Portugal, surrounded by its venerable neighbors of wine making, has long been overshadowed by France and Spain when it comes to the ubiquity and prominence of its wines. Even paella and tapas (or petisco as it is known in Portugal) was until recently thought of as primarily a Spanish tradition with a Spanish heritage. But like Portuguese cuisine, Portuguese wines have a distinct character and quality that is worthy of discovery. Moreover, as the Fifty Great Portuguese Wines Tasting held at the New York Public Library recently demonstrated, there is no better complement to Portuguese fare than Portuguese wines. The diversity of flavors in its 250 grape varietals also make them good candidates for pairing with other cuisines; an array of cheeses, tapas and fruits at the tasting paired well with the vinho verdes, whites and reds on offer.
Varietals: 91 percent Zinfandel & 9 percent Petite Sirah
Production: 1,700 cases
Alcohol: 14.5 percent
Tasting Notes: One of the labels owned by Truett-Hurst, Inc., Bradford Mountain was founded in the late 1990s and produces about 3,000 cases of wine per year. It lies on the western side of the Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma County), a region renowned for its Zinfandels. Some of the fruit that goes into the 2011 Dry Creek Zinfandel comes from the winery’s historic Grist Vineyard, which was replanted in 2005 and is now certified organic. The wine boasts fragrant raspberry and Continue reading “Bradford Mountain 2011 Dry Creek Zinfandel – Wine of the Week Review” »
If you’re lucky enough to be spending Mardi Gras in the Big Easy, make sure to read this primer first. “Carnival” describes the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Day (also known as Fat Tuesday), the day before Lent, the Catholic time of atonement, begins. And while some in New Orleans use that term, most just call all of the season of revelry “Mardi Gras.” It actually begins on Epiphany, January 6; but the big celebrations and major parades really happen in the last two weeks leading into Mardi Gras Day (which is a city-wide holiday in NOLA).
But since black is beautiful, last week the restaurant started offering the black truffle experience. Throughout the 18-course prix-fixe menu, priced at $250 with wine pairings available, diners can discover the culinary creativity and talents of José Andrés, R & D chef Aitor Zabala, chef de cuisine Holly Jivin, and pastry chef Kriss Harvey.
Hungry Houstonians, you’re in luck — you have more dining choices than ever before, as there are many new restaurants worth a visit in Space City.
At the trendy West Ave. multi-use center in Upper Kirby, two new eateries are now open. Nara, a Korean/Japanese restaurant from chef Donald Chang that opened in the old Katsuya space, blends the flavors of Chang’s native country with his experience as a sushi chef in Houston. Over in the next building, Food Network Star Susie Jimenez has opened Trenza in the former Alto space upstairs from Del Frisco’s Grille. The name means “braid” and is a nod to the fusion food she offers: a blend of her native Latin cuisine with Indian and Asian twists.