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.
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