Friday, May 29, 2009

Crios Rose of Malbec in Santa Fe New Mexico

I've fallen behind with the posts this week, tried to take a few days off with Mom in Santa Fe.  It's been nice to see the wines of Vine Connections and Solomon Selections all over the stores and wine-lists here, kind of like having a good friend over for dinner! Cheers from a patio over looking the magical mountains and sky surrounding Santa Fe tonight!  - Ali

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rafael Palacios...beautiful Spanish White Wine for the Weekend!

Louro 2007 

Tasting Notes: "The 2007 Louro do Bolo is 100% Godello produced from 40-50 year old vines. It was tank fermented and aged on the lies. Light gold-colored, it offers up aromas of petrol, white peach, and spiced pear. This leads to an elegant wine with a vibrant palate-feel, good balance, and outstanding concentration. Drink it over the next 2-3 years." Wine Advocate

Appellation of Origin: Valdeorras

Varieties: 100% Godello

Vineyards: Both estate vineyards plus some fruit purchased from local growers

Altitude: Between 600 and 700 meters

Soils: Sandy (caused by the degradation of the granite sub-stratum)

Age of Vines: 12-32 year old vineyards

Aging: 8 months in foudre

92 points, IWC 90 points, WA

Find it from your favorite Texas wine retailer for $15.99 or so...Cheers - Ali

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hot off the press...LIOCO!

Read up the latest from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Celler. A tremendous way to kick off the LIOCO Market Visit in Texas. Looking forward to the SOLD-OUT wine dinner at The Mansion on Thursday night! Cheers - Ali


By Josh Raynolds

May/Jun 09

2007 LIOCO Chardonnay Sonoma County

($20) Pale gold. Vibrant, pure aromas of citrus fruit, flowers and herbs. Juicy lime and lemongrass flavors are complemented by notes of anise and honeysuckle. Gains power on the finish, which strongly repeats the anise note and offers good mineral cut. This is an outstanding value.


2007 LIOCO Chardonnay Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley

($35) Light yellow. Intensely perfumed aromas of pear, apple, anise and smoky minerals. Firm, finely etched citrus and orchard fruit flavors are given body by a subtle floral honey quality. The anise and smoke notes repeat on the long, sappy finish. Packs a solid punch but is far from fat. These old vine Wente clones were picked at 23.2o Brix and this wine was bottled with extremely low residual sugar.


2007 LIOCO Chardonnay Michaud Vineyard Chalone

($45) Yellow-gold. Powerful scents of poached pear, mango and brown butter, with lemongrass, lees and peach pit notes adding complexity. A wild ride from citrus to pit fruit and orange marmalade on the palate, with dusty minerals adding grip. The minerality builds on the back and extends through the impressively long, spicy finish. This comes off as drier than its siblings, with more obvious energy, spice and cut.


2007 LIOCO Chardonnay Charles Heintz Sonoma Coast

($45) Light yellow-gold. A complex bouquet displays pineapple, passion fruit, sweet butter and floral honey. Broad and very rich, with powerful tropical and pit fruit flavors given focus by sneaky minerality. Offers an interesting blend of opulence and energy, with excellent finishing thrust and lingering minerality. I'd serve this with a rich, creamy fish or shellfish dish, or maybe with strong cheeses. None of these chardonnays ever see any oak.


2007 LIOCO Pinot Noir Carneros

($35) Vivid red. Smoky red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by pungent herbal and floral notes. Mineral-driven red fruit flavors are refreshingly tangy, with a bite of cherry skin adding grip. Becomes deeper and chewier with air and finishes with excellent clarity and sweet persistence. Give this some decanter time.


2007 LIOCO Pinot Noir Klindt Anderson Valley

($45) Light, bright red. Tightly wound red berry and rose scents loosen with air, picking up deeper cherry and blackcurrant qualities. Zesty strawberry and black raspberry flavors stain the palate, with a strong mineral quality contributing spine. Finishes with excellent clarity, leaving white pepper and Asian spice notes behind.


2007 LIOCO Pinot Noir Michaud Vineyard Chalone

($45) Hazy red. Redcurrant, strawberry and raspberry on the nose. Light in body but potent, offering sweet red berry and bitter orange favors and an exotic note of rose pastille. The mineral-driven finish leaves zesty strawberry and floral notes in its wake. All of these pinots are light and transparent, which aren't qualities that will appeal to those who insist on weight and thickness.


2007 LIOCO Red Wine Indica Mendocino County

($20; a blend of carignane, petit sirah, grenache and mourvedre) Bright red. Flamboyant aromas of raspberry, cherry preserves and incense. Lively but supple red berry flavors are given depth by anise and cherry pit qualities. Reminds me of an open-knit 2007 southern Rhone wine, with excellent finishing clarity and persistent sweetness. This is much sexier than the 2006 version. (JR)


Thursday, May 14, 2009

ZAP today in Dallas - come see us!

