Thursday, June 25, 2015

Avril Taylor Wines

 Every time we try a new wine, I head home for my computer and research the history, the family, the winemaker, and of course the wine we drank. I want to know everything about it so that if asked, I can give some sort of yes I've had it, loved or didn't care for it answer. Well, if you listen to certain radio stations or music you've downloaded in the past 5-10 years, you would hear Avril and Taylor singing (okay, maybe not 10 years-they are quite young)! When I researched pictures of this winery, etc. all that came up was pictures of Avril and Taylor. You wonder if these two bombshells had an influence on the name of the wine or not!

But with further research on Facebook, I found out that a Dallas family owns this winery in Napa. The name of the wine looks to be from one of the relative's last name, Avril and a grandfather's name, Taylor. Oh so sweet! This wine is the family's inaugural vintage, and we are proud to be one of the few that have tasted it. Only 100 cases were bottled, so that probably means about four barrels. The "Clampitt Family Winery" usually bottles two barrels of their vintage every three years by hand, so I know the hard work the Pitzers put into this wine. 

2009 Avril Taylor Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($52) is an "exceptional blend" of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, and % Petit Verdot. When the cork was pulled the nose was very fruity and jammy. Our sommelier at the Dallas Country Club decanted it and the wine opened up beautifully. It was heavenly! The winery even suggests that you do this before drinking as mountain wines tend to have more structure and tannins. 

You can purchase this wine at Ten Times Cellars in Dallas or Fort Worth. It's worth the trip to either location for this wine! Good luck Pitzers and congratulations on your first vintage wine! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

St. Martin's Wine Bistro and Piano Bar

It may not look like much on the outside, but it is said to be the most romantic French restaurant in Dallas. I'm talking about St. Martin's Wine Bistro and Piano Bar located on Greenville Avenue. Don surprised me one evening and said we were going to a place I had never been and probably never heard of and he was right. He, being a native of Dallas, knows where all the old landmark restaurants are located and I think we are slowly rediscovering them together.

St. Martin's offers live piano bar entertainment and complimentary valet parking seven nights a week and a Sunday brunch. They have over two hundred wine labels choose from and a old-fashioned French menu (also in English thank goodness). The service is anything but snooty and the dishes are prepared with care. All of this creates an atmosphere that is unforgettable.

While dining there we ordered the following wine for dinner.

This wine has a brilliant ruby color with purple notes and an aroma of black fruits, cassis and hints of cinnamon and sandalwood. This wine is soft, satisfying, and elegant with a lush berry fruit taste. It is composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Welcome to St. Martin's where they have perfected the art of dining!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Way to Drink Wine? #unionwine #PureWow

I was reading my emails this morning and discovered a PureWow that I was really interested in for the summer! Catchy subtitle-30 Summer Essentials under $30! So I clicked on the link and found several things that I want and one very interesting item I wanted to share with you just in case you don't subscribe to PureWow! 

I was as skeptical as PureWow was too! But I've drank champagne in a can before, so it's not out of the realm for WINE to be in a can, right? Well, Union Wine Company in Oregon has done the unthinkable with their rose', pinot noir and pinot gris wines. They claim the quality of the wine is not compromised by the aluminum in the can because they have taken care of that. The can has a liner inside! Clever! So I say, let's try it soon. 

It retails for $24 for a pack of 4-375mL cans (which adds up to about two glasses of wine in each can). 

Tasting notes from the company are as follows:

Underwood Rose'-strawberry, watermelon, and peach

Underwood Pinot Noir-cherries, raspberries, and chocolate

Underwood Pinot Gris-peach, grapefruit, and pear

Click here to read all the FAQ's about this new way to drink wine!

Pinkies Down!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bistro 31 #Bistro31Dallas

One evening in the winter, Don and I met a business friend of his for dinner at my choice of venue. I chose Bistro 31 simply for the fact that Highland Park Village is so beautiful this time of the year with every tree and building lit with millions and millions of tiny white lights. It's so romantic just to stroll around the village in and out the stores that stay open late for the holiday season. Bistro 31 is a small culinary treasure decorated elegantly in a European style. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and brunch in the springtime.

You can dine inside, or on their covered, enclosed patio if the weather doesn't cooperate. If it is a beautiful day, then please sit outside. It's about the only restaurant left in HPV that you can dine outside, besides Mi Cocina (and that's a whole different menu and scenery).

While we were there we ordered this wonderful, French red wine.

2007 Chateau Vignot Saint-Emilion Grand Cru ($47) is composed of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. With a hint of toast on the nose, the classic aromas of leather , brandy, and cherry are melted with notes of cedar and coconut. The mouthfeel is soft and round with ripe, fine-grained tannins. It expresses elegance with a long finish.

What a beautiful wine! Enjoy!