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Aromatic White Wines

Aromatic white wines for spring and beyond are the focus of the May issue of Galveston Monthly magazine with wine recommendations coming from an array of regions including classics like German Riesling and Gewurztraminer from Alsace along with some new world wines that are not to be missed.

Pinot Gris - One Grape's Journey

As seen in the current issue of Galveston Monthly magazine. 

Roma hosts its first in-person Winemaker Dinner

ROMA  welcomed the new season with its first in-person winemaker dinner on Thursday night featuring the wines of Castello di Volpaia with special guest, winery owner and winemaker Federica Stianti. This is the first time since the shutdown in 2020 that Roma has had a visiting winemaker in-house for a wine dinner. The evening began with a fresh Italian white wine chosen by wine director Jeremy Parzen as, unfortunately, the Maremma Vermentino produced by Volpaia was unavailable for the dinner. This aperitif wine was the greeting as guests arrived and were directed back to the private party room for this exclusive dinner.  Parzen introduced Federica of the famed Chianti Classico winery which is located in the heart of the region and she introduced the dinner guests to the beauty of her home through her family's wines. Several attendees had been on Roma's Zoom wine dinner hosted during the shutdown in 2020 and had fond memories of virtually traveling Italy with Roma from their hom

The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition Winners

This past Sunday, Taste of Italy - Houston held The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition at the Hilton Post Oak in collaboration with the Italian American Chamber of Commerce . The competition was orchestrated to help local sommeliers hone their both their service and test taking skills while showcasing their knowledge of all things wine. Competitors started with a deductive tasting and theory exam and concluded with a table service exam. The winners were announce on Monday morning at the opening of the Taste of Italy - Houston. Tony Elsinga won the top prize of $750 along with a trip to Italy. Mark Fusco was the first runner up also winning $750 and and Carlos Rosas was the second runner up earning a $500 prize. Each winner also was a gifted a jerobaum bottle of Villa Sandi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.  The competition was originally conceived by Jaime Deleon , the Adult Beverage Sales Manager for Kroger's Houston Division and an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Mast

Experience All of Chianti

In the March issue of Galveston Monthly , I share some info about wines from the Chianti region recently gleaned from a tasting and seminar hosted by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce in Houston at The Parador in January along with some recommended producers. 

"The Undiscovered Wines of Mexico" - A Wine Dinner at Hugo's

The Third Course Barbacoa paired with the Pazo Luna Syrah and the Las Nubes Red Blend. Houston showed off its multi-faceted shine on Wednesday night at Hugo’s where Beverage Director Sean Beck led guests through a crash course on the wines of Mexico focusing on some of the country’s lesser known regions.These undiscovered wines of Mexico were beautifully paired with the authentic Mexican cuisine for which the restaurant is famous. Guests to this exclusive wine dinner were offered a choice of sangria or a margarita upon arrival and ceviche verde and taquitos de pollo on which to snack. The group was friendly and the majority in attendance were all fans and frequent diners at the H-town Restaurant Group establishments. Most were also frequent attendees of the virtual wine and whiskey dinners and tastings that Backstreet Cafe has hosted throughout the pandemic. H-Town Beverage Director, Sean Beck entertaining the table. Once the group was fully seated, Beck took center stage as he poured

Drink Fantastique this February

As seen in the February issue of Galveston Monthly magazine. In this month's issue we explore good reasons to drink wine in February and offer some suggestions on some wines from France to make the month even more fantastique. 

First Sip: Stella's Wine Bar at The Post Oak

An early arrival on a Tuesday afternoon allowed for a quieter setting to enjoy wine with friends. In the lobby at The Post Oak. Uptown has become even more chic with the opening of Stella’s Wine Bar at the The Post Oak Hotel . This new concept features a highly skilled staff serving up satiating sips in a contemporary setting along with a more rustic covered patio for relaxed imbibing. Upon entering the main entrance of the hotel, turn left and stroll to the end of the hallway in order to pass through the door that leads to this intimate wine lovers world. Inside, there is a bar and a limited number of tables with room for around 30 people. The interior seats bask under the soft glow of the refrigerated display cases flush with wine and charcuterie, the space feels warm and inviting with classic dark wood tables and finishes. Outside, the patio has a casual vibe with a large olive tree poised to grow through the opening in the roof with comfortable seating that encourages lingering.

