Showing posts with label bar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bar. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2013

Texas Wine At IAH

Waiting at Houston Bush International Airport for my return flight from Texas to Los Angeles, there was one more Texas wine for me to try.  CapRock Moscato was $10 by the glass at Bubba's Bar and Grill in Terminal C.

Founded in Lubbock in 1988, CapRock Winery is in the Texas High Plains AVA.  Sold earlier this year - for the second time in three years - CapRock is one of Texas' biggest wineries.  Like many Central and West Texas wineries, CapRock specializes in Spanish, Italian and Rhône grape varieties.

This Moscato has a yellow-green tint and an aromatic nose of flowers, pears and peaches with a slightly herbal note underneath.  I was surprised by the little hint of petrol in the background, very much like a Riesling.  It's on the sweet side and the fruit is the star of the palate.  Sweet peach, nectarine and pineapple juice flavors reside in a nectar-like setting.  It's rather viscous, and completely delicious.

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Monday, December 12, 2011


Golden Road Point The Way IPA

Due to my "real job" schedule, I get very few chances to join in on a happy hour.  Recently, a meeting ran shorter than anticipated (!) and I found myself near Marie Callender's.  I strolled in to see if they could make this newfound hour a happy one.  They did.

Hopping onto a seat at the bar, I watch a football game on television between two college teams I don't care anything about - Northern Something University vs Eastern Something State.

Beers are $5 - that's happy - and I spy the magic letters on one of the tap handles:  I.P.A.  It's called Point The Way IPA, from Golden Road Brewing of Los Angeles.  Turns out it's an IPA lover's version of a light beer. 

The brew registers an abv number of 5.2%, fairly low when you know that IPAs generally run well over 6%.  Master brewer Jon Carpenter says this is the beer for which the brewery was founded.  They're a new kid on the beer block, with doors open just a 
couple of months at the time I am writing this. 

Point The Way IPA has a beautiful and rich amber color with an off-white head, shows citrus and flowers on the nose and tastes quite hoppy with a strong lemon note.  It's nice and creamy and a slightly bitter nuttiness flows into an extremely lengthy finish.  It's very refreshing and makes me wish I were having it in the backyard while barbecuing - even though it's dark out and quite chilly.  

I'm sure it will still be around when summer comes back.

Monday, January 31, 2011


The Jug

Meeting friends for a beer is a time honored tradition.  The beverage isn't really important, it's the company and the conversation that count.  However, if all you're talking about is how lousy the beer - or wine - is, it sort of defeats the purpose of the get-together.

There was no such discourse at Lucky Devils in Hollywood.  The beverages spoke for themselves.  A great beer list, a wine list in which brevity left little choice and some tasty snacks combined for a nice little Saturday soiree.

After the usual Hollywood Boulevard hassles - two-dollar an hour parking at the meter, men looking semi-dangerous doing some sidewalk preaching about something or other, LAPD staring intently into the place for an undisclosed reason - we managed to settle into our kitchen-style chairs and let the festivities begin.

Even though it was intended to be a beer gathering, one of the few wines offered caught my eye because it was from the Sonoma County town of Geyserville, a place I visited a while back.  I was impressed with the wines I found there, so I chose a red table wine from Mercury Geyserville called The Jug.  It was an easy-going $7.50 by the glass, but a bit pricey at $19.50 in the 500ml jug.  It appears to be a Bordeaux-style blend from Alexander Valley vineyards.

The Jug is very dark in the glass, inky in fact.  A fruity nose also displays an earthy darkness and some spice.  It really tastes great, with cassis and black cherry flavors accented by spice and smoke.  The finish is a little weak with a sour cherry aftertaste.

Hornin' Nettie Madge Black IPAOthers in the group opted for brewski.  The Hornin' Nettie Madge Black IPA from Anderson Valley Brewing Company is stout-dark with a licorice nose and a tan head that hangs around a while.  The taste reminds me of dates and almonds.  The Craftsman IPA is a more standard-issue India Pale Ale, with characteristics much like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale.  A golden color and lots of hops will make plenty of summer afternoons more tolerable.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Maddalena Merlot

I had a little time to burn while waiting for a movie to begin at The Grove in Los Angeles, so I ambled over to the adjacent Farmers Market to have a glass of wine at the bar.  I could have gone to any of several enocentric restaurants at The Grove for a glass of vino, but the bar at the Farmers Market always attracts me.

I don’t even know its name - if it actually has a name.  There’s no mistaking it, though.  It’s the bar in the middle of the Farmers Market - not quite outdoors but not quite in - where accents from all over the world always seem to be enthralled in debate over a televised soccer match.  There always seems to be a soccer match on when I visit this bar, no matter what time it is.

The bar is actually more of a beer drinker’s haven, with plenty of good brews on tap and decent pitcher prices.  Get your food from any of the countless eateries in the Farmers Market and settle in at a table near the bar for a good time any time.

The wine scene at the Farmers Market bar is a little more limited, but it does offer some interesting choices on a rotating basis that change with great frequency.  It’s either that, or I just don’t get there as often as I think I do.

The ‘06 Maddalena Merlot is produced by the Los Angeles winemaking Riboli family.  They produce wine at their downtown San Antonio Winery using grapes from some of California’s best winegrowing regions.  This Merlot hails from the Paso Robles AVA in San Luis Obispo County, the Spring Creek, Cass and Batdorf vineyards.  The different vineyard lots are produced separately and aged in American oak.  The wine has a robust 14.5% alcohol content

The nose features blueberry with smoke on it.  Other dark fruit meanders through the sniff, too.  On the palate, a vegetal angle seems a little out of place.  The dark fruit I taste has a smokiness through it as well, to the detriment of the fruit.  The tannins are soft, which is rather unusual in red wines served in this bar.  Rather than coming off as simplistic, though, the wine tastes rustic.  It’s a good table wine and a pleasurable quaff.  Maddalena Merlot is poured at the Farmers Market bar at just $7 per glass - as long as it is still on the chalkboard.