day on the road in Houston this past Sunday night, I was exhausted as a Frisbee catching Labrador at the end of an Olympic Trial. Trying my best to save a buck on the road, I grabbed a quick dinner- to- go at a local food and wine store in Houston and low and behold a huge stack of Crios Torrontes stood glistening in the middle of the place. My eyes lit up and immediately darted towards the pile of Crios... (visualize a big spotlight and angelic music in the background here). I reached for cool bottle of Crios Torrontes and made a fast dash to the check out line.

Within minutes I was settled into my "price-lined" killer deal hotel room in the Uptown area of Houston and twisted open the cap of Crios (yes, I bought some ice to shove it in immediately at the store for the 6 minute car ride to the hotel).

So here is the moment that ties this story all together...my eyes swelled up after pouring myself a glass, smelling the wine and taking the first sip. Grateful for such an huge value for little cash, I was so thankful for the comfort it brought to my long journey last week.

The Crios Torrontes is "a giver" and will only allow you to take true pleasure from this incredible white wine value from Argentina. At that moment of teary eyed Torrontes - I thought of the tough time back in San Francisco in 2001 at the Old Navy in Potrero Hill. So there you have it. Fashion and Wine, what more does a Texas girl need? Ha!

Crios Torrontes = great quality, consistent availability for tremendous value. Find it at your favorite wine shop around $15 bucks. Read more about Crios Torrontes here www.vineconnections.com Cheers - Ali

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Thanks to the Academy of Nuts...

TexaCali Wine Trail is a winner of "The Best Blog Contest Prizes Ever" from the American Squirrel Wine Blog Awards. Very fitting since it feel like I'm herding squirrels most of the time in this business! I'll take it! See the other winners here: http://lasfloressquirrels.wordpress.com/

We still need your vote - details on www.texacaliwine.com - deadline is March 5th! Cheers - Ali