Klaus Gasser from Cantina Terlano was in Houston last month conducting a tasting up at Camerata for the Houston Sommelier Association. The wines he brought come from Alto-Adige in the northern part of Italy near the Dolomite Mountains in the foothills of the Alps. There is a heavy German, French and Austrian influence in the region. Alto-Adige is a high mountainous region which Klaus compared to Colorado. He recommends the skiing if you are traveling there in the winter. He also compares the area to Burgundy because of its diverse micro-climates imparting unique characteristics to the wine. The region is known for its aromatic whites but it can also produce rich, full body reds. The area around Terlano is warmer than other parts of the region but it still has a good diurnal range to protect the grapes' acidity. The vineyard area ranges from about 800-3000 ft above sea level and has red quartz porphyric rocky soil with a high mineral content which is believed to give the wines
The Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Caring Cooler is a limited-edition cooler that was created in support of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. It is available on Monday, June 16 and will be sold for $35 on Amazon with 100% of the proceeds benefiting No Kid Hungry. About No Kid Hungry No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through Cooking Matters. This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.
Cru Artisan , who oversees the luxury selections of the Banfi portfolio, was in Houston last week sharing their wines and knowledge with local wine professionals. The experience started with a walk around tasting and an opportunity to talk with some of the winemakers. The selected wines for the tasting were produced by Castello Banfi, Sartori di Verona, Banfi Piemonte, Cerulli Spinozzi, Fontana Candida and Bolla. I took my 21 year old daughter to work on this day. She was in on a short break during her summer internship and, although she is more of a cider aficionado, she was delighted to expand her knowledge of Italian wine. Within her own circle of college friends, she is already the leading wine expert. Having just walked out of the already oppressive Houston heat and due to my own agenda of searching for wine recommendations for upcoming summer stories, we started with some sparkling pink wine, the 2010 Cuvée Aurora Rosé from the Alta Langa DOCG . This classic method 10
I had a fantastic night out in Houston at the end of May with Jeremy Parzen , Mai Pham , Alfonso Cevola and Silvia Franco . The evening began at Vallone's with a tasting of some Nino Franco wines and ended with a trip to Camarata to check out the latest offerings from David Keck. As always, the food and wine were delicious and, on this evening, both the wine and the company were sparkling. We tasted through the following wines over miniature lobster roll appetizers: Rustica Prosecco Superiore NV - fresh and crisp with a subtle pear and citrus aroma and flavor with a touch of yeast. Brut Prosecco Superiore NV - dry, fresh and crisp with delicate aromas of citrus blossoms and flavors of apricot and pear with a hint of yeast. And, the unusual 2011 Faive Rosé Brut Sparkling; this wine is made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc rather than the usual Glera grape that is used to produce Prosecco. It was dry and crisp with fresh aromas and light flavors of re
The Texas Fine Wine group held a tasting at Reef last Monday to showcase some of their award winning wines and the best of their new releases. Following are a few of my favorites from the tasting: The 2012 Duchman Vermentino sourced from the Bingham Family Vineyard is clean, crisp and a perfect patio sipper for summer with light citrus and pear aromas and flavors. It would be a great pairing for any salad or simple, grilled seafood. The 2012 Pedernales Viognier Reserve was a treat to try. With peach, honeysuckle, and buttered toast aromas and flavors, this smooth, fuller bodied white has great pairing potential but you can also keep it simple with herb roasted chicken and vegetables. It took top Viognier honors at the Lyon International Wine Competition in France, the only winery in the U.S. to do so. I have previously recommended the non-reserve version in Galveston Monthly . It is easier to find and also very good. The 2012 Brennan Vineyards Super Nero from Commanche Cou
An opportunity for local wine professionals to learn more about Sonoma County's Alexander Valley arrived with a group from Rodney Strong Vineyards last month. The seminar and tasting were held at Hotel Zaza. All of the wines were from the 2010 vintage and were tasted in groups of three to showcase a particular aspect of the terroir of the Alexander Valley. We started with an examination of the soils and geology. The area has a history of soil upheaval from tectonic plate movement. This has created a diverse mix of soil types creating a need for wine growers to carefully match the correct variety of rootstock and grape variety to each vineyard site. For example, h ighly acidic soils are better suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay than Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils on the valley floor are younger and more fertile while the hillsides have older soils. In the valley, the grapes are thinner skinned and plumper which create softer and more supple wines. All of these wines were soft, s
Monique Seillan was in Houston recently visiting with local wine trade and media. I sat down with her at Mark's American Cuisine to sample some of the fantastic wines created by her husband, Pierre and her daughter, Helene Seillan along with Amy and Joe Power of Another Wine Blog and Denman Moody, wine writer for Houston Lifestyles and author of The Advanced Oenophile . Monique explained that Pierre's wine making career began at his family's estate in Gascony where he focused on red Bordeaux varieties. After working at several different wineries, he began to develop his micro-cru philosophy where he attempts to preserve the unique nuances that each site can contribute based on soil type and topography. This more precise management of the vineyard allows many unique parcels to be vinified separately for more blending options. Daughter Helene joined the team over seven years ago and has worked closely with her father splitting her time between Sonoma County and Saint-Em