Journey to Restart American Heritage Grapes

          The idea started with what appeared to be a simple mission – introducing native grapes back to North American wine. But what happens when no one knows the varietals, the story and the grapes that were once grown here, but forgotten over time? Not the French American hybrids that are […]

Special Wines of All Kinds Part Two

        As promised, I’m continuing to work through some of the higher-end, interesting, or special occasion samples that I’ve had the opportunity to taste. Today it’s a concentration of sample wines from California.   Sparkling         2019 Sonoma Cutrer Grand Brut Rosé – This blend of 70 percent Pinot […]

Are California Pinot Noirs Built for Aging?

Are Pinot Noirs Ageable?

    The topic intrigued me – are California Pinot Noirs built for aging? We all know that Burgundy wines grown with Pinot Noir grapes have the climate, terroir, barrel, and bottle age to last for more than two decades. Typically, California and Oregon Pinot Noirs are released after an average of two years of […]

Lebanon United and Ready to Take the Stage

      A country the size of the State of Connecticut is ready to shine a spotlight on why its wines are ready for the world stage. Lebanon is a complex place with a history of war and natural disasters.  Yet it has an ideal climate and location as well as a 7,000-year history […]

Wines of All Kinds to Decorate Your Occasions

          Time to catch up on a shipment of special occasion samples. I chose the list featured here because they were worthy of a celebration, or they were wines I’d serve to the special people in my life. By design, I chose a balance of differently priced wines so more people […]

Story of Reinvention with Riboli Family Wines

Story of Reinvention with Riboli Family Wines

        Riboli Family Wines is a story of reinvention. I could tell the story of when the patriarch of a family of Italian immigrants came to California in 1910, or when it reinvented itself to offer communion wine during Prohibition just two years later, or the story of a son who went […]

Deciphering Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Deciphering Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

      I was recently invited to the “Simply Italian Great Wines Americas Tour 2023” in Dallas where I got to dive into the wines of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with a great master class led by Dr. Jeremy Parzen of DoBianchi. Montepulciano is a type of grape that grows in East-Central Italy and is located on […]

A Traveler’s View of Valle de Guadalupe

      Press trips are amazing opportunities to plunge into a region, meet winemakers, and have someone curate the region’s most interesting wines. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed almost every press trip I’ve taken. But when you are planning a trip with some favorite girlfriends whom you haven’t caught up with since 2019, rest and relaxation […]

A Story of Balance at Kelly Fleming Wines

      Kelly Fleming, the owner of Kelly Fleming Wines, has always impressed me with her focus, her wine, her determination, and her story.   Back in 2019, I had the chance to meet Kelly and tell her story. The story of a woman who first visited Napa to build a getaway home with […]

A Few Favorite Sample Wines of Texas

        Currently, the Texas wine industry has 500 wineries, 340 growers and 5,140 acres devoted to grape-growing. Texas is ranked fifth in the U.S. for wine production (behind California, Washington, New York and Oregon) — and adds $13.1 billion to Texas’ economy that generates close to $20.35 billion in total economic activity […]

Wet January as a Resolution

Wet January as a Resolution

      The entire saga began because several good friends, whom we had not seen for months, canceled our January catch-up dates attributing “Dry January” as the reason. After a significant number of friends announced their commitment to this endeavor, my husband jokingly announced he was going to dedicate the next 31 days to […]

Discovering “Undiscovered” Wines of Uruguay

      Uncovering the wines of off the beaten path regions is one of the joys of wine. The thrill of trying a new varietal or the magic of what a region and terroir can do for a grape is why I find the journey enthralling. Recently I had the chance to try wines […]

Celebrating Cabernet Franc

    I’m not a traditional follower of all the wine days, but there is something about Cabernet Franc Day on December 4 that is special. Perhaps it is because it is a grape that is misunderstood and often overlooked, yet a vital part of so many great wines.   Or perhaps it is because […]

It Definitely Looks Like A Different Christmas

      Christmas has always been a special time in our household. From the time that I grew up, I have memories of my parents and time-honored traditions that made the holiday special. In time, I got married, had a wonderful daughter and we started making memories for our family.         […]

Chimney Rock’s Winemaker Presents History in a Glass

      It’s always fun to meet a winemaker who has insight into the soul of her vineyard and AVA, knowing every vine, the soil and realizing that ultimately every year will be different. That knowledge comes with many years of farming the same land with the same team and taking each vintage with […]

Lombardi Wines Continues a Family’s Legacy

    Tony Lombardi can be described in one word – humble. He’s a brilliant storyteller especially when he’s talking about the wineries he represents for his marketing consulting company or the charity his family founded to support college athlete mental health in honor of his nephew and godson. But if you have the chance, […]

The Diversity of Campania and Feudi di San Gregorio

The Diversity of Campania and Feudi di San Gregorio

        As one of Italy’s oldest winemaking regions, Campania has a storied reputation for its modern take on a centuries-old tradition of passion and dedication. The region boasts a cool Mediterranean climate with extreme coastal, as well as high elevation mountain terroirs. In Irpinia, you find more whites with the changing landscape […]

Alma de Cattleya, Sonoma Soul and Spirit

    You could call Bibiana Gonzalez Rave (pictured above with her husband Jeff Pisoni) a soulful winemaker. So much that the the name of her winery, Alma de Cattleya, combines “Alma” the Spanish word for soul” and “Cattleya” the Spanish word for orchid (the national flower of Colombia).  It’s her way of paying homage […]

Italy With Only One Agenda

      Every time I’ve been to Italy I’ve come with an agenda. What to tour, where to eat, what wineries to visit, what to see, where to stay. In the past, I’ve been focused on seeing the country, the wine, the food, and the Italian experience. This weekend I arrived in Italy with […]

Anise Wine Program Takes Flight

Anise Wine Program Takes Flight

    Even though I’ve been now to several of its restaurants, it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around what the Village has become. I still remember it as an expansive place with affordable housing for young people. Today it’s an oasis of 500 separate buildings that include restaurants, coffee shops, a high-end grocery, […]

The Jordan Winery Halloween Experience

    For many years, my holiday of choice was New Year’s Eve. It was the art of getting dressed up, having great food and champagne, going to a special place (we had a particular destination where we knew most of the staff, and things were top notch) and getting out on the dance floor […]

It’s Merlot Month and It’s a Grape Worth Celebrating

It’s Merlot Month and It’s a Grape Worth Celebrating

    There is a reason why merlot is one of the most popular red wine varietals in the world. It’s also one of the most maligned. Stop me if you’ve heard this, but there’s a certain movie from 2004 that cost farmers around 400 million dollars as consumers turned their backs on the varietal.  […]

A Perspective, Not A Review – Let Wine Stay Pure

        American oak is used for aging spirits of all kinds and is known for its sweetness of vanilla and toffee, while it is also porous enough to allow for sufficient levels of oxidation. There is also the practical issue of supply: American oak barrels tend to be more abundant than most […]

Bonterra Believes Regenerative Farming is a Responsibility

      It all started for the Fetzer family after tasting produce from the gardens of a biodynamic farmer. Because the produce was astoundingly better, the family decided if they mirrored flavors in the garden to the vineyard – reflecting soil health and diversity in planting – their organic grapes would do the same. […]

Finding a Balance with Quivira Wines

    One of the key benefits of writing about wine is discovering family wineries that you wouldn’t find on your own. I was sent sample bottles from Quivira Vineyards, and I happily discovered a family of great wines – all under $30 – that delivered great quality for the price.         […]

The Art of Building a Wine List

How to Build a Wine List

      For the past few months, I’ve been invited to go behind the scenes to be part of the team that builds the wine list for Dea, the new Italian restaurant opening near Inwood Village from industry mavens Tracy Moore Rathbun and Lynae Fearing.         Dea, the literal translation of […]

The Evolution of Prosecco in America

      It seems that overnight Prosecco has become a sensation in America. No longer relegated to what you mix in your mimosa, these wines have evolved from an obscure grocery shelf to one you seek out at the wine store.   There’s a reason – we now have much more accessibility to the […]

A Tale of Two Regions

A Tale of Two Regions

      Recently I undertook a fascinating exercise in tasting wines from different regions in Chile. We explored both Maipo and Colchagua, two regions identified with some of Chile’s best Cabernets that are stylistically different.       A History of Chilean Wine Wine history dates to the days of the Spanish Conquistadors in […]

I’m OK, really!?

I'm Ok, Really!?

    It wasn’t originally my plan to post again so soon about putting my daughter on a plane to Italy last past weekend. But I heard from so many of you incredible people, I wanted to let you know that I’m ok, really!?   No really. I admit I flew directly from New York […]

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Leaving on a Jet Plane

    This week my family’s life is about to change. For 17 years, we’ve been a family of three, “Team Ofenloch,” as I often reference. This weekend, my child gets on plane to Italy and she’s not back on US soil until the end of May….2023!           Today I relish […]

Today It’s Rosé

Today It's Rosé

    As Dallas finally broke it’s 47 days of over 100 temperatures (which sadly is not a record), it’s so easy to reach for a glass of rosé. It’s a wine that I personally had to learn to love as the ones I tried earlier on brought me back to eating too many watermelon […]

A Dictator’s Wine Since 1995

        Flipping through the headlines yesterday, one stopped me in my tracks, “Hitler Themed Wine for Sale in Supermarkets Sparks Outrage“.         I just couldn’t process it. This is Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany’s Nazi Party, probably one of the most powerful dictators of the 20th century. The […]

The Relaunch of Dallas Wine Chick

The Relaunch of Dallas Wine Chick

      Today I relaunched the new version of the Dallas Wine Chick blog. This one was a labor of love, going back twelve years and realizing how far I’ve come from my baby blogging days.  And with my own baby, now seventeen, who was five at the time.   The blog started because […]

The Start of Cellar Roulette

        When you write about wine, you often fall into the habit of opening review wines instead of the wines you collect. This year, when I was due to renew my CellarTracker membership, I realized more than half of my cellared wines had “Ready to Drink” tags. It was time to start […]

The Art of Hospitality in Paso Robles

          My first trip to Paso Robles was in 2016 on a press tour and I remember it was one of regional discovery. We visited some great wineries and winemakers, we had some unique experiences and we really got a glimpse into the diversity of the region.   I wrote about […]

Chefs for Farmers, A Connection to Community

Chefs for Farmers, A Connection to Community

        The beginning of Chefs for Farmers, Dallas’ top culinary festival, started with one mission – to connect the best chefs and farmers in Texas.         Sounds simple. But if you think about how things were ten years ago – it was complicated to connect chefs and farmers. There […]

The Continued Saga of Dallas Wine Chick on Instagram

The Continued Saga of Instagram

      It pains me to spend another moment of time on the story of my hack on Instagram. But I’ve heard from so many of you that I knew it was time for another update.   Long story short – on April 7th, I was hacked.  My efforts of working with horrible people […]

Mela Breaks Barriers in Wine

Mela Breaks Barriers in Wine

          The story of Mela is a non-traditional one of breaking barriers. Let’s start with the story of the owners – four black women with a passion for wine who had to learn the business from the ground up, build credibility and launch a brand.   Mela was founded by Ryann Casey, […]

Paso Robles – Diversity, Development and Destination

        It’s been six years since I’ve had the opportunity to visit Paso Robles, a large, diverse appellation located within San Luis Obispo County in California. Back then it had a Wild West feel to it as the region was diverse and rapidly developing with the special things that would differentiate it […]

Family is Purpose of Puppione Family Wines

Family is Purpose of Puppione Family Wines

            The most important driver of Puppione Family Wines may surprise you. It’s about Chris Puppione’s dream of becoming a dad and having a family. The story is about honoring and connecting family and creating family traditions.   Chris joked to me that it took him a long time to […]

A Return to International Travel

          Two years ago, we had a family trip to Italy that was shut down by the pandemic. If you’ve followed along during the last few years, you’ll remember our family was pretty locked down when it came to following the rules. It was the right decision for us and I’m […]

Discovering Carus Vini

          I just had a chance to visit, Carus Vini, a relatively new winery (in the world of Italian wineries) located in San Casciano Val di Pesa, in Tuscany. I sat down with Pamela Bernini, the head of sales, to talk about the journey of Guido Carissimo. He’s the founder who […]

LXV Winery is an Experience for the 65 Senses

LMX is an Experience for the 65 Senses

        The phrase ‘variety is the spice of life’ was first seen in 1785, in William Cowper’s poem The Task.  “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor”, he said. Neeta Mittal, co-owner of LXV Winery, not only believes that should be the case with wines, but […]

Bisol: A 500 Year Passion for Prosecco

          Back in 1542, the Bisol family started cultivating grapes in the Valdobbiadene area of Italy. During 500 years of winemaking the family has been on a mission to make prosecco better by organically farming, marking the wines from top designates, bringing in technology updates for the vineyards and winery and […]

51 Years of Perspective from a Napa Pioneer

          Fifty-one years ago, Stu Smith made the decision to purchase 200 forested acres on the top of Spring Mountain. The decision to buy what became Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery was based on what Stu knew and proved to be true — grapes grow well on mountains in hillside vineyards and […]

Next Chapter in the Freemark Abbey Story

          Since 1886, Freemark Abbey Winery has been one of trailblazers in Napa Valley with a history of “firsts” –  one of California’s first female vintners, the first tasting room, and the only California producer selected to enter a red and a white wine into the 1976 Judgment of Paris. Winemaker […]

A Story About the Five Aspirations at Clif Family Wines

          Every decision at Clif Family Winery must answer a question of betterment of planet, people, and the community. Whether it’s a big decision, something smaller, or anything that impacts the 45 people that work for the winery, there are five aspirations that guide the company.           […]

The Story of Cristom Vineyards is One of Connection

          Since its inception, the story of Cristom Vineyards has been about connecting family, farming and winemaking. Paul Gerrie, the co-founder, had a history of working with geologists in oil and gas in Pittsburg. Understanding geology and transitioning to understanding soils wasn’t a huge leap.         I had […]

A Big Phish That Got Away

A Big Phish That Got Away

      Update: currently my account has been rendered inactive by Instagram and I’m trying to get access again.   But unlike the story of “the big phish who got away,” I was hooked hook, line, and sinker. It all started early about a week ago. I had just finished my workout but the […]

Back in the Saddle Again

          It’s been over two and a half years and I’m finally back in the saddle again.  Next week I’m going to not one, but two conferences — the Wine Writer’s Education Tour (WWET) and Hospice du Rhône’s flagship event in Paso Robles, California.         And I couldn’t […]

Lodi’s Oldest Operating Winery Continues to Pioneer

Lodi's First Winery Continues To Pioneer

          The story of Oak Ridge Winery is one of pioneers. Not only because it is the oldest operating winery in Lodi, California, or because it’s five generations strong in farming and winemaking, but it’s run by a mostly female team.   The Story Begins   In 1906, Angelo Maggio arrived […]

A Question About the Ageability of Texas Wine?

Do Texas Wines Age?

            A few months ago, I was asked the question if Texas wine was appropriate for aging. I didn’t have the answer outright. While I currently have several older Texas wines in my collection, I do not have them in a vertical format.         Thanks to the […]

Tips on Bringing Wine to Mexico

        Mexico is a destination where our family goes to unwind. Over the years (16 to be exact), we have traveled to the Four Seasons Punta Mita Residence Club. It all started at a time when I was on the corporate side and needed to take travel insurance on every vacation because I […]

Looking Back on International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

        Earlier this week, we celebrated International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. I thought it would great to look back through some of the stories that I’ve told over the last two years about the leading ladies of wine who are making […]

Open That Bottle Night — About Passion and Purpose

Open That Bottle Night -- About People and Purpose

      A few weeks ago, I posted about how unnecessary wine designation days (National Drink Wine Day as an example) are in the world of wine and how we’ve become overloaded. A meaningful day is Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) because it has purpose — taking a special bottle and creating memories. Created in […]

A Life Changing Wine Stained Moment

A Life Changing Wine Stained Moment

        Let’s face it – there are a lot of wine writers, and I’m sure most of us would all aspire to own our own vineyard someday. For me, the steps that would require just don’t fit in my current world.  But there are others who madly pursue their dream. Donna and […]

Celebrating Each Day Keeps the Insanity in Play

          Has the celebrate every day thing just become too much? February 18 – today – is apparently national drink wine day and global drink wine day. In my world, that designation is not needed. I mean I’ve talked about drinking wine since 2000, but I certainly don’t need a designated […]

A Paradise Lost and Found Story

Paradise Found and Lost

        It was a tale of travel hell.  Just imagine your list of what could possibly go wrong on any given trip, and you’d probably spin the details of our very travel woe driven tale. It all began with a snow storm scheduled to hit Dallas the night prior to our trip. […]

Birthday Wishes to the Man Who Set the Standard

Birthday Wishes

    This past weekend we celebrated the man who set the bar high for what it means to be a good father, a good husband and a good person – my father’s 80’s birthday. If you know Chuck Bianco, you find him to be a smart, witty, funny, kind person who is always interested […]

A Resolution of Wet January

      It all happened two Decembers ago. After the first year of the pandemic, people decided there was going to be a personal change in the new year.  For some, that change meant adopting what has become known as “Dry January,” an abstention of all things alcoholic for 31 days.  After a significant […]

More Sample Highlights: Making Progress

          Do you guys hear the sound of progress?  It’s me having published three samples columns since the holidays and I’m happy that I’m really making some progress of tasting these wines and am still able to tell some great stories along the way.  Today we talk about more samples that […]

Diving into the Livermore Valley AVA

          This week, I had the chance to dive into the Livermore Valley AVA, one of the first US appellations and one of California’s oldest wine producing regions.   This historic AVA is also part of the Central Coast AVA and the San Francisco Bay AVA and is located about 30 […]

Six Years of Transformation at Troon Vineyards

          Close to six years ago, I wrote about Craig Camp, a well-known visionary, wine professional and my friend, who left a high profile position at a Napa boutique vineyard. Craig told me he was ready to feel the energy and intensity of the wine industry that he felt when he first […]

Drink the Good Stuff in 2022

Drink the Good Stuff in 2022

        In 2022, I enter my twelfth year of blogging and post for the 659th time.  Today we ponder yet another year of uncertainties.  I remember sitting in a neighbor’s lawn drinking wine with our outdoor chairs, sanitary wipes, and social distancing in March of 2020 where we all tried to gauge […]

Let’s Take Champagne Off Its Leash

          The answer to my “what wine would you drink as your last wine” or “what it your favorite wine” question is champagne.  It’s not just a special occasion wine and should be enjoyed often. When Christopher S. Ruhland the author of  a new book, Press for Champagne: A Guide to Enjoying […]

Tackling Samples – The March Continues


          The march on tackling samples continues and today I’m focused on wines that stood out from the pack.  Some of these are Tuesday night pizza wines, some weekend sipping wines, and some are special occasion.  Here are my notables:   Sparkling/Champagne           Domaine Bousquet   NV […]

Digging into 2021 Samples

2021 Samples

        This year I’ve gotten to dive deep with so many winemakers – mostly virtually – and taste some amazing wines. I knew that I was behind the curve on samples, but I didn’t realize how far behind the curve.   I had gotten so behind that I started to just tell […]

An Enchanting Holiday State of Mind

          I admit it. I’m a Christmas person. Not quite as much as my father who believes we should have Christmas lists submitted by the end of October, but nonetheless there is something about a place bringing together all the lights, music, and enchantment of the holidays that puts me in […]

Pausing for A New Holiday Normality

        The holidays are often expected to be joyful. After the death of loved ones, you find yourself trying to find normality and joy when you are missing people that were once in the center of family celebrations.   This Thanksgiving has been a journey of finding a new center with the […]

Dashe(ing) into National Zinfandel Day

        A monkey and a fish grace the logo of Dashe Cellars and it is a wine that my husband and I have enjoyed for years. While the logo has evolved, the sentiment remains. It’s a story of adventure, romance and wine illustrating “two creatures going on a journey” – a story […]

Weaving the Fabric of Texas Wines

                Back in the early 90’s, I did PR for a restaurant group. One of our ideas was to do a customer bus tour of Texas wineries. The general manager planned all the logistics and I showed up to help keep things on track. The bus got lost, […]

Wedding Oak: Serious Wine with a Small Town Feel

          It seems you blink your eye and suddenly the landscape changes from Halloween to Christmas in the world of retail. But in the world of wine, there’s a whole Thanksgiving holiday in between that is a perfect time to celebrate family with great food wine. I’m usually not a holiday […]

Connection Through Community

Connection through Community

          Connection is the word I would use to describe my most recent trip to wine country. It was a connection to a community I love and have missed. A connection to the wineries that I have covered from afar for almost two years. And, perhaps even a reconnection back to […]

Dallas Celebrates Friuli Close to Home

Dallas Celebrates

          Dallas celebrated the publication of a James Beard Award Winning Chef’s Cookbook with one of the hottest restaurants in town giving tribute to the region and the chef.       It was a time for fans of the well-known chef and James Beard Award Winner and the region of […]

Elyse Winery Balancing Tradition and Innovation

            Elyse Vineyards – it’s a 33-year-old winery based on trust – a handshake, trust in employees and continuing long-term relationships with four generations of Napa growers to make the best wine possible at all price points.   Even though the winery was acquired in 2018, the new owners still […]

Rediscover Merlot: The Turning Point

          For more than 200 years, Merlot has been a foundational grape in the wine world – from Bordeaux to California – used to make some of the finest wines. The Merlot grape, which translates to blackbird in French, became the most planted grape in Bordeaux and known for its soft, elegant […]

Olivella’s – Elevating Pizza and Wine

Olivella's - Elevating Pizza and Wine

          The perfect wine for pizza.  A phrase often used, but in reality a lot of wines are not an ideal match. So, having the opportunity to have a pizza and wine pairing curated with a personal strategy from Olivella’s Sommelier and Area Director of Operations at Green Restaurant Services, Simon […]

Virtual Paso Robles CAB Camp

Virtual Paso Robles CAB Camp Panel

          The wines of Paso Robles have always translated beautifully from the vineyard to the glass to provide a perspective of the region. The Paso Robles CAB Collective, SommFoundation, and the Global Diagram of Wine decided to emphasize that point with the creation of the Paso Robles CAB Camp.   Creatively, they […]

Sicily: A Wine Continent United

        The process at Firriato Wine Company begins with terroir, the identity of the native varietals used, and a respect for nature. I was invited to meet with COO Federico Lombardo di Monte Iato who talked about how the vineyards are a mosaic of the “continent” of Sicily reflecting the identity of […]

My Personal Equity Report Card

        It’s been around a year since I posted what I am calling “my accountability challenge” to feature more black and women winemakers on my blog. So much has happened since then. Key changes have occurred in our behavior (good and bad), how we engage socially and how technology has become key […]

Shattering the Pinot Grigio Stereotype

        For Albino Armani, a true pioneer in Pinot Grigio, I can’t imagine the frustration of 400 years of winegrowing, studying history, terroir and trying to capture the true identity of one grape only to have it described as “mass produced and uninteresting.”         Spending time with a man […]

American Heart: Thinking Big, Saving Lives

        Last weekend’s 30th annual Côtes de Coeur raising money for the American Heart Association at the Omni Hotel was full of headlines. Let’s start with the fact it raised a record-breaking $5.4 million dollars in the fight against heart disease and stroke. And the American Heart Association is still counting the […]

The Three Pillars: The Domaine Bousquet Journey

Three Pillars: The Domaine Bousquet Journey

          It’s been a little over two years since my Dallas lunch with Anne Bousquet, co-owner of Domaine Bousquet, the Argentinian shining star example of value-oriented, biodynamic and organic wines. I knew then this was a woman who would have a growth story to tell me the next time we met. […]

How to Buy a Eurocave: the Sequel

How to Buy a Eurocave?

