Pinot Prism: Sonoma

On Monday, August 7th at 7pm, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Pinot Prism: Sonoma, the first in a series of Pinot Noir classes planned before the end of the year. We will look at Pinot Noir from Sonoma County in its various appellations from County and Valley, Russian River, Sonoma Coast and the real Sonoma Coast (Fort Ross). Discussion will include some history of Pinot Noir, how it is made, where it is best grown in Sonoma, and pairing Pinot Noir with food. Fourteen Sonoma County Pinot Noir wines will be tasted. Bread and a selection of fine cheeses will be served. Prepare your palate.

The line up:
Banshee Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2015
Expression 38 Gaps Crown Pinot Noir 2013
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2015
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Jenkins 2014
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown 2014
Flowers Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2015
Flowers Pinot Noir Sea View Ridge 2014
Hanzell Sebella Pinot Noir 2013
Rochioli Pinot Noir 2014
Dumol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013
Dumol Aidan Pinot Noir 2014
Dumol Finn Pinot Noir 2014
Dumol Ryan Pinot Noir 2014
Dumol Russian River Estate Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Prism: Sonoma will cost $100.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $105.26 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 7th at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, 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).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

With almost 40 years experience in the wine business and 30 plus years experience teaching about wine, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton is one of the top wine authorities as well as the most experienced wine educator in Texas.

SIPPING DIFFERENT

SIPPING DIFFERENT

Summer is here and it’s getting (gotten?) hot. If you’re at all like me, your pace has slowed a bit, you’re eating some different (lighter) foods, and maybe thinking about drinking some different (cooler and more refreshing) drinks. Now, about the only spirits I drink any more are cool refreshing Margaritas (and that’s a year-round thing) so my different drinks for summer are all wine – or at least wine-based. Yes, I drink different wines during the summer: No oak whites, some with a little residual sugar, Rosés (but we have a dedicated Rosé class coming soon),  lighter, more chill-able reds, and the occasional wine concoction. So on Monday, June 26th at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for SIPPING DIFFERENT. We’ll discuss and taste through fifteen summer sippers (all wines I love) that cover the gamut from wine concoctions to chill-able reds. Come cool. Be cool. Get cool. Sip Different

The line up:
Green Sangria (Bear’s Award Winning Recipe)
Carpano Bianco Vermouth
Lillet Blanc
l’Herre Gros Manseng, Cotes Gascogne, 2016
Losen Bockstanz Wittlicher Lay Riesling Kabinett 2015
Paternina Verdejo, Rueda, 2014
Frey Sohler Pinot Gris Rittersberg, Alsace, 2015
François le Saint Sancerre Calcaire, 2015
François le Saint Sancerre Rosé, 2016
Duboeuf Ch. de St. Amour, St. Amour (Cru Beaujolais), 2015
Chamisal Pinot Noir Stainless, Edna Valley, 2014
François le Saint Sancerre Rouge, 2013
Casa Gran Siurana Gr-174, Priorat, 2015
Besserat Bellefon Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV
Quady Elysium Black Muscat, California, 2013

Sipping Different will cost $50.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $52.63 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, June 26, 2017 at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, 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).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

With almost 40 years experience in the wine business and 30-plus years experience teaching about wine, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton is one of the top wine authorities as well as the most experienced wine educator in Texas.

Parsing PINOT

On Monday, November 23 at 7pm, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Parsing Pinot. We will parse, ponder, and peruse Pinot Noir from California with a focus on Carneros and Sonoma County. Discussion will include some history of Pinot Noir, how it is made, where it is best grown in California, and Pinot Noir with food (it’s GREAT with Turkey). Fifteen Pinot Noir wines will be tasted. Bread and a selection of fine cheeses will be served.

The line up:
Siduri Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2013
Fort Ross Sea Slopes Pinot Noir, Fort Ross, 2012
Etude Pinot Noir, Carneros, 2013
Copain Pinot Noir Les Voisins, Anderson Valley, 2012
Expression 38 Gaps Crown Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2012
Expression 38 Pinot Noir Bellflower Vineyard, Russian River Valley, 2012
Martinelli Pinot Noir Bella Vigne, Russian River Valley, 2012
Martinelli Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2012
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2012
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Jenkins, Sonoma Coast, 2013
Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Southing Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills, 2013
Hartford Court Pinot Noir Far Coast, Sonoma Coast, 2012
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown, Russian River Valley, 2013
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, 2012
Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, 2013

Parsing Pinot will cost $80.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $84.21 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, November 23rd 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 VALUE BORDEAUX SEMINAR AND TASTING benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center

7pm on Monday, September 28, 2015
– OR –
7pm on Monday, October 12, 2015
at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française.

The same class is being offered on two different dates.
You may sign up for one or the other but not both.

Spec’s, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, and the European Union invite you to join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for “Bordeaux Values” at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française. These are the wines I consistently go-to for my personal drinking at home or with friends. In this seminar tasting, we’ll look at wines from around Bordeaux that offer quality and value. Topics of discussion will include vintages, the appellations of Bordeaux (including what makes an appellation), styles of Bordeaux, and the grape varieties and techniques used to make the wines. This is a good general introduction to Bordeaux. Bread and cheese will be served.

The following ten Bordeaux wines will be served:
Ch. Martinon, Entre Deux Mers, 2014
Ch. d’Archambeau, Graves Blanc, 2013
Ch. Carbonnieux, Pessac Leognan Blanc, 2011
Ch. Ampelia, Cotes de Bordeaux – Castillon, 2011
Ch. Laplagnotte Bellvue, St. Emilion, 2012
Ch. La Pointe, Pomerol, 2012
Ch. Clos Marsalette, Pessac Leognan Rouge, 2012
Ch. Senejac, Haut Medoc, 2012
Ch. Pontac Lynch, Margaux, 2012
Ch. Lynch Moussas, Pauillac, 2011

To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com. When you call or email, please specify which session you wish to attend. The cost of this class is a $20 donation (cash or check only please) to the Houston Area Women’s Center. L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance Française is on the south-east corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

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 2008

The Wine School at l’Alliance Française presents
A VINTAGE FOCUS ON BORDEAUX 2008
On Monday, March 2nd at 7pm, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2008. As it is not 2005 or 2010, the 2008 vintage was largely dismissied or even ignored by the press. Nevertheless, 2008 is a “Classic Vintage” that allows the typicity and terroir of each very specific place to shine un-obscured by the ripeness and alcohol of a “great vintage.” 2008 is the sort of vintage that proves Bordeaux’s place as a maker of great wines. Discussion will include details of the vintage and how the wines have developed. We’ll taste through 12 excellent red wines, all from 2008 vintage.

The line up:
Ch. d’Aiguilhe, Cotes de Castillon, 2008
Ch. Trottevieille, St. Emilion, 2008
Ch. La Croix St. Georges, Pomerol, 2008
Ch. l’Evangile, Pomerol, 2008
Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac Leognan,2008
Ch. Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac Leognan, 2008
Ch. Branaire Ducru, St. Julien, 2008
Ch. Calon Segur, St. Estephe, 2008
Ch. Rauzan Segla, Margaux, 2008
Ch. La Tour l’Aspic, Pauillac, 2008
Ch. Batailley, Pauillac, 2008
Ch. Pontet Canet, Pauillac, 2008

This Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2008 will cost $100.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $105.26 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, March 2, 2015 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or email coburnsusan2@gmail.com. Please note that when you reserve, you are “buying a ticket to an event.” If you are not going to attend the event, you must cancel at least 24 hours in advance or you may be charged.

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).

Two February Wine Classes

Please join me for two new wine classes at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française. – Bear

02/09/15: VARIETAL FOCUS ON MALBEC
On Monday, February 9th at 7pm, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a Varietal Focus on Malbec. We will trace and taste Malbec from its homeland in the southwest of France to its new territories in Argentina and on to Chile and the US. Disscussion will include Malbec’s history, what makes it unique, and how it is made along with Malbec and food. Twelve Malbec wines will be tasted. The tasting will conclude with a couple of hundred-plus-dollar-a-bottle icon wines (one from France and one from Argentina).

The line up:
Pigmentum Malbec 2013
Alamos Malbec 2013
Montes Malbec Classic 2010
Ch. La Fleur De Haut Serre Malbec Cahors 2012
Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2013
Ch. de Mercues Malbec Cahors 2010
Cuvelier los Andes Malbec 2009
Fin Del Mundo Malbec Reserva 2012
Shannon Ridge Reserve Malbec 2010
Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2010
Ch. de Mercues Cuvee Icone 2009
Plus a surprise.

This Varietal Focus on Malbec will cost $60.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $63.16 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday February 9th 2015 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or BearDalton@mac.com.

02/16/15: VINTAGE FOCUS ON BORDEAUX 2006
On Monday, February 16th at 7pm, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2006. As it is not 2005 or 2009, the 2006 vintage was initially under-rated by the press and has been ignored for the last several years. While 2006 is not a “Great Vintage,” it is a “Classic Vintage” that is now coming into its own as the wines emerge from the dumb stage. What is a “Classic Vintage?” One that shows what put Bordeaux on the world wine map. Which is to say a vintage in which each wine shows the typicity and terroir of the place. Discussion will include details of the vintage and how the wines have developed. We’ll taste through 12 excellent red wines, all from 2006 vintage.

The line up:
Ch Cap De Faugeres Cotes de Castillon 2006
Ch Pavie Macquin St Emilion 2006
Vieux Ch Certan Pomerol 2006
Ch Les Carmes Haut Brion Pessac Leognan Rouge 2006
Ch Haut Bergey Pessac Leognan Rouge 2006
Ch Cantemerle Haut Medoc 2006
Ch Potensac Medoc 2006
Ch Branaire Ducru St Julien 2006
Ch Batailley Pauillac 2006
Ch Calon Segur St Estephe 2006
Ch Rauzan Segla Margaux 2006
Ch Grand Puy Lacoste Pauillac 2006

This Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2006 will cost $100.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $105.26 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday February 16th 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).