REVEALING RIESLING

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton on Tuesday, September 1st at 7pm for REVEALING RIESLING. We’ll dig in with fourteen refreshing Riesling wines mostly from Germany – the spiritual home of Riesling – that represent a range of the non-dessert wine styles. We’ll talk about the Riesling grape, the places it grows, the techniques used to make it, and the food we eat with it. All the wines we’ll taste are intended for the table. While there will be plenty of fruit and some sweetness, these are food friendly wines to be drunk either as aperitifs or with food. The class will include bread and a selection of fine cheeses to accompany the tasting.

The List:
Villa Wolf Riesling QbA, Pfalz, 2013
Schloss Vollrads Riesling QbA, Rheingau, 2013
Donnhoff Estate Riesling, Nahe, 2014
Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Reisling Kabinett, Rheinhessia, 2013
Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2013
Fritz Haag Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2014
Dr. Pauly Bernkastler alte Badstube am Doctorberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2013
Dr. Thanisch Bernkastler Doctor Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2012
Dr. Pauly Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel, 2013
Leitz Rudesheimer Magdalenekreuz Riesling Spatlese, Rheingau 2014
Peter Nicolay Erdener Treppchen Feinherb, Mosel, 2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle – Dr. Loosen “Eroica” Riesling, Columbia Valley, 2013
Von Kesselstatt Josephshofer Grosse Gewachs, Mosel, 2011
Ehrhart Riesling Grand Cru Hengst, Alsace, 2010

Revealing Riesling will cost $60.00 per person cash ($63.16 regular).
The class will meet at 7pm on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at l’Alliance Française.
To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd. (77006), l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

BORDEAUX By The NUMBERS

FIVE CHATEAUX – THREE VINTAGES – FIFTEEN GLASSES – ONE GOOD TIME

On Monday, August 24th at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for BORDEAUX by the NUMBERS, a unique Bordeaux tasting featuring three-vintage verticals from five of my favorite chateaux: Cantemerle, Cantenac Brown, Gruaud Larose, Grand Puy Lacoste, and Calon Segur. In a virtual south-to-north tour of classified chateaux of the Haut Medoc, we’ll taste the 2010, 2011, and 2012 vintages from each of these properties. Each chateau represents its appellation with great quality at fair, un-hyped pricing. These are the sort of wines that make me love Bordeaux.

Why? Because I am intrigued to taste these wines as verticals. It will be fun and informative. The cost of this unique tasting will be $100.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $105.26 regular. The course will meet at 7pm on Monday August 24, 2015. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

The STATE of ZIN at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton on Monday, August 10th, at 7pm for The State of Zin. We’ll dig into Zinfandel and look at a lucky 13 Zin-based wines from Sonoma County – the spiritual home of Zinfandel – that represent the best of what is in the market (mostly 2012s with a few 2013s). We’ll talk about Zin and blends, the terroirs and techniques used to make it, and the food we eat with it. The class will include bread and a selection of fine cheeses to accompany the tasting.

The List:
Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma 2013
Dry Creek Zinfandel Heritage Clone 2012
Shannon Ridge High Valley Zinfandel 2012
Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Zinfandel 2012
Dry Creek Old Vines Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel 2013
Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards Geyserville 2013
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2012
Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2012

The State of Zin will cost $60.00 per person cash ($63.16 regular). .
The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 10, 2015 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

A Summer Dinner in the South (of France)

At 7pm on Thursday, August 6th, please join me, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton, at Charivari Restaurant for a Summer Dinner in the South (of France) in which we will pair Chef Johann Schuster’s Provence-inspired menu with wines from the south of France. Rather than our usual Champagne, we’ll start with a sparkling Kir Violette and move on to and through a range of the brighter, fresher flavors that are the signature of this intriguing part of the world.

THE MENU
Baguettes Toast with Olive & Eggplant Tapenade
Kir Violette

Cantaloupe Melon with French Country Ham with
J Vidal Fleury Muscat Beaumes de Venise 2011

Bouillabaisse Marseillaise with
Ch. de Lancyre Pic St. Loup Rosé 2014
Ch. de Pegau “Pink” Rosé Vin de France 2014
Montmirail “Rossignol” Gigondas Rosé 2014

Roasted Leg of Lamb al Provencal, Ratatouille with
Ch. de Pegau “Maclura” Cotes du Rhone 2012
Montmirail “Jeune Vigne” Cotes du Rhone 2012
Ch. de Lancyre Pic St. Loup Vielles Vignes, 2009
Montmirail “Cuvee de Beauchamps” Gigondas, 2012
Domaine Pegau “Cuvee Reserve” Chateauneuf du Pape, 2012

Cherry Clafoutis

This fun and unique dinner will cost $130 per person including a 5% discount for cash or check or $136.84 regular. All taxes and tips are included. For reservations, please reply by email to coburnsusan2@gmail.com or call Susan at 713-854-7855. Charivari is located at 2521 Bagby (77006) in Mid-Town Houston.