Tasting with Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars

Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars. Rob and Bonnie Lloyd were in Houston in November to meet with a small group of local wine media to share their story and their Lloyd Cellars wine at Savoir . The Lloyds have family in town and were here for the holidays. Their wines are currently on the shelf at Total Wines. Rob Lloyd immersed himself in wine after graduating from UC-Irvine. He moved to Napa and put his dream in motion by working harvest at Cakebread followed by a job at the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars tasting room. These experiences motivated him to go to UC- Davis to get his Masters in Enology. After graduating, he continued immersing himself in California Chardonnay with positions at La Crema and Rombauer. He would co-found JaM Cellars and be their original winemaker launching the top selling Butter Chardonnay brand. He eventually opened a consulting firm and started his own wine projects with wife, Bonnie. Bonnie Lloyd moved to San Franscico in 1996 to continue her career in

Barbera d'Alba - On the Wine List

Barbera is a favorite varietal for nights that I cook Italian food at home and it has been a favorite wine with pizza this winter. This pairing was most recently enjoyed together at Coppa Osteria in Rice Village. A cold evening drove my husband and I to the inside of Coppa instead of enjoying the evening out on the patio as we typically do. Coppa Osteria is one of my favorite restaurants for pizza and it is also a favorite gathering spot with my extended family. I am all about the traditional Naples-style, Neapolitan, Pizza Napoletana or however you prefer to refer to it and Coppa Osteria does it well. I rank it as one of my top 5 in Houston. We have consumed a variety of Italian wines over the years on our pizza nights there as Coppa Osteria has a well priced book of wines to pair with their cuisine.   Lately, it has been all about Barbera and this Elio Altare Barbera d’Alba 2019 was exactly as it should be, easy to enjoy with notes of black cherry and violet and a fresh, lingering f

Casa da Passarella 2012 Dão Encruzado - On the Wine List

Rosie Cannonball located on Westheimer is a restaurant where you can expect to find some unique wines. A ladies lunch led to the enjoyment of one of my favorite wines from the Dão wine region in Portugal, the Casa da Passarella 2012 Encruzado.  I was in the Dão at Casa da Passarella in late November of 2018 on a cold but beautiful morning and had the opportunity to taste with Paolo Nunez, the winemaker since 2008. Though most people associate the country of Portugal with fortified Port wines and rich reds, I was most excited to visit Dão to taste their white wines and learn about their most elegant of white grapes, Encruzado. The Oxford Companion to Wine describes it as "the jewel in the crown, making age worthy varietal wines that may be crisp and fragrant or more Burgundian if barrel fermentation is employed." Prior to my 2018 trip, I had not been able to successfully locate a bottle in Houston. Now, it is on the wine list at Rosie Cannonball for $75. At almost a decade ol

Benoît Cantin 2017 Irancy - On the Wine List

I went in thinking about onion soup or croque madame but then a table near me received their special of the day and I decided to follow their lead. For Throwback Thursday today, here’s a look at a late lunch at Cafe Rabelais that I enjoyed last month in Rice Village in Houston where this affordable bottle of Bourgogne wine from Irancy was imbibed. A busy day of shopping led to an unusually large lunch. The wine was so enjoyed, that a few more bottles of this charmer were purchased to take home as well.  Café Rabelais has one of the best French wine lists in Houston with excellent choices at every price point and a discount on wines to go. Irancy is a village in the Grand Auxerrois region of Bourgogne in France. It sits on the right bank of the Yonne river, about ten miles south of Auxerre and southwest of Chablis. The region is known for producing a classic, savory style of Pinot Noir that is a perfect accompaniment to a meaty meal like this one.

Tasting Lini 910 Lambrusca Lambrusco with Alicia Lini

Alicia Lini at Coppa Osteria While everyone in the world seems to know about our oppressive hot and humid summers in Houston, Texas, not everyone knows about our beautiful springlike weather that we enjoy throughout the fall and often through much of winter. Alicia Lini was in town in November showcasing the easy pairing nature of her family's Lambrusco wines with a group of local wine and food writers on the patio at Coppa Osteria. The day was sunny and bright with a gentle breeze, making it not only an ideal day to enjoy al fresco dining in Houston but a perfect afternoon for some chilled Lambrusco. If you were a child of the 70s or are a little older, then you grew up with the knowledge gained from a TV commercial that Lambrusco wines are nice. The Lini family does not make that particular brand of the wine but theirs are definitely nice. Founded in 1910 by Oreste Lini, the brandname takes the 910 from that date, the winery is now being run by the fourth generation. The family m

Madame Zero Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Growers Extra Brut - On the Wine List

Sourced from the Premier Cru village of Vertus located in the Champagne region of France, this non-vintage Madame Zero Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Growers cuvée is 100% Chardonnay which has been vinified in an Extra Brut style before being aged for 48 months minimum on the lees to create a beautifully balanced, fresh and elegant sparkling wine. Found on the Deal of the Day Champagne menu at A'Bouzy for $58 a bottle and enjoyed with the Seafood Pot Pie during Sunday Brunch. This recommended bottle of bubbles was a winning wine in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's 2022 Rodeo Uncorked competition.

Find Your Zin on the California Zinfandel Trail

From the January 2022 issue of Galveston Monthly magazine, travel on the California Zinfandel Trail from Paso Robles to Lodi and learn about the Golden State's favorite grape.