          Last week, I wrote about my unsuccessful quest to buy a Eurocave from the Wine Enthusiast.  It was 70 days of madness at the time – delivery companies showing up at 6 am without the right equipment, moving my kiddo’s 16th birthday dinner for a delivery company that never showed, […]

How To Buy A EuroCave?

How to Buy a Eurocave?

        How to buy a EuroCave?  Honestly I have no idea. Recently, one of our Eurocaves stopped working. As someone who has hundreds of bottles in my collection, I knew that getting a replacement was critical to keeping these bottles at cellar temperature.   Back in May, it seemed so easy. The […]

Bourgogne: New Generation, New Sense of Identity

        Bourgogne is reclaiming its identity as one of the most iconic regions of France with a return to the original name. In the past, Bourgogne adopted an alternate identity for export markets with the use of the ‘Burgundy’ designation for the English-speaking markets, or Burgund for the German speaking and many other […]

Sixty Years of Reflection in Rodney Strong Refresh

Sixty Years of Reflection in Rodney Strong Refresh

          After 60 years of success, many companies sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride – especially if nothing is amiss. But if you have a history of innovation, you decide to rethink everything – looking both forward and backward to figure out how to get positioned for the next 60 […]

Bodegas Pinea: A Quest to Make World-Renown Wines

        The story of Bodegas Pinea Wines began with two childhood friends with a love of Ribera del Duero and a goal of making some of the best wines in the world in a region with a pedigree to do so.   Bodegas Pinea came about when Hugo Del Pozzo and Vicente Pliego […]

California Regionality of the Zinfandel Grape

        I recently had a chance, thanks to Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), to explore the differences of various regions of the Zinfandel grape in California. I gathered with three family winemakers to make the virtual comparison.   The June “Zinfandel Vineyard Tours and Caves” was moderated by travel journalist, Paul Rubio, […]

Sonoma-Cutrer’s 40th Anniversary Collaboration

          When it’s time to celebrate a milestone anniversary, many companies feel a sense of nostalgia and gather employees who helped shape the company. Sonoma-Cutrer decided to celebrate the winery’s 40th Anniversary by bringing together past winemakers to craft a special Chardonnay. What’s remarkable, is that each they did it isolated […]

Domaine Carneros: Blazing a Trail

Domaine Carneros: Blazing a Trail

        For 30 years, Eileen Crane was at the helm as the founding winemaker and CEO of Domaine Carneros. In August, she passed the baton to a new CEO, Remi Cohen, who brings two decades of experience in all facets of the wine industry to the château. Both females are visionaries and trailblazers […]

SIMI Winery: Tragedy to Triumph

SIMI Winery: Tragedy to Triumph

          SIMI Winery started with the hard work and persistence of two immigrant brothers.  But it continued due to the determination of one 18-year-old girl who would not let tragedy end her family’s legacy.         That legacy, shown in this anthology video, carried on for more than a century […]

Grit, Grace and Guts: Story of Cheramie Wine

        Meeting Cheramie Law and Todd Aho of Cheramie Wines, a Salt and Pepper Wine company, is an experience that stays with you. These are two individuals that exude authenticity, passion, kindness and appear to be the perfect yin and yang combination in a marriage. While they were destined to be in […]

One Bottle Each Turning into Three

One Bottle Each Turning into Three

          Podcaster invites guest to be on podcast.  Guest accepts.  Date is scheduled.  But life is imperfect and often there is a story behind the story.  And such is what happened on Episode 16 (A, B and C) of One Bottle Each with my friend, Gabe Sasso.         […]

A Love for Cocktails Renewed


            There is nothing that I love more than a good cocktail, but with so much wine to try, I often forget about the utopian pleasures one sip can bring. The hard thing about cocktails is that unless you are a world-class bartender or have amazing skills, you probably don’t […]

Randy Hester’s Journey to World-Class Recognition

Randy Hester's Journey for World-Class Recognition

          While working for a wine distributor at Glazer Wine & Spirits (now Southern Glazers) in Houston, Randy Hester’s boss put him up for a significant promotion. When it didn’t happen, it put him on another path to make some of Napa’s top cult cabernets and later founded C.L. Butaud, one […]

A Conversation with the Father of Texas Tannat

A Conversation with the Father of Texas Tannat

        Winemaker John Rivenburgh is unabashed in his enthusiasm for the evolution of Texas wines and his passion for elevating the Tannat varietal on the world stage. Billed as the “Father of Texas Tannat” for his evangelism in selling, promoting, and helping people to grow and vinify Tannat Grapes, John is on […]

The Italian Selection: Bringing Family Vineyards to Your Door

        One of my favorite memories of my time in Italy is finding new, local wines that are well priced and delicious in each region. The question that I posed in every region we visited was “can you recommend your best local wine?” and I was rewarded with a variety of discoveries.  […]

Defining Australia’s Old Vines: One Grapevine at a Time

        I knew that Australia had a storied winemaking history due to its unique climate, complex terroir and pioneering winemaking families dating back to early 19th century. I didn’t know the country boasts some of the oldest grapevines in the world with some being more than 150 years old.       […]

Ricci Curbastro: Ancient Roots Combined with Tradition, History and Culture

            About 800 years ago, the Ricci Curbastro family started growing grapes and a few decades ago they started producing great wines that would change the way sparkling wines are regarded on the world stage.         I recently had the chance to travel virtually with the Ricci […]

Bringing the Vineyard to You Virtually: A Red Car Tasting

        Gathering for a virtual tasting and uncorking a bottle of wine or two is the closest many have been able to get to a vineyard for more than a year. I admit that after 13 months of virtual tastings and Facebook memories reminding me of how great those in-person experiences once […]

Desiree Noisette: Rethinking Tradition with Mermosa Wines

Desiree Noisette Rethinking Tradition with Mermosa Wines

          Desiree Noisette is what you would call a Renaissance women.  She’s successfully been a lawyer, a retail business owner, a designer and is now known for operating Florida’s first black-owned wine business, Mermosa Wines.  Throw in the titles of wife and mom and you have a multi-talented entrepreneur who works […]

Storica — Igniting America’s Awakening about Armenian Wines

Storica -- Igniting America’s Awakening about Armenian Wines

          There are many things that I didn’t know about Armenia before I discovered the wines of Storica. The country is considered the cradle of wine, where all wine production was born and features the the world’s oldest-known wine production facility. Also, it is in the midst of a grape growing […]

Cornerstone Cellars’ Winemaker Kari Auringer: Blending Passion and Kindness

            Kari Auringer didn’t set out to use her creativity and craftsmanship to make wine at Cornerstone Cellars.  Her initial thought, after college graduation in 1981, was that she was cold – very cold – and packed up her Z28 Camero with the goal of move from Wisconsin to anyplace […]

Pandemic Thoughts One Year Later

Pandemic Thoughts One Year Later

            A year ago (and a day) I posted about having no words in navigating the uncharted world of a pandemic.  I was physically in the same place that I am today, the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, where we have spent Spring break as long as we’ve […]

Longevity Wines – A Lasting Love Story

Longevity Wines

            Growing up, Founder and Winemaker Phil Long of Longevity Wines didn’t have much exposure to wine other than his dad’s ornamental bottle of Chianti. He told me that he didn’t even know that wine was made in America. To him, agriculture was focused on plants and animals – not […]

Rae Wilson: A New Texas Wine Perspective

          Rae Wilson didn’t come to Texas with the ambition of disrupting the wine industry.  It was a big challenge – an emerging region that is the size of the country of France, a 40-year history, lots of varietals to choose from and the need to build a community of like-minded […]

The Nights the Lights Went Out in Texas

The Nights the Lights Went Out in Texas

          Thuwmpf.  You know that sound.  It’s the sound you hear before the deafening silence as your power goes out.  All lights, all sound fades to blackness as electronics power down.  Usually it is a bit of inconvenience.  Maybe an hour – maybe four.   This time it was early in […]

Wine, Spirits & Authenticity Spoken Here

          It’s been 12 months since the pandemic officially began.  Looking back, I estimate I have attended close to 450 virtual meetings.  Between Zoom, Teams and new platforms like Remo I have had work meetings, wine tastings, friend happy hours, book launches (shout out to my aunt, Anne Lakusta for a great […]

L’Ecole Schoolhouse (Wines) Rock

L'Ecole Schoolhouse wines rock

        Nearly 11 years ago, I made my first trip to Washington Wine Country for the Wine Bloggers Conference. When the conference ended, a good friend of mine Write for Wine took me on a tour of her favorite wineries.  L’Ecole No 41 winery was the first place that we visited hon […]

Brian Carter Cellars: Combining Art and Science

Woodinville Wine Country

        The love affair with wine started early –  Brian Carter was 14-years-old and he asked his mom if he could make wine out of blackberries.  It started out as science focused, and over 40 years later evolved into an art making him one of the first to focus exclusively on blended […]

Contra Costa: Putting Sense Before Dollars

Contra Costa: Putting Sense Before Dollars

        Looking from San Francisco “across coast” into Contra Costa County is a lesson in history. It’s what happens when hundred-year-old vineyards of plantings of Zinfandel, Mourvedre and Carignane collide with urban development that refuses to be stopped. When the average price of land today (according to Land Watch, is $2 million […]

Master the World Blind Tasting

    In wine, sometimes you have a “jack of all trades, master of none” moment.  That moment when you realize that while you’ve been learning and writing about wine for more than ten years, you remain humbled.  For me, the further I journey with wine, I realize how little I know – especially during […]

Second Half 2020 Sample Roundup

      It’s sample time and I never knew what a challenge these would be in the time of COVID.  Usually, I invite friends over and pop open a few bottles, and, if my husband is in a cooking mode, then I get to use my pairing skills.  When the pandemic happened, the samples […]

Exploring the Heritage of Donnachiara

Exploring the Heritage of Donnachiara

      I virtually traveled to a new region and winery in Italy continuing the 2020 alternative to what was once to be an in-person trip earlier in the year. This time it was an introduction to Donnachiara Winery, located in the Irpinia appellation in the Campania region of southern Italy. The winery is […]

A Tribute to Katie Sanders


        Christmas this year is like no other for so many reasons for many families.  For us, it was because we buried my husband John’s 45-year-old-sister, Katie Sanders.  It’s hard to describe the force of light that Katie brought to so many in her short time on earth.     Her funeral […]

Next Generation Winemakers in Argentina


    Argentina – it’s a land known for beef, culture, dance and wine.  People have been planting grapes there as far back as the sixteenth century and there are multi-generations of families that have been cultivating Old Vine grapes influenced by the Andes Mountains with its extreme temperatures and diurnal temperatures.   We joined […]

Bruno Paillard: Breaking the Mold in Champagne

Bruno Paillard:

      Bruno Paillard is known for changing the game in the champagne industry, one that almost never sees change. After following his family legacy of becoming a champagne broker, he decided he wanted to create a different champagne. Not having a penny or a vineyard to his name, he sold a vintage Jaguar to […]

Francly, Cabernet Franc Headlines; It’s Not an Opening Act

a rainbow over Unionville Vineyards

      Photo Courtesy of Unionville Vineyards   Let’s be franc. Cabernet Franc headlines; it’s not an opening act. While it adds magic as a Bordeaux-style blending grape in conjunction with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec, the single varietal stands on its own.   A Little History   Globally, Cabernet Franc is one […]

Crab and Chardonnay = Utopia


Crab and Chardonnay = Utopia     From blending sessions to vertical tastings to blind tastings, I’ve been blown away at the creativity of wineries since the pandemic began. Just when I thought I had seen almost everything, I was invited by Raeburn Winery to celebrate the kickoff of Dungeness Crab season.       […]

You Had Me at Pinot: Exploring Wines of Germany


      I didn’t grow up in a wine household.  A special occasion was a bottle of Blue Nun on the table, which was my first introduction to German wines.  I recently attended a You Had Me at Pinot class exploring the diversity of the grape with a Pinot Gris, two versions of Pinot […]

The Curtain Unveiled: Time to Stand Up


The Curtain Unveiled: Time to Stand Up     The worst kept secret in the wine industry finally broke in The New York Times in early November. Approximately 21 women accused several men, many in leadership roles with the Court of Master Sommeliers, of sexual harassment, manipulation or assault. Here’s the article in Wine Searcher summing up […]

Val d’Oca: Prosecco in its Pure Form

Vendemmia Val D'Oca

      Photo Credit: Mattia Mionetto   Prosecco. It’s often known as key ingredient for mimosas, bellini’s, spritzes or fizzes.  But if you really look at authentic Prosecco — beyond what lines grocery store shelves in America — you’ll discover that it can be delicious, well-priced and will make you want to hold the […]

Tasting History with the Women of Bacigalupi Vineyards


      The Women of Bacigalupi Vineyards, Photo Credit: Bacigalupi Vineyards   Bacigalupi Vineyards is one of the best kept secrets in the Russian River Valley. You may have heard the story of a 1976 tasting in which a California chardonnay gained world recognition by beating French burgundy wines in a side-by-side competition. That […]

State Fair: Bringing Texas Wine Home

Bringing Texas Wine Home

        The pandemic created a quandary for many organizations.  Especially for time honored traditions that brought large crowds of people together like the State Fair of Texas, which has taken place every year since 1886 (except for varying periods during World War I and World War II).  In my family, it has […]

Stop Giving Merlot the Side Eye

Stop Giving Merlot the Side Eye

Stop Giving Merlot the Side Eye   A Trip to Ehlers Estate Many Years Ago   I’m not going to mention that movie. The one that maligned an entire varietal of wine.  Granted, it was time for a wake-up call as many Merlots stopped being great due to over planting, but a 2 percent drop […]

Wine Country: Fire Update and Time to Help

Wine Country

  Each Fall, it seems the horror sequel starts again for those who live in wine country.  It’s fire season and like clockwork it seems to repeat itself annually.  This year, the horror was magnified with the timing of harvest. No one knows the genesis of the fire that began in the early morning in […]

Santa Lucia Highlands Packs a Punch

Santa Lucia Highlands AVA

  Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, Courtesy of Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans   There exists a small, but dynamic, wine region within the Santa Lucia Mountains near Monterey County on California’s Central Coast. Located on Highway 101, between San Francisco and Paso Robles, the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, is only 18 miles long and 22,000 […]

Jon Larson: Returning Home to Angwin Estate


    Jon Larson, Proprietor and Winemaker of Angwin Estate Vineyards, Photo Courtesy of Angwin Estates Jon Larson is the epitome of the modern day Renaissance Man  – the precision required with his medical background; the discipline of a former state championship team rugby player and the sensory analysis and experimentation of his winemaker job […]

The Journey of Theopolis Vineyards

International Women's Day

      Photo Courtesy of Theopolis Vineyards   I still can’t remember at which event I met Theodora Lee, proprietor of Theopolis Vineyards, I just know she is unforgettable. I also remember her Petite Sirah as a stand-out in a room of California wines. That’s just the way things go with this no holds […]

The Olivini Family’s Tradition of History and Innovation

The Olivini Family’s

    This Summer, I discovered the region of Lugana, one of Italy’s best kept secrets. This seven mile wide area makes some of the country’s most elegant and nuanced white wines. As I learned more about the region, I realized I only scratched the surface and made the comment I hoped to try more […]

Lodi’s World-Class White Wines

Lodi’s World-Class White Wines

      As many times as I’ve covered the Lodi region, each brings an awakening and awareness of something new.  This time it was an understanding of how world-class the white wines of Lodi can be. Lodi World-Class White Wines     Winemaker Mitch Cosentino in motion   I’ve had a long history with […]

Virtually Tasting the Best of Gambero Rosso

Gambero Rosso

    Gambero Rosso, an authority on Italian food and wine, is known for the release of its anticipated annual Vini d’Italia (Italian Wines guide) where it awards the top wines the “Tre Bicchieri” designation.  This is an effort of 60 professional tasters who rank more than 2,400 producers and over 40,000 wines. As a […]

Seven Expressions of One Grape

Seven Expressions of One Grape

      Theresa Heredia, Winemaker of Gary Farrell Winery, Courtesy of Gary Farrell Winery   Pinot Noir is a grape that is not known for being easy.  As Natasha Hughes, MW, once said, “When Pinot producers get it right, the wines have it all: gorgeous aromatics, silky texture, bright acidity and supple tannins. What’s […]

Sips with Soul: A Live Tasting

Sips with Soul Tasting Kit

      Last Friday, the San Francisco Wine School gathered some of the top black Winemakers/Winery Owners, paired with sommeliers, for an unforgettable night of wine tasting. In my pledge a few weeks ago, I promised to be more inclusive with my coverage, to seek out the wine of black winemakers and be more diverse […]

Zinfandel Wines to Match Summer BBQ

Zinfandel Wines to Match Summer BBQ

    As the days roll by, often it seems an exercise in same day, different bottle, as we enter our fifth month of pandemic living.  What hasn’t changed is our need for community and coming together over great wine and good food.  What has changed is the innovation that wineries are showing to bring […]

Racism in Wine: Time to Wake Up


    Racism in wine.  This is a hard subject and one that unfortunately hasn’t received national attention until the words “I can’t breathe” were uttered by George Floyd on May 25 while a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes and started a national movement to change things. It was […]

Darling Wines: It’s All About Balance

Vineyard and Winery

  Tom and Ashley Darling, Courtesy of Darling Wines   Tom and Ashley Darling, co-owners of Sonoma’s Darling Wines, have a strong belief in balance and being grounded in the present moment. As winery owners and yoga teachers, they were inspired by the connection of growing and making wine and how it brought together aspects of the […]

Discover Lugana: Italy’s Best Kept Secret

Discover Lugana

    Courtesy of Vigneto Communications   It’s time to discover Lugana — one of Italy’s best kept wine secrets.  It’s a tiny region that is only seven miles wide yet makes some of the country’s most elegant and nuanced white wines.     Courtesy of Vigneto Communications   And, I never knew it existed. […]

Is A Texas Winery On Par with A Bar?

