Tag Archives: wine

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.

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

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Night and Day in Austin, Texas

We make our way through the picturesque farm and ranch country of central Texas, headed for downtown Austin and then to the north shore of Lake Travis. It’s a spur of the moment road trip. An impulse to get out of town before the summer slips away, do a little wining and dining someplace fresh and different. We’ve come to the right place.

Downtown Austin and its surrounding neighborhoods are bursting with activity everywhere you look, yet somehow the city manages to rebuff the frenzied pace of its Texas siblings, Houston and Dallas. This is a pretty amazing feat considering that within a fairly small perimeter, you will find one of the largest universities in the country, the legislative bustle of the second largest state in the union, shopping that spans from resale to ritzy, historic homes, notable museums, extensive hike and bike trails, water recreation on Lady Bird Lake, a stellar live music scene, abundant nightlife, and, most importantly, scores of creative and fun places to eat. If you pick the right lodging, there’s lots to do, all within a laid back stroll of your hotel.

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Rhone-some Love

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A trip to Lyon meant that I was within striking distance of a Rhone valley wine tour.  What luck!  Southern Rhone wines had become some of our very favorites back at home in Houston, where lately we were discovering the world of Cotes du Rhone, Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape at our neighborhood Spec’s in The Woodlands, which has a very well-rounded selection of French wines.  I emailed Kanpai Wine Tours, a recommended, Lyon-based tour service, headed by Lyon native Olivier Delalande.

“It would be a pleasure for me to give you the tour to the NORTHERN Rhone Valley,” was the email reply from Olivier.

My jam-packed travel itinerary would only allow for a half day of touring, so the southern Rhone was not logistically possible.  Bummer!  I was not very familiar with wines from the northern Rhone.  Ecstatic to be tasting wine anywhere in France, I made the necessary arrangements. Continue reading

Strawberry Fields Forever

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Last month my dad drove in from Louisiana with a special surprise for me–a flat of Louisiana strawberries!  I call them “small batch” strawberries, because they mostly come from family farms that have been growing strawberries for generations. Unlike the jumbo berries you buy in the produce department at H-E-B and Kroger that are super sweet, but somehow flavorless, Louisiana berries are delicately sweet and dewy.  Just as terroir (climate, soil, topography) affects the taste of a wine, the mild fall and winter and the rich organic content of the Tangipahoa and Livingston Parish soil make all the difference to the taste of a strawberry. Continue reading

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