COLOR:   Deep ruby with a purple edge NOSE:   Ripe brambleberries — raspberry, loganberry and boysenberry — with accents of black pepper and vanilla. MOUTH:   Quite full-bodied, with a very supple palate. You'll again encounter the rich brambleberry notes especially boysenberry complemented by soft vanilla owing to long-term aging in small oak cooperage

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Paul, our Vine Connections US Sake Ambassador & Ginjo Sake Brewers! 

Brewer's in Texas

Ginjo Sake is on FIRE in Texas. 

The Brewers represented by Vine Connections are in town for a quick trip through Dallas and Houston for in-depth Ginjo Sake Seminars...ahh we were all schooled by the producers of Heaven's Door, Wandering Poet & Dreamy Clouds, Divine Droplets and the Grand Cru Diaginjo of all time "Silent Stream". 

Absolutely Delicious! Thanks to Kenichi in Dallas for hosting such a great event for us! Cheers - Ali

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Happy Mother's Day out there. I'm in Fort Worth today celebrating with Mom - we are happy to have her with us after the Xmas Day heart attack last December. We sipped on a little 2008 Crios Rose of Malbec with dinner tonight. Cheers to all the Moms out there and have a laugh while watching the SNL was made for my Mom! - Ali

PS: Check out the Calendar on, many events this week that include the Japanese Sake Brewers, Guy Davis of Davis Family Vineyards and Steven Storrs of Storrs Winery.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Davis Family Vineyards Winemaker Dinner

Ok you wine lovers, here's one of the best winemaker dinner's you'll have a chance to experience in Texas - ever. My home town of Fort Worth is all a buzz about the arrival of Guy Davis, of Davis Family Vineyards at the new spectacular fine-dining spot - GRACE! Here's the line-up, seating is limited (my Mom's even going!) give Ryan a call to reserve a seat or two. This is going to be a BLAAAASSSSTTTT!!! 


                           Davis Family Wine Dinner

Hosted by Guy Davis at GRACE

Friday, May 15th, 2009


Meet and greet reception at 6:30pm

Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs, California, 2004


Seated Dinner at 7:00pm

Summer Melon and Cucumber Soup

heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and king crab

Gusto by Davis, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2007

Tuna and Scallop

edamame puree and yuzu caviar

Davis Family, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2006

King Salmon

Davis Family Vineyards extra virgin olive oil,

preserved lemon, harissa, and Israeli couscous

Davis Family, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2006

Muscovy Duck

caramelized fennel risotto and duck jus

Davis Family, Zinfandel, Old Vine, Russian River Valley, 2006


caramelized potato gnocchi, braised leg, and blackberry gastrique

Davis Family, Barn D’Or, Cabernet/Syrah Blend, Sonoma, 2005

Tasting of Valrohna Chocolate

Davis Family, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2004


Cost: $145 per person (Tax & Gratuity Included)

Reserve now: Tel. 817-877-3388, 

Executive Chef: Blaine Staniford

Wine Director: Ryan Tedder

Friday, May 01, 2009

what do you think?

I'd like to hear your thoughts out there...I'm all for it, bring a bottle, buy a bottle, it's a pretty simple system I grew accustom to while living in San Francisco. Hurray!

Wine bill clears Senate with help from Dewhurst

© 2009 The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — A bill that would let Texans take their own wine into restaurants serving liquor has quietly cleared the Texas Senate after some help from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and the Texas Restaurant Association.

The legislation passed unanimously Thursday using a fast-track process normally reserved for non-controversial bills. Dewhurst, a known wine connoisseur, had told the industry group he would likely take advantage of the law himself if it passed, according to a letter from the association.

A lawyer for the industry group has said Dewhurst drinks a particular vintage not carried by a a restaurant he frequents.

Celebrate Good Times...

Today marks the 4th year of TexaCali Wine Co. Whew...what a complicated, exciting, delicious, crazy, and beautiful 4 years!  "Supply Chain Management at it's finest", is what I usually say to those who ask what I do in the wine business. Yes, I'm living the dream -  one case of wine at a time... but from the look of TexaCali Wine Co.'s average monthly sales depletions nearing the half-million dollar mark, I believe all the hard work and idiotic hours over the past 4 years have made a big difference for the families that I'm so wildly proud to represent in Texas.  The journey has just begun...thanks to you all for your continued support and enthusiasm. 

In Celebration of the 4th Anniversary I'm asking you each to pick out a bottle on a wine list and/or a mixed case of your favorite TexaCali producer during the month of May.  Even better - try something new -  just go for
 it. I'm glad I did 4 years ago! Cheers - Ali

 (pics from the top-down, 
1) standing on the deck at Davis Family Vineyards in the Russian River pointing to the Pellegrini winery, 2) stirring Bride of the Fox Sake in Japan, 3) me and Susana Balbo in Mendoza, Argentina)