Blue Ostrich

    Courtesy of Blue Ostrich Vineyard & Winery   For a winery, navigating how to proceed in a pandemic world is as clear as reading tea leaves to find out one’s future – especially in Texas. Since March, Texas wineries have been told to shut down, reopen and then shut down again while restaurants, […]

Smith-Madrone: Humble Beginnings, Unforgettable Wines

      Stu Smith, the Enologist and Managing Partner for Smith-Madrone Winery, didn’t set out to own premium real estate valued for upwards of $400,000 an acre.  His goal was only to find a site in the mountains of Napa Valley versus the valley floor, to make the elegant, balanced, European-inspired wines he enjoyed. […]

Best Samples for 2020 – To Date

grgich hills

Best Samples for 2020   Today’s sample column evaluates 69 of the 128 wines that I’ve tasted over the past five months. The Pandemic has definitely made sample tasting a much slower process as I’ve been unable to share with my usual neighborhood tasting group while the number of samples have multiplied, so I’m thankful […]

Grilling, BBQ and Zins: Synonymous with Summer

Grilling BBQ and Zins

Grilling BBQ and Zins   Grilling, BBQ and Zins are synonymous with Summer and what better time to break break out the grill, pair some wine and have a great meal.  We did just that a few weeks ago when I had the chance to try four great Zinfandels from grapes cultivated in classic vineyards […]

Navigating the Senses with Sensi Wines

Senses with Sensi Wine

    Vineyard View from my Last Italy Trip When my long-awaited family trip to Italy was canceled last month due to the pandemic, I worked to recreate experiences from past trips to bring a little Italy to Dallas.  So when Monique Soltani, Executive Producer and Host, of Wine Oh TV, reached out to ask […]

Virtual Barrel Tasting with Alta Colina Winery

  In April, I was supposed to be attending my third annual Wine Writers’ Educational Tour, a media “deep dive” into AVAs, terroirs and varieties, scheduled this year in Paso Robles.  Like most wine events this year, it was postponed due to the pandemic. Virtual barrel tasting with Alta Colina So instead of touring a […]

A World Changed: But the Jordan Launch Must Go On

A World Changed: But the Jordan Launch Must Go On       It’s hard to believe one year ago, I was at a party at Chef Kent Rathbun’s house with then Associate Winemaker Maggie Kruse and marketing guru Lisa Mattson celebrating the launch of Jordan Winery’s first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon aged 100 percent […]

Virtual Winemaker Experience in A Box

    Virtual Winemaker Experience in a Box Kit   The invitation came in to become a “Virtual Winemaker for a Day” where we’d get all the necessary equipment, wines and supplies to make our own custom blend.  The session was going to be led by Jean-Charles Boisset, Proprietor of the Boisset Collection, and Stephanie […]

A Virtual Journey to Spain

  Flashback to my last press trip to Spain   Our wine group was looking for a way to connect in a virtual world.  Not only on a personal level, due to some devastating news received by several family members close to us, but also to the region that we were going to explore.  We […]

Memories of St. Supéry Dollarhide Ranch: One Decade Ago

Memories of St Supéry Dollarhide Ranch

    It’s amazing how one wine can bring back memories of eventful wine country trip exactly one decade later. It’s been ten years since I was invited by a friend and St. Supéry ambassador, to take my caravan of 12 women to and come visit. On that visit, we learned that a tour bus […]

Bibiana Gonzalez Rave and Jeff Pisoni: Power Couple in Wine

Power Couple in Wine

  Bibiana Gonzalez Rave and Jeff Pisoni, Courtesy of Alma de Cattleya   Bibiana Gonzalez Rave and Jeff Pisoni, the winemakers for Alma de Cattleya and Lucia Vineyards, are examples of a true power couple in wine. These two have been married since 2011 and talked about how they are dedicated to helping the other make better wine. […]

Every Day is Earth Day at Benziger Winery

Every day is earth day at Benziger winery Virtual Tasting Line Up with Benziger Wines   This past Earth Day, which was April 22, millions of people around the world will explore ways to help preserve our planet through eco-friendly practices. “Every day is earth day” is the slogan at Benziger Winery and this is […]

From Prohibition to Pandemic: The Mondavi Family’s History of Reinvention

Mondavi Family’s History of Reinvention

From Prohibition to Pandemic: Mondavi Family’s History of Reinvention Mondavi Sisters: Alycia, Giovanna, Angelina and Riana, Photo Courtesy of the Mondavi Sisters   Sitting down with Angelina and Alycia Mondavi from Aloft Wines and Dark Matter Wines, it is clear they understand that in times of a crisis there is opportunity and a time for reinvention. […]

Revisiting Bartles & Jaymes Wine Coolers: 33 Years Later

Bartles & Jaymes Wine Coolers

Revisiting Bartles & Jaymes Wine Coolers: 33 Years Later   My Senior Picture, Redan High School Class of 1987     As we see posts of the Senior Challenge in support of all the high school seniors who had their world upended with today’s new Covid-19 reality, you can’t help to flashback to a time […]

Living in A Virtual World: Highlights from a Virtual Girl

living in a virtual world

  A Girls Trip to Anderson Valley with some of my favorite writer friends   It’s hard to believe only three weeks ago we hugged our parents, had dinner with friends, didn’t have a trepidation about going to the grocery store and didn’t look back at our pictures of normal socialization with a “before” or “after” mentality. […]

Explore the Dão Region: Wines You Should Discover That Are a Steal

Explore the Dão Region: Wines You Should Discover That Are a Steal Pedro Castro Mondonca, the CEO of the CVR Dão Wine Board   Now that we are settling in knowing we are in for a long ride into the unknown; it’s time to get back to stories about great wines and great regions.  In […]

Ponzi Vineyards: Fifty Years of Original Oregon

      Anna Maria, Dick and Luisa Ponzi and me       At the Wine Writers’ Educational Tours, during my time in the Willamette Valley, I had the chance to sit down with Dick and Nancy Ponzi.  They were participating in a panel about what it took to plant vines, harvest grapes and […]

Mendocino: A Magical Place for Food, Wine and Relaxation

  Imagine ocean bluffs and a very blue sea.  Throw in wineries and great restaurants.  It’s like you are transported to a New England village – but on the opposite end of the coast.  This was my first visit to Mendocino and the people, wine, food and hospitality have made sure it will not be […]

Smith-Story Wine Cellars: Breaking The Mold In The Story of Wine

Smith-Story Wine Cellars

  Lord Sandwich from Smith-Story Wine Cellars poses with me, his loyal subject   It’s rare that I write a story of an untraditional winery.  Wineries aren’t crowdfunded.  Winery dogs are the norm.  They don’t become brand ambassadors with 72,500 Instagram followers, a label of their own and a charity of their own.  But, you […]

Domaine Anderson Winery: In Pursuit of the American Grand Cru

      We began our wine country exploration in Anderson Valley in Mendocino with a tour of Domaine Anderson Winery with Winemaker Darrin Low.     In 1981, Jean-Claude Rouzaud of the Louis Roederer family took one look at the remote area and saw its potential in cultivating an American Grand Cru.  Prior to Roederer, […]

Fathers & Daughters Cellars: Generations of Fathers, Daughters and Wine

Father & Daughters Cellars

Sarah, Guy and Ella Pacurar   As a mom to a 14-year-old daughter, I love the special bond that she has with her dad.  There has been much discussion about the special relationships that happen between fathers and daughters. Lately that was highlighted with the #girldad hashtag that came about after ESPN Reporter Elle Duncan […]

A Night of Legendary Wine with Moët Hennessy

    Jason Guerra, Moët Hennessy Brand Ambassador, Heather Queen, Wine Concierge and Master Chef Adrien Nieto   You may know Moët Hennessy for its well known, iconic spirts brands:  Hennessy Cognac; Belvedere Vodka; 10 Cane Rum; Grand Marnier; Glenmorangie, and Ardbeg single malt Scotch whiskies.  Or perhaps for its champagne portfolio with stalwarts like […]

The French Room: A Shift from Milestones to Moments

    It had been close to ten years since I visited the French Room.  I remember the experience well.  It was a big anniversary, the food was exquisite, we had a great night and everything was incredibly formal.  And then we didn’t go again.  Not because it wasn’t great, but because we were looking […]

Sonoma County: Ready for Tourism Today

  The smoke and images were powerful and devastating but did not tell the complete story of what was happening in the Sonoma Valley.  According to the Sonoma County blog, only 8% of Sonoma County’s one million acres were impacted by the October 2019 fires.  The vineyards, parks, fantastic views, coastline and redwoods still remain majestic […]

The Story Behind The Manhattan Project Beer Company

  The Manhattan Project Beer Company motto begins with there’s a story behind every beer.   And for every beer company, there’s a story behind how they got there.       When I moved to my neighborhood, I met Brewer and Co-Owner Jeremy Brodt of Manhattan Project Beer Company and watched him build his company.  […]

Ushering out the Decade with Stellar Holiday Samples

  It’s crazy that 2019 has passed in a flash and a new year/decade has begun.  Why not usher in a new decade with a round-up article of a few favorite samples over the holidays?  Due to the weather, there is always a rush of samples shipped when the weather breaks in Texas, so it’s […]

A Decade of Dallas Wine Chick

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

  It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years that I’ve been writing the Dallas Wine Chick blog.  As we come to the end of the decade, that’s 570 blogs with a lot of pictures and words that started off pretty horribly and improved over the decade.  It’s been an evolution.  Many of the blogs […]

From the Bruno Paillard Champagne House to My House

  Bruno Paillard had champagne in his blood.  He was born in Reims in 1953 to a family that had either grown or brokered champagne since the 1700s.  Bruno followed in the family footsteps and became a broker.  He found that he wanted to do something different focusing on purity and started his own champagne […]

It’s the Holiday Season: Bring On the Champagne

  For the past 15 years, I’ve been a part of a girl’s wine tasting club.  Over time, what used to be a monthly gathering has evolved to about four times a year.  In that 15 years, there have been many changes — marriages, divorces, kids (I remember having to fake drinking champagne at one […]

Do You Know JACK (Wines)?

  Me and Vernon Wells from JACK Wines   My first question to Vernon Wells, former Yankees baseball center fielder and co-founder of JACK Wines, was simple:  Why go from a career in baseball to a second career in wine?  Vernon gave me an answer that was logical and passionate.  “While in my mind I […]

Jean-Charles Boisset:  Alchemy of the Senses Last Supper Tour

Jean-Charles Boisset

Jean-Charles Boisset and me   Those who know Jean-Charles Boisset, the Vintner, Entrepreneur and Man of Mystery, realize that he cannot do things that fit the norm.  When he decided he wanted to write a wine book, it couldn’t be about grapes and barrels.  He wanted to focus on the transformative nature of wine using […]

A US Tour Showcasing 1,312 Years of Australian Winemaking

Australian winemaking

  It was billed it as a “Far From Ordinary Roadshow” and it was a grand effort by the Australian Government with a goal of raising the profile of Australian wine with a six-city U.S. roadshow featuring 100 wineries who spent more than two weeks talking about Australia’s dynamic winemaking scene.  The roadshow was backed […]

National Zinfandel Day: A Celebration of A Historic Grape

    This Wednesday is National Zinfandel Day.  It is a day that is decreed by ZAP – the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, a non-profit organization – as an opportunity to celebrate this often maligned grape.  I am not usually a let’s celebrate a grape day kind of person, but there was a Twitter tasting […]

Powell & Son Winery: A Story of Passion, Persona and Peace

Dave Powell, Owner, Powell & Son Winery   Dave Powell, Owner of Powell & Son Winery, is finally back to a place where his passion for wine is as large as his persona.  He’s an imposing and loud figure who commands a room and would never think to not say exactly what he’s thinking and […]

Sixmilebridge Vineyard: The Second Chapter of Jim Moroney

Sixmilebridge vineyard

Sixmilebridge Vineyard: The Second Chapter of Jim Moroney   Jim Moroney, Proprietor Sixmilebridge Vineyard For forty years, Jim Moroney was a champion of free press and led Dallas’ only daily paper through a digital transformation. But as he told me, “When you work for a public company like A.H. Belo Corporation, you have a shelf […]

Storytelling Through A Lens and A Bottle: The Story of Jesse and Andy Katz

Jesse Katz, Winemaker Aperture Cellars and Devil Proof Vineyards   A good photographer has an eye for detail that brings all the elements together to convey the right vision.  Little did Andy Katz, world-renown photographer, know that his eye for detail in the vineyards would spark a passion for wine for his son, Jesse Katz, […]

Chatting with the Legends of the Willamette Valley

Chatting with Willamette Valley

Chatting with the Legends of the Willamette Valley   Jason Lett, The Eyrie Vineyards; Richard and Nancy Ponzi, Ponzi Vineyards; David Adelsheim, Adelsheim Vineyard; Harry Peterson-Nedry, RR; Susan Sokol Blosser It’s rare to visit a wine region and have an opportunity to sit down with the legends that had the foresight to make it happen.  Imagine […]

Uncovering the Differences in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir AVA by AVA

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

    The Willamette Valley is a region that is planted with 80 percent Pinot Noir grapes and because of that, it’s very easy to have the misconception that Oregon Pinot Noirs are similar in nature. But once you factor in AVAs, clones, soils, temperatures and the seven regions, you’ll find that while the Willamette […]

A Return to the Willamette Valley: A Pre-Trip Exploration

Willamette Valley

A Return to the Willamette Valley: A Pre-Trip Exploration Mary Cressler, Ember and Vine; Amy Corron Power, Another Wine Blog, Marcy Gordon, Come for the Wine Podcast and me Returning to the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region, was a homecoming of sorts. My first trip was in 2010, the year I launched my blog, […]

Six Months of Wine Samples: A Summation of My Favorites

Six Months of Samples

Six Months of Wine Samples: A Summation of My Favorites It’s sample write-up time again and I held off longer than I usually do for my write-up because I had a lot of wines to try.  Some I’m going to write about today, which were diverse, interesting and worth your exploration.  Some fell flat, in […]

TEXSOM: A Discussion of Rosé Wines – Are They Meant To Be Aged?

aging rosé wines

  MW Sheri Morano and MW Mary Gorman-McAdams     My Third TEXSOM conference   Masters of Wine Mary Gorman-McAdams and Sheri Morano led a discussion and tasting about the aging rosé wines and the fundamental question if these wines are made to age.  This was one of the many seminars I attended at TEXSOM, […]

A Celebration of Friends with J Vineyards & Winery: The Perfect Aperitif

A Celebration of Friends with J Vineyards & Winery: The Perfect Aperitif The magnum of J Vineyards & Winery Cuvée 20 Brut NV and the star gazing guide arrived just in time for Fall – unless you live in Texas.  I knew I had to make a choice.  Stargazing is noble and tasting the stars […]

One Man’s Quest to Discover His Wine Palate Led to Making His Own Wine

Rob Barney, Vintner, Stressed Vines For Rob Barney, Stressed Vines’ Vintner, drinking wine was once a “safe label” choice.  He relied on labels, scores and brand name producers. In 2014, he decided it was time to expand and be more adventurous.  Little did he know that would take him down a path of making his own […]

A Day in Napa Valley: Three Very Diverse Wine Experiences Showcasing the Region

The Dallas Gang in Napa My birthday trip journey continued with a day in Napa Valley visiting three iconic vineyards that showcased very diverse approaches to winemaking and hospitality – Charles Krug Winery, B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, and Crocker & Starr. Napa Valley is known as one of the most renowned wine growing regions in […]

A Chat with The Orsi Family: Italian Roots Planted in Sonoma County Soil

Our Orsi Family Wine Tasting Line-Up It all started with a story of family and heritage for the Orsi Family when it came to their approach to wine. The website says, “Italian culture is the embodiment of all that nourishes the heart and soul… wine and food, friends and family, and experiences that capture beauty, […]

My First Taste of Maryland Wine: A Glimpse Into Old Westminster Winery

  Maryland.  It’s a state with more than 80 wineries and a mission of showcasing what the state can do. Living in Texas, I haven’t had the opportunity to explore Maryland wines, so it was a gift to be introduced to Old Westminster Winery in June.  Not only was it a glimpse into Maryland, but […]

Billy Can Can: A Modern Saloon With A Focus On Texas Traditions

Named after a fictional owner, Billy Can Can is an upscale saloon with a modern twist.  The menu comes from Chef Matt Ford, formerly of the Joule Hotel, with a focus on Texas farm fresh items that have nothing to do with standard bar fare. Options include venison tartare, hot-chicken-style-quail and lots of protein-based entrées including a […]

Palmaz Winery: The Intersection of Technology and Craft Winemaking

  For Julio and Amalia Palmaz, of Palmaz Vineyards, the love affair with wine started after years of regular visits to Napa. Julio was a successful heart surgeon who actually invented the heart stint.  When it was time for the next phase for their family, they decided to purchase an old estate in Coombsville in Napa.  […]

Jordan Winery Returns to Roots with 2015 Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Debut

In May, Jordan launched its first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon aged 100 percent in French oak barrels.  Imagine sampling the 2015 vintage served from an 18-liter Jordan Melchior (the equivalent of 24 standard-sized bottles of wine), pre-release tastings of the 2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in a magnum, the 2017 Jordan Chardonnay and the Jordan Cuvée […]

A Chat with Robin Lail from Lail Vineyards: A Legacy of Family, Winemaking and Passion

Robin Lail, Lail Vineyards Robin Lail, Founder and Owner of Lail Vineyards, has never met a stranger.  After just one conversation, you can’t help feeling like you just hung out with a longtime girlfriend.  Unless you knew her storied background, you’d never know that she was part of Napa Valley royalty dating back five generations […]

Natural Wine: Unfiltered, Untamed and Unphotoshopped … And Completely Fabulous

There has been a lot said about the differences between natural wine and conventionally made wine. A google search of natural wine yields 1,640,000,000 results and several “opportunities” of multi-level marketing companies you can “join” to acquire several of these wines (guys, you have other options).  Wine Folly has a great description of what natural wine is […]

A Deeper Dive into Santa Barbara: Jackson Family Winemakers’ Perspective

  Santa Barbara Panelists of Winemakers The winemakers in the room had a combined 100 years of experience.  All with different perspectives on how to farm, manage their vineyards and on their winemaking techniques.  But they shared a bond and passion for Santa Barbara and a common owner – Jackson Family Wines. This was the […]

What I’m Drinking: A Round of First Quarter (Almost) Sample Favorites

Sample Reviews

What I’m Drinking: A Round of First Quarter (Almost) Sample Favorites – Sample Reviews I found myself behind (even more so than usual) on another sample column for a few reasons.  The first is that my paying gig exploded a bit – I transitioned from project consulting work to three acting Chief Marketing Officer positions, […]

A Deep Dive into the Wines of Alentejo: Diving into the Uncharted

In its own marketing brochure, Wines of Alentejo describes the region and the wines as having “a long and turbulent history which alternated between periods of calm and storm, vigor and decline; where extensive periods of uncertainty were followed by cycles of enlightenment and vanguardism.”  That’s the context in which I began our All About […]

Winemaker Tom Parmeson: The Man Who Started a Second Career on an Epiphany

Winemaker Tom Parmeson

Tom Parmeson, Owner and Winemaker of Parmesan Wines Tom Parmeson, Owner and Winemaker of Parmeson Wines, never aspired to be a Sonoma winemaker.  He successfully worked for 15 years in software development for Halliburton Company, an oil and gas exploration service company based in Houston. But in 2005, he had an epiphany after visiting a tasting room and walked […]

Sitting Down with Christophe Paubert: A Winemaker Legend from Stags’ Leap Winery

Stags' Leap Winery and Christophe Paubert

Sitting Down with Christophe Paubert: A Winemaker Legend from Stags’ Leap Winery Christophe Paulbert, Senior Winemaker Stags’ Leap Winery I had the opportunity to sit down again with a Winemaking Legend Christophe Paubert, the senior winemaker for Stags’ Leap Winery, during his recent stop in Dallas this month.  We first had the opportunity to sit […]

Sample Review: Wines Where I Wish I Didn’t Follow the Golden Rule

It’s time for my quarterly sample posting and following tradition, there are several wines that merit a separate column prior to the larger post.  These are the wines that I shared with friends and neighbors where I found myself wishing I had used a Coravin or perhaps allocated an extra glass for myself. These are the […]

History of Piedmont in a Glass: A Discussion with Matteo Sardagna and Manuel Marchetti

History of Piedmont

History of Piedmont in a Glass: A Discussion with Matteo Sardagna and Manuel Marchetti Marchetti and Sardagna Yesterday I experienced the diversity of Piedmont in my glass.  But it went so much beyond that.  Sitting down with Matteo Sardagna, the Owner of Poderi Luigi Einaudi, and Manuel Marchetti, the Owner of Marcarini Vineyards, it was […]

Trudie Styler and STING’s New Wine Releases: Tasting Music in a Glass

Trudie Styler

Trudie Styler and STING aren’t just another celebrity couple who make wine. After being fooled by the former owner of Tenuta Il Palagio with a glass of wine that Sting believed was from the estate but later turned out to be from Bordeaux, the couple was determined to bring the property back to its former splendor. The […]

San Diego’s Wine Region: Overcoming My Own Misperceptions

San Diego's Wine Region

When Tina Morey, the founder of Wine Studio, asked me what I knew about San Diego’s wine region, I was proud to send her a blog about my trip to Temecula in Riverside County.  Weren’t they the same?  Absolutely not. Today there are 115 wineries in San Diego County and three AVAs, which are the […]

Fall Creek Vineyards Issues A World Class Wine Challenge from Texas in 1973

Fall Creek Vineyards

Sergio Cuadra, Winemaker; Susan and Ed Auler, Owners of Fall Creek Vineyards When deciding to start a winery in Texas Hill Country, Ed Auler asked himself one key question, “Can we grow world-class wines here?”  From that answer, Fall Creek Vineyards came to fruition. Ed and Susan Auler started out as cattle ranchers (while Ed […]

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery: A Vertical Tasting of 30 Years of Family Winemaking

spottswoode estate vineyard and winery

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery: A Vertical Tasting of 30 Years of Family Winemaking Spottswoode’s CEO, Beth Novak Milliken, told us about the family history and gave us a glimpse into how the Novak family began their business knowing nothing about growing grapes and evolved to where they are today making world-class wines. Spottswoode Estate […]

