Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's time to show up RANGERS, and time for a little Texas wine!

GAME 3: Dang, this TexaCali of a World Series has been 100% Cali  - come-on Rangers, I know your heart is in it, time to buck-up and PLAY BALL!   So now I must suggest a new wine that's on the scene, in fact one of the hottest wineries in Texas these days.   The Duchman Family Winery Vermentino is making plenty of fans - all over America too.   Here's a recent write-up in the Dallas Morning News: 

Vermentino is a wine grape variety successfully grown in southern Italy. Now we can say with assurance that vermentino is successfully grown in Texas. This vermentino is a pale lemon color; it’s enchantingly light and refreshing, with floral and mineral aromas and delicate pear and citrus flavors cheered by zesty acidity. It is delightful as an apéritif and equally at home with an elegant sautéed scallop or a comfy chicken nugget…

Note that the appellation is Texas, meaning the grapes were grown in Texas, in this case at the Bingham Family Vineyards in West Texas. You should know, if you don’t already, that if a Texas winery’s label says “For sale in Texas only,” the grapes for that wine were not grown in Texas. That doesn’t mean the wine is not good; it just means it’s not from Texas grapes. If you buy it, you will still be helping support a Texas winery – a good thing – but not a Texas grower.

The state doesn’t grow enough grapes to fill all the bottles being produced by Texas wineries. It’s hard to grow grapes in Texas, what with early or late frosts, hailstorms, wind storms, various pests and diseases. Texas grape growers are gutsy, persistent and optimistic, perhaps irrationally so, but aren’t we lucky to have them?

Available at Central Market and Whole Foods Market. 

Great to run into my old friend Julio at VINOVINO in Austin last week, he's one of the biggest ambassadors of very well-made wine I know, so the fact he's behind this Texas winery goes a long way with TexaCali Ali - Cheers and GO GIANTS - LET'S GO RANGERS!! - Ali

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Game 2 - Wine Pick!

OH, the 2008 LIOCO Indica brought some luck and hitting skills in for the GIANTS in Game 1 last night.  Here's a little something killer by the Pellegrini Family who have ties to Texans in the Hill Country, looks like the Rangers could use a little Texas-Luck tonight! 

2007 Pellegrini Family Vineyards "Eight Cousins" Russian River Zinfandel

This bottle of Zin is more for baseball fans that football warriors for sure.  This Zinfandel hits it out of the park each time the cork is pulled. Great berry flavors and spice, sexy texture with solid finesse and structure.  Goes well with a great ball park dog too, give it a try! 


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Game 1 of the TexaCali World Series!

wine pairing suggestion for Game 1:  2008 LIOCO "Indica"

LIOCO's 2008 Indica is a blend of old-vine Carignan and Petite Sirah, plus a nice dollop of gnarly old Mourvedre from a neighboring appellation (Suisun Valley).  No hassle with a twist-off cap and will go great with any game-time snacks, especially anything off your grill!  GO RANGERS! GO GIANTS!  Cheers - Ali

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chefs Under Fire Finals - Monday night in Austin!

My dear friends over at the Keeper Collection have been working hard on the most fun culinary contest in Texas!  The final night has arrived, tomorrow in Austin.  Read all about it... 

Alongside some beauties from the Becky Wasserman Burgundy portfolio, here's a peak at the wine list...Good Luck to the 3 finalists, it's going to be a great night for all the Foodies in Austin! Cheers - Ali

Saturday, October 23, 2010

World Series of my Life

AFTER A 6 HOUR DELAY AT THE AIRPORT...A Few minutes ago, Monica, our flight attendant on my AA Flight to Dallas from San Francisco announced  "Giants are up by 1 in the bottom of the 8th."  DING  CHEERS throughout the cabin.  We have ourselves a "TexaCali World Series".  Hot DAWGS!!! COLD Beer!  

Bravo Rangers and Bravo Giants.   My worst job ever (gawd I hated cold-calling out of the yellow-pages)  but taught me the most about how to sell anything was anchored right there in center-field in the new Ballpark at Arlington for KRLD, CBS Radio and the Texas Rangers Radio Network.

So - bring on the bets - will it be California or Texas who wins the hearts of baseball fans all over America?  My heart is in both places.  We shall to buy my peanuts and Crackerjacks...Cheers - Ali (this post is brought to you by Gogo Inflight Internet).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cigliuti Family

"Never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were meant to do".

