Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Official! I'm the Wine Wrangling Woman! #yozostudio

Thank you to Shannon Vindiola for designing and using her letterpress skills to create my beautiful new "business cards". Although I don't have a business, when people ask about my blog, I wanted to show them something they would remember!

I met Shannon at a party last year and had seen her business card and thought it was so cool. I knew if I ever had some created, she would be the one to design and letterpress it! Here's her card! It has lime green on the back!

So a year later, and many wines tasted in that time, along with over a hundred and forty blogs, I decided it was time to decide on a card! I had some ideas, but nothing that would come close to hers. Being the expert she is, so I left it up to her and I have to say, she's awesome! Here's what she designed for me!

First, I got this cool box with a beautiful teal satin ribbon tied around it and a glimpse of what the card looks like.

Then I opened the box to reveal the cutest, thickest, letterpressed cards ever!

They are the BEST! I can't wait to hand one to someone, which will give me the opportunity to tell them where these came from! I am so excited!

I truly believe what she says at the top of the page about "how you say something is just as important as what you say!"

Thank you Shannon!

(And my hubby for getting all this done for me!)

Friday, March 28, 2014

#savordallas #bernarduswinery #GraceFortWorth #KateWeiserChoc

Don and I decided to attend for the first time the 10th anniversary of Savor Dallas this past weekend. I thought for sure he had been to this before since he's from Dallas. But to my surprise, he hadn't and I sure hadn't, so we went! It was held at the Dallas Convention Center and was sponsored mainly by the Dallas Morning News and Kroger. 

Word of advice to you, if you go next year, it is not a dressy occasion. It would describe it as business casual. I wore an ombre lace dress and heels, which killed my feet. Live and learn, but I dressed as the website suggested for dining at a nice restaurant! They must not know where some people eat in this city!

When we arrived, they gave us wrist bands to wear and plastic plates that could hold the wine glass given to us. Pretty handy because it is really hard to eat, drink, take pictures, etc. without something like that.

As we entered the event, we found a small auction of wines, spirits, and other interesting items such as a bike, picnic baskets, college classes for a day, and books. 

Don bid on a few items and we ended up winning a double magnum, 3L of a 2007 Bernardus Marinus, which is a Bordeaux style-red blend wine. We had been to their winery and lodge back in 2010. So we knew this wine would be fantastic. Of course, throughout the night we would return to see if we had been outbid, and sure enough, we had so he upped the bid and finally won.

This is just a small glimpse of the tables set up everywhere with food, wines, spirits, and beer. All of the food was great and the wines were fun to taste. 

We had cheeses from Scardello's!

Tacos from Velvet Taco!

An arepa from Mexican Sugar in Plano!

And the most amazing potato soup from Grace in Fort Worth! Yes, it's in an egg! I was skeptical at first, so I made Don try it first. 

Then I headed for the desserts! I had gorgeous and scrumptious truffles from Kate Weiser Chocolate.

Sacher Torte from La Madeleine.

And since it was so late, we grabbed breakfast from Crossroads Diner on Walnut Hill Lane. You could smell their delicious brioche french toast with fresh whipped cream when you entered the lobby.

There were others foods we tried, but my camera battery died and my phone had 1% battery left on it.

Needless to say, we had a great time at Savor Dallas! Can't wait until next year! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Grand Tasting #AHA_Dallas #Schweiger The 2014 Tete du Cuvee Honoree #NESTDALLAS #OceanPrimeCMR

Last Friday night Don and I attended the Grand Tasting presented by the American Heart Association at the Hilton Anatole. This was the last in a series of events before the Cotes du Coeur 2014 the very next night. Being a tiny part of the volunteering that takes place at AHA, it was quite a learning experience for me this year watching an amazing voluntary health organization gear up for this black-tie fine wine auction and celebrity chef dinner held every March. 

At the Grand Tasting, Schweiger Family Vineyards was celebrated as the Tete du Cuvee, the best of the best! This award is given each year to a winery or individual in the wine industry for outstanding achievements and efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle in compliance with the AMA guidelines. 

Don and I had happened by their vineyards the summer of 2012 and fell in love with their wines. We had a wonderful experience in their tasting room and out on the terrace that overlooks their vineyards and parent's home in the distance. We met Andy last year at the Cotes du Coeur gala and sat by him during the event. Thank you to Scott and Heather Alexander of Nest for that invitation and wonderful night of wine and food we'll never forget!