Amici Cellars: A Toast to Bringing the Old and New World Wine Styles Together

Bob Shepard, Proprietor, Amici Cellars Amici Cellars began as a project of wine loving friends in 1990 who wanted to focus on small-production Napa Valley wines that they wanted to drink themselves.  Winemaker Jeff Hansen crushed a few tons of grapes after a college internship as a passion project.  The wine was good, and they decided […]

Virginia is for Wine Lovers: A Mix of History, Diversity and Great Wine


This October, I had the opportunity to attend the Virginia Wine Harvest Party, which was a two-day whirlwind media tour that was held in conjunction with Virginia Wine Month, the longest running state wine month.  As I mentioned before, it had been 7 years since I visited the region.  I had heard some great buzz […]

Celebrating 30 Years of Virginia Wine: My Reintroduction After 7 Years to the Commonwealth

Celebrating 30 Years of Virginia Wine: My Reintroduction After 7 Years to the Commonwealth Linden Vineyards  It’s funny, when I look back seven years ago, at what I wrote during my first trip during the Wine Bloggers Conference of 2011.  “My biggest takeaway on Virginia wine was the European influence on its winemaking.  European winemakers and […]

Talking Villa Maria Wines with Snooth and Winemaker Kathrin Jankowiec

New Zealand wines

New Zealand has been making wines since the 1850s, but the modern wine industry in New Zealand began in the mid-20th century and expanded rapidly in the early 21st century with the sustainable practices and modern winemaking techniques. Recently, I attended a Snooth virtual tasting with Co-Founder and Chief Taster Mark Angelillo from Snooth and […]

Explore the Diversity of Loire Valley Wines: A Region Full of Value

  Our line-up of Loire Valley wines This Summer, I was invited to a wine chat focusing on Loire Valley wines led by Master Sommelier David Keck.  While I arrived on time for the tasting, the wines didn’t, so I had the chance to experience them on my own a few weeks later. You can’t […]

A Month to Celebrate Merlot and a Closer Look at Ravenswood Single Vineyard Designate Wines

Did you know that October is Merlot Month?  And this is a grape worth celebrating! For the last five years, hundreds of Merlot producers have been mounting a movement to celebrate Merlot, designating October as International Merlot Month.  More than 100 Merlot producers, wine merchants, restaurants and consumers will taste and toast online (using #MerlotMe), at […]

A Conversation with Andrés Sánchez: An Artisan Chilean Winemaker who is Single-Handedly Dedicated to Championing Old Vine Carignan

Andrés Sánchez

Andrés Sánchez, Photo Courtesy of Alcance Winery Recently Andrés Sánchez, Winemaker of Alcance winery and co-founder of VIGNO, Chile’s first viticultural regulatory organization designed to champion old-vine Carignan, came through Dallas and I had the chance to visit with him at Moxie’s Grille & Bar over a great wine dinner. Let’s just say that these are not […]

Delving into the History of Montepulciano Wine: A DOCG in Need of a Bigger Voice

History of Montepulciano Wine

Delving into the History of Montepulciano Wine: A DOCG in Need of a Bigger Voice   We hired “Just in Tuscany”, a service that does private wine tours and hiking trips in the region, to take us to Montepulciano, a region that I wanted to explore more. Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance town located […]

Terralsole Winery: The Land Toward the Sun and the Tapestry of Tuscany

Terralsole Winery

Finding Terralsole is quite the journey.  But trust me, once you do the journey is worth every missed navigation point on whatever GPS you use, so just chill.  The winery will find a special place in your heart and you’ll never forget the experience, the wine or the people.  The tapestry of Terralsole, which translates […]

Eating My Way Through Florence: A Cultural Immersion Journey into Food

Florence Food

Me and My Better Half Last month, I had the incredible fortune to spend two and a half weeks in Italy on a 24th anniversary trip with my wonderful husband.  One of our stops was in Florence where Eating Europe hosted me on one of its fabulous food tours. Florence is known as the “cradle […]

A Pedroncelli “Taste Up:” Food, Wine and Friends

taste up

Me and Ed St. John It was time for the quarterly “Taste Up” with the gang at Pedroncelli Winery led by the “oh so animated” and always entertaining Ed St. John, General Manager.  Like any Italian family, it’s all about the food and wine, so the wine samples are paired with a recipe and suggested […]

Rioja’s ‘Pioneer of Oak’ Comes Through Dallas With A Lesson in a Beronia Bottle

Matias Calleja, Winemaker Bodegas Beronia, and me It’s not often that you have the chance to gather with a Winemaker who has been called one of the Rioja “pioneers of oak.”  Matias Calleja, the Winemaker for Bodegas Beronia, demonstrated that craft when he put three mixed barrel samples in front of a group of wine writers […]

Magic and Wine at Checkered Past: The Perfect Off-The-Beaten Path Date Night

Sandro and Trigg Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk.  Magic and wine?  Not quite the classic mix, but one that completely worked.  I hadn’t been to a magic show since I watched my then eight-year-old daughter perform at Summer camp and let’s just say it wasn’t quite what I had in store for me when […]

Albariño: A White Wine With Diversity for All

Albariño: A White Wine With Diversity for All

In May, Snooth and Rías Baixas invited a group of bloggers to gather for a Rías Baixas Virtual tasting. I invited the same group of lucky neighbors for our second annual event to explore the diversity of Albariño, a distinctive white wine from Spain from the Rías Baixas region.  We didn’t re-taste any of the eleven wines […]

Generations in a Glass: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Charles Krug Winery

Riana and Peter Mondavi Jr  When Peter Mondavi celebrates a milestone, it is always done with pomp and circumstance with a focus on family.  But when prepares for a family milestone — the 75th anniversary – how do you truly showcase what has happened over the generations?  In Peter’s case, you take the show on […]

June Round-Up: Spring and Summer Sample Standouts

June Round-Up

June Round-Up: Spring and Summer Sample Standouts In keeping with my pledge to improve the frequency of my sample posts, I am proud to say that I’m back on a quarterly schedule.  This post focuses on 26 wines out of the 40 wines that I sampled. Champagne Champagne Bruno Paillard – this is one of […]

An Afternoon with DLynn Proctor and Duane Hoff from Fantesca Winery

Fantesca Winery

When DLynn Proctor issues an invitation to come and join him for some great wines, one immediately RSVPs, no questions asked.  That’s how I found myself at the friends and family opening for 60 Vines last month. When I was seated next to Duane Hoff, the Proprietor of Fantesca Estate and Winery, I knew I was […]

World Malbec Day: A Closer Look at Diverse Varietals, Terroirs and Producers

Argentina is a country known for passion – whether it’s for dancing the tango, for playing futbol or for its unwavering passion for food and the flagship Malbec grape.  While Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world, there has been a new focus on varietals, terroirs and regions with a diversity of […]

Murrieta’s Well: Legacy Built on Iconic Vines Maintained Grape-By-Grape

Murrieta's Well

I recently had my second opportunity to taste with Robbie Meyer from Murrieta’s Well, one of Livermore Valley’s most iconic wineries.  My first time was online during a Snooth tasting with Snooth’s Chief Taster Mark Angelillo, and Robbie, where we tasted six wines.  Click here for more info.   This time I had the pleasure of […]

A Conversation with Tom Gamble: Preserving a Family, Farming and a Legacy


A Conversation with Tom Gamble: Preserving a Family, Farming and a Legacy It’s been about 18 months since I last had the chance to sit down with Tom Gamble, Owner of Gamble Family Cellars, yet constants remained.  Tom Gamble remains a farmer first.  He talked about never remembering a time when “there wasn’t dust in […]

Lodi: The Region, The Wines, The Winemakers, The Diversity


Photo Credit: Goff Photography The Summer of 2016 was when I first encountered the region of Lodi.  I knew the region was known for its Old Vine Zinfandels, but I did not know how deeply involved I was going to get in this historic region and the indelible impact it would have on my experience […]

March Madness: Sample Round-Up

March Madness

It’s time for the general wine round-up and I’m featuring 20 of the 35 wines from 5 countries that I sampled this time around.  These wines are diverse, they have some great stories behind them and they most importantly are interesting, which is always my personal quest when I’m tasting. Sparkling   NV Camino Calixo […]

Samples that Inspire a Rallying Cry Moment

  As a wine blogger, I get a lot of samples and I am very grateful to have the chance to try the amount of samples I do.  But occasionally, there are wines that when I open the box I drop my “professionalism” and I am sure you might hear an involuntarily “whoo hoo” rallying […]

Crudo Italian: Finally Much More Than A Sign, And One Great Restaurant

Crudo Italian

It seems like forever since I drove by the Crudo sign at the corner of Northwest Highway and Preston and wondered what was going on with the restaurant.  The sign was up, but it never seemed like the restaurant was open.  Fast forward to this past February, where I was invited by General Manager Juan […]

The Jordan Experience During the Wine Blogger’s Conference: Hail to Lisa Mattson!

Debbie Gioquindo, Lisa and me In my last blog post, I talked about my top 10 discoveries from the Wine Bloggers Conference, but posted #11 referencing another post next week.  Today is that post where I get to talk about my friend, Lisa Mattson, the communications and marketing director of Jordan Winery. If you haven’t […]

Brazil: A Land of Passion, Carnival and Underrated Wine?

Carnival and Underrated Wine

Brazil, a land of gorgeous beaches, beautiful people, grilled meat, Rio Carnival and unmatched soccer celebrations.  It’s a country built upon passion and celebration.  But, did you know that Brazil has been making wine for close to 500 years?  Until I participated in a #brazilianwines chat with MW Christy Canterbury, I wasn’t aware of the […]

New Jersey Wine Studio: A November to Remember

New Jersey Wine Studio

Our November #winestudio focused on the wines of New Jersey.  I have vivid memories of my childhood, running through the family farm of my Great Aunt Stella (on my mom’s side) who raised chickens and vegetables.  I remember chasing my brothers through rows of corn and playing tag in Manville, New Jersey.  I remember visiting […]

Final 2017 Sample Update: The Top 30 That Turned My Head in this Tasting


It looks like I have a New Year Resolution and that’s to get a little faster about reporting on the samples that I’m sent.  This time I reviewed more than 65 wines and today I’m going to talk about more than 30 that made the list.  Note that these encompass a number of countries, price […]

Take a Look at the Loire Valley: A Wine Chat Led by MW Christy Canterbury

Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is known as one of France’s most diverse regions with more than 60 appellations.  Master of Wine, Christy Canterbury, was our guide, and took us through the region during this #loirelovers #winechat, which was a night of Loire Valley Wine. The Loire Valley Wine Region includes the French wine regions situated along […]

A Pre-Trip to Sonoma: Day One to Lambert Bridge Winery

Pre-Trip to Sonoma

Cindy Rynning, me and Jennifer Higgins, Lambert Bridge Winemaker It’s amazing how the world and your intentions can change quickly.  Cindy Rynning and I started planning our trip to Sonoma prior to the 2017 Wine Blogger’s Conference with the intent of visiting some boutique wineries, telling their stories and trying out some new social media […]

A National Day of Celebrating Zinfandel and Lodi

Celebrating Zinfandel and Lodi

A National Day of Celebrating Zinfandel and Lodi Today it seems every wine has its day and November 15 was the day designated to celebrate Zinfandel.  Bloggers gathered across the country for a virtual tasting of Zinfindels from Lodi, California’s self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World.  Lodi is California’s largest grower of premium Zinfandel and […]

Temecula: An Up and Coming Region With A Story To Tell

trip for a family reunion

Trip for family reunion About Half of The Family in Tasting Room Mode Each year, my extended family takes a trip for a family reunion.  This year our trip was to San Diego, which gave us the opportunity to spend some time in the Temecula wine region located less than 60 miles north of San […]

How A Bottle of Troon Almost Landed Me In A Mexican Jail

Six Years of Transformation at Troon Vineyards

Those of you who know me, and/or Craig Camp from Troon Vineyards, know that we have a history of going rogue – especially when we are given restrictions that make no sense.  Leo Durocher, the professional baseball player, once said, “I believe in rules.  Sure I do.  If there weren’t any rules, how could you […]

A Conversation with Russ Weis: The Silverado Philosophy from Vine to Bottle

Conversation with Russ Weis

Russ Weis, General Manager, Silverado  Last week I wrote about the ‘House of Cab Dallas’ tasting that brought together 13 Stags Leap District vintners and owners to debut current releases.  As a bonus, I had the chance to sit down with Russ Weis, the general manager of Silverado Vineyards. Russ has a mantra that I have […]

Another Edition of the Round Up of Wine: Six Countries, Twenty Four Wines

Round Up of Wine

It’s time for another wine round up column filled with some of my favorite samples.  This time I tried 46 wines from six countries with 24 making the cut today. Sparkling NV Ferrari Rose Sparking – I’ve had the amazing opportunity of visiting Ferrari back in April.  To read more, click here.  Ferrari Trento was […]

Sting’s Message In A Bottle Rings True 37 Years Later

Message In A Bottle

Those were the days of playgrounds and Catholic school uniforms.  The days of tape recorders and hitting play on our favorite songs under the backdrop of a big oak tree at recess.  Those songs were mostly sung by our absolute favorite band, The Police. It was right before the years of teenage angst, but enough […]

Rosé: Rekindling a Love Affair with Small Boutique Wines

Small Boutique Wines

For a long time, rosé was my Rodney Dangerfield of wines.  As hard and as many as I tried, I just couldn’t find one that didn’t taste like the watermelon Jolly Ranchers that used to stick to my braces on the playground.  That might have been fine in seventh grade (well except from my dentist’s perspective) […]

Continue to Expect the Unexpected When It Comes to Paso Robles Wines

Paso Robles Wines

Art by Vino Mosaics, Wines by Paso Robles I first discovered the beauty and uniqueness of Paso Robles in 2016 while on a press tour of Texas writers.  I didn’t know much about the region when I arrived, but left with a full understanding of the imprint this wine region has left on California as […]

Domaine Drouhin and Jordan Family Tasting & A Closer Look at Cameron Hughes

Domaine Drouhin and Jordan Family

Art by Vino Mosaics This week’s wine column focuses on multiple samples that came from two families that are considered to be stalwarts in wine – the Drouhin family and the Jordan family.  It also covers Cameron Hughes, a man who took a different approach by not having his own vineyards, but by finding interesting […]

Ninety Years of Pedroncelli Wines: A Toast to Family, Wisdom and Consistency

Ninety Years of Pedroncelli Wines

Ninety Years of Pedroncelli Wines: A Toast to Family, Wisdom and Consistency It’s been over three week since I embarked on my experience with the Pedroncelli family and I am no closer to being able to bring to life the amazing journey that I experienced.  In an over sanitized, over marketed, over messaged world; trying […]

Villa Maria: A Virtual Taste of New Zealand with a Croatian Twist

Villa Maria

New Zealand is a country known for hard work and innovation.  From Sir Ernest Rutherford splitting the atom in the twentieth century to the invention of the Hamilton jet boat to electric fences to the fastest motorbike in the world, this has been a country known for hard work and embracing new things. That is […]

A #winestudio journey with Pago de Arínzano

Pago de Arínzano

Our latest #winestudio journey took us on a virtual destination to northeastern Spain.  I’ve been lucky enough to explore Spanish wines in various regions due to press trips and my own travel.  I always leave the country with a sense of magic and a sense of how special this country is in terms of history, […]

Another Wine Round Up: Belated Edition

Belated Edition

Once again, I am completely behind on my wine round ups.  I only have myself to blame.  I had the vision of doing a rosé roundup and found myself with about 75 roses to drink (as well as a dedicated #winestudio program), so this is going to a series of round ups or you’d be […]

Tequila – Give it a Second Shot (or even better, a Sip)


Note: My husband, John Ofenloch, has served as my editor since Dallas Wine Chick began more than 8 years ago.  When he decided to go down the path of learning about spirits, I 100 percent supported that journey.  In March, he asked in lieu of a Father’s Day gift, to do the high end tequila […]

The Art of Wine: When Passion and a Business Plan Intersect

The Art of Wine

Ariane Garcia, Owner, The Art of Wine She’s a philantropher. A health care executive.  And the owner of The Art of Wine, a neighborhood wine bar in Preston Hollow.  Ariane Garcia found herself with a business plan to write for her graduate studies at Southern Methodist University and The Art of Wine was born. I […]

History, Heritage, Honor and Hard Work: A Conversation with Murrieta’s Well Winery

Murrieta's Well

History, Heritage, Honor and Hard Work: A Conversation with Murrieta’s Well Winery The latest Snooth tasting focused on the Livermore Valley, a pivotal region in shaping California’s wine industry back in the 1880s when it received America’s first international gold medal for wine in 1889 at the Paris Exposition.  Livermore Valley wineries were the first […]

Pedroncelli Celebrates 90 Years: A Legacy of Farming, Fun and Flagships

Pedroncelli Celebrates 90 Years

Pedroncelli Celebrates 90 Years: A Legacy of Farming, Fun and Flagships Ninety years ago, it all started with a goal of three pillars – farming, fun and flagships – with flagships being the Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon wines Pedroncelli is known for producing.  That was recently reinforced on a Twitter virtual tasting.  However, I think […]

More than Malbec in Mendoza – My #winestudio Journey With Achaval-Ferrer

Malbec in Mendoza

More than Malbec in Mendoza – Winestudio Journey With Achaval-Ferrer Courtesy of Achaval-Ferrer In May (yes, I know I’m behind on many great wines I’ve tasted since Vinitaly), the #winestudio folks brought together a three week virtual journey with Achaval-Ferrer from Mendoza.  There is a misnomer that Malbec is all that comes out of Mendoza, […]

Snooth Rías Baixas: A Region Exploration of Warm Weather Wines

Snooth Rías Baixas

In May, the weather in Dallas had decidedly turned toward late Spring/early Summer temperatures and I embarked on my annual journey to find the perfect patio wine.  Snooth invited a group of bloggers to gather for a Rías Baixas Virtual tasting where I (and a few lucky neighbors) had the chance to explore the diversity […]

Marie-Christine Osselin Reflects on Moët & Chandon’s Grape to Glass Quality

Marie-Christine Osselin

Marie-Christine Osselin When Marie-Christine Osselin looks at a glass (not champagne flute, mind you) of Moët & Chandon, she thinks about the multitude of steps it took to get from the grower to harvest to the wine making process to the bottle. Marie is the Wine Quality Manager for Moët & Chandon and has the […]

Two Years Later: A Catch Up with Peter Mondavi Jr from Charles Krug

Peter Mondavi Junior

Peter Mondavi Junior, Charles Krug Co-Proprietor Over two years ago, I had the chance to sit down with Peter Mondavi Junior, the co-proprietor of Charles Krug.  Our conversation focused on family, history, heritage, sustainability, good wine and hard work.  We talked about the strides that his father, Peter Mondavi Senior, and his innovations at Charles […]

An Oregon State of Mind with Jackson Family Winemakers and Julia Jackson

Jackson Family Wines

Photo Credit: Susie Drinks Dallas Jackson Family Wines came through Dallas this month with its Oregon:  A State of Mind – The Rocks, the People and the Vines tour.  The event featured Gilian Handelman, a wine educator and moderator, as well as Winemakers Eugenia Keegan from Gran Moraine; Erik Kramer from WillaKenzie Estate; Craig McAllister […]

Vinitaly: A Glimpse of Verona, Varietals, Vineyards and Vinology


How do you create stories about an event where more than 4,000 wineries were present, each serving an average of 6 to 10 wines over a three-day period?  Some you plan, some you experience, some are pre-arranged … and some stories are just meant to be told.  The ITA had several pre-arranged tastings – some […]

A Tale of Two Cities: Trento to Verona

Trento to Verona

Charles Dickens started “A Tale of Two Cities” with the famous line, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  I had my own two city experience with a focus on the best of times where I was hosted by the Italian Trade Commission on a promotional tour with importers, restauranteurs […]

A Conversation with Merry Edwards: Icon, Trailblazer, Philanthropist and Winemaker

Conversation with Merry Edwards

A Conversation with Merry Edwards: Icon, Trailblazer, Philanthropist and Winemaker Merry and Ken, Courtesy of Merry Edwards Winery  This week, I had the pleasure of talking with Merry Edwards, an icon, a trailblazer, a philanthropist and a winemaker who has single-handedly shattered the glass ceiling for women in wine in California and at UC Davis […]

History, Family, Evolution and Building a Legacy: A Conversation with Jose Moro

Conversation with Jose Moro

History, Family, Evolution and Building a Legacy: A Conversation with Jose Moro It was a story of family.  A story of evolution.  A story of balancing the heritage of the past but balancing that tradition with innovation to take the wines forward.  It was also the story of what happens when a generation decides to […]

A Dallas Wineaux Journey into Pennsylvania Wines

When my Dallas soul sista, top blogger and general partner in crime, asked a few of us to come to her house to try some Pennsylvania wines, I was immediately intrigued.  The Keystone State is named for its role in early America where it credited in helping hold together the states of the newly formed Union. […]

Living the American Dream: An Ordaz Family Journey

It’s funny how things in life happen when you least expect it. I had a last minute business trip for a paying gig to Las Vegas, which meant I participated without wine in the first session #winestudio for Ordaz Family Wines. I was completely excited about the next session as I knew that Jesus (“Chuy”) […]

