Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summertime... in Texas!

So far so FABULOUS this summer when it comes to sales of the TexaCali Wine Co. producers in Texas.  Honestly,  the hot months of our Texas summer is my least favorite time to do-what-I-do.  It takes extreme planning to keep the wines chilled all day and superpowers to keep motivated. Getting in and out of the car all day is a beating, trying to look your best while sweat dribbles down your back with a smile on your face walking into restaurants and retails with a bag (or 2) of wine to show is far from GLAMOROUS.  Yesterday  I "Tweeted" that the inside of my car looked like an Ice Cream truck! Coolers, dry ice, road-rage in parking lots over shaded spaces...whew.  BUT - the wines are "selling like crazy" this summer and I'm loving it! 

So far rounding up the end of June, the following wines are getting the MOST movement this summer (please ask your favorite wine shop for a few!). 

La Spinetta Vermentino $19

Handley Cellars Pinot Gris $15

Pellegrini Unoaked Chardonnay - Russian River $14

LIOCO Sonoma County Chardonnay $19

Teira Sauvignon Blanc - Dry Creek $15

Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon $19

Cheers to a AC filled weekend - Ali (PS, I took the sunset photo from my blackberry traveling West on HWY 71 to Austin Thursday night).

Monday, June 21, 2010

What wine blogs do you read?

Calling all TexaCali Wine Trail readers this week...I need your help.  As you know, most blogs list other blogs that are similar in subject, fun to read and/or of interest to the author.  Honestly, I just haven't taken the time over the years to list the gazillion suitable links on this site.   However, now's the time and I've been working on a short list.

Vinography: A Wine Blogfounded by Alder Yarrow was one of the first "Blog Rolls" the "TexaCali Wine Trail" was linked to  (and still is).  At the time - May 2005 my blog was the first in Texas!  Alder's blog boosted traffic to my new site back then,  I still read his blog almost daily. 

What blogs to you want listed on the TexaCali Wine Trail and why do you read them?  I'd love to support other wine bloggers & blogs that make our world a little more interesting.  Please send me your Top 10 recommendations this week.  Thanks in advance for your help!   Changes and updates coming soon...Cheers - Ali

Monday, June 14, 2010

The 2007 Olivet Lane Pinot Noir...Wine of the Week!

2007 Olivet Lane Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A gorgeous, lush Pinot Noir, simply irresistible for drinking now, but ageable. Shows rich, ripe cherry, raspberry, currant, chocolate and anise flavors, accented with spicy sandalwood. A bit primary and fresh in its youth, and should develop bottle nuances through 2013."

The Olivet Lane Vineyard was one of the first Pinot Noir plantings in the Russian River Valley, preceded a few years by only a handful of others including the Bacigalupi Vineyard (on Westside Road in the Middle Reach in 1964), Rochioli Vineyard (East Block planted in 1968, also on Westside Road), and Joseph Swan’s vineyard (first planted in 1969 in the Laguna Ridges and now named the Trenton Estate Vineyard). The Olivet Lane Vineyard was uniquely planted to both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

The Pellegrinis began producing an Olivet Lane Pinot Noir in the 1980s. Over the years, grapes were sold to Brogan Cellars, Gary Farrell, Kosta Browne, Merry Edwards, Williams Selyem and WesMar wineries. Today, Merry Edwards is the only producer receiving significant amounts of fruit, the rest being retained for the Olivet Lane Estate Pinot Noir annual production of 2,500 to 3,000 cases. 

The Olivet Lane Vineyard wines are sold primarily through the tasting room, retail wine stores and restaurants. The wines are also available online at (published by The PinotFile Volume 8, Issue 2)

Around $25 a bottle in Texas, a perfect gift for Father's Day too! Cheers - Ali

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Spirit of The Barley House

Many of my faithful TexaCali Wine Trail readers in Dallas were also my faithful "Barley House" friends on Henderson St. post-college days.  Many fun memories created over cold beers and song at the Barley House. Elvis Costello on the jukebox blaring " aim is true" over and over (yeah the later it got the more quarters were thrown in).  Many local bands played in the corner, caught a few early Old 97's shows too.

I'll never forget the time I totally bit-it, I mean a complete 5'9" fall on my face due to my fancy new high-heels walking in one night. However, I gracefully stood up and pretended it was my very best SNL skit impression and laughed it off all night long! Most nights I spent hours discussing boyfriends with the girls, played a few hundred rounds of pool, but I'll never forget the time I picked up my cell phone (seems so long ago) around 2002 to hear that my brother was detained at the American Airlines Center on opening night for "breaking into a private suite".  In his defense "it was so crowded trying to get out, we all just ducked into a suite to check it out".  Yeah opening bottles of booze and logging onto a flat screen TV/Computer in someone's private suite didn't cut it.  Nice one little brother - I was mortified.  Anyways...

So now the Barley House has moved to a location closer to SMU and "The Porch" now sits on this sacred spot on Henderson St, just a few steps away from Central Expressway.  A smile comes across my face every single time I walk into The Porch for lunch or dinner.  Its wine list has always been a friend to me, always listing a few TexaCali wines. A few years ago Milla Handley and I stood behind the bar one afternoon for a little server training...her advice of "my Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is more like a long-term relationship than a one-night stand" went over very well that day!

This week I got the exciting news from Avante Beverages that my very favorite California Cabernet is now being poured by-the-glass at The Porch.  The 2006 Pellegrini Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from their Estate Vineyards in Alexander Valley will rock the menu at The Porch all summer long. A perfect friend to their delicious chopped brisket sliders!   Sing it Mr. Costello!  Cheers to The old Barley House and The Porch! - Ali

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What a week!

Visit Indigenous Selections!  Please ask your favorite Texas wine shop about their new selection of wines from Indigenous...

Ahh, a wee bit late posting this, I had to power-down for a few days last week from online activities - much to follow-up on after Giorgio's visit.  Giorgio's presence in the state was bigger than Texas.  We sold wine faster than the Avante warehouse guys could organize the new Indigenous Selections shipments coming in from New Jersey. So fun to sell good wine!

Thanks to all who attended our trade and customer events, the 2. 5 days in the market where filled with admiration, knowledge and magnificent enthusiasm!  Most of all I want to Thank Giorgio Rivetti for his time visiting Texas.  It's not often enough that a true gentlemen like Giorgio spends time in Texas.  It was a true honor to learn from Giorgio. We certainly have the same taste in wine! He was extremly kind and presented me with a bottle of  1999 Bollinger "Grande AnnĂ©e" Brut Champagne for my birthday last Tuesday. I think it was the very last bottle at Pogo's in Dallas too! 

A few photos are now posted on

Hard to say what wines "stood-out" for me, they all had their special place in my mind and heart.  Outstanding Barolo and fantastic Brunello all day long with Giorgio!! However,  I'm very excited about the new wines from La Spinetta's Tuscan property, they are completely new to me and to Texas!