This night we found the Schweiger Family Vineyards table and visited with Andy and his representatives. I found his mom at another winery table and hugged her. I was so excited to see her again. I know she doesn't know me from Adam, but I knew her! We visited for a moment and then she had to go with the family on stage to be recognized. Read below!

Upon arriving at the ballroom, we were given name tags, booklet of wineries and Reidel wine glasses (to keep). Wow! Where to begin! The ballroom was alive with the various vintners, winery owners and representatives sharing their fabulous wines. We were encouraged to meet and interact with them and learn about the wines they were pouring. There were 31 wineries from all over the world represented at this tasting. To say that I tasted all thirty two would be a lie. And most had more than one kind of wine to taste, be it red or white. We traveled around the room tasting at about 8 tables. I had my trusty camera to help me remember what we had tasted. 

 Food was provided by Ocean Prime and was scrumptious!

Shrimp shooters, pork sliders, cheeses, fruits, crackers, breads, and the desserts were amazing. Of course I took a pic of the chocolate, but I believe there was carrot cake too! Everything was bite size and easy to eat. Also, there were passed hors d'oeuvres such as salmon pate' and deviled eggs! Fantastic job OP!

The wines we tasted will be shared in another blog. I wanted to focus on the event and Schweiger Family Vineyards!

Here's what we tasted from their vineyard!

2011 Schweiger Vineyards Chardonnay ($30) Their description says it is a full bodied wine with true varietal characteristics, hints of pear, kiwi, citrus, white peach, and apricots, and delicate undertones of oak and tropical fruits. It is every bit that and more. Amazing!

2008 Schweiger Dedication ($85) This is red blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc. Andy poured the 2007 Dedication last year for us at the Cotes du Coeur. As I remember the 2007, this 2008 is just as amazing. Velvety, lush, aromas of blackberry, currant, plum with some dark chocolate, truffle oil, oak, coriander, and minerals. Love that the bottle has no label, but is etched in beautiful gold and white lettering!

Congratulations to the Schweigers! You deserve it!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Savor Dallas! This weekend! March 22, 2014 #worldwineevents #dallasarboretum #savordallas

I know it might be last minute, but there's still a chance for those who want to Savor Dallas to buy tickets to the International Grand Tasting this Saturday night. Here are the details!

 I just happened to find out about this event in an email from The Juice for Fort Worth and Dallas! I love that email! Every time it comes in my inbox, I click on it first so I can begin to make plans for upcoming wine events in the area! I highly recommend getting on their email list (if you like wine like me).

Savor Dallas is an event that offers a chance to taste and experience over 400 wines, beer, spirits, food and the arts all in one venue. Dozens of famous chefs from the metroplex with their delectable cuisine come together that night for those that appreciate fine flavors.  

Events before Saturday night are taking place now. The first event was at the Dallas Arboretum, which was a private wine and food tour of Dallas Blooms! That is something to see if you haven't already experienced it!

There's also an Arts District Wine Stroll tonight, but it is sold out! It looks fun though. You can begin wherever you like such as the Nasher Sculpture Center,  the Meyerson Symphony Center, or the Plaza of the Cathedral. You can visit all three for this upscale happy hour, or stay at one place and enjoy the wines!

Savor Dallas also offers other events on Saturday. There's a winemaker tasting panel at Bob's Steak and Chop House/Omni Hotel, but I believe it is sold out.

There is however a Reserve Tasting Saturday night at 5-6:30 in the Ballroom D, third floor of the Kay Bailey Convention Center. You can also purchase a VIP Tasting ticket, which gets you into the Reserve Tasting, and early entry into the International Grand Tasting.

Check out their website now to purchase a ticket for the Saturday night event. It looks to be a fun-filled night of people enjoying food and drink, with art! Can't get much better than that!

I know you're probably wondering where has this girl been! Well, not in Dallas all my life! But I'm here now and want to savor all I can! 

Savor Dallas!

Another Day In Bakersfield-February 2014 #LorenzaRose #SomerstonWineCo

4140 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA

Pic via the internet
So my oldest daughter took me to Imbibe again this past February. We had worked so hard packing up her house in baskets, bins, (no actual packing boxes were to be found) and throwing stuff in the back of her SUV. The nice change of scenery was well anticipated and gave her and I a chance to try some new wines.