March Wine Line Up: Old World, New World and a Little More In Between

We tasted through twenty wines from around the world this tasting and ten of them made this month’s favorites.  They are diverse – different countries, different varietals and very different styles. Rose 2016 Angeline Vineyards Rose – this was a citrus explosion – grapefruit, orange blossom, refreshing watermelon and floral notes.  This is light, refreshing […]

February: The Month of Just Opening That Bottle(s)

February: The Month of Just Opening That Bottle(s) We have all done it.  Spent a ton of time cultivating some great wines in our cellars (or even holding on to a special bottle or two) and then let it sit … and sit … and sit.  Occasionally, when we finally get to that special bottle, […]

Deciphering the German Riesling Puzzle and Why You Should

This month’s #winestudio focused on the Riesling wines.  Specifically, Massanois, a distributor of high-quality and boutique wines, introduced us to wines from Karthaeuserhof and Weingart Max Ferd. Richter, two wine estates located in Germany’s Mosel region. Rieslings, while like candy to people who love wine, are often misunderstood in the United States – even though […]

Don Melchor: One Owner’s Challenge Started Chile’s Fine Wine Revolution

Often, there is a quintessential wine that becomes common nomenclature even to those who may never taste it.  In Australia, that wine is Grange.  In Chile, that wine is Don Melchor, the signature estate red from Concha y Toro. Even more surprising, the wine first debuted in 1987.  And trust me, after receiving the Wine […]

Pinot in the City: Wine Event Now Bigger With the Texas Addition

  Beacon Hill Liberty Pinot Noir I’ve said it often and I’ll say it again.  Texas is a force to be reckoned with in the wine drinking market and wineries from all over the world have taken notice.  But, we have never had the highly-regarded Pinot in the City event come to not one, but […]

A Conversation with Tom Gore: A Farm to Glass Experience

Courtesy of Tom Gore Vineyards Tom Gore always knew he was going to be a farmer.  He grew up in the vineyards farming grapes with his dad and declared his vocation when he was seven years old.  “I’m going to do what he does,” he vividly remembers thinking.  And that’s just what he did.  He […]

Grape fest: A Celebration of Grapes, the Vines and the City

For years, I have billed myself as someone “with a love of the grape and a collection to prove it.”  Ironically, I had never attended the largest wine festival in the Southwest.  Grapefest is in Grapevine, Texas, a suburb about 20 miles from Dallas.  Luckily, this is the year I could rectify that situation. The […]

100 Wines, 30 Days and Wine Loving Ways

100 Wines, 30 Days and Wine Loving Ways Since I left the corporate gig, which gave me ample opportunity to open a multitude of sample wines on a weekly basis, I’ve come to a point where I was completely swimming in fourth quarter samples.  I rectified this by hosting the Southern Methodist University MBA wine […]

December to Remember: My Favorite Wines of the Season

Well, here we are at year end and I have once again let the wine pile up, so let’s consider this one hell of a holiday celebration.  This quarter (for the record, not by myself), I hosted a Halloween party, brought wine to the neighborhood holiday party, was the guest speaker at a Women Who […]

Troon Vineyard: A Glimpse Into the Next Big AVA #winestudio

A year ago, I made the decision that 2016 would be about #seewhatsnext.  I had a successful corporate job and a seat at the executive table, but I wasn’t having fun anymore.  The opportunity presented itself to take some time, reflect and really figure out what I wanted to do.  Fast forward a year later […]

Texas Ale Project: Crafting a New Beer Movement in Dallas

Texas Ale Project is on a mission.  A mission to refine the traditions of the great American craft beer traditions that have been influenced by the last 8,000 years of brewing culture.  A mission of being the first brewery to be built from the ground up in Dallas since the 1800s – That’s 120 years […]

Rex Pickett’s Next Journey: Vertical, The Next Chapter of Miles and Jack

Vertical Beachside Read at the Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort For those of you who read Sideways by Rex Pickett, the book that almost single handedly changed consumers’ willingness to drink Merlot, you remember the premise.  Two good friends, Miles and Jack, go on a last hurrah trip the week before Jack is to marry […]

Del Frisco’s Throws Down the Gauntlet with Top Female Somm Competition

As a sommelier, you are expected to use theory to ideally pair the right wine with the right food.  But, usually you have the opportunity to taste the food first.  Del Frisco’s – banking on the skills of its talented women sommeliers – turned that premise on its head by not allowing them to taste […]

Texas Wine Month: Interesting Finds Across the Lone Star State

October was Texas Wine Month and I had a chance to try three wines that I wanted to highlight.  As many of you know, while my blog is named Dallas Wine Chick, I cover the wines that I enjoy.  Earlier this year, I rediscovered the exciting things going on at Pedernales, Wedding Oak and Duchman. […]

A Perfect Score: A Book Review and Conversation with Kathryn and Craig Hall

When I was invited to the launch of “A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul and Business of a 21st Century Winery,” I knew I was in for a great story.  The book, written by Kathryn and Craig Hall, launched on September 13 and chronicles a very honest story of people, wine, art and politics. It […]

A Tale of Two Vineyards: Chris Carpenter’s Merlot Experience

If you read any of my earlier columns this month, October is the month that a group of global social media folks have united to laud the Merlot varietal using the hashtag #merlotme.  Merlot is an often misunderstood grape and since the movie Sideways debuted a few years ago, it suffered a lot of brand […]

October Wine Round Up: Favorite Samples Over the Past Months

Today I’m going to talk about some of my favorite recent samples, which include wine and for the first time, spirits.  I tried 28 wines and 12 of them made the list along with one gin and one vodka. Reds: 2013 Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec – this was a great expression of Malbec.  Lots of […]

A Conversation with Tom Gamble: A Focus on Farming and Making Great Wine

A Conversation with Tom Gamble: A Focus on Farming and Making Great Wine Tom Gamble at Lakewood Country Club The moment I sat down with Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Cellars, he made it clear that it was as important to talk about how this was his family’s 100th year in farming as it was […]

College Football, A SEC Game Changer and the Merlots that Brought it to Life

It’s Fall (well technically it is still 90 degrees in Dallas), but in most places that means cooler weather, changing leaves and college football. Cindy Rynning from Grape Experiences had the brilliant idea to ask women in wine to select a grape variety that described their college football team. Here is the post. I likened […]

Seeing the River Through Rosé Colored Glasses

Last week, I added a life experience and lesson to my repertoire.  I drove four hours from Dallas to Tahlequah, OK, with 12 adults and 12 kids to experience a float trip down the Illinois River.  I learned a few things along the way. First, never, ever just get in a float.  This is a […]

Five Years of Wine Blogger Conference Recaps: #WBC16 Fun Begins Next Week

Wine Blogger Conference Recaps

Five Years of Wine Blogger Conference Recaps: #WBC16 Fun Begins Next Week This the season (and the week of the Wine Bloggers Conference) for wine bloggers to take the easy way out with recap posts.  Color me guilty and enjoy the story behind the stories for each conference.  I always have such an amazing time […]

Wines That Stand Up to Scorching Texas Temperatures

It’s July in Texas.  The temperature is scorching, the lake parties are plentiful and the wine is flowing.  This wine round-up features wines from seven different regions and unique countries. It was also my first experience with Albariño from Uruguay.  I reviewed 20 wines and here are the ones that made the cut. Rose California […]

2016: A Personal Journey and Year of Discovery

A journey is defined as the passage or progress from one stage to another.  That has certainly been part of my #seewhatsnext experience.  In December, I left my job as Chief Marketing Officer for a software company. If you followed along, you may remember my conversation with Cyril Chappellet, the CEO of Chappellet Wine, where […]

July Wine Round-Up: Includes A Grape’s Valiant Return to Prominence in Greece

Today’s July wine-up includes wines from Greece, Spain, Oregon, Washington State and California.  I tried 20 wines and six made this month’s round-up. Whites My first wine was from a grape that can trace its history back 6,500 years.  The grape was saved from extinction by a group of winemakers in the 1970s.  Winemaker Vangelis Gerovassiliou […]

Day Three Paso Robles: From Zip Liner to Winer to Niner (Estates)

Feeling pretty certain this is a day that I will not be able to replicate … in any other wine region.  And how cool is that? We arrived at Ancient Peaks Winery, which was the vision of three local winegrowing and ranching families, who dreamed of producing great wines from the Margarita Ranch region.  Fun […]

Paso Robles: History in the Glass

Our second day in Paso Robles was billed as a “vineyard to glass” experience.  We started with our chariot bus from Breakaway Tours where Owner Jill Tweedie helped start our journey in style.  We arrived at the train-themed Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, where Matt Merrill, the general manager, and Jim Shumate, the winemaker, greeted […]

Five Texas Writers, Three Days of Paso Robles … The Adventure Starts Here

 Texas Media In Action It felt a little like a Real World episode from the late 80’s.  Five writers, all from Texas, most who didn’t know the others, were brought together on a media trip.  At first glance, we were a diverse group – different ages, different religions and different ethnicities.  We ranged from career […]

A Wine Blogger’s Mea Culpa: A Long-Delayed Wine Roundup

The winemakers came marching into Dallas.  Five of them in four-week period.  Then I had two fabulous wine country trips to California providing tons of content.  There were numerous Twitter online tastings with three other winemakers to debut new wines coming to Texas.  Snooth came a-calling and asked me to be part of a French […]

Checkered Past Blind Tasting: The Day I Became A “Celebrity” Judge

The smack down was on.  A side-by-side blind tasting of Messina Hof Texas wines vs. a line-up of global wines.  Add three celebrity judges (term used loosely as I was on that panel), wines wrapped in brown bags so the label can’t be seen, a bar full of tasters and let the games begin. The […]

A Wine Country Journey: From Valley to Valley, Day Two

I heard a quote that came to life during my recent visit to the Maurtison Family Winery — “without history there is no future” – author, unknown.  The Mauritson family has been growing grapes and making wine for six generations and been in the Dry Creek Valley for more than 150 years.  During a Taste […]

Sonoma Journey: Day One, The People Who Made This Trip Epic

  Our Motley Crew Photo Taken After All Arrived It only took about 500 days to plan it.  Eight of us sat around a dinner table in Dallas drinking great wine and, once again, the concept of taking a trip to wine country was broached.  This time, however, the calendars came out.  And we found […]

A Chat With Pat: Kenwood Vineyards Winemaker’s Perspective

Kenwood Vineyards has a storied history – one that began in 1970 in the former Pagani Brothers Winery, a winery that dates back to 1906 that was once known for its production of jug wines.  Kenwood changed that heritage when John Sheela and his brothers-in-laws, Mike Lee and Marty Lee renamed the facility Kenwood and […]

Steve Rogstad: Cuvaison Winemaking and the Makings of a David Allen Coe Song

Steve Rogstad, Winemaker of Cuvaison When I agreed to meet Cuvaison Estate Winemaker Steve Rogstad, little did I know that the ending of our meeting could easily be included as a verse in a country/western song that included Wrestlemania, an airstream trailer, Andy Warhol and a pen of chickens.  But I digress… We met at […]

Wines of Roussillon: A Chat with Sommelier Caleb Ganzer and Snooth’s Mark Angelillo

Caleb and Mark, Co-Hosts for the Session The Roussillon wine region is all about passing along wisdom, the culmination of thousands of years of history and a place with a personality exemplifying character and honesty.  Before I attended Snooth’s Wines of Roussillon media event, hosted by Caleb Ganzer, a sommelier and Wines of Roussillon expert, […]

Savour South Australia Wines: Old Vines, Classic Wines, Family Lines

Terry, Michelle and Ryan Representing the Texas Wineauxs Savour South Australia Wines came to Cafe Momentum in Dallas recently and it reiterated for me how much wine is a journey and how much I still have to learn.  When I thought about Australia, Shiraz was the grape that naturally came to mind.  But there is […]

A Night with Danielle Cyrot from CADE Winery at Rapscallion

Cyrot and me March was an unbelievable month for me as a blogger.  Almost daily, I had the opportunity to break bread and hear the stories of California’s top winemakers.  One of the highlights included my dinner with Danielle Cyrot, winemaker for CADE Estate Winery, at, one of Dallas’ hottest restaurant. CADE has two […]

A Conversation with Akiko Freeman: The Story of An Almost Accidental Winemaker

A Conversation with Akiko Freeman: The Story of An Almost Accidental Winemaker Ken and Akiko Freeman I recently spent the evening at Lakewood Country Club with Ken and Akiko Freeman, the founders of Freeman Vineyard & Winery based in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley.  In the spirt of full disclosure, I serve as the wine […]

A Night In Dallas with Greg Morthole, Winemaker of Davis Bynum

Me, Andrew Chalk (wine author/writer); Robert Larsen (president, The Larsen Projekt);  Terry Hill (editor, Texas Wineaux); and Greg Morthole (Winemaker, Davis Bynum) My favorite posts on Dallas Wine Chick have always been ones that tell a great story about wine, a winemaker or a region.  As a blogger, research goes into every post.  Living in […]

The Oscar Goes to … Piper Heidsieck

    When one gets an invitation to a party by the official champagne host of the Academy Awards, the answer is a resounding yes.  From the moment we walked the red carpet at the terrace of the Joule Hotel – naturally in our black tie attire – this was a dress to impress party […]

Checkered Past Winery: A Dallas Wine Bar Where Someone Always Knows Your Name

If you are looking for a wine bar that takes itself incredibly seriously and is full of folks discussing the esoteric qualities of wines, Checkered Past Winery is not for you.  If you are looking for your next neighborhood “Cheers experience,” but with a mix of Texas and international wines (and beer too), belly on […]

Cellars of Sonoma: A Virtual View of Sonoma’s Boutique Wines

Cellars of Sonoma asked several bloggers to partner during the month of February as part of its TV Tuesday Live sessions #tvtuesdaylive.  These tastings are scheduled every Tuesday at 6 pm PT at the Cellars of Sonoma tasting room in the Railroad District of Santa Rosa and feature family-owner, small-production boutique wineries from Sonoma counties. […]

Favorite Brands Portfolio Tasting: Kid in a Candy Store Reality

Being a blogger is pretty amazing.  The A-list invitations to dinners, wine debuts and portfolio tastings makes for a blessed existence. I recently posted pictures of more than 100 bottles of wine and amazing wine makers present at a Favorite Brands portfolio tasting and my direct messages exploded with very pointed questions about the process […]

The Evolution of a Palate: What Can a Four Year Old Teach You About Wine

The Evolution of a Palate: What Can a Four Year Old Teach You About Wine It’s funny how Facebook can remind you of a moment.  Yesterday a message popped up that I posted about my daughter’s first interest in wine.  Mind you, she was only four years old when I posted this blog, but it’s […]

Bella Vita Bags: For the Most Interesting Wine in the World

You always hear that it’s the inside that counts, but I am a sucker for a well adorned package.  I’m not usually one to review many wine accessories, but these were just so darn interesting that I had to do it. Bella Vita Bags features wine gift bags, gourmet bags, olive oil bags as well […]

Omni Barton Creek Resort: Calling All Food and Wine Lovers

We’d talked about it for years.  Bringing the women blogger gang together for a weekend trip outside of the madness associated with the annual Wine Bloggers Conference.  January is usually a tough time of the year for me.  Traditionally it is a time of Sales Kickoffs, annual marketing planning and budgets as well as kick-starting […]

January Wine Round-Up: The Work Chapter Closes as Does the Wine Fridge

January Wine Round-Up: The Work Chapter Closes as Does the Wine Fridge It was the last week of my former position and I found myself with more than 30 bottles left in the wine fridge in my office.  I thought a fitting tribute to end the company #hashtagged (i.e. Dallas Wine Chick provided) happy hours […]

Malai Kitchen: Laser Focused on the Consumer Food & Wine Experience

In Texas, there are too many restaurants that refuse to take the same care with their wine lists as they do with their food menus.  Five years ago, after an experience with one of Dallas’ “venerable” institutions, I let loose with my vent and the idea that Dallas diners deserved so much better. Then restaurants like […]

December: A Champagne Month to Remember

If I should drink champagne”, is usually never a question.  It’s when and how often I can convince others — especially my husband — to drink champagne, so I am not polishing off the entire bottle solo.  In the spirit of full disclosure, that has happened more often than not. I’ve been involved in a […]

Ruth’s Chris Downtown Opening: A Food and Wine Experience

It all began with instant message on Twitter.  My neighbor who has the boutique distributor with labels like Scarlett has put together a wine dinner with the new Ruth’s Chris downtown just for our little group. He will be providing the wine and Ruth’s Chris the food. Anyone interested? @erikj Photo Credit: Asher Swan, Swan […]

Achaval-Ferrer: Unique Approach on How To Be in Two Places at Once

When a winemaker is required to be in the vineyard, but also needs to publicize the release of a new wine, how does one prioritize?   If you are Winemaker Santiago Ferrer, the winemaker and co-founder of Achaval- Ferrer, you figure out how to do both and even bring the experience to life. Over two tastings, […]

The Passion, The Paycheck and What’s Pending?

In my last blog post where I had the chance to talk to Cyril Chappellet, we ended our conversation talking about loving what you do and doing what you love.  Many of you know that by day I’m the Chief Marketing Officer for a software company.  For three years I’ve had a great run, but […]

A Merryvale Profile Retrospective Tasting with Proprietor Rene Schatter

When a wine blogger receives an invitation to taste through a retrospective tasting of eight vintages of Merryvale Profile with Rene Schatter, the proprietor of Merryvale Vineyards, you RSVP as quickly as you can, accept with vigor and show up at the appointed time.  Several folks who have parents who taught them that a RSVP […]

November Wine Round Up

This was probably the biggest wine review period with the fewest favorites.  We tried more than 25 wines and only four made the cut. Whites/Roses: 2014 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc – full of lime and grapefruit with lemongrass and a balanced minerality.  Even though this wine went on record as the second earliest harvest in 30 […]

Chefs For Farmers: A Noah’s Ark Plan for Contigency

It was deemed the Down Home No Fuss Culinary Event of the Year.  However, Dallas weather decided anything but No Fuss was going to be in order.  Chefs for Farmers (CFF) is typically an outdoor event that brings together about 3,500 Dallasites to celebrate our farmers with great food, drink and entertainment.  Overnight, co-founder Iris […]

I’m On A Boat – Wine, Stormtroopers and A Drone Bring the Night to Life

I’m On A Boat – Wine, Stormtroopers and A Drone Bring the Night to Life Welcome to Miami … Bienvenidos a Miami… nine months of long work hours and lots of planning was finally coming to a head with the arrival of several hundred customers for the paying gig’s annual Summit event.  What does this […]

October Wine Round-Up

October Wine Round-Up It’s October and there’s been so much going on that I haven’t done a wine round up since before the Wine Blogger’s Conference this Summer.  As the wine continues to stack up and makes my personal work space much more contained (I know, wine blogger problems…), I thought I’d go through a […]

Auburn Football, College Friends and Legendary Wine

My family and Jay Jacobs, Auburn’s Athletic Director The day started out with sunshine and a perfect 65 degrees.  It was time for some Auburn football. If you’ve followed this blog, you know that I am an Auburn fan.  I was brought to the prettiest campus in the SEC for a day of steering committee […]

The New Brunch Experience at Ziziki’s Restaurant

The New Brunch Experience at Ziziki’s Restaurant I was invited to the Preston Hollow Ziziki’s for its new brunch that debuted two weeks ago. In the spirit of full disclosure, I became friends with the owners of Ziziki’s through my daughter’s school, but I didn’t let them know that I was invited as a special […]

Miner Wines: 2011 The Oracle Virtual Release Tasting

Miner Wines: 2011 The Oracle Virtual Release Tasting   On Saturday, I was invited to take part in a very special virtual tasting – the debut of the 2011 The Oracle from Miner Wines.  Those of us who were lucky enough to be included were delivered a black box.  Inside was the bottle of new […]

I’m on a Boat: My Post Conference Trip to the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Just like that the conference was over and we were on our final post trip journey for #wbc15.  This excursion took us to the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, an area that claims to not only be the oldest in the region, but the oldest in the entire U.S.  The wine trail consists of 16 wineries, […]

The 2015 Wine Bloggers Pre-Conference Trip Continues: Day Two

The 2015 Wine Bloggers Pre-Conference Trip Continues: Day Two After a night of exploring the city of Geneva and finding Microclimate, one of the coolest wine bars ever with awe-inspiring “off the beaten path selections” of wine owned by another woman powerhouse, we continued our bus journey to the Anthony Road Wine Company.  We were […]

Wine Bloggers Conference 2015: The Games Begin Tomorrow

It’s finally here!!!  Tomorrow I head to the Finger Lakes Region of New York for the eighth annual Wine Blogger’s Conference.  This is the conference that I can attribute truly started my love of blogging and where I’ve met some amazing friends along the way.   This will be my fifth wine bloggers conference.  I’ve attended […]

White Pinot Noir? A Left Coast Cellars Experience

I had the chance to visit Left Coast Cellars during my #wbc12 pre-trip prior to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Salem, OR.  It was a day of visiting many wineries including Left Coast Cellars, but I remember being struck at how unique and delicious Left Coast’s White Pinot Noir was.  Fast forward three years, and I […]

Kaiken: An Authentic Approach to Wine and Terroir

Authenticity in marketing and brand. It’s talked about often, but at the end of the day, most companies do not practice what they preach. I was asked by PROTOCOL wine studio to be part of its online twitter-based educational program designed to engage brains and palates.  This month featured Viña Montes and Aurelio Montes, who […]

The Intersection of #workwednesday and #winewednesday

The Intersection of Work Wednesday and Wine Wednesday #WineWednesday.  #ThristyThursday.  Or insert any other day of the week to get together with a group of fun colleagues and drink wine.  Over the two and a half years that I’ve been in my current position, that has become an important part of my world.  It’s become […]

May the Force be with Texas: And It Can’t Come Too Quickly

May the Force be with Texas: And It Can’t Come Too Quickly Every month I receive calls monthly from wine producers from all over the world anxious to break into the Texas marketplace.  Texas is consistently ranked in the top five wine drinking states.  Because of this, wineries – especially the boutique ones – are […]

Virginia Wine Chat: A Taste of Early Mountain Vineyards

Virginia Wine Chat

It’s been a while since I had the opportunity to experience Virginia wines, which I first got to try at the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2011 (#wbc11).  I was recently asked to join the 30th episode of Virginia Wine Chat #VaWineChat, which was facilitated by one of my favorite bloggers, Frank Morgan.  This episode featured […]

Cavas Freixenet: Exploring the World of Cava

Cavas Freixenet: Exploring the World of Cava After surviving a business trip to Barcelona, I decided to take advantage of my time there and do some further exploring of cava.  The folks at Cavas Freixenet nicely agreed to add me to the general tour (in English) and a group of us embarked to experience cava. Freixenet is […]

June Wine Round-Up: A Few of My Favorite Things

June Wine Round-Up: A Few of My Favorite Things It’s June, it’s hot and it’s time for the round-up of wines that made the grade this month.  It’s a mix of red and whites that consisted of wines from around the globe.  We tried many more than what made this column. The notable wines from […]

Max’s Summer Menu: Chicken Fried Lobster and Champagne? Why the Hell Not?

