Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wine on Tap

Pictured below at Whole Foods Austin Texas yesterday: Dan the winemaker of Brack Mountain Wine Co. & Dave the winemaker for Duchman Family Winery.  There lovely wines are available by the sip, glass or carafe at the new "Bar Lamar" inside the wine department.  Delicious! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Long Live LIOCO! 

...almost one year ago, the soldiers of LIOCO gathered from around the US to join in a feast of "wild" pig atop Michaud Vineyard. 

The night started so civilized and quickly turned into the best campfire any of us have ever lived (through) to see...

Order LIOCO Wines direct from

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bar Lamar

Introducing the new "TexaCali Stars" front & center at Whole Foods ATX - the wines of Brack Mountain Wine Co. 

Next time you plan your outing to Whole Foods downtown Austin, please make some time to visit the new and improved wine department.   The team has been working hard for months now to make this yet another place to stop and relax while sipping and eating some very tasty offerings from Whole Foods.  

Taste a sip, a flight, a glass or carafe of wine from these very small production wines from Sonoma County.  Kegs of L'Oliveto Russian River Chardonnay, Ellipses Rose of Pinot Noir, Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Tramonto Russian River Zinfandel have never left the on-premise world of Northern California until now!  Even better, you can pick up a bottle, case or pallet of each if you like - everyone's walking away a very happy Whole Foods Wine Shopper these days...

This Friday and Saturday afternoon the owners and winemakers of Brack Mountain Wine Co. will be visiting and pulling taps for you all, please stop in to taste this fabulous new selection of wine and give my California friends a big howdy!  We are all incredibly proud to be a partner with Whole Foods! 

Cheers - Ali

Suggestions please...

I'm attending the 2011 Family Winemakers Tasting in Pasadena mid-March, always a well-done wine trade show.   During my travels South of the Bay Area (and Texas!),  I'd like to stop and explore some wineries within the Central Coast region.  It's been waaay too long since my last visit - in fact this photo was taken inside Deborah's room at the Justin Winery back when...

I'll be tasting and selecting wines for a very exciting venture currently in the works for TexaCali Ali!  So help me out, let me know who I should visit.  Many wineries are already on my list, but would love to hear about some new and tasty wines from Paso Robles to Santa Barbara in particular from all of you out there!
Thanks and Cheers - Ali

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wine Tasting

Tomorrow, from 12pm-3pm, please stop by The Austin Wine Merchant

Pellegrini Family Vineyards Wine Tasting

We're featuring...
2009 Pellegrini Chardonnay Russian River Valley
2008 Pellegrini Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay Russian River Valley
2009 Pellegrini Olivet Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
2007 Pellegrini Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cookin' up some love!

Maypearl, Texas: Meet my Papa and Grandmother Jackson, these long-time love birds were always cookin' in the kitchen together for each other & guests.  Almost all of my memories of them revolve around sitting at their big oak table in the kitchen or standing in front of the wall-mounted gas furnace watching them cook.  Sipping on "sweet-tea" (the only place I was allowed to drink it) and snacking on whatever was put in front of me was always so fun as a kid.  I can almost smell the classic enchiladas Grandmother made, and my favorite Papa meal was his big country breakfast of fluffy hot biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs from the farm, bacon and fresh orange juice.  "My Three Sons", "Gilligan's Island" and "I Dream of Jeannie"  buzzing in the background from the TV-tube located in the front room of the house.  No matter how many folks were there to eat with us, they made sure everyone was served before they sat down beside one another. 

My Papa was a jokester and my Grandmother had the prettiest smile and was the most clever woman I've ever known. They were in love - they bickered, they laughed, the told stories non-stop and boy did they create some delicious meals over the years.   I sure would love to have them around with me these days, to share some blessings life has tossed my way.   

Cheers to cookin' in the kitchen with your love this Valentines Day.  And don't forget to chill the Champagne!!  - Ali

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival

For the Love of Bubbles...

 - you must support Bryan and Abby, the couple behind   Put down those Champagne bottles you found at your local grocer folks, Fat Cork has done all the work for you -  picking out great - and I mean fabulous bottles of bubbly for the world to enjoy.  It's all about supporting the small guys "grower champagne" straight to your house now.  I love the passion that creates & drives new opportunities in the wine biz!   You can order any bottle (or 100!) online or visit them in Seattle after scheduling a private appointment with them too.

I get this all-of-the-time - "So what is your favorite wine Ali?",  I always say CHAMPAGNE.  I'm thrilled to have met Bryan a few weeks back at the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium and learned of his new venture.  BRAVO!! 

I'M A SUCKER FOR A TRUE LOVE STORY: "The story of how Portland native Bryan Maletis began selling Champagne’s finest grower selections to a world wide audience starts with highschool jobs in a distributor’s warehouse and ends with meeting the right woman at the right time."  LOVE!  Read more about them here.

Found on A very special bottle...

Blanc de Blancs Millesime 1996 Premier Cru

This Champagne has been resting peacefully in the Jean-Luc's cellars for the last 14 years, and we are thrilled to offer it to you directly from those cellars. For this amount of age, it is extremely youthful. However, that youth is a prime characteristic of this exceptional vintage that is a rare find these days. The mousse is immaculately white. Hints of candied nuts, toast, and pear lead to a finish of beautiful acidity and minerality that lasts for minutes. This clearly has a future ahead of it, as it will continue to develop for years to come. A very limited selection that will thrill Champagne enthusiasts. 100% Chardonnay

Most of their small producers are new to me, can't wait to start receiving my Fat Cork shipments...

Cheers! Ali

PS. This goes "Why Didn't I think of That?" column in my life. 

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snowtastic in Texas

Sorry I couldn't resist this...much like the recent World Series, California is winning again.

Shot of my brother's backyard this morning in Dallas.

Shot of my backyard this morning in Sonoma County (everything is blooming already!).

Thank Goodness Texans have plenty of the 2007 Pellegrini Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon to help keep warm these days!  Will go fantastically with all the Super Bowl fixins too.  All this snow is a sure sign that Mother Nature is not a fan (either) of Jerry Jones. SUCKER.   Are you ready for some football?????  Cheers - Ali