Pic via the internet

If you haven't been to a place like this, it's pretty cool. You walk in, tell the staff at the counter how much you want on their special "credit card", then pay and start tasting. The wines are in glass cases. You put your card in the slot at the top of the case, choose the wine you would like to try, push the button above it, then it gives you 1 oz. of that wine. Most are $2.50 and some are $4.50 depending on the type of wine it is. At Imbibe, you can order meat and cheese trays, mixed or separate, and other small entrees such as flatbreads, salads, sandwiches, and more!

So here's what we tried that night. We didn't use all the money on our card and went back another afternoon to finish (after moving day was over!)

Pic via the internet

This is a 2012 Lorenza Rose' from Napa Valley, California- It's a dry, true Rose' from old vines made of 27% Cinsault, 25% Mourvedre, 28% Grenache, and 20% Carignan. Apparently this wine is only served in stylish restaurants in select cities of only nine states. Luckily I was in the right state! CALIFORNIA!!!!
It was amazing. Check out their blog! So cool!
My pic!

This is a great 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($8-10) by Oxford Landing Estates bottles in South Australia. This wine is full of character with an intense tropical fruit punch. Lots of green herbal smells and tastes!

This is a 2012 Theresa ($38) from Denner Vineyards in Paso Robles. I didn't really care for it. Possibly because I don't care for butterscotch and caramel too much! Rarely do I find a wine I wouldn't buy again! I would love to try their Rose' and Viognier sometime when I'm out there again though! 

The next wine was a 2009 Chardonnay Highflyer Sierra Madre Vineyard ($28) from Somerston Wines. White fruits, baked apples, tangerine, stone fruits, and citrus on the palate. This is a very good Chardonnay that I would definitely buy again. The tasting room is located in Yountville, CA or you can visit their estate and winery on Sage Canyon Road in St. Helena, CA.

La Merika
I tasted this 2012 La Merika Pinot Noir from California's Central Coast. Aromas of clove, vanilla, and red berries that are balanced with cherries and jam make it a fine Pinot.

This is a 2011 Big Vine Zinfandel ($20) from the Dry Creek Valley. Big Vine Wines is a Napa-based cooperative. The Dry Creek Valley is their "Zinfandel Central" just outside of Healdsburg. It's a nice Zinfandel.

A 2012 Canyon Road Cabernet Sauvignon is a medium-bodied wine with rich and flavorful hints of raspberry with a velvety finish. Nice!

My last tasting for that day at Imbibe was a 2010 Wes Mar Pinot Noir ($37) from the Russian River Valley. Flavors of black cherries, plums, cola, and black tea-nicely balanced for a good Pinot. 

Enjoy Imbibe when you're in Bakersfield, CA!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Luigi's, Bakersfield's Oldest Continuous Family Operated Business! Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc

Luigi's Restaurant and Delicatessen

I can't leave Bakersfield, CA without mentioning this great restaurant located on 19th Street! It seems this is the place to be on a Saturday night after reading reviews about it, which were quite funny to me. I know this town isn't known for its great restaurants, but geez, there has to be someplace to eat and this is it! My daughter took me here one day for lunch and we thoroughly enjoyed the time together. It was packed and our service was excellent. We ate on the patio out back of the restaurant and one would think they weren't in Bakersfield, but maybe in a quaint Italian village somewhere across the pond. 

Recently, one of my daughter's friends brought us dinner from here and it was outstanding. Lasagna, bread, wine, cookies, etc. in their cute canvas bag!

We had some wonderful wine while we dined there and then went next door to their buy some food and wine for dinner from their market, Lemucchi's Grocery. 

 Pastas prepared and ready to cook!

The deli counter with many gourmet gifts from which to choose.

Fun pottery, candy, oils, and unique gifts!

Many choices of tomato sauces!

Any kinds of dried beans you need!

 And of course, olives of all kinds!

We checked out their wine fridge and found the one we had on the patio and another one to buy also!

This is a Bastianich Adriatico Pinot Grigio. I included a link to the website. No price was given, but I can't believe it was very much. It is a really good Pinot, one I would recommend for Pinot Grigio lovers. Hints of ripe apples and pear in this round and full-bodied wine!

This 2011 Ca'Momi Sauvignon Blanc ($9) is from Napa Valley. It's refreshing with intense aromas of grapefruit, lavender, and peach. It has a tangerine and cantaloupe finish. The watercolor house on the label is really their house (the owners of the winery) in Veneto, Italy.

Well, Bakersfield may not be the shopping mecca of California or a foodie hangout, but it does have part of my heart for many reasons!

Enjoy Luigi's the next time you travel to the Golden State!