Max’s Summer Menu: Chicken Fried Lobster and Champagne? Why the Hell Not? Max’s Chef Patrick Russell I was invited last week to the debut of the summer menu from Chef Patrick Russell from Max’s Wine Dive.  Color me impressed.  From the food to the wine to the general cool mantra of “Fried Chicken and Champagne?  […]

Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc: A Taste of the Region

Finally, after 40 days and 40 nights of rain in Dallas, it looks like we are off to the start of Summer.  I am a big fan of well-made Sauvignon Blanc wines – especially in the Texas heat on a patio.  So, when I got the invitation from Dry Creek Valley Wine Association to taste […]

Vinomax: The Difference the Right Aerator Makes

I remember when I first discovered that the right stemware for the right wine made a huge difference in the taste of the wine I was drinking.  I’ve taught that lesson to many friends and family members with the same result. I’ve noticed as I’ve used aerators in this same journey that some make a […]

Everything is Coming Up Sojourn …

Craig Haserot and me at a Sojourn Dallas 2014 tasting event Years ago on a trip to Sonoma, I was introduced to Sojourn Cellars, an up and coming winery located off the square in the Sonoma Plaza.  Our visit happened to coincide with Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV episode featuring Sojourn.  To make a long story […]

Wine, Women, Food and Seattle: The Perfect Storm

Wine, Women, Food and Seattle: The Perfect Storm When my work life and wine life intersect, I always bask in the glow.  I have been incredibly lucky to be accepted into the Executive Women’s Roundtable, an exclusive C-level women’s leadership organization that is run through the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.  The women are amazing – […]

May Wine Roundup

It’s time for the April and May recap of Maniac Monday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday or whenever I could get the work gang together to taste the massive buildup of wine that is happening in my office this Spring. We tried 15 wines and I’m going to mention 13 of those wines as the highlights […]

Two Lands Wine: California Craftsmanship with Australian Character

Two Lands Wine: California Craftsmanship with Australian Character My love for Ehren Jordan’s wine began with a yellow balloon tied to a non-descript mailbox in Napa Valley.  We were tasting at another winery when I asked my paradoxical question – “if you weren’t working here, what is the first place that you’d stop and taste […]

One Night In Bierzo: The Spanish Trip Finale

And just like that – we were on our last region and the trip had almost come to an end.  We explored Bierzo, a Spanish Denominación de Origen (“DO”) for wines located in the northwest of the province of Leon.  In getting there, we went actually drove through snow flurries.  The DO covers 23 municipalities, […]

Spanish Wine Trip: My Time in Bullas – Day Three

On day three, with 5,000+ calories in our system and a workout underneath my ever tightening belt, we packed up on our road trip with our fearless guide, Eduardo Ruiz.  Eduardo is the export manager of MGW Group and drew the short straw of driving us all over the region … or watching us sleep […]

MGW Wine Experience: My Time In Alicante

Our next day was spent at Sierra Salinas in Alicante.  Alicante is a Spanish Demoninacion de Origen (DO) located in the province of Alicante in Valencia, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary.  There are two sub-zones: Vinalopó, which is the Southern area of the province known for Monastrell, which we visited.  The other sub-zone is […]

MGW Group: My Introduction to the Wines of Alicante, Bullas and Bierzo, Day One

James Melendez (James the Wine Guy), Ward Kadel (Vinopanion) and me I was invited by MGW Group, a new group of the top-of-the-line wineries from different appellations or denomination of origin (DOs) in Spain, to attend a U.S. wine bloggers trip to visit three wine regions – Alicante; Bullas and Bierzo – three terroirs where the weather […]

Savor Dallas: Bringing Dallas’ Art District, Wine and Food Together

Many years ago, I was a board member on an organization dedicated to reinvigorating the Dallas Arts District.  We had a vision of people walking through the district embracing what Dallas had to offer culturally with a bevy of food and wine framing the experience.  Fast forward about eight years to Savor Dallas’ Arts District […]

March Madness: A Wino’s Perspective

March Madness: A Wino’s Perspective I’ve had so many great stories to tell lately that it has been a while since I’ve done a wine round-up.  We tried ten wines and five made the list of our #thirstythursday tasting group.  I love bringing this group together because it is such a diverse group of palates […]

Hawaii, Wine and Mixing Work with Pleasure

Aloha.  I had the opportunity last week to go on a sales incentive trip to Hawaii.  I left as the snow and traffic snares piled up in Dallas and landed in paradise.  As many of you know, I head marketing for a software company for the paying gig, so it’s fun when my passion for wine and […]

A Tale of Two Cities: A Chat with Margo Van Staaveren and Christophe Paubert

A Tale of Two Cities: A Chat with Margo Van Staaveren and Christophe Paubert Margo Van Staaveren, Winemaker, Chateau St. Jean, and Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager, Stags’ Leap Winery Usually it’s the tale of two cities – Napa and Sonoma.  But sometimes there is an exception and that’s where the best stories originate.  […]

Mondavi Legacy Continues: My February #ThirstyThursday Wines

Mondavi Legacy Continues: My February #ThirstyThursday Wines After the opportunity to chat with Peter Mondavi last week, I had the chance to experience the wine of another Mondavi – Michael Mondavi.  This was another lesson in heritage as Michael strives to recreate the style of cabernets that the Mondavi family were known for in the […]

The Best Party that Almost Wasn’t: A Night with Lindsay Hoopes

Me and Lindsay Hoopes I had the opportunity several years ago to sit down and meet Lindsay Hoopes, the second generation leader of Hoopes Vineyard and Liparita wines as well as a former homicide prosecutor in San Francisco.  Lindsay was scheduled to come back through town and had tentatively scheduled an informal party at our […]

January Wines Under $25

January Wines Under $25 I was falling way behind on my wine reviews so I gathered the work folks together and it was time to celebrate Wine Wednesday.  This time, we were more successful with the wine selection.  We tried seven wines and I’m going to write about five of them. Sparking: Sokol Blosser Evolution […]

January Wine Favorites: Top Three that Knocked My Socks Off

January Wine Favorites: Top Three that Knocked My Socks Off Last week’s tasting acutely illustrated the expression that you have to kiss frogs to find a prince. We tried 12 wines.  I’m going to cover three. January Wine Favorites White 2013 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone North Coast White Rocks – this wine begs for a […]

Minibar Launches in Dallas: The App Bringing Alcohol Your Way in a Zap

Minibar Launches in Dallas: The App Bringing Alcohol Your Way in a Zap I usually do not wax poetic about another wine, spirits or beer related app.  I was recently introduced to Minibar, an experience that could easily be the most ingenious and dangerous app ever introducing to wine, spirits and beer loving consumers. Minibar […]

Twas the Night Before …. A December to Remember? Maybe?

‘Twas the Christmas season and all through the abode, my liver was working overtime to keep up with the load.  Much to my delighted eye did appear, some of the best wines that I’ve seen all year.  Come Dom, Come Schramsberg, Come Pierre Peters. Come Charles Heidsieck.  As far as the eye can see, there […]

December to Remember: Wine Round Up

December to Remember: Wine Round Up The wines were stacking up along with my responsibilities as I tried to get through work obligations, attended holiday parties, checked the box on family duties and tried to handle everything else in between.  I felt the same overflow of tension amongst my co-workers – it was time for another wine […]

The Art of Davis Bynum Blending: A Pinot Noir Clonal Lesson

The Art of Davis Bynum Blending: A Pinot Noir Clonal Lesson Robert Larsen and Me He just threw the question out, which might as well been rhetorical.  “Do you want to join the trade event or should we do a private one for a few of your wine club friends?”  That’s what Robert Larsen, director […]

Bubbly for the Holidays: Why Yes, I Think We Will…..?

We are officially in holiday mode and that means it is the most “bubbly time of the year.”  According to the Wine Institute, 40 percent of sparkling wine and Champagne for the year is sold in the fourth quarter. Although I am a year-round bubbly kind of gal, nothing embodies the holidays more than the […]

It’s the Holidays: Live a Little

It’s the Holidays: Live a Little I recently sampled two high-end wines that deserved their own write up.  First, let me say in the spirit of full disclosure, I am not on the Cornerstone Cellars payroll.  I just really like the style and structure of their wines – up and down the value chain.  They […]

Cornerstone Cellars and J Vineyards Make a Vacation Better

Punta Mita, Mexico.  It’s become the home that I can’t afford away from home – at least on a sustained basis.  Of course there is always a story behind the story.  More than 10 years ago when I worked in a different position, I had to buy trip insurance because inevitably the company that I […]

Mexican Wines?: What I Found on a Rainy Day in Mexico

Mexican Wines?: What I Found on a Rainy Day in Mexico A Non-Rain View of Punta Mita We recently went to Punta Mita where we stayed at the Four Seasons for an awesome family trip.  We were ready for some surf, sea and fun, but the weather decided not to comply with a couple days […]

November Wine Round Up: California, Spain & Italy

November Wine Round Up: California, Spain & Italy For our November #winewednesday, we tried six wines and today I’m reviewing five of them – these came from Spain, Italy and California.  November Wine Round Up Whites: Matanzas Creek Winery sent a three pack of wines – two whites and one red.  Matanzas Creek has estate-wines […]

Coquerel Wines and Gemma: A Sublime Experience

Coquerel Wines and Gemma: A Sublime Experience Recently, I attended a Coquerel Wine Dinner hosted by Clay and Brenda Cockerell at Gemma Restaurant.  The restaurant was at capacity with 50 attendees all who appeared to be fellow wine lovers, close friends, neighbors or colleagues. I felt like I was invited to a family dinner complete […]

October Wine Round-Up

October Wine Round-Up Now that the weather has cooled down in Texas, I’ve been lucky enough to get a number of wine shipments coming my way.  Those shipments led us to another #TipsyTuesday with a group of work colleagues.  Sometimes you have to kiss many frogs before you find your prince, but this time we […]

The Wines of San Juan and the Quest for Dallas Distribution

Arturo Guillermo Arias, President, Finca Sierras Azules, and Marcela Nunez, Translator Recently, I was invited by the producers of the San Juan Province in Argentina to try the wines of approximately 20 of their producers.  The event, which was hosted by the Federal Investment Council of the Argentine Government (CFI) and held at the Intercontinental […]

Wine Blogger Conference 2015 Preview: Get Your Riesling On

Wine Blogger Conference 2015 Preview: Get Your Riesling On As a follow up to the announcement that the next Wine Blogger’s Conference will be in the Finger Lakes area, the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance asked me to participate in the 2013 Vintage Riesling Launch on Twitter #FLXRieslingHour.  Nineteen wineries participated to virtually celebrate the release […]

Rodney Strong Celebrates 25 Years In Style

In July at the #wbc14, I was invited to hang with the cool kids at a special dinner in Solvang to celebrate the Rodney Strong Vineyard Silver Anniversary.  Several months later, I was invited to attend the Rodney Strong Silver Anniversary and James Beard Chef’s Tour Dinner celebrating 25 years of the Klein family owning […]

A Conversation with Santiago Mayorga from Nieto Senetiner

A Conversation with Santiago Mayorga from Nieto Senetiner Santiago, me and Fernando Santiago Mayorga, the assistant winemaker for Nieto Senetiner, recently came through Dallas with Fernando Salmain, the export director for the winery as well as Kelly Elder, representing Foley Family Wines, to talk about the past, present and future of their wines. This is […]

My Wine Country Experience: The Intersection of Passion and the Paying Gig

My Wine Country Experience: The Intersection of Passion and the Paying Gig The stars aligned.  The angels sang.  There were rainbows.  And even unicorns.  Exactly how I felt when I flew to San Francisco for the Platt’s P3 Partner Summit for a two-day conference.  Typically, my job as Chief Marketing Officer for an energy software […]

September Wine Round Up: Three Affordable Wines Made the Grade

September Wine Round Up: Three Affordable Wines Made the Grade In the spirit of another Thirsty Thursday #thristythursday, I grabbed a group of co-workers and we tried a variety of sample wines — eight in total.  The following were my favorite three sampled: White: 2013 Kendall Jackson Avant Sauvignon Blanc – lime, lemongrass, green pepper, citrus and minerality made […]

Rome Burned While Nero Fiddled: My 96 Lafite Rothschild Experience

Rome Burned While Nero Fiddled: My 96 Lafite Rothschild Experience That’s exactly how I felt the night I had the opportunity to try my first 1996 Chateau Lafite Rothschild.  We had plans for great sushi at Shinsei and planned to catch up with some friends that we hadn’t seen most of the Summer.  Because our […]

August Wine Review: A Focus on Napa, Sonoma and Bordeaux Wines

August Wine Review: A Focus on Napa, Sonoma and Bordeaux Wines Time for another wine round up focused on wines primarily from California and a few from France – all that were absolutely delicious – and several that were new to me and now on my “go forth and seek out” list.  Whites: 2013 Murphy […]

Refugio Ranch: A Haven of Calm After the #WBC14 Storm

When Jeff Butler, the director of sales for Refugio Ranch Vineyards in Los Olivos, reached out with a wonderful invitation to experience his special vineyard, he didn’t flinch when the invitation for one grew to an invitation for ten.  If you’ve been following the adventures of the QBP during #wbc14, you’ve realized that we are loud […]

Going Rogue: A Guide to the Best Parties at the Wine Bloggers Conference

Robert Larsen, the Ringmaster of Rogue  During the conference, I was lucky enough to get invited to a few really cool private events that we later coined #goingrogue.   After the fantastic tasting at Star Vineyards, a small group was invited to Rodney Strong’s 25th anniversary “silver” dinner at Root 246.  Rachel Voorhees and Robert Larsen […]

Come for the Private Events: Stay for the Conference

Come for the Private Events: Stay for the Conference The Wine Bloggers Conference was awesome, but it’s hard for 300 plus people to have the kind of conversations that lead to the stories that I love to tell.  Ironically, of the 39 pages of notes that I took during my time in Santa Barbara, only […]

July Wine Roundup: Top 10 from my Last Tasting

July Wine Roundup: Top 10 from my Last Tasting This tasting included 18 wines from California and Italy.  We toggled between a selection of Proseccos from Mionetto and a selection of California wines.  Here’s the top 10 list: Italy Sparkling Mionette Prosecco Luxury Cartizze – a very nice dry sparkling wine with notes of apple, […]

WBC Pre-Trip: A Glimpse into the Soul of Santa Barbara Wine

WBC Pre-Trip: A Glimpse into the Soul of Santa Barbara Wine Larry Schaffer, Tercero Wines Our WBC journey began with bread.  And yeast.  And really good wine.  What I found about the Santa Barbara region is that it has a soul.  It’s real, it’s eclectic, it’s quotable and it’s incredibly real.  It’s something that you […]

A Conversation with Chris Hanna: President of HANNA Winery

A Conversation with Chris Hanna: President of HANNA Winery On my way out of town (literally), I had the chance to meet Chris Hanna, president of HANNA Winery, and another Renaissance woman extraordinaire.  Like me, she juggles a C-level job and works to raise a family – in a world that is often male dominated.  […]

Savino Connoisseur – A Way to Preserve Your Wine Investment

I recently received a sample of Savino Connoisseur, a glassware product designed and advertised to keep wine fresh for up to a week.  I was leaving for a work trip to Barcelona and I knew that with all the work I needed to do and the events we already had scheduled, I wasn’t going to […]

World Cup 2014 Recap: May the Best Wine Region Win

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that the 20th annual FIFA World Cup, a tournament for the men’s soccer (or football) world championship, is currently happening in Brazil and the United States is shockingly still in the game. A total of 64 matches were or are being played in 12 cities across Brazil […]

Wine Blogger Conference 2014: Let the Countdown Begin

Wine Bloggers Conference 2014: Let the Countdown Begin Wine Blogger Conference 2014: Let the Countdown Begin Bloggers Gone Wild at #wbc12 Many of you have asked me about what a Wine Bloggers Conference experience is really like.  With about two weeks left leading up to Wine Bloggers Conference 14 #wbc14 in Santa Barbara, I thought […]

Andegavia: Smart Package, Tasty Product

The folks at Andegavia Cask Wines reached out to me in the Spring with a green proposition – help reduce the amount of discarded wine bottles and still drink good wine daily.  A chat with our recycling guys would result in an admission that I drink a lot of wine and therefore generate a lot […]

An Unexpected Conversation with David Adelsheim

An Unexpected Conversation with David Adelsheim Sometimes the stars align … last week appeared to be the perfect storm of a very tough and demanding work week.  We had a series of key all-day meetings for most of the week, which was grueling.  At the end of the week I found myself at the Fairmont […]

Summer Wine Round-up: Feeling Thirsty?

Summer Wine Round-up: Feeling Thirsty? If you’ve been following Dallas Wine Chick since I started my job as the head of marketing for an energy software company, you know that I work with a great group of people who are more than willing to step in and “assist” in the tasting of wines.  We started #thirstythursdays […]

Winebow and Wilson Daniels Wine Portfolio Tours: A Taste of Heaven

Winebow and Wilson Daniels Wine Portfolio Tours: A Taste of Heaven Recently I had the opportunity to attend two portfolio tastings that swung through Dallas.  For those of you who haven’t had the chance to attend a portfolio tasting; it’s designed to showcase the wines imported and distributed by the company sponsoring the event.  It […]

Get Underground and Take A Gamble on a Better Bottle

Get Underground and Take A Gamble on a Better Bottle Underground Cellar is an online wine marketplace designed to deliver premium wine to consumers with free upgrades to higher-priced wines on a random basis.  I was recently provided a credit to experience their membership.  This is not a wine club – it’s designed to provide […]

Cork Wine Bar: Wine 101, 201 and 301 Education Series

I was recently asked to participate in Cork Wine Bar’s series of wine classes — Wine 101, 201 and 301, that was hosted by Stephanie and Jeff Rennells, the passionate and funny owners of Cork.  At each session we tasted six wines from around the world.  I found the wines to be diverse, off the […]

Tasters Choice: A Round-up Of Higher End Wines

I received several fantastic packages in the mail this month full of wonderful higher end sample wines.  Because I put my #thirstythursday group to the test with trying the good, the bad and the very ugly in the world of wines on a continual basis, I wanted to make sure to show appropriate gratitude. Higher […]

Central Market’s Passaporto Italia: A Whole Lot of Mangia Going On

Central Market’s Passaporto Italia is kicking off on April 30 to May 13 and I attended the media preview at the Lover’s Lane store in April.  Think of this as a two week tribute to all things Italian – pastas to cheeses to foods to beers to winemakers to chefs.  I had a chance to […]

Rhone Rangers Show the Diversity and Delightfulness of American Rhone Wines

My friend @sonomawilliam, a blogger, wine “MacGyver” and garagiste turned commercial vintner for Two Shepherds Vineyard asked me to be a part of a blue-chip list of “who’s who” in the blogger world for a #winechat dedicated to American Rhone wines.  This was a precursor to a “Weekend Celebration of American Rhones” held in the […]

Holman Ranch Wines: Opening My Eyes to the Power of Carmel

Before receiving a package of Holman Ranch wines, I was not familiar with the winery.  The winery has a storied history when the land of what eventually became the winery was purchased by a San Francisco businessman in 1928.  The house that was built was nicknamed “Casa Escondida” or “Hidden House” and became a celebrity […]

What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been: A Conversation with David Ready Jr.

