My Table

Fun Summer Wines

Summer’s here, and the time is right for drinking simple, lively, refreshing wines with food to match. Not every wine we drink needs to be complex and profound. Mahler is great, but if it were the only thing there was to listen to, music wouldn’t be so popular. Ditto with Shakespeare and theatre. Seize the seasonal opportunity to have some fun with wine.

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A Tasting of Mexican Beers

The arrival of summer means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For more than a few Houstonians, it offers excellent incentives and opportunities to regularly indulge in one of our most distinctive regional treats: Tex-Mex food and cold beer. (Margs and Mex will have to wait for another article.) With the majority of the beer selections at many Mexican restaurants being, reasonably enough, Mexican, we thought it would be a good idea to kick off this season with a blind tasting of popular Mexican beers.

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The Backyard Sommelier

While the severity of Houston’s winters can easily be questioned – unless you consider temperatures in the mid-60s to be nippy – its summers are world class. With that in mind, here are a dozen ideas for what to drink with some quintessential summer foods.

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Cheap, Cheap, Cheap Wine

Wines for Under Four Dollars (a bottle) – A My Table Tasting Pretty much anyone can pick out a bottle of wine for $30 and end up with something perfectly drinkable, if not downright excellent. It gets a little harder at $10. But how about for under $4? The fine folks at My Table decided, as a public service for everyone who loves or needs a bargain, to taste a number of wines at that price point and see just what could be found for less than the price of a good 6-pack of beer. The wines were all tasted blind, with our tasting panel knowing nothing more about the 15 wines before them other than each wine’s varietal and the fact that all the wines had something in common. It was revealed only at the tasting’s conclusion that the common thread was the price: the wines were all $3.99 or less per 750ml bottle.

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Bottles Worth Bringing

Bottles Worth Bringing The Holidays are upon us, as is the hopefully pleasant task of choosing the perfect gifts for friends, loved ones and other people necessarily further down our list of acquaintances. A bottle of holiday cheer has been a popular present or hostess-gift option for many years for many reasons. They’re portable, easy to wrap, come in all price ranges and are appreciated as a special treat by just about anyone. For some people, choosing the right bottle requires no thought at all. If someone you know only drinks a certain California Cabernet, or a particular brand of Scotch, your selection couldn’t be easier. But for most people on our list, a little more thought is required. Here then, are a dozen suggestions of different styles of wines, at a variety of prices, at least one of which should please any wine drinker on your gift list.

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Long Distance Winemaking

Long Distance Winemaking Many people enjoy an occasional glass of wine – and for good reason. More than a few make it one of their life’s great interests: learning, collecting, socializing, traveling to the world’s great wine regions and more, all for the sake of increasing the fun and satisfaction derived from their involvement with their favorite beverage. But it is the rare oenophile who takes their interest to the extreme of actually owning a vineyard or winery. It should be no surprise that Houston, with more than its fair share of spunky, can-do residents, has a number of people who have done just that. Let’s take a look at a few.

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Favorite Wine and Meat Pairings From Some of Our Favorite Sommeliers

Wine - Meat's Best Friend Food and wine, in general, go well together. So well, and in so many ways, that some very fortunate people have spent a large portion of their lives in search of the ultimate pairing. Unlike other epic quests, such as the search for the Holy Grail, Golden Fleece, courage, brains or a heart, the worst fate that could befall someone hot on the trail of the ultimate food and wine pairing will look a lot like eating and drinking. Not bad, really.

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D-I-Y Wine

One of the latest options for expanding ones enjoyment of wine is to partake of the services of what is know as custom wineries. These are businesses that, to varying degrees, offer their customers professional guidance, materials and the facilities to make and bottle their very own wine. Depending on the winery in question, a selection of whole grapes or must (grape juice), crusher/de-stemmers, yeasts, fermenting containers, various oak chips or barrels, ageing facilities, bottling apparatus and custom labeling options are offered to the nascent winemaker, along with all the expertise necessary for them to walk away with, in due time, a wine they can truly call their own.

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A Book Review: “The Advanced Oenophile”

The Advanced Oenophile It would be impossible to be an active participant in the Houston wine scene without having encountered Denman Moody, one of the most well known and prolific wine authorities and writers in the country. Over many years, Denman has been as tireless and enthusiastic in his study and tasting of wine as he has been in his cultivation of friendships and relationships with the world’s greatest wine luminaries, as well as in the incorporation of his wine expertise into numerous philanthropic efforts and pursuits.

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12 Great French Wines for $20 or Less

While no one really refutes the idea that France has produced some of the world’s best, most individual wines for as long as wine has been made, many have a problem with making them their first choice when choosing a bottle. Price, pronunciation and confusion all play a role in this avoidance behavior. I’d like to help with at least the first obstacle. Here are a dozen French wines for less than $20 retail that are sure to please, and may even be the first foot through the doorway to some of the most food-friendly, interesting and satisfying wines available.

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