Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chateau Pibran Pauillac Bordeaux Wine-Another Great Wine! @MercatBistro

It was my turn to choose where we ate this past weekend. I had been wanting to try this little contemporary French bistro in Uptown Dallas minutes from the apartment. I called Open Table and made a reservation the day before for a romantic corner at 7:30pm.
We arrived in the much needed shower of rain, parked and ran in under the umbrellas the valet had given us. As we entered, I knew right away we were going to love this place. The maitre' d greeted us and gave us a choice of three different places to sit. We both chose the same one. I told Don the maitre'd sure looked familiar, so I asked him where he worked before Mercat Bistro. He said he knew us from the Dallas Country Club. Such a sweet guy! 

This is the view from where we were seated at the back by a garden wall of beautiful green English ivy. We ordered fried marcona almonds and marinated olives along with a bottle of French Bordeaux as appetizers.

2010 Chateau Pibran ($41) from the Pauillac region, possibly the most famous of all the Bordeaux wine producing appellations.

As it began to open up, we fell in love with it. Crimson in color, tightly wound at first, but opens up to a very elegant wine with white pepper, spices, red and dark fruit with sweet tannins. A big dry, but lovely! Pair that with an awesome warm goat cheese and arugula salad,

Cote de Boeuf for two,

and last, but not least, dessert!

Tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and portiferoles! So with that we ordered two glasses of another Bordeaux (house wine) that was just as magnificent as the other.

2009 Chateau Lestage-Chevillon ($18) 

Everything on the web is in French, so not much I can tell you about this wine except it was an excellent Bordeaux. 

Check out this French bistro when you're in Uptown, or go there on purpose! You will not be disappointed with either breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gemma Restaurant Dallas @Gemmarestaurant

As I said in the last blog, Don and I love to find new places to dine and he found a GEM for us a couple of weeks ago. Right down the sidewalk from Veritas Wine Room is this California-inspired restaurant named Gemma (Casey, you should go there!) It has only been open for about nine months now and I am glad Don found it. We sat outside, yes in September, and it was wonderful. This is a very busy, but small place with about sixty-five tables inside and approximately twenty-five more outside. 

I read a review of Gemma recently in D Magazine. I agree with everything they said, except one thing. The only dish I have ordered (since it was our first time) at Gemma was the Ricotta Cavatelli with Texas Wild Boar and it was delicious. Don ordered the Brandt Prime Flat Iron Steak and it was so tender and delicious with the french fries and chimichurri. We were both pleasantly pleased with the food, the service, and the wine.

Oh, yes, the wine! Their wine list doesn't leave off anything. So much to choose from. Don chose a 2012 Unity Cabernet Sauvignon ($42) from Fisher Vineyards that was perfect for the night. We've met Cameron Fisher at the DCC a year or so ago for a wine dinner featuring their wines.

This fine wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 2% Petite Verdot. "Jammy, sweet red currant, black cherry and peppery flavors in a juicy balanced package with soft tannins on the finish." These five grapes are definitely in unity!

Enjoy Gemma soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Veritas Wine Room @veritasdallas

Last week Don and I visited this cool wine bar for the first time! We love to visit new places to drink and dine, so this was another first. Although we didn't eat there, we did have a glass of wine, of course! Their wine list is amazing with wines from California, France, Italy, South America, Africa, and New Zealand. 

Don chose a 2011 Sivas-Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon ($18) from Sonoma, California. "This wine is bold, showcasing aromas of blackberry cobbler, mission fig, sorghum molasses and a touch of cigar box. It unfolds with ripe flavors of blackberry, black plum and black cherry coupled with cocoa and dirty cedar notes. Ripe, velvety tannins are smooth across the mid-palate leading to a pleasant, lingering finish." We both enjoyed it.

I chose a 2009 Domain Des Baumard Saviennieres ($25) Chenin Blanc from France. Saviennieres is a tiny region located on the norther banks of the Loire River and the entire appellation is planted entirely to Chenin Blanc. This wine is bone-dry, which is one reason I chose it. It has just the right amount of richness with a touch of vanilla and it sees no oak.

pic via the internet
We will definitely drop by this wine room much more now! It's very approachable, comfortable, with a friendly staff!

Enjoy Veritas Wine Room!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sharing Chardonnays!

I know it's still very hot outside in Dallas and other areas of Texas and the South. With that, it's still time to enjoy white wines of your choice. Unquestionably the most popular white grape variety is the Chardonnay grape.  This is in part due to its unfussy temperament and versatility for making wine. It is the variety behind classic white Burgundy and one of the three varieties used to make Champagne. Wines from this grape are dry, and light to medium and full bodied, depending on how they are made. It's easy to cultivate, disease-resistant and grows very well in most conditions. Chardonnay responds very well to being aged in oak. This gives the wine a depth of flavor not achieved by other processes.

I'll share three Chardonnays each week that we've tasted. 

The last time Don and I dined at R & D Kitchen he ordered a Chardonnay (that's unusual for him since Cab's are his favorite!) Here's what he had!
2012 Y3 Chardonnay ($21) from Jax Vineyards in Calistoga, CA. Napa Valley Chardonnays are known to be over-styled with butter and oak. But according to the winemakers at Jax Vineyards, an outstanding Chardonnay owes it's success to outstanding fruit, not a heavy style. This wine is outstanding!

2009 Hunting Hill Chardonnay ($50) by Kumeu River Wines in New Zealand. We had this fabulous wine at Shinsei on Inwood. It has a lovely fruit purity, beautifully fragrant with its lemon/lime blossom characters. Very nice with sushi!

Last is a 2010 DuMol Chardonnay ($55) from the Russian River Valley in Orinda, CA. We had this lovely wine at the DCC. The sommelier loves us because he knows we will try something new instead of asking for the same wine. This wine has nothing less than 91 points from any wine advocate. It is amazing! 

Enjoy these wines soon!