Last week, fellow Tasting Bud Peter and I attended a small gathering at the recently open Haddingtons (Link to Menu), new restaurant in downtown Austin. Prior to the event, I looked at the restaurant website, which described it as “an American tavern with rustic cuisine”, bringing to mind hearty, season-inspired meals and a beer selection rivaling the best pubs in town. They had not yet posted a menu (see full menu below), so I was excited to see what Chef Zack Northcutt had created.
Click here to read more about Haddingtons
The day after Christmas is usually devoid of any food activity. After eating my way through the holidays, it is usually on this day that I vow to “eat better” or some other kind of nonsense. Unfortunately, this thinking was short lived as the @tastingbuds twitter stream was flooded with tweets about opening night at Second Bar + Kitchen(Link to Menu), David Bull’s latest creation. Click here to read the full review.
Last Friday we had the privilege of participating in a Maker’s Mark bourbon tasting event at Frank. Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky based distillery that focuses their entire production facility to making just one product, the well known Maker’s Mark bourbon. That is until now.
The reason for the little event put on by Evins Communications, Ltd and Maker’s Mark was to give the Austin blogging community a preview of their new product, Maker’s 46. So what is Maker’s 46?
Hit the link to read the tasty details!
One of my friends recently posted the following on his Facebook status: Prosecco is the new Rosé. While I love this sparkling Italian wine, and drink it quite often, I can’t imagine it will ever fully replace the rosé. Rosés are among the Fooding bloggers’ favorite summer wines, and we have featured several in Jon’s Random Wine Wednesday posts. Incidentally, Jon took a short hiatus from writing while he prepared for final exams, but Random Wine Wednesdays will return next week.
So what happens when our resident wine geek is swamped with grad school finals? Well, he sends a couple of stand-ins to the Chrontourage** Rosé tasting event and hopes for the best. Peter and I were absolutely happy to comply, and just one look at our score card (pictured above) will show you how much fun we had with this assignment. I had two things in mind as we tasted each wine: whether I would purchase it and what type of meal it would accompany. Since we shared a score card, the writing is tiny and pretty undecipherable, so see some of our tasting notes below.
- Segura Viudas Brut Rosé – Spanish Cava; we both loved it and would definitely purchase
- Chateau de Campuget Rosé – Neither of us were impressed; nothing distinctive about this wine
- Cruz de Piedra Rosé – This one was ok, but neither would purchase
- Gran Fuedo Rosé – Strong alcohol aroma; would not purchase
- Marques de Caceres Rosé – Another one with an alcohol aroma; would not purchase
- Mulderbosch Rosé – a Fooding blog favorite; would definitely purchase
- Goats Do Roam Rosé – light and fresh; would purchase
- Becker Provencal Rosé – Crisp and refreshing, with pear and strawberry notes; would purchase
- Columbia Crest Two Vines Rosé – I thought it was a little on the sweet side, but Peter said it was well balanced; would purchase
- Menage A Trois Rosé – another sweet one; would purchase; distinctive berry flavors
The wine tasting occurred just in time to get us through the final stretch of this never ending 100 degree summer. The very knowledgeable staff at Twin Liquors in the Hancock Center walked us through the tastings, answering questions and providing bits of information we would not have known otherwise.
One final note: Prosecco, I love you, but Rosé will always be my summer fling.
** Chrontourage = the Austin Chronicle’s promotions team + fearless leader Logan Youree
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I have lived in Texas my entire life, so I shouldn’t be surprised that we have had 10 straight days of 100+ degree temperatures here in Austin. On toasty days like these, nothing is more thirst quenching than a nice sparkling wine, served chilled.
This week’s pick is a Spanish sparking wine, or Cava. Sparkling wine goes by many different names around the world. The most common sparkling wine is Champagne, which comes from the Champagne region in France. In Italy, they call their sparkling wines Prosecco. In California, they call their sparkling wine, well sparkling wine. You get the picture.
Random Criteria: Sparkling wine that has a crown somewhere on the label
Wine: 2005 Marques de Gelida Cava Brut Reserva
Origin: Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Spain
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Price: < $15 (From Costco)
Notes: This cava was the perfect way to end another 100 degree day. The nose (smell) of the wine was predominantly fresh cherries. When you take the first sip of wine, the bubbles and the mild acidity dance across your tongue. The first thing I tasted was strawberry, then as entered my second glass, the wine smelled and tasted like fresh flowers. This cava is classified as a Brut, therefore the wine has almost no residual sugar (it is not sweet). If you are looking for a sweeter sparkling wine, look for the word “dry” on the label (I know, it’s a bit confusing). This cava is going to go quite well with the shrimp I am grilling for dinner today. Enjoy!
What are your thoughts?
Buying wine doesn’t have to be a confusing experience. You can find great, inexpensive, everyday wines anywhere. This post is the first in a series designed to help those of you new to wine (and even experienced oenophiles) learn which wines you like and which ones you don’t. I’m calling it Random Wine of the Week, because I will (and hopefully you will too) select, drink, and review a random wine every week.
What I mean by random is that I will visit my local wine merchant (supermarket, liquor store, wine boutique, etc…) and select a wine based on factors that have nothing to do with the wine itself. For example, this week I have chosen a pink wine starting with the letter M. Next week, I’ll choose a bubbly starting with the letter S. The following week, maybe I’ll try a red wine with a tree on the label. And so on. I’ll keep the price range on all of these wines to less than $15.
Then entire point of this activity is to experiment and taste new wines. I would highly recommend that you start your own wine journal to capture the information from the label and your opinions of the wine.
So go on, invite some friends over, pick out some random wines, and enjoy!
Click here to see my selection for Random Wine of the Week
Today all of the members of Fooding Blog took a field trip to visit the Austin Wine Festival. Despite the May Texas heat, we managed to have a great time sampling various local wines from the Texas Hill Country and beyond.
You may say to yourself, “Wine in Texas?” Why yes, there is indeed a lot of wine in Texas. According to the Orbitz Insider Index, Austin is the 2nd Fastest Growing Wine Destination in the Nation. Also, the Wine Society of Texas tells us that there are well over 100 wineries here in the Lone Star State.
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Every spring, I look forward to the new batch of rosés. The gang and I like to try different ones early in the season and then pick our favorites, which will become our wines for the summer. After a highly successful shopping expedition, we happily discussed which snack options would go best with our wine. The first wine we decided try was the 2008 Chateau Valcombe Cote du Ventoux Rosé, so we a bottle of it out to chill.
A short while later, we had assembled an array of snacks on the table out on my brother’s shaded deck. It was a beautiful afternoon in Austin: the sun shining, a slight breeze blowing. The tinny music floating outside from the old kitchen radio was perfectly complimented by the cacophony of birdie happy hour which had commenced at the feeder in the backyard.
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