Looking back over the past year, I can honestly say that many of my happiest "wine moments" are credited to the family-owned wineries I'm so honored to help in Texas (LIOCO guys I consider you family owned too!), but WOW Indigenous Selections continues to blow my mind with the quality of their producers and the respect and business sense they bring to the wine-table.  I kid you not, I haven't sipped on a single bottle of wine in their very selective portfolio from Italy that I haven't fallen in love with. Some more than others, but every time a new cork is pulled from one of their producers a smile appears.  My latest Italian discovery...the phenomenal wines of Cigliuti. 

The Cigliutii story is similar to the Pellegrini's history in California. From their website: "Renato Cigliuti’s family has been farming vineyards and producing wines in Barbaresco since 1790. However, it wasn’t until 1964 that they began bottling and selling their own wines, just 300 bottles of Barbaresco. Renato was one of the first in the area to do so, together with Giacosa and a few other estates.

Today, Renato steers the course for Cigliuti but is assisted in the cellar by his wife Dina, and daughters, Claudia and Silvia— a talented and a well-matched team. The winery is located at the top of the Serraboella hill. Today Serraboella is an official Barbaresco subzone and the most important vineyard in the eastern part of the municipality of Neive, thanks largely to the progress made by Renato himself. For decades, Cigliuti’s name has been synonymous with expressive Barbarescos from Serraboella, of the utmost quality, and will continue to be for decades to come." ...Read more here

Cigliuti Dolcetto d’Alba DOC - from the famed Serraboella vineyard in Neive, Barbaresco. Vines are roughly 20 years old. Wine is aged for 8 months in stainless-steel tanks. (if you follow Parker you'll be pleased with his reviews and scores).

Claudia Cigliuti will be visiting Texas for the first time ever, actually Austin just for a short time, but am I proud to show off the town to her while showing off her family's wines to all the best Austin wine folks...Cheers - Ali

PS. I've changed a few things on my website  - go click around and Join the Inner Circle if you haven't already.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sunrise in the Russian River

Thanks to Pellegrini Family Vineyards - Early Riser & Winemaker Kevin Hamel for this wonderful shot this morning! Follow Pellegrini on Twitter @pellegriniwines

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Pay it forward...

Meet Bridget:

Bridget sells loaves of bread in retail to her customers within her community in Lagos state, Nigeria. She is 50 years old and married with 10 children. Bridget hopes for the loan amount of N80, 000 to purchase more loaves of bread to sell. Bridget lives in Lagos State, Nigeria.

And Nestor:

Nestor is a young man from the Gblinkomé district. He learned food service and is a cook. Not having found work in a hotel, he decided in 2004 to open his own little restaurant in order to support himself. His cafeteria is situated along a big international road so he gets a lot of customers. 

To avoid running short of foodstuffs, he is asking WAGES for a loan to buy 3 cases of milk, 1 basket of fresh tomatoes, 15 trays of eggs, 10 cases of beer, 3 cases of spaghetti, and 1 big tin of oil. Nestor is not married and not raising any children.  He lives in Adidogomé, Togo.

TexaCali Wine Co. has successfully sponsored these two entrepreneurs over the last 2 years and they no-longer need a loan for their business. 100% repaid!   So proud and honored to help Nestor and Bridget achieve their business dreams!

Please help us help Kigozi Grace now in Uganda...(she sounds like my kinda' gal!)

“Men have sight--Women have insight”- This is an adage firmly embedded in 33-year-old Kigozi Grace. Kigozi belongs to Bazirengedde group. Because she has been able to solve deeply entrenched financial adversity on her own with no support, she now has a deeper perspective and understanding of how to handle a crisis situation in business. Notwithstanding the relatively short period of time she has had her food snack and soft drink restaurant business, she has given a good account of herself as a business woman.

Lady luck has shone on Grace’s married life. She and her husband have three highly spirited kids who she says take after both of them in many ways.

Running this business has struck a deep chord with clients who flock to her restaurant. Like her name, Kigozi Grace is truly gracious. She began her business journey selling charcoal and firewood. Grace credits her sister with giving her the inspiration to begin this business. With this loan, she says she is going to buy more furniture for her restaurant.

A little goes a very long way, pay it 

Cheers - Ali