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Wining and Dining with Jim White April 3, 2011

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Red or White?  No Problem, just add food coloring!?!

There is a famous story about about a group of “expert” wine writers attending France’s most storied tasting affair:  The Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux.  The new vintages from both sides of the Garonne and Dordogne are presented to journalists and the trade every April in and around Bordeaux.  The price of wine futures is determined by their accolades.  One year a panel of scholarly wine writers was assembled to do a comparison tasting of a cheap wine versus one of the legendary first growths.  The premise:  to chronicle, and perhaps, justify the difference in price between the two extremes.  As you might imagine, the wine experts trashed the lesser wine and waxed eloquently about the wine of renown.  There was one small problem.  The wines had been switched.  The great wine was poured into the cheaper wine bottle.  The modest wine posed as the superstar vintage and met with exultant high praise.  There was much embarrassment in the wine writing world over this incident.  And, much brushing up on actual tasting occurred, instead of just relying on a “brand name” label.  We thought you would find a similar series of circumstances interesting as presented in this guest column from Snooth by Gregory Dal Piaz.

What We’ve Been Reading

More sanity from the blogosphere

By Gregory Dal Piaz

I’ve been trying my hardest to convince people that lots of wine experts are living in a fantasy world. Now that’s not a universal indictment, but the truth is many of us in the wine business don’t have a clue when it comes to what we’re looking at when faced with a glass of wine.

That is actually true as witnessed by the brilliant if subversive experiment conducted by Frederic Brochet, of the University of Bordeaux, where wine experts were presented with two glasses of wine, one white and one red, and described them perfectly, as white and red wine. Problem was, the red wine was actually the white wine with food coloring added!  (See more on this story below)

The Money of Color

Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the color of a wine is simply not very important to me, and it looks like more and more wine writers agree! Are we witnessing the last gasp of opacity being considered a positive attribute for red wines. Are you 15 points on that color? I am 100 points on this article by Evan Dawson that was recently featured in Palate Press. “The Color of Money” is a great read, and a rundown on what we’re all talking about when it comes to color.


Wining and Dining with Jim White February 11, 2011

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More Valentine’s Day Treats

As fast as my fingers will fly (I was busy getting you flowers, see? XOXOXOXO).

Here are some restaurants to consider with Valentine’s dining specials.  In no particular order…..

Ristorante Nicola and Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano are offering special Valentine’s dinners.  Mama Mia!  That’s amore!


Villa-O, 214-780-1880

Rafain offers a couples special $90 for all 16 cuts of meat, salads, special desserts, and a glass of wine.  Call 972-733-1110

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse with a special $59.95 per person Valentine’s menu through Valentine’s. And a rose on Valentine’s Day. Call 214-366-2000

Nana in the Hilton anatole, has a special four-course menu for $99 per person that includes a glass of Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne. Early seating begins at 5:30 and hotel special rates. Call 214-761-7470.

The new digs opening February 24th

Say goodbye to Morton’s Dallas downtown. Valentine’s weekend is it for the iconic steakhouse. They will be closing their doors afterthe last Valentine’s Day diner is served, and opening their brand new Uptown location on February 24th, at 2222 McKinney (this is where Grotto was for about 20 minutes–across from the Ritz-Carlton). Phone 214-741-2277 for Valentine’s res. The number will stay the same.

Oh, speaking of the Grotto (the original and real Grotto), Morris Salerno’s popular spot in Highland Village has a special Valentine’s menu with music. Call 972-318-0515.

Remember, tickets to Savor Dallas will increase your love quotient exponentially.  Extend the romance and join the fun March 18th and 19th.  It’s something you both will enjoy.

Scroll down for previous Valentine’s suggestions posted a couple of days ago.  And, for some great Valentine’s wine suggestions, and the secret to pairing chocolate with wine, read on!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Savor the Flavor with Jim White, “The Wining and Dining Guy” September 28, 2010

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Order Wine from a Restaurant Wine List Like a Pro

Our friends at “Snooth” offer some very good tips on ordering wine from a list.  I wanted to share this with you in case you don’t get their newsletter.  Cheers!

Restaurant wine lists can be intimidating, but navigating the wine list is actually pretty simple. With a just a few easy tips you can learn to order the perfect wine for your meal off any restaurant wine list.  The best way to make sure you get what you want from the wine list is knowing what you want. A little wine knowledge can go a long way towards helping you navigate any restaurant wine list. Take the time to learn the basics types of wine, and sharpen your skills by taking note of pairings that work for your palate, as well as those that make you want to retch! There are a few tricks worth knowing about many, if not most, restaurant wine lists. Stick with these and you’ll be drinking like royalty!

Read on to get the five tips to order wine like a pro.


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