Last week I worked all over the Metroplex and checked out some restaurants and cafe's along the way!
On Tuesday I stumbled upon a cool Cafe/Coffee/Wine Bar call Toasted which was lovely in it's industrial chic like atmosphere. I wasn't very hungry but I needed a little something eat so I had their Chili Con Carne with Toast and a glass of their only wine of the day which was the Ten Span Pinot Noir. I recommend it for a great place to dine or just hang out to read a book or catch up on some work... or just chill with good friends.
Wednesday afternoon / evening I found myself working outside on the patio of Hillstone enjoying a yummy Latte and then a nice glass of Pinot Noir with a colleague while on their way to Love Field to fly home. And, as we all know in DFW the 5 o' clock traffic is brutal so I found myself a spot at the busy and social bar of Hillstone where I tried out their Grilled Chicken Wedge Salad with a glass of Malbeca... which hit the spot for me and was perfect timing to miss the traffic jams! I highly recommend Hillstone for their great food, wine, atmosphere, social bar area (if you get there early to land a spot) and their patio!
On Thursday evening I met a colleague for drinks and dinner at Ida Claire which is an Open Air concept with an Austinish atmosphere and patio. I love the vibe and cool factor this place has and I hear they're great mixologist but their wine list is extremely limited and mediocre in regards to taste and style. The food menu is unique and everything I've eaten at the restaurant over the past year has been very good. I recommend Ida Claire for their cool patio, atmosphere and vibe as well as for the food menu!
Our Friday night wind down was, as always, a great dinner and experience at Valentino's where the family owned / staffed restaurant provided excellent food, wine and service! I had the Spinach Ravioli which was excellent and we all had their Chianti wine that proved to be a perfect match for our dinner choices as well as easy drinking. If you haven't been to this quaint restaurant in Rowlett I definitely recommend you try them out!
Saturday night my sweetie and I decided on take out from Saltgrass in Rockwall and had our favorite dish - Steak Salad and paired it with a JCB Pinot Noir from my wines (Wineshare Club) which made for a perfect evening at home after a full work day for him.
Aaaahhhh.... you have to love when you get the opportunity to have a Sunday Brunch! We chose Main Street Bistro in Rowlett. They're a fairly new bistro in the area and this was our second time to try them out. And we found the food to be great and the atmosphere is nice and while the service is a bit slow the staff is very accommodating. I tried out the Duck Eggs Benedict and paired it with the house mimosa. It wasn't a bad choice but I don't think I would get it again as I felt that the Duck and Eggs Benedict just didn't work that well together... but overall the food and drinks were good and it was a good experience. We'll definitely visit Main Street Bistro again.
As I complete this blog I realize I was a busy gal last week with business meetings... while experiencing some great food and wine! Cheers and enjoy your week!
Also, I would love to hear about your Food and Wine experiences so please share!!!
As the Palette Matures!
So, as I sit here this Saturday morning wishing I was at my scheduled Wine Tasting in Ft. Worth that I couldn't make due to a "cranky" car... I started thinking about all the restaurants I went to over the past week and the experiences, food and wine that I had at each location.
But outside of thinking about each individual experience what I really began thinking about was the maturity of my wine tasting palette and how it has changed tremendously in just the past year. And that this change is good in the sense of identifying the different types of wines but somewhat problematic when I visit restaurants with mediocre or lesser quality wines.
I love trying new wines as often as possible and I also love bringing good but affordable wines into the mix of wines to drink and to share with other Wine Lovers. Some of the wines I would have drank and recommended as good but affordable wines in the past may not make my list for 2018 because of the palette maturation.
With all that being said, I've always prided myself on not being a Wine Snob even though I'm working on my Sommelier Certification as well as other Wine and Vintner Certifications and I've decided I'm still not a "Wine Snob" but I also can't drink or recommend bad wine.
Therefore, I'm looking forward to continuing to experience more Wines through my work and fun adventures but I will be sharing my true thoughts on the wines be they the best or not so great... which is a slightly new place for me to be in my Wine Journey.
And now off to get this day started... and I'm sure there will be some Wine Tasting Experiences later today...
Cheers to Winesharing!
As many of you know I've been working on my Sommelier and Vintner Certifications for the past couple of years and part of that wonderful learning journey has included hosting monthly Wine Tasting and Pairing events which I have loved sharing with my friends, family and communities.
