Wine

The Queen of Pinot: Long May She Reine

In March, I was lucky enough to snag a last-minute tasting appointment at Merry Edwards Winery, located in the renowned Russian River Valley region of California, about 70 miles north of San Francisco. We were staying in nearby Bodega Bay on a family vacation, and it was an irresistibly short trip from there to get to wine country. I took off on the scenic drive through fat green hills dotted with sheep and dairy cows to the land of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

IMG_4767

Everything I tasted at Merry Edwards that day was exceptional, and I ended up leaving with three 2013 single-vineyard designate Pinots: Olivet Lane, Coopersmith and Georganne. These successfully made the trip home (stuffed into my checked luggage), but we soon exhausted this small supply, so I ordered several bottles of the 2014 Olivet Lane from the winery. (Merry Edwards wines are not widely available through retail. Instead, you will find them on the wine lists of fine restaurants, where they are among the top sellers. The best retail selection I have found in our area is through The Houston Wine Merchant.)

How nice to find these amazing Pinots while on vacation! I thought that was the end of the story. But wait…

IMG_4772

Continue reading

Advertisements

Back Where We Started: Finding Refuge During Wine & Food Week

Recently, we headed back to the place where it all started, way back in June of 2014, when your humble food and wine blogger put pen to paper (so to speak) to share a few thoughts about the The Refuge Bar & Bistro, the popular Waterway Avenue craft cocktail bar in The Woodlands. Local wine expert Denman Moody hosted a vertical tasting of Jordan wines, and it was held on the first night of Wine & Food Week.

IMG_4606

Well, here we are two years later, and Continue reading

Bring Me a Red from Ribera del Duero

IMG_3528

When U.S. wine lovers think of Spain, they immediately think “Rioja.” But there’s a new kid on the block, gaining prominence and shelf space as more people discover its robust yet elegant reds. The accolades for the Ribera del Duero continue to grow, and in 2012 it was named wine region of the year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Officially founded in 1982, the denomination is fairly new, yet wine has been produced there for thousands of years.

Continue reading

Sunday Night at Galatoire’s

IMG_3010

Years ago, on a crowded night in the French Quarter, we had no reservations for dinner and seemingly no prospects of eating anything worthwhile, having been firmly rebuffed by every hostess desk within walking distance of our hotel. All, that is, except for Galatoire’s. With its “no reservations” policy for the downstairs dining room (and that is the place to be), you’ve got an equal opportunity shot of getting into Galatoire’s.

Continue reading

Via Emilia in The Woodlands

Do we throw around an expression like “gracious service” these days? And is there a scarcity of places that provide it? In an age when some of the best upscale dining seems to require the symbols of self-consciously “unselfconscious” informality (sleeve tattoos, chef-owners in ball caps, exposed bricks and beams, communal tables, menus full of undecipherable sharing plates to be eaten in who knows what order), it’s nice to find a place that is going against the grain. Career waiters in ties? A straightforward menu? How daring! And the well-presented dishes taste like recipes from Mama. (Because they are.)

IMG_1189

Continue reading

A Visit to Hahn Winery and Our Pinot Noir Picks from the Santa Lucia Highlands & Beyond

A trip to the Monterey Peninsula would not be complete without an excursion to the nearby wine country of the Santa Lucia Highlands. I had done the research, but it wasn’t until we actually touched down in San Francisco that our group was able to come together and figure out which day was going to work with our schedule. So I was in baggage claim, propping up suitcases and golf clubs and coats and purses with one arm, when I made the call to David at Hahn Winery, hoping he could offer us a full-fledged tour that involved more than just a tasting. David did not disappoint.

IMG_0995

Continue reading

Hello, Gorgeous: California’s Monterey Peninsula is a Head-Turner Without Even Trying

IMG_2251

If Monterey Peninsula were a woman, she’d be the one that all the others envy. The one who doesn’t give much thought to hair or clothes or makeup. For her, it all just comes together effortlessly, a unique kind of beautiful that you can’t get from poring over the fashion boards on Pinterest. Like the Kate Upton character in last year’s female revenge comedy, The Other Woman:

“You smell amazing! What is that?”

(Pause) “I think it’s just sweat.”

That’s Monterey Peninsula. The gorgeous seems to ooze from every rock and tree and wave. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: