Four Upcoming Wine Events during January 2015

Two Wine Classes, a Grand Bordeaux Tasting,
and 
a Southern Rhone Dinner …

01/08/15 – ENJOYING WINE:
Tasting, Buying, Drinking, Serving, Pairing, Storing
Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for Enjoying Wine, an entertaining and informative way to learn more about wine and the some of the topics that inevitably go along with it. As we taste through 10 fine wines (sparkling, white, rosé, red, and sweet), we’ll cover topics such as tasting wine, buying wine, drinking wine, serving wine (temperature and glassware), pairing wine with food, and storing wine. All tasting will be from Riedel Degustazione stemware. Course notes will be distributed via email and may be found at BearOnWine.com. A selection of cheeses and bread will be offered during each class. Enjoying Wine will cost $50 per person cash ($52.63 regular). The course will meet at 7pm on Thursday, January 8th, 2015To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or email BearDalton@mac.com.

01/12/15 – TASTE WINE LIKE A PRO:
The Basics of Tasting and Understanding Wine
Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for this introduction to truly tasting wine. Tasting is the basis of understanding wine, learning more about wine, and finding what sorts of wines we like best. Properly tasting wine with purpose helps all of this happen faster and with less frustration. Taste Wine Like A Pro will get you on the right track.

Topics will include:
– The basics of tasting
– The physiology of taste (sounds intimidating; it’s not)
– Tasting wine versus drinking wine
– Types of tasting
– Blind tasting and playing “The Options Game”
– Proper tasting glassware
– Tasting notes
Ten wines will be tasted. All tasting will be from Riedel Degustazione stemware. Course notes will be distributed via email and may be found at BearOnWine.com. A selection of cheeses and bread will be offered during each class. Taste Wine Like A Pro will cost $60 per person cash ($63.16 regular). The course will meet at 7pm on Monday, January 12th, 2015To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or email BearDalton@mac.com.

Both of these Wine School classes will be held at l’Alliance Française, the French cultural center in Houston.  Located at 427 Lovett Blvd. (Houston, Texas 77006), l’Alliance Française is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

01/20/15 – ANNUAL “CRU CLASSÉ” BORDEAUX TASTING
at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice
On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, Spec’s will host approximately 45 Bordeaux chateau owners, directors, and/or winemakers presenting over 60 mostly Cru Classé Bordeaux wines all from the 2012 vintage in a walk-around tasting format. This is our fourth time to host such a delegation from Bordeaux. As each of the last three years’ events were smashing successes, the chateaux are coming back and they are bringing friends – so we will be showing more wines. The complete list of well-known and highly-regarded chateaux is still coming together and will be announced soon.

The tasting will open at 4:30pm and run until 8:30pm, giving tasters ample time to taste the wines and visit with our guests from Bordeaux. The tasting will include a spread of artisanal cheeses and breads chosen to help absorb the wines and refresh the palate. We will taste from Riedel Degustazione (tasting) glasses. The 2012 Cru Classé Bordeaux Tasting will cost $80.00 total per person cash ($84.21 regular). To reserve your spot for this unique Bordeaux Event, please call Marlo at 832-660-0250 or email MarloAmmons@specsonline.com. The Crystal Ballroom is located in downtown Houston at 909 Texas Avenue between Travis and Main. Valet Parking will be available.

01/22/15 – A SOUTHERN RHONE DINNER at Charivari
On Thursday, January 22nd at 7pm, please join me, Bear Dalton, at Charivari Restaurant for our Southern Rhone Dinner offering a tour of 11 wines (a dry white, a dry Rosé, eight reds, and a sweet white) from seven appellations (plus a fine Champagne) perfectly paired with Chef Schuster’s menu of French classics.
 
The MENU
American Caviar, Goat Cheese Crème Fraîche aux Tartine with
Castelnau Brut Reserve, Champagne, NV

Bouillabaisse Marseillaise with
Domaine Vieux Chene “Blanc Seigneurs” Cotes du Rhone Villages Blanc, 2012
Domaine de “le Rosé de Marie” Cotes du Rhone Villages Rosé, 2013
Chateau St. Cosme “les Deux Albions” Cotes du Rhone Villages, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon  & Fresh Egg Tagliatelle with
Domaine Cabasse “les Deux Anges” CdRV Sablet, 2013
Domaine Mourchon “Tradition” CdRV Seguret, 2011
Domaine l’Espigouette CdRV Rasteau, 2011
Montmirail “Cuvee Deux Freres” Vacqueyras, 2012
Chateau St. Cosme Gigondas 2012

French Cheeses with
Domaine Grand Tinel “Alexis Establet” Chateauneuf du Pape, 2009
Domaine Pegau “Cuvee de Reserve” Chateauneuf du Pape, 2011

Apple Tart Flambé with Salted Caramel with
Domaine Bernardins Muscat Beaumes de Venise 2012

This Southern Rhone Dinner will cost $140.00 per person including a 5% discount for cash or check or $147.37 regular. All taxes and tips are included. Attendance at this dinner is strictly limited to 24 people (including me). For reservations, please call Susan at 713-854-7855 or reply by email to BearDalton@mac.com.

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