What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been: A Conversation with David Ready Jr. It’s rare you sit down with an individual that saw 175 Grateful Dead concerts, went on tour with them and lived to tell the tale.  Then you find out he’s an esteemed winemaker for Murphy Goode, a newly converted runner (lost 50 […]

Johnny Schuler, the Pisco Man of Portón Tells His Story

I found Johnny Schuler, Master Distiller of Portón, holding court at The Porch last week with 38 mixologists hanging on his every word and tasting creations made with Pisco as they prepared and brainstormed for a “best cocktail” competition at Victor Tango’s.  Schuler is one of the top Pisco authorities in the world, and has […]

Duckhorn Winemaker Tour Rolls Through Dallas

Renee Ary, Duckhorn Winemaker The Duckhorn Winemaker tour rolled through town this month and featured the launch of the inaugural Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay as well as new releases from Duckhorn Vineyards, Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, and Decoy. First the chardonnay, Duckhorn started making this wine in 2011, but they didn’t feel like they fulfilled […]

A Conversation with Eleanor Coppola: The Untold Story of a Renaissance Woman

A Conversation with Eleanor Coppola: The Untold Story of a Renaissance Woman  Courtesy of Coppola Winery I was honored last week to spend several hours with Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola at two different Dallas-based events.  The first, and my absolutely favorite, was an intimate lunch with a who’s who of women in Dallas food […]

California, French and Italian Quarterly Wine Update

I had fallen behind on the work #ThirstyThursday events so it was imperative that I grab some co-workers and taste some wines.  This time, we had 14 wines from California, France and Italy.  I’m featuring the nine that made the list which did not, for the record, include the wine marketed to the “inner diva” […]

Fine Wine On Tap Changes Dallas Wine By the Glass Landscape at Savor (and Beyond)

Fine Wine On Tap Changes Dallas Wine By the Glass Landscape at Savor (and Beyond) As I am in technology marketing for my paying gig, I am all about watching innovation and disruption change industries and I love watching transformations.  Google.  Apple.  Twitter. Uber.  All companies that pushed the envelope and changed the way we search, compute, […]

A Wine Blogger’s Experience with a 3 Day Juice Cleanse

A Wine Blogger’s Experience with a 3 Day Juice Cleanse Let’s just say that when one decides to do a cleanse, a night out with “Lucky” Eddie Campbell mixing cocktails and dozens of appetizers isn’t the right way to get started.  In fact, what you eat prior to cleansing is a huge part of your […]

McGah Family: Football, Family and Fabulous Wine

I originally planned to do a wine and National Football League oriented column, but I find myself writing this over a week after the Big Yawn (Big Game).  And I guess you already lived through that with me with my column around the BCS Championship Game. I’ve tasted wine from a lot of athletes and […]

Dallas Wine Chick Celebrates 1,460 Days, 250 Posts and 1,000s of Bottles of Wine

Dallas Wine Chick Celebrates 1,460 Days, 250 Posts and 1,000s of Bottles of Wine It’s hard to believe it has been 1,460 days since Dallas Wine Chick made its debut.  Since then, I’ve met countless wine lovers across the world, tasted thousands of bottles of wine (some good, some bad), attended three Wine Bloggers Conferences […]

Can You Get a Decent Glass of Wine at a Chain: Not at Outback Steakhouse

Can You Get a Decent Glass of Wine at a Chain: Not at Outback Steakhouse It was my dad’s birthday this last Saturday and it’s a tradition in my family that the birthday person gets to pick the restaurant for their birthday dinner.  That has translated over the years to me dragging my sushi hating […]

Holiday Wine Round Up

Holiday Wine Round Up It’s a new year and time for a new wine round up of those sampled over the holidays.  This time I tried 18 wines in the $10 to $125 range from California, Chile, Italy and Spain.  Half of them made my list, which excluded some high priced samples: Whites: Italy NV […]

Auburn Football, the BCS National Championship and Wine

Auburn Football, the BCS National Championship and Wine I had the honor of attending the BCS National Championship Game last week.  I’m honest with you all — so I’ll admit it — the emotional hangover is still there.  For those of you who follow me strictly for wine – bear with me – I’ll get […]

Round Pond Wines: A Great Match for the Holidays

Sometimes it’s crazy how serendipity works.  A few months ago I was in Punta Mita, Mexico, at a resort with my husband and some friends where I happened to run into a group of girls celebrating a milestone birthday.  Literally – in an intertube on the lazy river at the Four Season’s Resort.  One of […]

A Few of My Favorite Sparklings

  Courtesy of Pierre Peters Champagne I published a few of my favorite sparkling wines at a variety of price points just in time for your New Year’s celebration.  See what you think of what I published in Culture Map Dallas.  What are your favs?

Take Time to Be in the Moment

    For the last nine years, I’ve hosted an annual girl’s wine club champagne and sparkling tasting.  Usually this involves me recruiting my kind husband who cooks massive amounts of great food paired with very loud conversation, lots of catch up and of course bottles and bottles and bottles of sparkling wines and champagne.  […]

Malai Kitchen: Off the Beaten Path Wines and Rockin’ Asian Food

I was an invited guest of Malai Kitchen, the Southeastern Asian cuisine restaurant owned by Yasmin and Braden Wages, for a food/wine pairing showcasing their off the beaten path wine list.  I visited the Thursday evening prior to “Icemaggeden.”    The restaurant is located in Uptown and the concept was inspired by the Wages’ travels […]

Cornerstone Cellars, Elyse Winery & J Vineyards: Samples to Remember

    When sample packages from Cornerstone Cellars, J Vineyards and Elyse Winery arrive in the mail, I’ve learned to stand up and take notice.  I’ll lead with the still wines.  Both Cornerstone and Elyse are known for hand-crafted and boutique wines that express the terrior where they are produced.  I’ve found these to be […]

A Quick Twitter Trip around Italy, France and Wines for the Holidays

  Exhibit A of what not to drink after a Bordeaux tasting November was the season of Twitter tastings and I was asked to be a part of three tastings – one from #planetbordeaux, the second from Franciacorta, and a Whole Foods Top Holiday wines under $25.  Lesson learned #1 – if you really want […]

Wine Bloggers Conference 2014: A Preview into Clos Pepe and Central Coast Wine

  With eight months to the day until the 2014 Wine Blogger’s Conference (#wbc14) in Santa Barbara, Central Coast Wine & Food conducted a live Twitter tasting with 12 of the top-tier wine bloggers (plus me).  Wes Hagen, the colorful winemaker and vineyard manager of Clos Pepe Vineyards, hosted us with lots of quotable commentary […]

Another Wine Round Up: Great Entertaining Wines

Another Wine Round Up: Great Entertaining Wines It’s time for another round of wines from around the world and this week focuses on Chile, Spain, Portugal and Italy.  Most of these wines are under $25 and the majority under $15.  A good showcase of values and “off the beaten path” wines make these regions ones […]

Hardy Wines and Accolade Wine Group: A Match Made in Heaven

Hardy Wines and Accolade Wine Group: A Match Made in Heaven Australian wines hit America right around the time I started to drink wine with a cork and figured out that I could afford to buy a case of Lindeman’s.  About 1.6 million cases were imported in 1995.  Today the Australian wine industry is the […]

Discovery of a Region: A Snapshot of South African Wines

Discovery of a Region: A Snapshot of South African Wines I was invited to explore a region lately that was unfamiliar to me – South Africa.  The distribution of these wines haven’t been strong in Dallas, so it requires some detective work to try a variety of wines from the region.  According to the Wines […]

Catena Zapata: A Conversation with Pablo Sanchez

Catena Zapata: A Conversation with Pablo Sanchez Pablo Sanchez, Catena Zapata Winemaker  How I wish when I received the invitation to the Catena Zapata vertical tasting that I knew Winemaker Pablo Sanchez would be attending. I admit, I would have come better prepared.  So I was surprised to find him standing in the room at […]

Franciacorta: Discovering a Sparkling Powerhouse

I recently participated in a Twitter tasting for a region that was new to me – the Franciacorta region from Lombardy in Northern Italy.  The region, which was originally known for still wines, now is a powerhouse area for Italian sparkling wines using the traditional method of re-fermentation in the same bottle and the first […]

Angove Family Winemakers: 127 Years of Family, Legacy and Australian Heritage

  I heard from my PR contacts at Trinchero Family Estates, who have been working in partnership with Angove Family Winemakers, that Tim Boydell, their senior vice president, was making a visit to Dallas and had a great story to tell me about their history and their wines. Tim Boydell was brought on several years […]

Scotto Wines: Fifty Years of Family and New Eye Toward Legacy Wines

When I was contacted by the “biggest winery that I’ve never heard of” last month, it peaked my interest.  I missed Anthony Scotto III, the CEO of Scotto wines, when he was in Dallas last month, so when the winery offered to have Bill Chenault, the national sales manager for Scotto pour the wines for […]

A Conversation with Lindsay Hoopes: From District Attorney to Vineyard Scion

A Conversation with Lindsay Hoopes: From District Attorney to Vineyard Scion   The story of wine.  That’s the entire premise for why I founded Dallas Wine Chick.  When I received an invitation to meet Lindsay Hoopes, a badge carrying San Francisco Assistant District Attorney who is in process of taking over her father’s wine company, […]

A Few of My Favorite Things: Another Wine Review Column

I had a chance to taste wines from nine wineries from regions ranging from Italy, Spain and California. Of the wines sampled, I’m going to profile seven of them. Italy   2011 Tenuta Costa Lahnhod Sauvignon Doos – This 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc wine from the Alto Adige DOC was my first Italian version of […]

Tasting in the Dark with Coppola: A Sensory Experience

Tasting in the Dark with Coppola: A Sensory Experience    Hoby Wedler at Coppola (far right), Courtesy of Coppola Winery For me, wine has always been a sensory experience where you use all of your senses to appreciate and anticipate what is in the glass in front of you.  Francis Ford Coppola Winery has created […]

Summer BBQ: Jekel and Bonterra Style

Summer BBQ: Jekel and Bonterra Style     It was in the midst of Summer BBQ season and the weather in Texas was hitting the 100’s when I received my blogger’s sample of Bonterra and Jekel Vineyards wines.  I knew that Bonterra was organic and biodynamically farmed as I had tried some of the wines prior.  […]

Riedel Versus Fusion Stemware: Who Comes Out on Top?

I have been a long-time fan of Riedel glasses and have about 12 sets of the Riedel Extreme Vinum as well as a variety of spirit and champagne tasting glasses in our household.  I’ve tried several different brands of tasting glasses in comparison with the Riedel glasses and found they just didn’t compare to the […]

Thirsty Thursday Round Up: My Finds in August

Thirsty Thursday Round Up: My Finds in August It’s time for another round up of wines and I brought in my colleagues to help me taste them.   I think I’ve been pretty vocal about really enjoying my role with the new company that I joined the end of February.  Because there were so many review […]

Sojourn Cellars: Coming Now to a Dallas Wine Store Near You

  Once upon a time, my friends, Karen and Jim, introduced me to Sojourn Cellars and Craig Haserot, founder, and his wife, Ellen, which began my love affair with Sonoma wines. We went to the tasting room in downtown Sonoma and tasted our way through some stunning Pinot Noirs and Cabernets.  Sojourn sources fruit from vineyards […]

Proud to be a Whole Foods Market “Wine Geek”

  A few weeks ago I received a message that was so very cool and very unexpected.  The marketing folks from the new Whole Foods Market in Addison asked me to join their “Wine Geek” program featuring several wine experts in the community who would get shelf level signage in store next to the recommended […]

Wente, Garnet and Renwood WTIS Virtual Tasting

  Last week, I participated in a virtual tasting scheduled as the welcome reception for the Wine Technology Industry Symposium (WTIS) showcase.  WineTwits, who always does a wonderful job with these tastings, recruited Wente Vineyards, Garnet Vineyards and Renwood Winery to participate.  We had the chance to try one wine from each vineyard. WTIS Virtual […]

A Round Up of Recommended Wines Under $15

It’s time for another wine round up and this time the focus was on Italy, Slovenia and California.  Overall this was a group of well-priced (all under $15), well rounded and very drinkable wines.  In fact, of the nine wines that I tried, I’m reviewing seven. Wines Under $15 California   2011 Backhouse Pinot Grigio […]

American Wine Consumer Coalition: Finding A Voice for Consumers

When I received the American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC) press release announcing the formation of the non-profit 501(c)4 organization to represent consumer interests with Texas as a priority state, I was excited.  If you’ve tried to have an out of state winery or retailer ship directly, you’ve encountered a maze of ridiculous red tape and […]

Elyse Winery Tests Cheese Club for Wine Club Members

Elyse Winery Tests Cheese Club for Wine Club Members Last month, I received a shipment of cheese meant to be paired with the Elyse wines.  Nancy Coursen, the owner of Elyse and one of the nicest people on the planet, wanted to give the new cheese and wine pairing a try before making it a […]

A Conversation with Rodrigo Soto

A Conversation with Rodrigo Soto It seems like the Wine of Chile people have been everywhere lately.  Since I’ve been writing Dallas Wine Chick, I’ve received invitations to a number of events including live Twitter tastings and wine makers coming through Texas who make the time to tell me their stories and let me taste […]

Summer Whites Perfect for a Costa Rican Summer Vacation

My daredevil 7 year old who ziplined upside down every chance she had One thing that I’ve learned in my travels is that the wine cellar at my house usually has a much better selection (and certainly is a much more cost effective choice) than buying wine from a resort.  So, when traveling to Mexico (or […]

A Conversation with the Men behind Sartori Wines

Bernabei and Sartori  When Banfi invited me to experience the Sartori family wine portfolio, I knew I was in for some great wines and a lunch that would take me right back to my Italian roots, but without all the yelling.  I met Andrea Sartori, fourth generation of the Sartori family, and Franco Bernabei, a […]

Grants Last Stand: 100 Year Family Recipe Recreation

Grants Last Stand: 100 Year Family Recipe Recreation Say you had one secret family recipe over 100 years old that was never actually written down, but you wanted to recreate it to honor a family member who started your business five generations ago.  Add to that the complexity of the recipe containing ingredients from nine […]

Club W: A PYOW (Pick Your Own Wine) Club

A PYOW (Pick Your Own Wine) Club I don’t have to tell you that there are a lot of wine clubs out there – and most of them don’t allow you to pick the wines that you receive. Lately I’ve noticed a trend that puts the consumer in charge.  Club W does just that.  It […]

Wine Review Round-up: French, Spanish, Italian and California

Wine Review Round-up: French, Spanish, Italian and California With the new gig, a little behind on wine reviews…  It’s been a while since I’ve done a wine round up and lately I’ve been fortunate enough to try some really great wines at all price points.  Since I started my new job in Dallas, I have […]

Winemakers Gott, Smith and Bieler World Tour

Winemakers Gott, Smith and Bieler World Tour The invitation looked like a blast – a world tour featuring Joel Gott, Charles Smith and Charles Bieler at Lee Harvey’s with a rock band, tacos and summer whites and rosés.  But Mother Nature had a torrential rainstorm in mind for Dallas, so I pulled up to three […]

INTO WINE: A Q&A with Olivier Magny

The subject matter was just “Book.”  Honesty, I thought to myself, “just what we need – another wine book” and books aren’t something I wanted to get in the habit of reviewing.  I even went to Google to see how many would pop up on search – the answer, 764,000,000.  But the email from Olivier […]

Sonoma In the City Does Dallas: Day Two

The Taste of Sonoma tour brought more than 100 Sonoma County wines ranging from Russian River Valley chardonnay and pinot noir to big Zin from Dry Creek Valley to rich cabernet sauvignon from Alexander Valley to the Mansion on Turtle Creek. Yolanda Papapietro While I did not try anywhere near 100 wines, I was able to […]

Elyse Winery: Sincerity and Sustainability

Even before I was lucky enough to get on the blogger sample list for Elyse Winery, I’ve been a long-time fan.  I like Elyse’s approach to sustainable wines, their no fuss approach at the winery and the people have always been knowledgeable, passionate and downright nice.  Rick Saunders was our host and we had a […]

Behind the Scenes at Mumm Napa

After waking up to a great breakfast in our beautiful room at the Harvest Inn (another first for us, but a great place to stay with its good food and wine receptions nightly), we set off for our trade tasting at Mumm Napa. We were warmly greeted by Charles, our host, who took us for an […]

Celebrity Wines: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

Celebrity Wines: The Good, the Bad and the Funny Christy Lemire at the Oscars Check out my column today in Culture Map Dallas where I interviewed Associated Press Movie Critic Christy Lemire to find out what she thought the persona of the wines would be based on the celebrity.  Then Jasper Russo, who runs the fine wine program for […]

A Behind the Scenes Look at Cornerstone Cellars’ New Releases

Before I delve into my wonderful experience at Cornerstone Cellars, I wanted to give a shout out for a fun and affordable way to experience a Napa driver.  We used My Napa Valley Driver and met Chris Pittman, who was our “cruise director” for the day.  We often try to hire drivers for at least one […]

Bernard Portet: Conversation with A Wine Country Legend

In another pinch myself moment on the trip, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Bernard Portet, considered to be one of the forefathers of the Napa Valley wine industry , at Don Giovanni.  For almost 40 years, Bernard was the co-founder and wine maker for Clos du Val Winery who helped pioneer and […]

Corison Winery: A Sense of Place, Time and Terrior

Corison Wines are all about the time and place.  If you have paid attention to the evolution of blue-chip cabernets in Napa Valley, chances are you have consumed a wine that has Cathy Corison’s magic touch.  Cathy, one of Napa’s first female winemakers, started making cabernet in 1978; several years after getting her Master’s in […]

An Evening at Jordan: An Experience for the Bucket List

When I started my blog a little over three years ago, I never expected that it could lead to an invitation from one of the best California wineries, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, to stay at their estate for an evening.  Due to a friendship with Lisa Mattson, Jordan’s head of marketing and engagement, we found that […]

A Night with Morlanda and Judith Llop in Dallas

Judith Llop, the winemaker for Morlanda, one of Spain’s shining stars from Priorat, came to town last week and I had the chance to sit down with her at an intimate wine dinner.  Morlanda is part of the Heredad Collection, a small collection of limited-release premium wines from the top estates in Spain.  It is […]

Bocelli Family Wines: An Aria for My Curtain Call

Bocelli Family Wines: An Aria for My Curtain Call I recently brought a chapter of my life to a close.  I left my old job working for a company based in Stockholm to begin a new one located about seven minutes from my house that wouldn’t require the 210,000 miles that I flew last year.  Before my […]

Head East: Steven Kent Wines Ahead

I recently received an invite to attend a Twitter tasting featuring the wines of Steven Kent Winery.  I wasn’t familiar with the wines from Steven Kent, but I’ve been hearing buzz lately about Livermore Valley, so I immediately accepted.  A few weeks later, a half case of wines found their way to my door. First, […]

Give Cork A Pop: A Wine Bar Review

It had been a while since I had last visited Cork Wine Bar and it was time for a return trip.  I knew that Cork used Enomatic wine dispensers, and I am a huge fan of the technology.  It allows consumers to try a wide variety of wines while making business sense for wine bar […]

WinePoynt Review on CultureMap Dallas Today

WinePoynt Review on CultureMap Dallas Today Photo Courtesy of WinePoynt Click here to see my review of WinePoynt in Culture Map Dallas.  All in all, a cool application today to find the best wine selection in the bigger box retailers and chains.  I’m looking forward to when wine bars, specialty retailers and smaller restaurants are added.  Then this will truly […]

California and Rioja Wines: A Mix of Cellar Worthy & Tuesday Night Wine

California and Rioja Wines: A Mix of Cellar Worthy & Tuesday Night Wine The sample wines were multiplying again, so I invited over some friends and opened a variety of bottles from California and Spain.  I’ve found as the blog gets older, the wines are definitely getting better.  Today was no exception. California Cornerstone Cellars […]

Super Bowl: Santorini Style

Super Bowl: Santorini Style It was time for the Super Bowl game and we were invited to a friend’s house for an impromptu get together.  It was a sunny day with weather in the 60’s, I knew we’d have some rich snacks, and since I am never one to follow the beaten path, I grabbed […]

A Night with John Robert Eppler

In October, I had the chance to meet John Robert Eppler, the proprietor of John Robert Eppler wines, at a Howell Mountain Wine tasting in Dallas.  I was impressed with the Howell Mountain Cabernet that I tried and when I found out John had Texas roots, I asked him to host a dinner at Lakewood […]

How Much Wine Is Enough: The Art of Stocking the Bar for a Party

We were co-hosting a party of the first grade parents at my daughter’s school and expected about 70 people.  I was stumped by the age old question — if you are throwing a party, how much wine do you buy?  The general consensus at least on the web is about half a bottle per person.  […]

Home for the Holidays: Food, Wine, Family & Memories

Home for the Holidays: Food, Wine, Family & Memories Food, wine and fellowship have always been a mainstay of our holiday celebrations.  With the recent passing of my great aunt Stella, who died right before Christmas, it was a poignant reminder to appreciate those that we love. Stella Urusky, on the bottom row on the […]

Home for the Holidays: Food, Wine, Family & Memories

Home for the Holidays: Food, Wine, Family & Memories Food, wine and fellowship have always been a mainstay of our holiday celebrations.  With the recent passing of my great aunt Stella, who died right before Christmas, it was a poignant reminder to appreciate those that we love. Stella Urusky, on the bottom row on the lefthand […]