My journey continues to progress and expand in 2018 by taking my education and experiences a bit more serious with an increased focus on advanced education and accomplishments as well as continuing to host some formal and informal events and experiences throughout the year. This journey could include everything from visiting and touring Wineries and Vineyards throughout Texas, the US and Internationally to dining at new and old Restaurants as well as developing my own Customized Wine and Food Pairings and events for my amazing friends, family and Wineshare Members.
I believe this shift in focus for myself and for our Wineshare Club in 2018 will provide much knowledge and joy through sharing these Food, Wine and Travel engagements with those who are interested.
I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on 2018's evolving structure and format as the mission and passion for Wineshare these past 9 years has been about "sharing and experiencing" the Food, Wine and Travel journeys with all of you who have the same "bug"!
Cheers to a fabulous 2018 for all!!!
I recently had a wonderful Birthday trip to our Texas Wine Country in Fredericksburg, TX!
And I would like to initially share that if you haven’t been to Fredericksburg then it’s worth noting that there are many more activities and things to do in this beautiful area of TX than just drink wine. For instance, Friday we toured and climbed Enchanted Rock and experienced a great hike and breathtaking views while imagining what it must have been like when the American Indians lived in the area. We also toured the National Museum of the Pacific War – Nimitz which was educational and informative in addition to being well designed and laid out for tourists and novices to enjoy the experience.
Luchenbach, TX is always a “must see and do” on any trip to Fredericksburg and they do have their own wines now. I didn’t get the opportunity to taste the wines but I look forward to experiencing them on a future visit. We had also hoped to join one of the 3 different music options Friday but were not able to attend any of the events. I have seen previous music events and concerts in Luchenbach and I loved the talent as well as the venue for the music and dancing.
We wanted to experience the countryside while visiting Fredericksburg and stayed at a cottage, just a few miles outside of town, that was a refurbished barn with a hot tub, beautiful view of the ranch and the many visiting deer as well as farm animals like chickens and roosters.
Prior to our trip I researched wine tour companies and I settled on Keidel Wine Tours because they were very responsive and communicative and they allowed us to schedule our own tour schedule of wineries. Keidel also provided a box lunch, water and snacks as well as a fantastic tour guide who was engaging and educational and knew the area extremely well.
We chose the 4 Winery / six hour tour that included going to Calais Winery, Pedernales Cellars, Becker Vineyards and Barrons Creek Vineyards. They were all great wine tours and each provided a completely different experience for our small group of four.
Calais Winery was our first stop of the day as well as it was our favorite winery in regards to presentation, taste, experience and knowledge. We all agreed that Benjamin Calais is truly an artist within the wine industry and that we’re lucky that he’s chosen Texas as his home and to share his wine making craft with us in our beautiful Texas Wine Country. Calais has chosen to build a unique boutique winery, that’s somewhat cave-like, located in Hye, TX (just outside of Fredericksburg) where he creates high quality wines, influenced by his French heritage, from Texas grapes.
The Pedernales Cellars was our next stop on the tour and we fell in love with the beautiful country side where the winery sits at the top of the hill and overlooks the vineyard, pastures and a lovely B & B called Rose Hill. The winery itself is lovely and quaint with knowledgeable and personable staff. We truly enjoyed the wine tastings and each of us bought our favorite wine from the tasting and had a glass out in the warm and inviting patio area.
Becker Vineyards was our third winery to visit for the day. Becker is one of my favorites as it has a wonderful and vibrant feel to the entire vineyard which is quite vast and perfect if you’re a small touring group like ours or one of the larger groups that visited while we were tasting wines. Becker is well known and I haven’t had a Becker wine that I didn’t like. I recommend their wines for casual drinking as well as to accompany many different types of meals and both their red and white wines are quite nice. And as many already know you can normally find a Becker wine in your local retail stores.
Our fourth and final stop on our tour was at Barons Creek Vineyards, which as a group, was our 2nd favorite winery / vineyard of the day. Baron’s provides a boutique Italian Villa winery experience with a warm and inviting feel with wines for all level of wine lovers. We were very lucky, thanks to Keidel Wine Tours, to conduct our wine tasting with Baron’s Winemaker, Dr. Russel Smith, who’s pervious and tremendous background with Becker Vineyards and his passion for Texas, Italian, Spanish and all wines provided our group with a truly wonderful experience.
Blog written by: Regina Cross / firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a native Texan growing up on Farms and Ranches in the Central and West Texas areas with a life long passion for nature and agriculture.