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Showing posts from 2023

Bellenda Conegliano Valdobbiadene

I recently had a Zoom tasting with Bellenda 1986 owner, Umberto Cosmo. We were tasting some sparkling wines from the premium Prosecco region, Conegliano Valdobbiadene. Conegliano Valdobbiadene is located in a hilly area in northeastern Italy, just 30 miles from Venice and about 60 from the Dolomites. This area has been producing wines from the Glera grape for three centuries, Glera is the most important grape in Prosecco Superiore. The region’s production area includes 15 communes and represents the heart of Prosecco territory. The wines from this region are classified as a Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (D.O.C.G.) which is the highest level of quality for Italian wines. I recently visited the Asolo D.O.C.G. which is the only other region producing this higher level of Prosecco. Most of the Prosecco wines seen in the Houston area seem to be the less stringently regulated D.O.C. classification. You can read more in this blog about Asolo Prosecco here . Conegliano Valdo

Effervescent Elegance

 In the December 2023 issue of Galveston Monthly , I explore the world of classic method sparkling wine. The holiday season is always an excellent time to enjoy some effervescent elegance in your glass!

La Fête du Champagne opens in Houston with a Pierre Paillard Lunch at Navy Blue

A Sparkling Lunch Line-up. La Fête du Champagne made their debut in Houston this past weekend. This multi-day celebration of the premier sparkling wine region of the world will be celebrating 10 years in New York next year. The Houston festivities started with a Pierre Paillard paired lunch at Navy Blue in Rice Village where Quentin Paillard hosted, along with event creator and Champagne expert and author, Peter  Liem. Quentin Paillard talks Champagne with Double Decanted owner, Kelly Prohl. Pierre Paillard is a Pinot Noir dominated brand from a family consisting of 8 generations of growers located in Bouzy in the Champagne region of France. The family have been producing wine for over 200 years.   Quentin and his brother Antoine focus on protecting the soil by using their own organic composts and by treating the vines with biodynamic inspired natural infusions and without the use of chemical herbicides and insecticides. In the cellar, minimal intervention is the program, no chaptali

A Santa Barbara Thanksgiving

In the November issue of Galveston Monthly magazine, I write about the beauty of Santa Barbara, the place, and the beauty of the wines of Santa Barbara, along with their pairing versatility discussing how well they will work with your Thanksgiving dinner and throughout the rest of the year. 

It's Time to Celebrate Texas Wine Month

 October is the best time to celebrate Texas Wine during Texas Wine Month. This year, I featured the wines of C.L. Butaud along with Texas wine harvest updates from industry leaders

Direct from the Rhône Valley

 My wine feature in the September issue of  Galveston Monthly  magazine was inspired by a Rhône Valley masterclass taught by David Keck, Master Sommelier, in Houston this summer. I was delighted to see how much Rhône Valley wine is available on the island when I researching for this article. 

Taste with a Master - Guy Stout, MS

 From the August issue of Galveston Monthly magazine This month I featured Guy Stout, Master Sommelier, and his upcoming class at the Galveston Island Wine and Food Festival. Guy is a fixture on the Houston wine scene and a friend. I tasted with him for many years on Dale Robertson's Houston Chronicle Tasting Panel. His event is sure to sell out quickly so if you are planning to attend on Labor Day weekend, get your tickets now.

Beat the Heat with Chillable Reds

 As seen in the July issue of Galveston Monthly magazine. For the July issue, I wrote about chillable red wines to beat the heat during the hot days of summer and beyond. Try one of these wine recommendations and keep your cool today.

An Immersive Introduction into the World of Asolo Prosecco

Dinner Views at Osteria Alla Baracca. I was very excited to visit the Asolo DOCG Prosecco region at the end of May on a press trip as it is an Italian area that I have not previously traveled through. Asolo is located in the Province of Treviso at the foot of Monte Grappa in the high hills to the west of the Piave River with views of the Dolomites. The grapes are grown in 17 communes surrounding the town of Asolo. The days were very warm while I was there but I needed a sweater or light jacket on most evenings due to the diurnal swing that makes it a great area for grape growing. Wines from the Master Class Tasting. Asolo was elevated to the DOCG level in 2009. The majority of the Prosecco that I have found in Houston is Prosecco DOC which is mostly from very large producers. Asolo was separated from this category and the region was given this higher status because there are terroir elements that make it distinctive in the world of Prosecco. The Sant'Anna Vineyard. Many of the vin

Perfect White Wine Pairings

In the June issue of Galveston Monthly , I share some favorite white wine and food pairings.  

Tasting Collavini

On a recent zoom tasting with Collavini owner, Luigi Collavini, I was able to taste six of the top selling wines from the Eugenio Collavini collection. Collavini winery is located in Corno di Rosazzo in the Collio DOC appellation, this area is a highly regarded part of Friuli. The winery is near the border with Slovenia is the area where the hillside slopes become steeper and the cooling Bora wind helps maintain the grapes natural acidity.  Luigi Collavini shared that the mountains were still white with snow and the shimmering sea could be seen below the flatlands. The winery is located 50 kilometers from the mountains and 30 kilometers from the sea so both influence the winery’s terroir. He stated that the cold north winds give the wines freshness and accent the minerality while the warm winds from the south increase the size of the grapes and the volume of wine produced as well as the grapes’ sugar level and, therefore, alcohol content.  The history of the land begins millions of yea

Wines from Paso Robles to Try Now

  In this month's issue of Galveston Monthly magazine,  I write about Paso Robles. As I wrote about earlier in this blog, I visited Paso Robles for the third time this past March and I still have many more things to say about that visit. Unfortunately, I haven't had too much time to write but I hope to get more of those stories in here soon. In the meantime, read about some of the Wines from Paso Robles that you have to try now.

Sure to Please - Italian Pinot Grigio

Easy to Please Italian Pinot Grigio is the subject of this month's Galveston Monthly magazine which is on the stands now. Learn where the grape originated, where it went, and what its doing now along with some Pinot Grigio recommendations that will keep you refreshed now and throughout the Texas summer. As seen in the April 2023 issue of Galveston Monthly.