May all of your hopes and dreams come true in 2013
The more I learn about wine and get to meet some of the wine makers, the more I want to know. The actual wine can be wonderful, but when you add to it the stories that pair with the wines and come directly from the people responsible for making them – you are in for an unforgettable experience.
Last night I caught up with JR Richardson, part of the delightful Oak Cliff Cellars team. We talked for hours and he shared why he started Oak Cliff Cellars and why he is so passionate about his craft. We started with his 2009 Sonoma Chardonnay and paired it with crab cakes and deviled eggs. It was the perfect way to enjoy a hot Dallas evening – the unoaked wine was crisp and refreshing and had hints of melon and green apple.
We finished off the evening with JR educating me on the different wine regions that their grapes come from, and how that affects the flavors of the wines. And I fell in love – with his 2010 Rouges Blend. Red wines are usually so heavy to me in the summer, but this masterpiece blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre had a spicy, bold finish that just made me happy. It was the perfect end to a perfect evening.
Oak Cliff Cellars wines are very fairly priced, and these handcrafted wines are only available in small lots – some of them being under 100 cases. When you find one that you love (and there will be more than one, trust this Drink Diva!) you need to stock your wine cellar with them. The wines are available in Oak Cliff at Bolsa Mercado, or online at the Oak Cliff Cellars website.
Las Vegas has been an acquired taste for me – it took me a long time to appreciate it’s quirkiness, but now I look forward to every visit. One of my “must do’s” is having dinner on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi no matter what time of the year it is.
I’m not usually a Sangria lover, but the Frangria that is a signature for this wonderful restaurant is addictive. A mix of Iced Beaujolais, Grand Marnier, fresh fruit, and a hint of rosemary is the perfect pairing for many of the items on their French Bistro menu.
One of the other things I love about this Las Vegas Strip destination (it’s part of the Paris Casino and Hotel) is the wait staff. We had such a delightful waiter I did an interview with him that you can see on Lifestylist TV.
A trend that I’ve noticed lately is that consumers don’t want to be sold, they want to be educated. Because I’m a “Diva” I couldn’t agree more – I love it when people take the time to share their knowledge with me on what makes a drink, dish or an occasion special. Many times the story and getting to know the people behind the scenes makes more of an impression on me than being told this is what I must have because of a name or label.
The Gaylord Texan is putting new emphasis on their fine wine program. If you love fine wine and the artists who craft it, becoming a member of the Gaylord Food and Wine Society is a must. Membership is being offered to only 250 individuals so being a member means that you will get to be part of a very exclusive group.
The Silver Oak Tower Tour made a stop last week at The Gaylord, and lucky participants were able to meet some of the Silver Oak and Gaylord Food and Wine team members. This was kept to a very intimate size, and you had lots of opportunities to talk one on one with people who love and live the art of food and wine.
Last night Merryvale hosted a blind tasting of comparative 2008 wines, and it was such a treat to be able to look over the shoulder of Sean Foster – Senior Winemaker at Merryvale and see his thoughts of the different wines offered. This was the first blind tasting they had done with consumers, and they chose the Gaylord Texan to have it at because of the reputation of it’s management and their commitment to educating their guests. Since it was a blind tasting, no one knew until the end that they had been able to taste and grade wines I’ve only heard people whisper about including Merryvale, Opus One and Camus.
Sean then gave a fascinating description of what weather and conditions affected the 2008 wines and harvest which then affect the wines.
I’m hooked! Tonight the Gaylord Texan Wine and Dine Trail continues with a Progressive Dinner featuring Merryvale wines. The last course will be taking place at the Glass Cactus, complete with fireworks! To make reservations for this very special evening, visit their website or give them a call at: 817-778-1540
Our favorite chef – Chef Joanne Bondy is getting ready for another great evening at the Old Hickory Steakhouse. October 20th the Gaylord Texan Food and Wine Society will be hosting a Small Batch Bourbon Dinner, and it sounds like it’s going to be quite an evening. The menu includes Vanilla Bean Scented Diver Scallops and Gulf Shrimp, Spiced Pork Tenderloin Salad, Guajillo Grilled Quail, Bourbon Pecan Pie and more! For more information call: 817-778-2203
This Lifestylist® got a lovely thank-you note the other day from a reader. I had recommended The Gaylord Texan as the place to stay during Super Bowl XLV, and they couldn’t agree more! With North Texas having the coldest weather we’ve had in years, being in the wonderful atmosphere of The Gaylord Texan with all of it’s attractions, shopping and dining under one roof is definitely the place to be.
We have had the wonderful opportunity to meet with John Imaizumi – Senior Vice President and General Manager. It is obvious from the moment that you meet him why his “Stars” (what the employees are considered) and guests love him so much. His honest compassion and love for this group shines through, and you can see his attention to detail everywhere you turn.
Even if you aren’t staying at this hotel, it’s the perfect place to just go spend the day during your Super Bowl XLV visit. The Gaylord Texan is the official hotel for The Dallas Cowboys and is close to the stadium and DFW airport. There is great shopping for those Texas themed items, and coffee shops for you to just sit and people watch from.
The Old Hickory Steakhouse is our favorite restaurant in North Texas, and not only is the food spectacular, the staff knows how to make everyone feel important as well. Executive Chef Joanne Bondy prepares her signature dishes including her Habanero Cream Corn that I can’t get enough of! They also have tableside service for their artisanal cheeses and desserts.
If you want to get some lighter fare and focus on a wine tasting, be sure and visit Old Hickory’s upstairs wine bar and veranda. It features an Enomatic wine system, and you can get flights of wines that you have always wanted to try in as little as a one ounce pour.
Ready to kick up your heels? The Glass Cactus Nightclub that is also part of the Gaylord Texan is the place to be. It boasts 39,000 sq. ft. of indoor floor space and has 13,000 sq. ft. of outdoor decks overlooking Lake Grapevine. They’ll be having a special “Big Game” viewing and After-Party on the 6th.
We’d love to hear about your experiences at the places we recommend – feel free to let us know at: email@example.com
Make sure and let people know that The Lifestylist® sent you – we love sharing our favorite destinations.
Getting to explore the New American Home while we were doing the photography was like being a kid in a candy store – every time I opened up a closet or looked in a drawer I found something else I was lusting for! There are so many things I would love to have in The Home Idea Factory, and this amazing prep sink by Kohler is high on the list.
The Crevasse prep sink is as beautiful as it is practical. it’s long sleek design doesn’t take up a lot of counter top space, and it just made prepping vegetables for the shoot fun! This Lifestylist® is a huge believer in farm to table cuisine, so I do a lot of prepping of fresh items. I’m sure if I figured out how much having this prep sink would save me in time and buying processed foods it would be paid for in no time.
With the current interest in larger kitchen islands, this is the perfect functional way to make cooking in The New American Home or your new home fun.
One of my favorite new resources is yelp.com – an online resource that can help you find restaurants, hotels, nightlife and shopping in your local area, or wherever you are traveling to. Members review and talk about stores and services and help you find where “the locals” go. I’ve tried this in several cities and have gotten great suggestions. One of the great things about traveling is getting to try new things, and with the yelp app on my iphone I’m good to go! It will also help you find the closest gas station and emergency services if you ever need them.
You can also also go directly to the reviews of a member you like or trust – please check out this Lifestylist’s reviews on Yelp here.
This is another great resource that can help you save money and time when you are making your travel plans. Let me know what your profile is and I’ll follow you as well!