This week I’m in the Dallas-Fort Worth area attending TexSom, which is one of my favorite wine conferences in the USA.
Having lived the first 17+ years in southern Illinois and now in California there are foods I miss. Last night I got to experience most of them on the same plate. In Fort Worth, you can watch the boats come in as you dine at the Flight on Eagle Mountain Lake. They market themselves as “Lodge Feel, Classy Appeal, Cajun Flair.”
I ordered “the flight” a smaller selection of four of their entrees. I chose those midwestern items that I was missing which included.
As you can see from the picture, it is more than enough to feed one person. My friends ordered chocolate cake for dessert, which was incredible too.
If you are in Fort Worth and missing southern food, check out the Flight on Eagle Mountain Lake.
The Food & Wine Show in Valencia
Spain has some of the best know wine regions in the world - Rioja, Jerez, Penedes - and if I continued this list there are at least eight other regions most people would mention before the Levante's Jumilla, Yecla, Bullas, Murcia, Alicante, Valencia and Utiel-Requena.
My desire to learn more about these regions, vineyards and wines are why I spent four days there earlier this month. I'll write more later about the individual regions and wineries. For now I'll share about one of the Levante's events, La Mostra which means "the Show."
From March 31-April 4, Proava who creates events and promotes Valencia, held La Mostra in Valencia’s Jardin del Turia. The tickets are inexpensive at 10 Euros for 8 tickets that can be used usually one ticket at a time for a glass of wine or a tapa. The wines were from Valencia, Alicante and Utiel-Requena. The food included paella, sausages, chorizo, iberico, chocolate and cheeses. One of my favorite dishes was “figatell” sausage with a lean cut of meat, pork liver, spices and pine nuts. There were also local beers and hard alcohol. It’s a family friendly event with kids and dogs attending too.
I highly recommend La Mostra as a great way to learn about the region. If you stay in Valencia you can rent a car, arrange for a private driver/tour or take the Utiel-Requena Wine Bus. It’s easy to visit the surrounding areas during the day and then attend La Mostra at night. Another alternative is to visit La Mostra one day or night and spend longer amounts of time in the other regions.
While I was in Valencia I attended La Mostra two evenings and I noticed the later the time the more people were there. The later crowd aligns with the nature of Spain’s eating schedule with most restaurants opening and beginning dinner service at 8 pm.
Here are my top 10 drinks from La Mostra 2016.
Other Great Wines from La Mostra
7. 2014 Rebel.lia - Spain
It’s labeled Spain so the grapes of Garnacha Tintorera, Bobal and Tempranillo could come from anywhere in the country. The acidity, tannins and fruits are in harmony. It was an excellent pairing with sausage.
8. 2014 Bodega Santa Barbara de Titaguas Merse - DOP Valencia
Merse is short for the white grape varietal Merseguera. It’s a very aromatic white wine that is intended to drink when it’s young. It was a great pairing with paella.
9. Bodega Alvarez Nolting Gran Loco Bobal
It’s aged for six months in French barriques and it would be wonderful as an everyday wine.
10. 2013 Vinedos y Bodegas Vegalfaro Caprasia Bobal
A different style Bobal after aging for 14 months in oak. It had developed a smoky character with layers of spices, red and dark fruits. It was easy to see why it received 90 points from Stephen Tanzer and Guia Penin.
Hopefully you will be able to enjoy “the show” in 2017!
Each month new wine books hit the shelves or electronic readers. As someone who loves to read and learn about wine, I look at the releases via Amazon and make my recommendations on what to consider for your collection.
The Wine Book We Will See Everywhere
1. American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man’s Blues
By Dan Dunn
Released April 5, 2016
Six months from now I expect to be on an airplane and mention I work in the wine industry and then hear “have you read American Wino?” For now I’m asked if I’ve seen SOMM after its release on Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime. Why do I think this book is going to be so popular? Dan Dunn. He’s been a writer for years and in American Wine he goes across the country tasting wine throughout his journey. His wit and humor are going to make this book easily consumable for non-wine-geeks and a great read by the pool or during summer vacation. Personally, I’m looking forward to reading something so humorous on wine. The bonus is it’s rare for American wine beyond California, Washington and Oregon to get highlighted and it’ll be a fun way to learn more on wines across the states.
New Versions of Previously Released Wine Books
2. The 24-Hour Wine Expert - Paperback
By Jancis Robinson
Paperback released April 26, 2016
This is another wine book that should be in bookstores and bookshelves across the world. The Kindle edition came out in February and overall the book is more approachable for non-wine-geeks around 100 pages, which is about 900 pages less than Robinson’s Oxford Companion to WIne. Inspired by her daughter this book is for those who enjoy wine and seeking answers to basic questions. It’s a great reference for anyone interested in wine and serves it personally in their home or professionally for caterers, event planners and restaurant servers.
3. Vino Business: The Cloudy World of French Wine
By Isabelle Saporta
Audiobook released April 12, 2016
This book was released in November and it should be an entertaining audiobook. It’s a topic with much debate as an investigative journal writer’s look at the 2012 classification of wines of Saint-Emilion in Bordeaux.
A Mix of Wine Books
4. My Kind of Wine: People, Places, Food & Stories
By John Platter
Released April 1, 2016
John Platter lives in South Africa and for the last 20 years he and his wife have published an annual guide to wines of South Africa. His writing style lacks wine jargon making it approachable for everyone to read and he received rave reviews of his previous book, Africa Uncorked. His new book is full of stories of wineries and the people behind wines of South Africa.
5. The Spirituality of Wine
By Gisela H. Kreglinger
Released April 21, 2016
Viewed through the Christian lense of God and wine, Gisela Kreglinger looks at mentions and times wine is mentioned in the Bible. She also analyzes Christian spirituality and the world of wine now while engaging more than 30 people in the wine industry around the world.
6. Appellation Napa Valley: Building and Protecting an American Treasure
By Richard Mendelson
Released April 25
Richard Mendelson is a wine lawyer and author of other books on law and wine. I think this will be a key resources of those learning about the American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and in debate over the establishment of new AVAs.
My Favorite Wine of the Weekend (FWOW)
2012 Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Zweigelt Niederösterreich, Austria
Back in my hometown of San Diego, I stopped by The Rose Wine and Bottle Shop where I tasted this great Zweigelt.
Half of the vineyards in Austria are in the Niederosterreich region. This particular vineyard benefits from when the Ice Age formed the gravel stones in the vineyards and continues to reflect the sun assisting with development of the grape ripening. Austria’s most widely planted black grape varietal is Zweigelt with more than 6,500 ha. Zweigelt is a cross of Blaufrankish x Saint-Laurent from Klosterneuburg research center in Austria. It was previously known as Rotburger until renamed after its breeder, Zweigelt.
The gravel stones could be tasted with a strong sense of minerality. This Zweigelt is a great option for Pinot Noir lovers (especially those from Europe) with the subtle red fruit, black pepper and structure similar to Pinot Noir.
About the Author
In the midst of a successful nonprofit career, Courtney made the decision to go a different way...a different path2wine. She's lived in Napa and Mendoza, works in the industry. She's a student of wine (WSET Level 4), loves the wine community and she created this site to celebrate the passionate people and everything else behind wine.