Pulling The Cork . . . and other things you need to know about wine

On Monday, July 13th at 7pm, please join Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Pulling The Cork . . . and other things you need to know about wine, a one-night next-step into Tasting, Drinking, and Enjoying wine. Tasting because that’s how you figure out what you like. Drinking because drinking good wine is the object of all that tasting (however much fun all the tasting may be). And Enjoying because there are things you can do to enjoy wine more without spending more money on wine.

Bear Dalton has over 35 years of experience tasting (over 9,000 a year), drinking and enjoying, and working professionally (He’s the fine wine buyer for Spec’s) with wine including over 30 years experience teaching and writing about wine. In this two-hour class, he’ll lead you through a tasting of 12 wines including red, white, sparkling and dessert wines. Discussion will include tasting vs. drinking, what to look for when tasting, wine and food pairing, wine serving and storage temperatures (and why they matter), proper wine glasses (and why they are important – and when they are not), pulling the cork (there is both more and less to it than you think), and more.

Pulling the Cork . . . will cost $50.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $52.63 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, July 13th, 2015 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2010

NOTE: This is the class I had to cancel due to illness back in May.
St. Emilion

St. Emilion

On Tuesday, July 7th at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2010. Considered by many to be the best of the three great vintages of the 2000s (and the most recent “Great Vintage”), 2010 in any case belongs in the discussion. Discussion will include details of the vintage and how the wines are developing. We’ll taste through 12 excellent red wines (including the “2nd wines” of two first growths), all from 2010 vintage.

The Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

The Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux


The line up:
Ch. Ampelia, Cotes de Bordeaux  Castillon, 2010
Domaine de l’Eglise, Pomerol, 2010
Gravette de Certan, Pomerol, 2010
Ch. Trottevieille, St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé,  2010
Le Clarence de Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, 2010
Ch. Pontoise Cabarrus, Haut Medoc, 2010
Ch. Cantenac Brown, Margaux, 2010
Pavillon Rouge du Ch. Margaux, Margaux, 2010
Ch. Gruaud Larose, St. Julien, 2010
Ch. Batailley, Pauillac, 2010
Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac, 2010
Ch. Calon Segur, St. Estephe, 2010

This Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2010 will cost $120.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $126.32 regular.

The class will meet at 7pm on Tuesday July 7, 2015 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).
Also in the queue . . .
Thursday, July 2nd: Revealing Rosé
Monday, July 13th: Pulling the Cork – and other things you need to know about wine 

REVEALING ROSÉ: A Seminar and Tasting from the Wine School at l’Alliance Française

REVEALING ROSÉ: A Seminar and Tasting from the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
7pm on Thursday, July 2nd, $30 Cash

Please join me, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton, at the  Wine School at l’Alliance Française for “Revealing Rosé” at 7pm on Monday, July 2nd at l’Alliance Française. Why Rosé? And why now? Because there is no better and more refreshing wine to drink this time of year. And our Texas Rosé drinking season is up and running. Topics of discussion will include vintages, types of Rosé, Rosé and food, and the grape varieties and techniques used to make the wines. Sixteen pink wines (all French) will be tasted and bread and a selection of fine cheeses will be served. Roses

The following Rosé wines will be served:
Pins Du Pyla Rose Bordeaux 2014
Villa Des Anges Old Vine Rose 2014
Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes du Rhone Rose 2014
Pigmentum Rose Malbec 2014
Dom Le Pive Gris Rose 2014
Listel Gris Cuvee Centenaire Rose 2014
Ch du Donjon Minervois Rose 2014
Balandran Castieres de Nimes Rose 2014
Dom Cabasse Le Rose de Marie 2014
Commanderie Bargemone Rose de Provence  2014
Domaine  de Triennes Provence Rose  2014
Ch de Lancyre Rose Pic Saint Loup 2014
Hecht & Bannier Rose Cotes de Provence 2014
Mourchon Cotes du Rhone Villages Loubie Rose 2014
Pink Pegau Cotes du Rhone Rose 2014
Ch d’Esclans Whispering Angel Provence Rose 2014

Dress cool and join us for delicious and refreshing Rosé. Revealing Rosé will cost $30.00 per person cash ($31.58 regular). To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., it is on the Southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

DRINK PINK!

Also coming soon:
Tuesday, July 7:   2010 Bordeaux – A vintage overview
Monday, July 13:   Pulling the Cork – and other things you need to know about wine