Thursday, March 26, 2015


One evening in January we invited a couple to dinner that we rarely see (he works for Don, so Don sees him daily-the wife works also and they live 45 minutes out of Dallas). Needless to say, we have a lot to catch up on when we get together. After stopping by an artist studio and viewing the latest prints and the Texas A&M Commerce Art School, we headed to Perry's Steakhouse and Grille on McKinney!

We were seated right next to the wine cellar, which delighted me greatly. I begin taking pictures with my phone. Here's what the cellar looks like.

 That's just part of it and you can see we sat in a fascinating location if you love wine as much as the four of us do.

The wine Don chose was a 2010 Napa Valley Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon ($50 on the winery website) bottled in St. Helena, California. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with a generous burst of blackberry flavors softly framed with notes of fresh currants. Silky tannins with plenty of delicious fruit for those who want to drink it now, and for those who want to cellar it, it is well-built for cellaring.

I love Perry's dark cobalt blue water glasses and their food is phenomenal!

 Love this wine!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Golden Birthday for Rayleigh! Seven on Seventh!

My cute granddaughter just had her golden birthday! She turned 7 years old on February 7, which is a golden birthday! When you turn the age of the date of your birthday, whatever that may be, it's your golden birthday. I missed mine 59 years ago. So there's no hope for me to have a golden birthday unless I live to be 103. My mom is 96 and my aunt is 100, so maybe there's hope for me!

After all the festivities of the birthday party with Elsa from the movie Frozen showing up at the door, to opening a ton of gifts, serving cake and cupcakes, pineapple punch and of course, Chick Fil A, we were exhausted. The little girls went to bed and we opened up the bottles! Not all in one night! Please!

2010 Arrowood Chardonnay ($20) from Sonoma, California. This wine 
is a bright gold with scents of tangerine, peach, ginger, and floral honey. Balanced by orange zest, citrus blossoms, and a hint of apricot jam, it reminds me of an orange creamsicle. I've visited this winery with my oldest daughter and husband after a Clampitt wine bottling in 2012. It's a beautiful old home on a hill looking out to the vineyard.

2012 Amizetta Sauvignon Blanc ($20) Upon opening of bottle of this wine you notice aromas of pineapple and pear. The body begins with citrus and then tasting the aromas. The finish has a slight acidity with your taste buds drowning in creamy vanilla tannins. 
Interestingly enough, one of the proprietors was born a Mcfaddin in Beaumont, Texas. Mcfaddin is a well-known name in that area as being one of the earliest Texas ranching families. Beaumont is twenty minutes away from my birthplace, so I know it well!

2012 Domaines Ott Cotes de Provence Les Domaniers Rose Ott Selection ($23). Obviously a French rose', this wine is a great value and a worthy toast to Spring and Summer. A fresh and balanced rose' that captures the essence of the Cote d'Azur with its exotic fruit and white peach flavors. This rose' is a salmon pink color with a citrusy nose and a dominant  aroma of strawberries. 

Enjoy this three value wines soon!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tate Wines at DCC for St. Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a beautiful day for lovers, but sometimes a struggle to get into the restaurants you really desire for that special evening. Poor hubby tried so hard to get us into several restaurants with no luck for a desirable place. I decided to call the club for reservations and with a few days of waiting, we finally got the call that we had a table for two! 

Don is such a sweet man and has spoiled me to no end taking me to gorgeous resorts, the finest restaurants, and introducing me to amazing wines! He knows I love surprises, so for this weekend he made hotel reservations at the Melrose Hotel, Dallas. It's a special place for him because his mother used to live there as a young adult (before it was a hotel). The church across the street holds special memories for him. His grandfather started the church and his mother's funeral was held there many years ago.

After checking into the hotel, taking a nap, and getting ready for dinner, we called an Uber to pick us up. We arrived at the club and sat down for dinner. Aaron, the sommelier, surprised us with a great wine for the evening meal.

2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon ($75) by David Tate Wines. I met David at the club last spring at his private wine tasting. All of his wines are fabulous. The grapes for this particular Cabernet  Sauvignon were grown on the rugged mountain terrain of the Mt. Vedder appellation where a handful of small scattered vineyards that produce the lowest yields in Napa Valley are located. The single vineyard used for this Tate wine is at 1400' and was once an ancient seabed. Here the grapes mature slowly producing dynamic flavors and deeper tannins. This is a boutique wine bottled in St. Helena, California.

My last surprise was a stuffed puppy singing Sugar Pie Honey Bunch by the Four Tops and a dozen red roses from Dr. Delphinium. Check out Tate Wines and order some for yourself! You won't be disappointed!

Thank you honey! I love you! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015


While we were in Naples, Florida at Don's paper meetings, we were served Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Fallbrook Winery located on the northern 33rd parallel of California. This winery rests between the Pacific Coast and the Pala Mesa Mountains. It is one of California's leading South Coast wine regions. With warm days and cool night, they produce the highest quality white and red varietals.

When we are a meetings like this, the wines served are chosen by the hotels hosting the events. As a result, we had never heard of Fallbrook Wines but were pleasantly surprised by the hotel's choice.

2013 Fallbrook Winery Chardonnay Reserve ($14)-This is a wonderful blend of rich fruit and oak flavors reminiscent in style to a White Burgundy. It was blended with an unoaked wine to give it a full-bodied, fruit forward Chardonnay with a crisp finish.

2013 Fallbrook Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($16)-This wine has a deep garnet color with a blend of cassis, oak, and blackberry fruit flavors. After fermentation, it was aged in small French oak barrels giving it soft tannins and the balance of a classic Bordeaux wine.

From the pictures I've seen on the website, it looks like a great place to visit. I read several reviews of their wine and winery and all were great. Seems like a place we need to visit soon!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Vigilance Winery and Vineyards-#ShannonRidge

Vigilance-alert, watchful, keenly aware, careful and observant! As I learned more about the wine we drank one evening, I became keenly aware of the fact that the owners are very protecting of the land they farm. 

I carefully watched the video of the Dogs of Shannon Ridge and how they guard over the flock of sheep and vineyards keeping them safe from harm. This is the first time I have run across growers using sheep to run through the vineyards up and down each row cleaning, making protein and compost at the same time. It's the ultimate sustainable system.

2013 Vigilance Chardonnay ($25) grown in Red Hills, Lake County, California.  The fact sheet says that 70% of the fruit for this wine was fermented to create a creamy richness. A portion of the grapes were put through malolactic fermentation to add buttery layers and complexity to this wine. It has a golden straw color with aromas of green apple and refreshing tropical flavors. 

This is a very nice Chardonnnay at a reasonable price point. I loved it with a Harvest Chopped Salad with grilled salmon added. I'm sure this wine can be found locally at most of the grocers and large wine retailers. Look for it-it's worth your time and efforts!