Category Archives: Wine

Jackson Family Wines + Harwood District Wine Dinner

The Harwood District has given Dallas some of (my) favorite new restaurants and spaces in the last few years—Mercat Bistro, Marie Gabrielle, Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, etc.—so it was surprise to me when I realized I hadn’t yet visited Dolce Riviera when I was invited to a wine pairing dinner there. I couldn’t say no. If it was anything compared to the other restaurants in the district, I was in for a treat. Bottom line: the food, the wine, and the “show” were all incredible.

The wine dinner featured Jackson Family Wines and was led by none other than Julia Jackson herself, daughter of the famed winemaker, Jess Jackson who began the brand in 1974. Each course got an introduction from someone from the restaurant, an overview of the paired wine and a colorful anecdote from Julia, and a step-by-step demonstration by Executive Chef Michele Scarpa.

Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned and operated wine company that owns vineyards, wineries, and brands throughout the world with brands spanning price ranges and various winemaking techniques. They continue to product incredibly wines and push teh envelope when it comes to innovation—both in winemaking and in eco-friendly practices. Well-known US brands include Freemark Abbey,  Kendall-Jackson, and La Crema.

The.meal.was.amazing. Each course was beautifully prepared and the paired Jackson Family Wines were exquisite and paired flawlessly. The risotto and Valodorna Supertuscan pairing was, by far, my absolute favorite. I’ve never been much of a risotto fan, but Chef Scarpa’s was life changing. Not kidding. The Supertuscan pairing was perfect as its bold notes of black cherry and spices cut the creaminess and richness of the risotto.

The food at Dolce Riviera is inspired by Chef Scarpa’s roots in southern Italy and dishes are authentic, but with a slight French slant. Everything is made with fresh ingredients from scratch to finish and is beautifully and intricately crafted to not only taste authentic, but to be presented beautifully as well. Dolce Riviera aims for simple, yet elegant.

ANTIPASTO: Half Crispy Quail over Green Asparagus with Quail Eggs and Sauce Mornaise
Paired with Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley, USA)

CRUDO: Venison Carpaccio with Wild Herbs, Late Radicchio Salad with Dried Apricot and Fresh Red Currant in White Balsamic Dressing
Paired with Yangarra Grenache (McLaren Vale, Australia)

PRIMO: Risotto Carnaroli with Pomegranate
Paired with Valodorna Supertuscan (Tuscany, Italy)

SECONDO: Veal Tenderloin Rollatino with Truffle Heart, Mix Wild Mushroom Sauce
Paired with Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, USA)

Harwood District gives diners incredible opportunities to dine delightfully with various events like these wine dinners, DJ Brunches, and more. Make sure to watch the Harwood District events page and their social channels to be up on all of the offerings coming from the district.


JACKSON FAMILY WINES
jacksonfamilywines.com

DOLCE RIVIERA
dolceriviera.com

HARWOOD DISTRICT
harwooddistrict.com

Wine & Magic

Didn’t think wine night could get any more fun? Think again.

Checkered Past Winery, located in the Southside on Lamar building, is making sure your wine night is never boring. Their $20/person Wine & Magic nights happen once a month, and let me tell you, this isn’t your ordinary magic show.

I’m glad Susie sent me (because magic makes her uncomfortable), and I’m glad she did.  The magic host, Trigg Watson, puts on a modern and entertaining (dare I say frustrating?) magic show. His tricks kept us on the edge of our seats and scratching our heads in awe.

While our team has been longtime fans of Checkered Past, we were excited to visit in a new capacity.

With over 60 wines and 20 local craft beers, the last thing you’ll be worried about is running out of options. To compliment the wine, Checkered Past offers an array of spreads (all made in house), charcuterie, and pizzas. Don’t forget to end your evening with one of their delicious desserts!

Upcoming Wine & Magic nights are March 10 and April 14. Stay tuned to Checkered Past’s website or wineandmagicdallas.com for other events and future Wine & Magic nights.


CHECKERED PAST WINERY
Checkered Past Winery
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Eatzi’s is NOW OPEN at Preston Royal

Eatzi’s has landed at Preston Royal Shopping Center! Just like their five other DFW locations, this new spot offers the same delicious, ready-to-eat food in classic European-style eatery form. In true Susie Drinks fashion, we’ll be talking about the drinks and what pairs well with them.

Get your Wine-down Wednesday (or really, any day) started with a quick stop at Eatzi’s: Mini wine bottles are available starting at just $2.99 and can be found all around the center food station. Half bottles of wine range from $13.99 to $16.99 and can be found throughout the store. Full bottles of wine get a special discount of 10% off when you purchase 4 or more. And for all you beer drinkers, a whopping 30% off when you purchase 6 or more. If you can’t decide which wine to go with, there’s usually an Eatzi’s wine specialist who can help you pick the perfect bottle for your evening.