Arista and Lakewood: A Food/Wine Experience

Arista and Lakewood: A Food/Wine Experience Mark graciously poses with our table Earlier this year, I had a chance to sit down with Mark McWilliams, owner and winemaker at Arista Winery in Sonoma.  Since Mark and his family have Texas roots and a house in Richardson, I asked him if he’d be willing to host […]

Parallel Winery Brings A Love for Skiing and Wine to a Common Intersection

Parallel Winery Brings A Love for Skiing and Wine to a Common Intersection   The San Francisco International Wine Competition Tour recently came through Dallas showcasing the wine and spirits of the award winners.  Parallel’s 2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon received ‘Best Cabernet’.  I was invited to meet Mac MacQuoid, one of the partners of Parallel […]

Drink Ribera. Drink Spain: A Dallas Workshop

Drink Ribera. Drink Spain: A Dallas Workshop The Ribera del Duero folks came through Dallas recently for an event called “Drink Ribera.  Drink Spain.”  They hosted a tasting and VIP trade and media food pairing seminar at Pappas Bros Steakhouse hosted by Melissa Monasaw, the wine and education director from Pioneer Wines, and James Tidwell […]

Wines of Chile: A Terroir Master Class

Wines of Chile: A Terroir Master Class I recently participated in the eighth Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting:  A Chilean Terroir Master Class.  The tasting was led by Fred Dexheimer, Master Sommelier, who participated from Santiago joined by 12 Chilean winemakers including a representation of women winemakers.  The focus was the breadth of the region’s […]

Review Wines: Tempranillo, Sparkling Wines and California Cabernets

Review Wines: Tempranillo, Sparkling Wines and California Cabernets ‘Tis the season for review wines and after receiving a call that I had “a few boxes of wine waiting for me at my old work address,” I had some serious tasting to do.  It was a very tough job, but you know I had to rise […]

Wines of Argentina: Diversity, Complexity and Yes, You Can Age Malbec

The folks from the Wines of Argentina came through town last week and hosted a panel and tasting featuring the country’s next generation of great winemakers.  Fernando Buscema of Catena Zapata; Federico Lleonart, the global wine ambassador for Argentina; Melissa Monasaw, the wine and education director for Pioneer Wine Company and James Tidwell from the […]

Taste Live and Vouvray: Complexity, Citrus and Chenin Blanc

Taste Live and Vouvray: Complexity, Citrus and Chenin Blanc Creative Furnace and TasteLive, along with the Loire Valley Wine Association, invited me to a two-part tasting of Vouvray wines that took place in October.  The event was divided into two interactive chats segmented by coast.  The next event takes place on November 13 and is also […]

The Label Project: A Gentle Reminder to Look on the Inside

It had a curious beginning.  It came as an anonymous email from the Brand Action asking a select group of global bloggers to participate in The Label Project.  This was shortly followed by the arrival of a lone book, The Catcher in the Rye, with a tongue in cheek note that we were about to […]

Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Rocks!: I Concur

I did a little happy dance when I saw that Craig Camp from Cornerstone Cellars had added me to his review list.  I received two bottles of Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Rocks!  These wines were made to drink today and are described by the winery to “go beyond our traditional wines to craft small lots […]

California Wine Club: A Wine Review

California Wine Club: A Wine Review – Dallas Wine Chick I recently received a shipment from the California Wine Club, a club specializing in hand-selected artisan wines from family owned producers, which contained the 09 Trenza Winery Santa Barbara County Mourvedre Syrah Grenache and the 10 Tangent Winery San Luis Obispo Viognier. We started with […]

Max’s Wine Dive: Fried Chicken, Champagne and Why The Hell Not?

I never expected arriving around 5 p.m., the first official day at Max’s Wine Dive, that there would be a question of finding a place to sit.  The place was absolutely packed with a who’s who in the wine (including winemakers), food and spirits industry.  And there’s good reason.  You put a dream team of […]

Post Conference Tour: #WBC12, Carlton Without Handcuffs

Post Conference Tour: #WBC12, Carlton Without Handcuffs And then it was over.  Just like that.  But thankfully my post trip was about to begin.  The town of Carlton, where I had spent the #cuffedincarlton wine tour trip, was willing to have a group of us back for a two-day excursion with some of my most […]

#WBC 12: Evening Festivities, Speed Tasting, Peruvian Food & Cuffed in Carlton

#WBC 12: Evening Festivities, Speed Tasting, Peruvian Food & Cuffed in Carlton After the fun pre-trip to Salem, our bus pulled up for the long awaited start of the Wine Bloggers Conference, but not without a lung stopping beginning.  All the rooms at the Doubletree were deemed non-smoking except for the non-compliant guest that stayed […]

Salem Pre-Trip Journey: Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Salem Pre-Trip Journey: Wine Bloggers Conference 2012 It’s always tough to distill all the information from the Wine Bloggers Conference.  The pre-trip, the conference and the post-trip all provide experiences that are so unique it is hard to bring them to life.  This being my third year of attending the Wine Bloggers Conference, with my […]

Icon Georges Duboeuf: Changing the Face of Affordable French Wines

Icon Georges Duboeuf: Changing the Face of Affordable French Wines This summer, a number of iconic brands celebrated important anniversaries.  The trend continued in August when Georges Duboeuf, founder and co-owner of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf Wines, came to Dallas to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of working with his dear friend, William Deutsch, chairman […]

Changing the Uncle Louie Family Wine Experience

Changing the Uncle Louie Family Wine Experience Sure, I said with a bit of trepidation.  I’d love to try your wine … and the bottle hand off occurred …. Twice.  You see I grew up tasting the wines of my Uncle Louie when I was younger.  I knew even then that wine should never, ever […]

Hourglass Wine: Right Place, Right Time, Right Property

It’s always a good segue when talking with a winery owner when you can show a carefully stored Magnum of their first vintage of wine.  I usually don’t have that opportunity, but when I was asked to be a guest at the Hourglass dinner at Private Social, I knew I had a great opening line. […]

Winebow Wines of Summer: Fun to Be Had Off the Beaten Path

When I received a package from Winebow with Summer whites that were off the beaten path, I was totally stoked. I gathered a group of my closest wine buddy girlfriends, we assembled a spread to match and we were off to the races. The pack included Pinot Grigio and Riesling as well as Vermentino and […]

Napa Heavyweights: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

Napa Heavyweights: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble The invitation from the Gaylord Texan was intriguing.  A blind tasting of Napa heavyweight wines led by Rene Schlatter, president and owner, and Sean Foster, VP of wine production and head winemaker, of Merryvale Vineyards and Starmont Winery.  As a former Golden Gloves boxer (yes, don’t ask), I […]

Chateau St Jean Wine Dinner and the Future Direction of Bailey’s Prime

Chateau St Jean Wine Dinner and the Future Direction of Bailey’s Prime I was excited to meet one of the stalwarts of women and wine, Margo Van Staaveren the winemaker from Chateau St. Jean, at a wine dinner at Bailey’s Prime.  Sadly, the stars did not align and Margo was unable to make the dinner […]

Iconic Brand Celebrates Iconic Milestone

Iconic Brand Celebrates Iconic Milestone This year appears to be a banner year for many blue-chip California wineries.  I was invited to the 40th anniversary celebration of Silver Oak at the Gaylord Texan, featuring Executive Vice President Tim Duncan.  The winery was celebrating its anniversary in style with a cross-country tour featuring “the tower,” a […]

The Summer of Italian Wine: A Conversation with Mauro Merz

The Summer of Italian Wine: A Conversation with Mauro Merz I talked last week about the Italians converging on Dallas to make sure that we know just how great their wines are.  When I received an invitation from Banfi to meet Mauro Merz, the head winemaker from Fontana Candida, I was intrigued.  This was part […]

Dita Von Teese, Spirited Libations and European Men

Dita Von Teese, Spirited Libations and European Men You may ask what Dita Von Teese, the International Queen of Burlesque, and Cointreau Liquor have in common.  More than you would think.  I had a chance to talk to Dita again last month during her trip through Dallas where she served as the brand ambassador for […]

Italian Wines: Damilano Family Brings History to Dallas

Italian Wines: Damilano Family Brings History to Dallas My maiden name is Bianco. If you look at me closely, it’s probably not hard to piece together that I have ancestors from Sicily, the Promised Land. But, I have always felt like I needed to learn more about Italian wine. Luckily this appears to be the […]

California Wine Club Brings the Valley to You

I was recently asked to take part in Mom Spark Media’s blog review campaign for the California Wine Club.  I felt I was very qualified due to the creative budgeting I used to do with my husband when I went to wine country.  I thought that wine club sign ups “didn’t count towards my wine […]

Drink Ribera, Drink Spain: A Texas Tour

Drink Ribera, Drink Spain: A Texas Tour   Jennifer Jaco, Del Frisco’s Sommelier, hosts the Ribera del Duero wine event   April Cullom, the national brand ambassador and U.S. trade liaison for Ribera del Duero took a private group through a tasting and history of the region at Del Frisco’s.  I was thrilled to see […]

Pedernales Cellars: Texas Winery Wins the Unofficial Memorial Day Lake Tasting

Pedernales Cellars: Texas Winery Wins the Unofficial Memorial Day Lake Tasting I admit it – while I might be the Dallas Wine Chick, I haven’t found many Texas wines that meet my quality and price balance.  I believe in supporting Go Local efforts and I do in buying many Texas products on a daily basis.  […]

Arista Winery: One Family’s Texas to Sonoma Journey

When I received the invitation to have lunch with Mark McWilliams, owner and winemaker of Arista Winery in Sonoma, I was reminded of his Texas connection with a very personalized note of his favorite Dallas haunts from Bolsa to Abacus; his affinity for White Rock Lake and how he loves the Dallas heat.  Other than […]

Cheese, Wine and a Little Verdi?

Cheese, Wine and a Little Verdi? Please join me in welcoming my good friend Jennifer Schuder, Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Community Outreach for the Dallas Opera, with a pretty cool take on wine, cheese, and opera.  Scroll down for some good ideas for celebrating #ww. Have you ever wondered which wine or cheese […]

Domaine Carneros: Le Rêve and Pinot Noir Tasting

Domaine Carneros: Le Rêve and Pinot Noir Tasting I received a welcome package recently from Domaine with a two-pack of Le Rêve 2005 ($95) and Domaine  Pinot Noir 07 ($35) to review.  I have always been a big fan of Domaine wines from all price points and find that they make delightful sparkling wine and […]

Total Wine: Total Package

Last month, I was asked to attend the pre-opening party for Total Wine & More, a new wine, spirit and beer mega-store.  Located a stone’s throw from Houston-based Spec’s Wine Spirits and Finer Foods and what is soon to be a Trader Joe’s location, it appears Dallas is finally being recognized for our love affair […]

Old World Cabernet Meets New World Chef: A Dinner to Remember

Old World Cabernet Meets New World Chef: A Dinner to Remember I know I’ve said this before, but I’m very lucky through this blog to meet some of the best storytellers, winemakers and chefs in the business.   I also get an opportunity through this blog and from my husband’s foodie love affair to eat some […]

Newton: Natural Wine Meets Eco-Chic

Recently I sat down with Chris Millard, Newton Vineyard winemaker, along with Bruce and Stephanie Tharp of MATERIOUS to talk wine, art and the environment.  Newton is a pretty cutting-edge vineyard that is serious about sustainability, organic farming, a commitment to nature and green design.  They were there to talk about the winery’s fourth annual […]

Jordan Winery Anniversary: Texas Style

Jordan Winery Anniversary: Texas Style It’s not every day that you get an invitation to celebrate Jordan Vineyard’s 40th anniversary, but I recently received two.  The first, which unfortunately was usurped by the paying gig, was a retrospective wine tasting of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon hosted by Winemaker Rob Davis and CEO John Jordan where I […]

Savor Cheese, Savor Wine, Savor Dallas

As a part of Savor Dallas, I was invited to a joint event held by the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and Scardello to discover wine and cheese pairings.  Ironically, I had recently attended an event with the Moet Hennessy event, which was also held in the same place,  and found the identical wine portfolio.  Jim […]

Constellation Wine Portfolio Takes On Chateau Margaux: A Dallas Blind Tasting

Constellation Wine Portfolio Takes On Chateau Margaux: A Dallas Blind Tasting Mark de Vere, noted Master of Wine from Constellation Wines, recently hosted a blind tasting seminar of global first growths.  Basically, he took the Constellation wine portfolio and matched it against some of the top wines from around the globe.  De Vere kicked off […]

Mondavi & Clos Du Bois: New World Names, Old World Class

Recently I had the chance to sit down for lunch at Stephen Pyle’s Restaurant with two notable Napa characters – Gary Midyette, director of winemaking operations at Robert Mondavi, and Sean McKenzie, winemaker for Clos du Bois.  The two were on an annual Texas Tour that Constellation was doing for wines in its luxury portfolio.  […]

Flowers Vineyards: A Talk with Jason Jardine

Flowers Vineyards: A Talk with Jason Jardine I sat down with Jason Jardine, president of Flowers Vineyards last month at Pogo’s and had an opportunity to taste some of the Flower’s wine portfolio.  I’ve been a fan of the Flowers Pinot Noirs in the past and served them at my daughter’s Baptism several years ago. […]

A Night of Wine, Art & Cafe Momentum at Mockingbird Station

I was honored to be asked to host an event last month for Mockingbird Station centered around wine, food and art.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a member of the “Influencers Council” for Mockingbird Station and I was happy to help.  This event featured more than 15 pieces of original artwork by […]

Honig Wine and Bailey’s: A Night of History (and Great Wine)

Honig Wine and Bailey’s: A Night of History (and Great Wine) Many years ago on a wine trip to Napa, my friend Jennifer introduced me to Honig Vineyards.  Aside from having a wonderful time at the winery due to their hospitality, I was impressed with the quality of the wines and brought home a case.  […]

Pre-K, Finding Our Way and Wine

In 2008, I began the journey of Greenhill School with my only daughter in Pre-K. Greenhill has a fabulous reputation as one of Dallas’ top private schools with an impressive list of some of our city’s most illustrious names in attendance. And then there was my husband and myself – definitely not at the top […]

So You Want to Break Into the Wine Industry…

When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to get closer to the wine industry, but I wasn’t sure how to do it.  I was talking with Corbin Adams from Crossmark, a local recruiting company, and he asked me if you’d be interested in finding out about how to break into the business.  I thought it […]

A Night of Tapas and Spanish Wine

I recently attended the Lakewood Country Club wine dinner, which was Spanish themed and for the first time in a long time did not feature a particular wine maker.  It was styled as a “Spanish wine and tapas” event and focused on particular geographies – Monstant, Priorat, Rioja, Valencia, Ribera del Duero and finished with […]

Wine-ing Through Europe

Wine-ing Through Europe Many of you know that I recently took a marketing role at an international company based in Stockholm which requires that I spend at least once a month on the road.  While this sounds fabulous and glamorous, it usually ends up being planes, taxis, conference rooms, airports, little sleep and interesting dinners […]

The Power of Stemware, Openers and Blind Pinot Tasting

The Power of Stemware, Openers and Blind Pinot Tasting What was evolved into a group with the “tongue in cheek” name, The Dallas Wine Mafia,  recently met this month for round two of #BBWT.  The theme was Pinot Noir, which was less enthusiastically embraced by one of our members and we set out to try to […]

Moet Hennessy Portfolio: Taking Dallas By Storm

I recently attended a trade event at the Mansion on Turtle Creek hosted by Sigel’s featuring the Moet Hennessy portfolio available in Texas.  When I received the invitation, a few things caught my eye.  First, Manuel Louzado from Numanthia was on the list and I love, love, love his wines.  Second, Cloudy Bay winemaker, Sarah […]

New Zealand Pinot Noirs Worth Noting

New Zealand Pinot Noirs Worth Noting I was invited to participate in the New Zealand Wine Day #nzwineday this past week.  We were sent six wines to taste that represented the region.  I logged on at the appropriate time and experienced a technical difficulty that happened for many bloggers.  We were supposed to see a simulcast by […]

Tapena’s Most Creative Piropo Winner

Tapena’s Most Creative Piropo Winner Now it’s time to announce the winner of the poetry into action contest with Tapena.  You were all creative and had some fun ways to personify your love affair with the grape.  I’m happy to announce that Jacqueline Medina is the winner of the most creative Piropo.  She wins a […]

Tapena’s Most Creative Piropo Winner

Tapena’s Most Creative Piropo Winner Now it’s time to announce the winner of the poetry into action contest with Tapena.  You were all creative and had some fun ways to personify your love affair with the grape.  Tapena’s Most Creative Piropo Winner I’m happy to announce that Jacqueline Medina is the winner of the most […]

Evening Land Vineyards: The Romance Continues

Last July, I became acquainted with Evening Land Vineyards through an event with Pioneer Wine Company.  So when I got the invitation from Natalie Vaclavik, the company’s Southeast Regional Sales Director of Evening Land, to attend a dinner at Bailey’s, I jumped at the chance.  When I got there, I found out that I was the […]

Love Affairs, Piropos and Free Wine

Love Affairs, Piropos and Free Wine In honor of Valentine’s Day and putting poetry into action, I have teamed up with Tapeña wines.  It’s time to be creative and talk about your love affair – this time with the grape. The most creative Piropo will win a four-pack of wines, a Spanish-themed cookbook and some […]

Brown Bagging: A Blind Tasting Experience

Brown Bagging: A Blind Tasting Experience  Before the holidays, a group of Dallas-based wine folks gathered together for our first brown bag tasting event.  We tried ten wines in an informal format at Campania Pizza in Uptown, who was generous enough to waive the corkage fee.  The parameters were wide open – a red wine […]

The Blind Wine Chick Has Line of Sight to A Great Chardonnay

When I got an email entitled The “Blind Wine Chick,” I was intrigued.  I assumed that it had something to do with testing my own palate in a blind tasting.  I quickly came to realize that the email was about Alexandra Elman, an American oenophile and successful wine entrepreneur, who lost her sight due to […]

The Palate Evolution Begins

The Palate Evolution Begins You never know when the development of a palate will occur.  Around the New Year, my daughter invited several friends and their parents to our house for a celebratory dinner.  Morgan requested that she and her friends have “kids sparkling wine” a.k.a. non-alcohol sparkling.  So we grabbed a bottle of Ariel […]

Israel Wine Shines Bright in Dallas: First Winemakers Come Full Circle

When I received an invitation from Alfonso Cevola of Glazer’s Distributors, a person whose palate I respect, to attend a celebration to kick-off Israel Wine Week in Dallas, I was curious.  As you know, I love finding off the beaten path wines that I can introduce to you.  And wow — while these wines are […]

Freixenet and Ferrer Sparkling for the Holidays

Freixenet and Ferrer Sparkling for the Holidays I have been way too quiet lately and I broke my cardinal rule last week to blog at least once a week. Therefore, I owe you an apology, but I hope you understand. Last week I left my longest job to date where I had worked for six […]

Decent Glass of Wine At A Chain Series: Russo’s Coal Fired Italian

As a part of my ongoing and often sporadic “Can You Get a Decent Glass of Wine from a Chain Restaurant” series, I was invited to Russo’s Coal Fired Italian Kitchen, a chain of more than 25 Italian restaurants.  I’d never been to Russo’s before and so I made the ride to Richardson, TX, with […]

Mollydooker: The Story Behind the Story

When I received the invitation to attend a Mollydooker tasting, blending and dinner exercise with Sparky Marquis, I was a little star-struck.  As a marketing person by day, I have long admired the winery’s efforts to connect with other “Mollydookers”, or left-handed people, and build a brand that was unique, fun and appealing.  Krissy Miller, […]

Nine Walks, Craggy Range, Casillero del Diablo & Montecillo Reviews

Nine Walks, Craggy Range, Casillero del Diablo & Montecillo Reviews When you have a blog that is your passion and a job that is your paycheck, it is no surprise which one becomes the priority.  Since the end of August through October, I have been traveling to Stockholm, which didn’t leave me much time to […]

Taste, Value & Sustainability: Santa Julia Wines Deliver

Julia Zuccardi from Santa Julia Last month I attended a lunch at Komali to introduce Santa Julia wines from Argentina to the Dallas market.  Julia Zuccardi, the namesake of Santa Julia and a third-generation family member of one of Argentina’s family-owned wineries, was our gracious host.  In her words, and said with a smile, “my […]

Largest Wine Region in Spain Brings Childhood Memories

Largest Wine Region in Spain Brings Childhood Memories I have always had a soft spot for La Mancha.  Growing up, I remember my parents dressing up the kids (me being one of them) so we could go to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre to watch old movies.  One of those movies was Don Quixote, and that movie […]

Two Corks and a Bottle: A Do It Yourself Neighborhood Wine Bar

Two Corks and a Bottle: A Do It Yourself Neighborhood Wine Bar  Courtesy of John Buquoi I’ve always fanaticized about being a wine maker and working on “making magic in a bottle”.  That is until I tried blending from the barrel with a wine maker or two and realized what skills are required to make […]

Nature Runs Its Course: Lunch with Emiliana Organic Vineyards

Nature Runs Its Course: Lunch with Emiliana Organic Vineyards Alvaro Espinoza Duran, Consulting Winemaker I was recently invited to attend a wine lunch featuring wines from Emiliana Organic Vineyard with Jose Guilisasti Gana, general manager, and Alvaro Espinoza Duran, consulting winemaker.  The vineyard is based in Chile, a climate well suited for organic wines.  Founded […]