Eatzi’s has the best selection of grab-and-go items if you’re in a hurry, need to grab something to take along to a get together, or just want a quick bite. Items range from Mediterranean sampler plates and sushi to perfectly portioned pasta dishes and salads. Their meat and cheese section is perfect for last minute get togethers or impromptu picnics with prepackaged meats, cheeses, fruit, and more.

If you’re searching for larger quantities or something a bit more refined, their large “Chef’s Corner table” (always in the middle of the store!) offers some staple items and some items that change by the day, both of which you can get in any quantity your heart/stomach desires.

 

EATZI’S PRESTON ROYAL
NEW LOCATION: 6025 Royal Lane #208, Dallas, TX 75230
972-499-6379

eatzis.com
all six locations

Open daily 7am-10pm

Rosé all day … and in the fall.

We all know about rosé …
summer water.
frozé.
#roséallday
The ubiquitous millennial-pink chilled wine served served at brunches the world over.

Is it a mystery that rosé and cliché rhyme? I think not.

In fact, there’s a compelling argument that rosé is summer’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ll have to save that argument for another day, because I’ve got some news:

Rosé season isn’t real.

I know, I know … it’s a revelation. Let it sink in for a few minutes.

Since temps in Texas hit the upper 80s and lower 90s well into October, there’s simply no reason to pack up your rosé along with your white jeans just because it’s autumn. (And for that matter, why should we even pack up our white jeans?) Luckily the awesome people are Barefoot feel the same way, and I was fortunate enough to attend their #FallForRosé event recently at Stirr in Deep Ellum.

The weather couldn’t have been better for an autumn cocktail event. The candlelit pink and gold decor complimented the crisp rosé perfectly and the Rosé Harvest Martini (Barefoot rosé, vanilla vodka, pomegranate juice and simple syrup) was a wonderfully light and crisp fall cocktail. Where the fruity flavor of rosé is usually associated with summertime, the subtle vanilla and pomegranate flavors nudged the drink into fall without relying on the use of typical fall flavors such as apple, pear and spices.

If you’re looking for a fall cocktail that’s a little different I would definitely recommend integrating rosé into the ingredients. And if cocktails aren’t your thing, you can never go wrong with a simple glass of rosé. … even in October.

Antonio Ristorante – Tasting Tuesdays

If you’re looking for a new date night idea, or if you’re  constantly on the hunt for authentic Italian food (the Northern states have all the luck with that), boy do we have a treat for you.

Antonio Ristorante, nestled away in Addison Circle, will transport you to the Italian countryside with its food, wine, and atmosphere. Classically trained Chef Antonio hails from Calabria, Italy and brings a hint of French cuisine to his tables for their $20 Tasting Tuesdays. Guests are served three lightly-portioned courses and wine pairings for each course. Even better, they’ll send you home with a simple and authentic recipe to try out the dishes in your own kitchen.

Chef Antonio prepares the main dish in front of restaurant goers and explains the recipe over a microphone; a waiter then explains the wine pairing with the notes that are to be experienced. Reservations for upcoming Tasting Tuesdays can be made here.

All of Antonio Ristorante’s food is ordered often to ensure freshness. If a customer especially likes a certain dish, the Chef will take note of their email and phone number to let them know the next time they have that dish. They also offer a few wild game options for the adventurous. Wine bottle prices are 30% cheaper than at other Italian restaurants with bottles starting at $27 – which we all know means you can spend that extra money on more wine.

A new food special will be available soon, and it’s a doozy. Their #LateNightDateNight offers a free pizza with any wine bottle purchase. Coming next week (the week of 5/4) for your date night needs, Thursday through Sunday after 9pm!

Antonio Ristorante
Website
Facebook 
4985 Addison Circle (Addison)
(972)458-1010

Lunch Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-4pm
Dinner Hours:
Mon-Thurs 4pm-10pm
Fri 4pm-11pm
Sat 5pm-11pm
Sun 4pm-10pm

VINO-Palooza

Vino Palooza is a traveling wine and music festival that recently made a stop in both Fort Worth and Dallas this year. The Dallas event was held at Happiest Hour and featured wines from more than 20 different wineries as well as some beers and ciders.

J-Si Chavez from The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show hosted and several “Top 40” artists performed including Ryan Cabrera, Nash Overstreet of Hot Chelle Rae, and Ryan Key of Yellowcard, all in the name of helping local non-profit organizations. Snacks were provided, but the full Happiest Hour menu was available for those looking for substance.

The day couldn’t have been more pleasant at 75-ish degrees and sunny–everyone clearly enjoyed the wine, the music, and the atmosphere. This event is a must if you can grab a hold of tickets before they sell out!

 

VINO-Palooza
vino-palooza.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

A McKinney Must-Do: Arts in Bloom

The annual Arts in Bloom and Wine Festival is coming back to McKinney in a few short weeks (April 7-9) … and they’ve added two days! The festival will feature work by national and local artists, music by local acts, great food from McKinney restaurants, and … of course … wine from local growers.  (Do you get the local angle yet?)

The festival was recently named on “GuideLive’s list of 50 can’t-miss festivals this spring” … so that’s something.

So, what must you know before heading to historic McKinney?

  • There will be a Wine Garden featuring wine from 14 regional Texas wineries.  Wine, y’all.  Buy a commemorative wine glass for $20 and get 10 tastings to find your favorite.  (They’ll have wine by the glass and local beers available, too.)
  • You can soak up the booze with food from vendors serving up goodies from state fair favorites to Smoked Gouda burgers and gourmet popsicles.
  • You can stay a while and enjoy the live music on one of two stages with a little something for everyone.
  • It’s free.  Even parking is free with shuttle service straight to the festival.
  • You’ll see some fantastic art from more than 150 artists including sculptors, painters, photographers, woodworkers, and more from right here in North Texas showing right beside national artists.  And all of it will be for sale.
  • It’s family-friendly.  They’ll have a Kids Creation Station where your little ones can do arts and crafts and be entertained by someone other than you.
  • Frisbees are not allowed.  (Just sayin’.)

For more information about the festival, call 972-547-2660 or visit www.artsinbloomtx.com

ARTS IN BLOOM
artisinbloomtx.com
2017 Dates: April 7-9
Historic Downtown McKinney (111 N. Tennessee Street)

 

 

Montes Wines – It’s a Family Thing

If ever you’ve felt like your wine needed a heartfelt backstory, Montes Alpha and Kaiken Ultra wineries have one for you.

Aurelio Montes Sr. and Aurelio Montes Jr. are the father and son of the century with their love for good wine as well as their heritage. The chilean duo not only have a namesake winery with a special commitment to the Chilean community, most notably a study scholarship given to the winery workers and their children alongside complimentary health and life insurance, but also like father, like son, Aurelio Montes Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps and opened up his own winery, Kaiken, in order to experiment with new terroirs and other winemaking practices such as biodynamics.
Fun fact: the Kaiken Ultra Winery was the second winery in the world to be awarded the Sustainable Certificate. Good for the community AND good for the earth? I don’t know what more you could want but they probably have it.

At Salum, a group of wine enthusiasts were treated to a tasting of wines from both wineries, as well as a paired luncheon. As we tasted the wines, Montes Sr. and Montes Jr. explained the back story of each wine and how they vary between the two wineries. 

Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2014
Alcohol – 13.9%
SRP – $19.90
Tasting notes: Shy in node expression.

Kaiken Ultra Chardonnay 2014
Alcohol – 14%
SRP – $20
Tasting notes: Bigger and deeper expression of oak and fruit.

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Alcohol – 14%
SRP – $19.90
Tasting notes: Fruity expression with red berries, blackberries, chocolate, and mint.

Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Alcohol – 14.8%
SRP – $20
Tasting notes: Tastes of strawberries with a round mouth and soft tannins.

Montes Alpha Malbec 2014
Alcohol – 14.5%
SRP – $19.90
Tasting notes: Leaner, spicier, edgier, rougher.

Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2014
Alcohol – 14.5%
SRP – $20
Tasting notes: Riper with a wide mouth, gentle tannins, and tastes of dark fruit.

Montes Outer Limits CGM 2015
Alcohol – 14.5%
SRP – $24.90
Tasting notes: Velvety texture. Montes Sr. described this as “a wine for the younger generations who want to drink something different than their parents.”

Kaiken Obertura Cabernet Franc 2014
Alcohol – 14.7%
SRP – $35
Tasting notes: Best paired with light meals, salads, cheese.

Montes Alpha M Red Wine 2012
Alcohol – 14.7%
SRP – $98
Tasting notes: A Bordeaux blend with a bouquet that comes along elegantly.

Kaiken Mai Malbec 2013
Alcohol – 14.8%
SRP – $70
Tasting notes: considered a real taste of Argentina.

Montes Taita Cabernet Sauvignon 2007/2009/2010
Alcohol – 15%
SRP – $249
Tasting notes: “Taita” describes the emotion of speaking of your father with devotion and admiration and he gives back his wisdom with loving care. This wine spends 18 months in barrels and then 4 years in bottles before being released.

Salmon and scallop crudo with Texas grapefruit, orange blossom oil, pea shoots, and parmesan crisps
Paired with the Montes Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and the Kaiken Terroir Series Torrontes 2016

Braised lamb, rosemary puree with plum gastrique
Paired with the Montes Purple Angel 2013 and the Kaiken Obertura 2014

Bittersweet chocolate and sticky date pudding with stewed red fruits and Mexican vanilla chantilly
Paired with the Montes Alpha M 2012

 
Montes Wines
monteswines.com
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Salum Restaurant
salumrestaurant.com
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4152 Cole Avenue (Uptown)